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By Tuesday, Only Three Christmas Wide Releases Won’t Be on PVOD — a Month or Less After Opening

The importance of revenue earned by studios from PVOD rentals reasserts itself with news that, as of Tuesday, all but two of the wide films released from either December 22 or December 25 will have home availability. That’s one month or less after their theatrical releases.

Top holiday grosser “Wonka” (Warner Bros.), which opened a week earlier, sleeper rom-com hit “Anyone but You” (Sony), and “The Iron Claw” remain theater-exclusive. Otherwise, the rush for home gold has taken over.

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Three of these titles — “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” (WB), “Migration” (Universal), and “Ferrari” (Neon) debut on Tuesday. They will join “The Color Purple” (WB) and “The Boys in the Boat” (Amazon MGM), both of which came out last week, 22 days after release.

The results for the week actually showed that four earlier films scored better overall during the week. “Purple” did best at Vudu (#4), but only #8 at Apple TV and #10 at Google Play. “Boys” took fifth at Apple TV, #6 at Vudu, but it under top 10 at Google Play.

Disney’s troubled “The Marvels,” with the studio’s now usual two month window, actually did better than either Christmas film despite not grossing that much more. It is #1 at Vudu, third at the other two sites.

NAPOLEON, from left: Rupert Everett, Joaquin Phoenix stars as Napoleon Bonaparte, 2023.  ph: Aidan Monaghan / © Sony Pictures Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection
“Napoleon” © Sony Pictures Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection©Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Otherwise, two big-name directed biopics took the other top spots. Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon” is #1 at Apple TV, second at Google Play, third at Vudu after two weeks of availability. Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” (which, unlike these other titles, is renting for $5.99 rather than $19.99 after two months out) is #1 at Google Play, #2 at Apple TV, #7 at Vudu (where it is the sole non-$19.99 title on their list, which ranks by revenue, not transactions).

A couple notes on two studios’ strategies: By Tuesday, two of Warners’ three Christmas releases will be on PVOD. That makes economic sense, particularly for “Purple” which was on its last theatrical legs by its third weekend. Ironically, Tom Cruise just cited the studio’s commitment to theatrical as one of his main reasons for joining Warner Bros. in a non-exclusive agreement (his former main home Paramount actually usually has longer windows). The reality is that Warner Bros., like others, will chase revenue for nearly all films as best as it can, irrespective of the perception of how it affects theaters.

Ironically, Universal, with the most aggressive PVOD plan (most films after their third weekend), waited until after the fifth to release “Migration.” Also a December 22 release, it continues as a top five film in theaters (with little else for kids). One reason for the delay may have been that its “Trolls Band Together,” still $19.99, remains in the top four of all charts (#2 at Google Play).

“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” (Lionsgate), also still $19.99, rounds out the titles on all three lists. “Next Goal Wins” (Searchlight), at $14.99 and the other new release, took #9 at Vudu.

The Legend of Tarzan
‘The Legend of Tarzan’Warner Bros.

Netflix has a particularly eclectic top 10 this week. “The Legend of Tarzan” with Alexander Skarsgard from 2018 and part of their new deal with Warners #1. #2 is “The Hill” (Briarcliff), a faith-based baseball story that had a modest 2023 theatrical release. #3 in “Queenpins,” originally shown on Paramount +. “Dumb Money,” as usual for Sony releases initially streaming on Netflix, is #6 (debuting Monday, likely to go higher).

Among its originals, last week’s #1 “The Lift” with Kevin Hart is now #4. “The Kitchen,” co-directed by Daniel Kaluuye, a London-set dystopian story, is tenth.

Apple TV and Google Play rank films daily by number of transactions. These are the listings for Monday, January 22. Distributors listed are current rights owners. Prices for all titles are for lowest for either rental or download.

Apple TV (formerly iTunes)

1. Napoleon (Sony) – $19.99

2. Oppenheimer (Universal) – $5.99

3. The Marvels (Disney) – $19.99

4. Trolls Band Together (Universal) – $19.99

5. The Boys in the Boat (Amazon MGM) – $19.99

6. Anatomy of a Fall (Neon) – $6.99

7. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Lionsgate) – $19.99

8. The Color Purple (Warner Bros.) – $19.99

9. Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning: Part One (Paramount) – $5.99

10. Dumb Money (Sony) – $5.99

Google Play

1. Oppenheimer (Universal) – $5.99

2. Napoleon (Sony) – $19.99

3. The Marvels (Disney) – $19.99

4. Trolls Band Together (Universal) – $19.99

5. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (Lionsgate) – $19.99

6. Barbie (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

7. Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning: Part 1 (Paramount) – $5.99

8. John Wick Chapter 4 (Lionsgate) – $5.99

9. Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple) – $19.99

10. The Color Purple (Warner Bros.) – $19.99

Vudu

Vudu ranks by revenue, not transactions, elevating premium VOD titles. This list covers January 15-21.

1. The Marvels (Disney) – $19.99

2. Trolls Band Together (Universal) – $19.99

3. Napoleon (Sony) – $19.99

4. The Color Purple (WB) – $19.99

5. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (Lionsgate) – $19.99

6. The Boys in the Boat (Amazon MGM) – $19.99

7. Oppenheimer (Universal) – $5.99

8. Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple) – $19.99

9. Next Goal Wins (Searchlight) – $14.99

10. Thanksgiving (Sony) – $19.99

Netflix Movies

Most viewed, current ranking on Netflix’s domestic daily chart on Monday, January 22. Originals include both Netflix-produced and acquired titles it initially presents in the U.S. Netflix publishes its own international weekly top 10 on Tuesdays based on time viewed.

1. The Legend of Tarzan (2016 theatrical release)

2. The Hill (2023 theatrical release)

3. Queenpins (2021 Paramount+ streaming release)

4. Lift (Netflix original)

5. Escape Plan: The Extraction (2019 VOD release)

6. Dumb Money (2023 theatrical release)

7. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023 theatrical release)

8. Queen Bees (2021 theatrical release)

9. Cowboys & Aliens (2011 theatrical release)

10. The Kitchen (Netflix British original)

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