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.
Some movie theaters around the country have re-opened, but they haven’t been met with brisk business, in part because all of the major movies have been delayed again, as the major studios have mostly decided to wait the pandemic out before releasing their blockbusters. However, Dave Franco’s The Rental — from IFC Films — did get a theatrical release this weekend, and though most of its grosses came from drive-in theaters, it is officially the top film at the box office, scoring around $400,000 over three days, according to Deadline. That’s not bad at all for a low-budget horror film, especially when we consider that it is also the most rented film on iTunes this weekend, and for good reason. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but The Rental — produced and financed by Black Bear Pictures — is a solid little horror film from Franco and co-writer Joe Swanberg, scoring 72 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Beyond The Rental, the top films on the Fandango and iTunes charts are the same films that have led the way for the last few weeks and months: The Outpost, Trolls World Tour, King of Staten Island, Invisible Man, Scoob, etc. There is, however, one interesting new entry in the upper echelons of both charts, and that is a Lucy Hale movie called A Nice Girl Like You. The film is about a woman who is called “pornophobic” by her ex-boyfriend, so she decides to create a wild sexual bucket list. Reviews have not been kind (14 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), but this best part about this movie is that it is apparently “based on a true story.”
Before we move on to Netflix, it’s worth mentioning that theaters are now slowly opening with limited seating capacity in China, and over there, they are watching movies released stateside while China was in the throes of the pandemic, which is why Dolittle and Bloodshot are leading the way, although figures are not particularly robust ($3.2 million and $1.7 million, respectively, over two days). It is, however, nice to see real box-office figures. Meanwhile, the Last Train To Busan sequel, Peninsula, has almost earned $20 million now in Korea. That’s a movie I’d like to see released VOD and digital stateside (the movie is expected to get a limited theatrical release in August and stream exclusively on Shudder next year).
Disney+ is reporting on “trending” movies now, and this week, the top film was Hamilton followed by Frozen II and Moana. Last Christmas is the top “featured” movie on HBO Max, Palm Springs is the top film on Hulu, and if I had to guess based on the movie that is most featured on Peacock, it would be Jurassic Park.
Finally, the sequel to a hugely successful original film, The Kissing Booth, is the top film on Netflix. In fact, The Kissing Booth 2 is doing so well that the original, The Kissing Booth is also in the top five at number three. Critics like the sequel marginally more than the original (28 percent on RT instead of 17 percent), but audiences do not. The original scored 59 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, while the sequel sits at only 41 percent with audiences. What happened?!
Meanwhile, the animated film Animal Crackers, which has an impressive voice cast — John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Danny DeVito, Ian McKellen, Sylvester Stallone, Raven-Symoné and Patrick Warburton — finally saw the light of day in the United States. It was released in China two years ago, but its release date was repeatedly pushed here in the States amid financial difficulties. It debuted at number two on Netflix, and reviews are OK: 62 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Not much to speak of yet for next weekend’s releases, beyond a movie I’m really looking forward to on Apple+ called Boys State. Otherwise, season two of Umbrella Academy is the big draw on streaming next weekend.