| June 4, 2021
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.
| June 4, 2021
| May 4, 2021
| April 26, 2021
"In one effort, the company invalidated the passwords of the 75,000 subscribers who used the service most often, while falsely claiming 'we have detected suspicious activity or potential fraud' on their accounts. Many of the people who tried to reset their passwords were unable to because of technical problems; the app would not accept their email address, they would not receive a password-reset email, or the email would link to a nonworking website. When an executive warned that the practice would catch the attention of federal regulators and state attorneys general, Mr. Lowe responded in writing 'OK I get it,; suggesting the company try it with '2 percent of our highest volume users.'"
Imagine That: The MoviePass Deception Was Worse Than Anyone Knew
| June 8, 2021
Gleiberman Makes Sweet Love To Cruella in The Sunday Column: “It may be the best movie of the year so far. That sounds like a provocation or maybe hype, but I’ll throw down the gauntlet: Name a better one. Cruella is a high-kitsch rock-opera psychodrama staged with seductive style and a vicious kind of glee. It tells the story of Estella, an ambitious young British nobody played by the incomparable Emma Stone, who gets her freak on by metamorphosing into Cruella, a radically mod ’70s London fashion designer with schizoid hair and a defiant loose screw. The thrill of the odyssey is how twisty and emotionally vibrant it is.”
| June 6, 2021
Cannes, July 6-17: Nanni Moretti, Tre Piani; François Ozon, Tout S’Est Bien Passé; Asghar Farhadi, Un Héros; Jacques Audiard, Paris 13th District; Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Memoria; Ildikó Enyedi, The Story of My Wife; Sean Baker, Red Rocket; Justin Kurzel, Nitram; Bruno Dumont, France
| June 3, 2021
| February 15, 2021
| December 13, 2019
| December 4, 2019
| December 4, 2019