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I have used this space every Sunday morning for the last four years or so to write about the weekend box office. There have been some exciting weekends, lots of broken box-office records, and some very dull weekends, too. This weekend, however, there was no box office to speak of. Very few theaters across the country remained open, there were no new wide releases, and the major studios made the decision to stop reporting box-office numbers for the foreseeable future.
If you’re an industry website, the box-office report is meant to report on the state of the movie industry. But for us here at Uproxx, it’s mostly about running down what were the most popular movies of the weekend, to check in on what everyone has been watching. I think I can still do that in some respect. Both Apple’s iTunes and Google Play list their most popular digital rentals, Netflix lists its ten most popular movies now, and Hulu lists its popular movies, too. Because we’re all watching movies at home now, these lists should be fairly reflective of the most popular movies over the weekend, more or less.
For Netflix, Spenser Confidential was the top movie over the weekend. The last five movies that Peter Berg have made as a director have all starred Mark Wahlberg, and at the box office, each has paid increasingly fewer dividends, from Lone Survivor to Mile 22. The two clearly love to work together, however, and their latest comes to Netflix and brings in the spectacular Winston Duke along for the ride, as they remake both an ’80s television show based on a massive series of novels created by Robert B. Parker. Critics gave the film 39 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and audiences didn’t exactly give it great marks, either, with a 59 percent Audience score. Netflix, however, has done a really great job of putting Post Malone - who is probably a minor character in the movie - front and center on the streaming service.
The most popular movie over on Hulu this weekend is Pete Davidson’s Big Time Adolescence. The film from writer/director Jason Orley also stars Jon Cryer and Machine Gun Kelly. It premiered last year at Sundance. It’s well liked by critics 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and audiences an 82 percent audience score. This is supposed to be part of the beginning of a big year for Davidson, who also starred in The Big Lebowski spin-off, Jesus Rolls, has the semi-autobiographical King of Staten Island directed by Judd Apatow out over the summer, and will star in the next Suicide Squad movie in 2021. He also just released a stand-up special and appeared on Nathan Fillion’s The Rookie!
Unsurprisingly, the rental charts on iTunes and Google Play are being dominated by two movies that dominated at the theatrical box office for the last three months: Jumanji: Next Level and Knives Out, both of which offer great escapes from the current news cycle. Despite already being available...
At this point, nearly all 2020 wide-release films — as well as key specialized titles — are either available for home viewing, or soon will be. And the initial impact is dramatic. Based on the rental charts at iTunes and Amazon Prime, which are updated daily, premium rentals largely priced at $19.99 for 48 hours are flying high.
Both charts show strong performances for Vin Diesel’s sci-fi cyborg revenge actioner “Bloodshot” Sony and for Pixar’s “Onward” Disney; at iTunes, initial results also are strong for “Birds of Prey” Warner Bros..
All of this must come with a caveat: Unlike theater box-office revenue, which is verifiable and comes from independent sources, these charts are created without oversight. However, assuming that they accurately reflect consumer choices, they give a sense of what the shelter-in-place public is willing to pay for.
Here are what both services show today March 26, the price, and the ranking the day prior.iTunes feature films only 1. 1917 Universal $5.99 4 2. Onward Disney $19.99 1 3. Birds of Prey Warner Bros. $19.99 2 4. Bloodshot Sony $19.99 3 5. The Gentlemen STX $14.99 – 6. Jumanji: The Next Level Sony $5.99 5 7. The Fittest Gravitas Ventures $4.99 8 8. Dolittle Universal $19.99 10 9. Contagion Warner Bros. $3.99 7 10. The Way Back Warner Bros. $19.99 – Amazon Prime feature films only 1. Bloodshot Sony $19.99 1 2. Jumanji: The Next Level Sony $5.99 2 3. Knives Out Lionsgate $5.99 3 4. The Greatest Showman Fox $3.99 4 5. Bombshell Lionsgate $5.99 5 6. Onward Disney $19.99 8 7. Midway Lionsgate $5.99 6 8. Uncut Gems A24 $5.99 7 9. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Disney $24.99 10 10. Frozen 2 Disney $4.99 –
The charts aren’t absolutes. It’s possible that Amazon’s list lags a day or more behind iTunes. We’ve noticed that the latter seems to show a quicker response to new entries. iTunes users also seem to have more willingness to spend on premium items. The two services may serve different demographics with Amazon possibly more mass market, less niche.
Universal was first, but not best. Universal was the first to announce, and release, their premium titles “The Invisible Man,” “The Hunt,” and Focus’ “Emma”, but they found little to no Top 10 placement. The more recent offerings are doing much better.
