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.
With the “summer movie season” approaching, the “box office” is finding a “new normal,” and by that, I mean: each week, we seem to get at least one or two new VOD releases. This week, we received two of them, one for the family, Scoob!, and one for Tom Hardy fans, Capone.
Unsurprisingly, Scoob! opened in the top spot on Amazon Prime this weekend, and apparently, it rose to number one faster than even Trolls World Tour, the VOD success that has Universal rethinking its movie release strategy much to the consternation of AMC theaters. Again, we don’t know the exact numbers for Scoob!, but we do know that Trolls World Tour earned $100 million in its opening weekend.
We also know that Scoob! succeeded in spite of mediocre reviews (55 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). Honestly, however, a family movie in the middle of a pandemic is about as close to critic-proof as a movie can get. Kids don’t care about reviews, and if it means parents can get an hour and a half of quiet, many will be willing to pony up $20 to rent the film for two days no matter how good or bad it was (and encourage their kids to watch it many, many times).
On the Amazon Prime chart, the rest of the top five were all holdovers: Trolls World Tour is still doing well, even while still going for $20 for a rental. Trolls is followed by Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot, Bad Boys for Life and Sonic the Hedgehog, each of which go for around $6 for a 48-hour rental. Meanwhile, on the Fandango Charts, last week’s surprise hit, Arkansas, has fallen, but it’s still hanging in there at number 13.
Elsewhere, Tom Hardy’s Capone is number three on iTunes’ rental chart (it was number 2 on Friday), as well as number three on Fandango’s VOD charts. Again, we don’t know how much revenue that translates into, but it has to bode well for Josh Trank, the director trying to revive his career after Fantastic Four. It’s not a great movie (39 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), but that has less to do with Josh Trank’s directorial talent and more to do with a story that’s just not that interesting.
There’s not anything of interest going on with the Hulu charts, but I did notice for the first time that they are streaming a movie called Once Upon a Time in Venice, which is about a Bruce Willis character who seeks revenge after his dog is stolen by local thugs. It’s impressive that it can knock off both John Wick and Quentin Tarantino at the same time.
I’d like to say it was an unusually quiet weekend on Netflix, but that’s not exactly true. David Spade and Lauren Lapkus’ Happy Madison film, The Wrong Missy, has been sitting atop the Netflix movie charts all week. It’s at 33 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and based on some of the reviews I have read, that sounds charitable. Weirdly, the second most popular film of the weekend is Public Enemies, the 2009 Johnny Depp biopic of John Dillinger, which became available on Netflix this weekend. It was followed by Terry Crews’ John Henry, which is doing so well on Netflix (despite a 0 percent on RT) that there is talk of a sequel.
In at number four is Have a Good Trip, Adventures in Psychedelics, a movie about celebrities and other figures recounting their psychedelic trips, which are then animated. This sounds like my nightmare. Finally, the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt interactive movie, Kimmy vs. the Reverend, comes in at number five followed by Extraction.
I would not call the Memorial Day holiday a big movie weekend this year. There’s a movie called Inheritance starring Lilly Collins and Simon Pegg coming out on VOD, as well as Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden joint, Trip to Greece, which will either make us feel nostalgic for vacations or angry that we can’t take vacations right now. Netflix, however, has Lovebirds, the romantic comedy starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani, which Netflix snatched up when its theatrical release was interrupted by the pandemic. That is the big Memorial Day ticket, especially for those still stuck at home.