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.
It is June 7th, which is hopefully one month and 10 days from the theatrical release of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and a return to a more normal box-office report (assuming AMC theaters can make it). It’s still unclear whether Tenet will be released on time, and doubly unclear about whether anyone will attend. I am more than ready to return to movie theaters (as long as it is safe, of course).
In the meantime, the VOD charts continue to remain fairly stagnant (although, that should change next weekend with a big new release). Fandango’s chart sees four of the five usual cadre of movies in the top five: Scoob!, Trolls World Tour, Invisible Man, and Sonic the Hedgehog. Last week’s release, High Note, which stars Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross, is in at number four (it’s at number ten on the iTunes rental chart). For reasons that aren’t clear to me, The Hunt leapt back up to number six after dancing around in the teens and 20s since the beginning of the pandemic. I recently watched it; it wasn’t great, but I also watched it twice, so it is that kind of movie (and Betty Gilpin is terrific).
There’s some excitement on the iTunes rental chart beyond Invisible Man (#1), Sonic (#2), and Scoob! (#4). Harriet, the Harriet Tubman biopic, which has been out for several months, has jumped to number three, while Just Mercy shot up to number five. The Michael B. Jordan film is currently available to rent on iTunes for free for the entire month in response to peaceful protests. (It’s good, too.) It’s worth noting that Ava DuVernay’s phenomenal Selma is also currently free on iTunes. Check them both out.
Elsewhere, on Netflix, The Help — which is not nearly as good as Just Mercy or Selma — jumped up to number three this week, thanks to the Netflix algorithm.
The top film of the weekend on Netflix, however, was The Last Days of American Crime, a movie that is not only getting panned for being bad but for being a whopping two-and-a-half hours long. It does, however, feature Michael Pitt, a name some may have forgotten his behind-the-scenes reputation may have hurt his career post Boardwalk Empire. With 17 reviews in, so far (screeners were not offered to critics), the film sits at 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Meanwhile, the other three movies in the top five for Netflix were two older movies made newly available to the service — Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Clueless, along with the 2017 faith-based film, The Healer, which sits at 17 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. A couple other notables in the top ten: The fantastic 1996 action movie Twister, and a big awards winner in 2017, Lady Bird.
Next weekend should be a big one. Judd Apatow and Pete Davidson’s The King of Staten Island arrives on VOD; Artemis Fowl comes out on Disney+; and Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods is on Netflix. That’s basically the closest thing we may have to a big summer movie weekend until Tenet hopefully arrives.