During the current worldwide pandemic, movie studios are no longer providing box-office figures because theaters have been shut down around the nation and the world. Because we are less interested in the actual figures themselves and more interested in what people are watching over the weekends, each week we will dive into Most Streamed and Bestseller Lists on Fandango, iTunes, Netflix, and Hulu to pinpoint the weekend’s most watched films.
There are a couple of interesting developments in this week’s VOD/Rental charts. First up, Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot exited the “theatrical window,” where it was being offered for $20, and entered the rental window, where it is being offered for around $5, and it shot to the top spot on the Fandango VOD charts, and it is number two on the iTunes rental chart. Ford vs. Ferrari, likewise, jumped to the top spot on iTunes now that it’s being offered for the rental price.
The more interesting news is that Arkansas — a low-budget noir starring Liam Hemsworth and Vince Vaughn — enters the VOD charts at number three, and the iTunes rental chart at number five. This is significant, because Lionsgate did not do a lot of heavy promotion of the picture. Arkansas is succeeding based on reviews (mixed, though they are) and director Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine) is also making the rounds online. I liked the movie, but more importantly, it’s great to see a movie like this break out on VOD. I don’t know if it’s because there are fewer options, or if it was because of Liam Hemsworth’s social media following, or if a lot of viewers just really wanted to see a Southern-fried noir set in Arkansas, but it’s great to see a film like this break out. Studios may want to revisit some of those films that were supposed to debut at SXSW, like Arkansas, and see if there is some VOD potential in them during the pandemic.
Otherwise on the VOD charts, the romantic drama The Photograph held on and jumped a spot this weekend, Gretel & Hansel jumped to number four, and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War debuted at number five. Trolls World Tour (#6), Sonic the Hedgehog (#10), and Bad Boys for Life (#11) have finally loosened their grip on the top five.
Interestingly, the horror movie The Lodge debuted at number nine this weekend. It got a small, limited release in February, but solid reviews have helped the Sundance hit succeed on the VOD charts, even while it is currently available for streaming on Hulu. The most popular movies over on Hulu, meanwhile, remain about the same: Parasite, Isn’t It Romantic, Lego Movie 2 and Crazy, Stupid, Love.
The most popular movies on Netflix this weekend are an odd assortment. A 2017 Jamie Foxx film, Sleepless, is weirdly enormously popular on Netflix. I don’t really understand it, because it was not well liked by critics (25 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) or audiences (37 percent audience score) on its initial release, and it didn’t do much at the box office, either. We live in strange times.
It is not surprising, however, to see Michelle Obama’s feel-good doc Becoming debut this weekend at number two. This is exactly the kind of uplifting documentary that the country needs right now. It’s beloved by critics (92 percent on RT), while I am guessing that the audience score (59 percent) is being manipulated by partisans.
Gerard Butler — king of Netflix — hangs on at number three with Den of Thieves, Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction maintains position in the top five for the third weekend in a row, and Terry Crews’ John Henry, which debuted in theaters in January, has now arrived on Netflix and it sits at number five. The Tomatometer on John Henry is zero percent.