The ground is moving, quickly. Figure all studios are ingesting this data already, and making plans accordingly. Exhibitors are grateful that the all-industry benefits in the congressional relief package apply to them. In the meantime,...
The ugly news first: The weekend’s sole wide opener, “Playmobil: The Movie,” opened to $660,000 in 2,337 theaters, placing #14 overall with a $282 per-theater average.
Even with that burden, however, this wasn’t the worst weekend of 2019. The Super Bowl weekend took that honor at $73.4 million, the worst performance that date saw in 19 years. At $87 million, this weekend is slightly up from last year.
Two hit films, “Frozen II” and “Knives Out,” accounted for about 60% of the total, but several others helped keep grosses at parity. In its 10th weekend, “Joker” remains in the Top 10 and has already reached $321 million domestic. In its third weekend, “Frozen II” is at $338 million domestic.
And while grosses remain more than $500 million below 2018, expect that shortfall to decline through the rest of the year. Next week four wide releases debut, led by “Jumanji: The Next Level,” along with “Richard Jewell,” “Black Christmas,” and “Bombshell;” these will easily best the $60 million earned by three new films last year. And there’s the new “Star Wars” along with “Cats” and “Little Women” still to come. For Disney, this will likely mean another billion in box office by the year’s end.
“Knives Out” dropped 47%, which is terrific. Grosses are elevated post-Thanksgiving, and collapse right after. It’s passed $63 million and positioned for major Christmas play, making it a smart $40 million investment in Rian Johnson. Perhaps most valuable: It could make other franchise-successful directors pursue projects that bring them back to their creative roots.
We list “Queen & Slim” as tied for third for the weekend, with its estimated gross only $7,000 below “Ford v Ferrari.” Based on last Sunday’s comparative take, we expect “Queen” to end up third — but more importantly, at 45% it had the smallest drop this weekend among holdovers. And, compared to other films in the top five, it played at fewer than half the theaters. This film has momentum to spare.
Between the two other adult-appeal titles vying for longevity, “Ford v Ferrari” continues to have the edge with a 50% drop; “A Beautiful Day” dropped 56% and grossed $1.3 million less. Both will struggle to play through Christmas.
Behind them was the expansion of Todd Haynes’ “Dark Waters.” Focus saw an opening to get this to the widest possible...
Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.
Well, here we are. In the midst of a pandemic that requires nearly all of us to stay the hell indoors. The silver lining: More time to sit around and stream movies. Which means it’s my time to shine! I felt a little extra pressure this week, since I know many people are craving new entertainment to watch at the moment. So I tried to compile a list of highly watchable movies – not just good movies, but movies that suck you in and take your mind off of, well, everything with one or two outliers. So hang in there, everyone. We’ll get through this.The Best Movies Streaming Right Now The Fugitive Now Streaming on Hulu
Release Date: 1993
Director: Andrew Davis
Cast: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward, Joe Pantoliano, Andreas Katsulas, Jeroen Krabbé
There are very few “perfect movies,” but The Fugitive definitely deserves that title. A fast-paced, wholly absorbing Hollywood movie the likes of which they don’t really make anymore. Harrison Ford is Dr. Richard Kimble, who has been wrongly convicted of murdering his wife. After his prison bus crashes and gets hit by a train, Kimble is on the run – and being hunted by U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard Tommy Lee Jones, in an Oscar-winning performance. The Fugitive clocks in at a little over 2 hours but it never drags for a second, pulling you along as Kimble tries to clear his name. While Jones has the flashier role, Ford is excellent here as well, using that everyman charm to great advantage.
For fans of: Witness, Midnight Run, Provasic.Pet Sematary Now Streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video
Release Date: 2019
Director: Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer
Cast: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, Jeté Laurence, John Lithgow
One of the best of the recent Stephen King adaptations, Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer‘s take on King’s most terrifying novel manages to be incredibly faithful to the text while also doing completely new things. It’s a dangerous gamble that not everyone was happy with, but it works considerably well. In Pet Sematary, the Creed family, lead by patriarch Dr. Louis Creed Jason Clarke moves to Ludlow, Maine for a fresh start. But there’s an ancient Native American burial ground deep in the woods behind their house – and it has the power to raise the dead. While I’ll always have a soft spot for the 1989 adaptation, the new Pet Sematary does a great job of capturing the unspeakable dread that’s so prevalent in King’s novel.
For fans of: Pet Sematary 1989, Starry Eyes, big trucks....