| March 6, 2022
As we head toward the premiere of Trolls World Tour tomorrow, a wholly different experiment than the rest of the adjustments that have been made to the VOD window in the last month, let’s get some idea of where we are.
The number of titles that have been released in the change-of-plan direct-to-paid-streaming or window-shrinking paid-streaming is almost exhausted unless more are added. Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island lands next Tuesday and that is pretty much that for films that had theatrical runs. (That movie got 4 four full weekends at the box office and was pretty much played out by the March 1 box office cliff.) There is a wave of December titles that would be coming out now regardless of the virus and there hasn’t been a significant change in the pricing or timing on those.
The most dramatic experiment, until tomorrow, the Rental-Only class, which has been Comcast with one film from Lionsgate. None of these titles are currently in the iTunes Top 30 Revenue Producers, while six catalog titles are in that 30, including a package of the 10 pre-JJ Star Trek movies, The Patriot, and Cast Away, all of which are on deep discount.
The Invisible Man, $20 Rental Only 3/20
The Hunt, $20 Rental Only 3/20
Emma, $20 Rental Only 3/20
I Still Believe, $20 Rental Only 3/27
Never Rarely Sometimes Always, $20 Rental Only 4/3
I would love to know the numbers for these releases, but they can’t be very good, in this context.
Second, the group of films with oddball pricing. There are four titles with cheaper Own prices and one title with a one-dollar premium on rental pricing.
The Fittest Sale 3/24 ($12.99), Rental
The Gentlemen Sale Only ($15) 3/24, Rental 4/14
Dolittle Sale Only 3/24, Rental 4/7 ($5.99)
Downhill, Sale Only 3/27 ($9.99), Rental 4/10
The Call of the Wild, Sale Only 3/27 ($14.99), Rental 4/10
Dolittle is the #3 revenue producer on iTunes today, primed by new rental money… Although it has been Top 10 for most of its release. The Fittest, at this lower price, was a Top 10 title on release as an iTunes exclusive and is now off the Top 30. The other two are not Top 30 today.
The third group of titles are those with sped-up dating, but with traditional VOD pricing and rental schedules. Sale Only is $19.99. Rental is either currently or advertised at $4.99 or could vary for still unreleased for rental titles.
1917 Sale Only 3/10, Rental 3/24
Onward Sale Only 3/24, Rental 4/3
Birds of Prey Sale Only 3/24, Rental 4/7
The Way Back Sale Only 3/24, Rental 4/14
Bad Boys For Life, Sale Only 3/24, Rental 4/21
Bloodshot Sale Only 3/24, Rental moved up from “June” to May 5
Sonic, Sale Only 3/31, Rental 4/28
So, 1917 wasn’t off schedule by much when it was released. The film grossed $156 million by March 1 (10 weeks in theatrical) and the virus probably cost it $5-$10 million in domestic. More internationally.
As you can see throughout this list, March 20/24 was the moment when the VOD dating dam broke.
Birds of Prey and Onward, which added Rental revenue this week, Bad Boys For Life, and Sonic (newer, in its second week of availability), are Top 10. The Way Back and Bloodshot had some success charting in their first week.
There is no “evolution.” There is no wave of significant change. There are studios trying things under stressful circumstances. Some will work. Some will fail. But so far, not a single thing has happened that suggests that this changes anything in terms of the traditional windows of theatrical release, no matter how many people dream of it.
| March 6, 2022
| January 26, 2022
| January 24, 2022
May 1, 2022
"Netflix, the great disrupter whose algorithms and direct-to-consumer platform have forced powerful media incumbents to rethink their economic models, now seems to need a big strategy change itself. It got me thinking about the simple idea that my film and TV production company Blumhouse is built on: If you give artists a lot of creative freedom and a little money upfront but a big stake in the movie’s or TV show’s commercial success, more often than not the result will be both commercial (the filmmakers are incentivized to make films that will resonate with audiences) and artistically interesting (creative freedom!). This approach has yielded movies as varied as Get Out (made for $4.5 million, with worldwide box office receipts of more than $250 million), Whiplash (made for $3.3 million, winner of three Academy Awards), The Invisible Man (made for $7 million, earned more than $140 million) and Paranormal Activity (made for $15,000, grossed more than $190 million).From the beginning, the most important strategy I used to persuade artists to work with me was to make radically transparent deals: We usually paid the artists (“participants” in Hollywood lingo) the absolute minimum allowable by union contracts upfront, with the promise of healthy bonuses based on actual box office results—instead of the opaque 'percentage points' that artists are usually offered. Anyone can see box office results immediately, so creators don’t quarrel with the payouts. In fact, when it comes time for an artist to collect a bonus based on box office receipts, I email a video clip of myself dropping the check off at FedEx to the recipient."
Jason Blum Sees Room For "Scrappier" Netflix
| April 30, 2022
"As a critic Gavin was entertaining, wry, questioning, sensitive, perceptive"
Critic-Filmmaker Gavin Millar Was 84; Films Include Cream In My Coffee, Dreamchild
April 29, 2022
| April 29, 2022
| December 13, 2019
| December 4, 2019
| December 4, 2019