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 was only one new semi-big release on the VOD market this weekend, Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield’s well-reviewed romantic drama, The Photograph. The film made a modest $20 million during its theatrical release (on a $16 million budget) and debuted on Fandango’s VOD chart at number four, ahead of The Invisible Man and behind Bad Boys for Life.
Trolls World Tour, meanwhile, retook the top position, followed by Sonic the Hedgehog. Again, we aren’t privy to actual figures, but considering the fact that The Invisible Man, Sonic the Hedgehog and Bad Boys for Life have hovered in or around the top 5 for five or six weeks, and the fact that Trolls World Tour had the biggest debut on VOD ever, earning $100 million on its opening weekend, and is still the top film, we can deduce that the VOD market can be hugely lucrative. I am very curious about how an adult-geared comedy like Pete Davidson’s King of Staten Island is going to do in June.
Looking broadly over the top 100 VOD movies, there were a few noteworthy new additions. The phenomenally reviewed The Assistant, based on the real-life account of one of Harvey Weinstein’s assistants, debuted at number 19. The movie, which stars Ozark’s Julia Garner, is sitting at 91 percent Tomatometer. There’s a horror movie called DreamKatcher (with a K!) that debuted at 23. It stars Radha Mitchell, Henry Thomas, and B-movie icon Lin Shaye. Finally, at number 29, Blake Lively’s Rhythm Section is doing no better on VOD than it did in theaters.
The iTunes rental chart doesn’t tell much of a different story [although, Rhythm Section is doing better there (it sits at number 5)]. However, it is noteworthy that the zombie flick Blood Quantum — sitting at 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — sits at number eight.
There were no new additions, so there were no new changes on the Hulu charts, where Parasite continues to sit atop their most popular chart, followed again by Isn’t It Romantic and Abominable. All three are good movies in their own way, depending on your mood.
Finally, over on Netflix, Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction has taken advantage of home viewers around the world sheltered in their homes, and it is projected to be the biggest movie ever for Netflix, worldwide. They are projecting 90 million viewers after four weeks (caveat: those figures come from Netflix, and are based on a sampling, not necessarily watching the entire film).
All that said, it’s actually not the top film in the United States this weekend (it’s number two). Dangerous Lies starring Camilla Mendes and Jamie Chung debuted at number one this weekend. Critics do not love it (43 percent on RT), although they like it more than the audience (34 percent). Another Netflix original, All Day and Night debuted at number three. It also has middling reviews (53 percent), but audiences are liking it (76 percent).
At number four sits Gerard Butler’s Den of Thieves, because Netflix audiences love Gerard Butler. At number five is yet another Netflix original, Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story, a true-crime documentary a woman who was sentenced to life in prison at 16, but whose guilt has come into doubt. It’s getting solid reviews, so far, on Rotten Tomatoes (75 percent). It is worth mentioning that another Netflix original, a rom-com called The Half of It, debuted at number six.
There is no shortage of content on Netflix these days, because in addition to these new movies, there’s several new series, including Mindy Kaling’s Never Have I Ever, The Outer Banks, and Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood.
Next weekend on VOD will see the release of the Valley Girl remake with Logan Paul, the horror movie The Lodge, and a movie I’m really excited about directed by Clark Duke called Arkansas, which stars Liam Hemsworth and Vince Vaughn.