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‘The Rental’ Is Second Film Ever to Be #1 on Both Theatrical and VOD Charts at Same Time

Since "Trolls World Tour" set the new precedent, this is only the second time the feat has been accomplished.

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“The Rental”

Allyson Riggs

For only the second time in the five months of parallel theatrical/Video on Demand releases, one film led grosses both in available theaters and on at least one home viewing chart. Dave Franco’s “The Rental” (IFC) grossed $404,000 in 250 theaters, two thirds of them drive-ins, to easily best several library titles made available this week. “The Karate Kid” (1984) was #2 with about half that gross from a larger number of theaters.

The horror thriller, starring Dan Stevens and Alison Brie, about two couples at a vacation rental facing unexpected terror, also placed #1 on Apple TV’s list of most viewed titles. With the film only released on Friday (too late for inclusion on other current charts), this is likely only a harbinger of more success as other lists are updated.

Unlike “Trolls World Tour” (Universal), the previous dual top placer, this is a standard price rental ($5.99-$6.99 depending on venue) rather than premium ($19.99 usually). This is what IFC regularly releases on a day and date pattern. During the COVID-19 closures, they have received deserved attention for reaching out to drive-ins, and now some indoor theaters. Their genre titles are a natural for outdoor audiences, but most of the time major releases from studios crowd them out along with an aversion to playing VOD titles. But during this period, they have managed to succeed with both, and the synergy and publicity — just recently seen with “The Relic” — and thus have become one of the rare success stories during the pandemic.

“The Rental” is another case of enough attention, social media, some mainstream entertainment reporting, and other smart marketing that has caught the attention of home viewers (and drive in attendees) looking for diversion. That a small, independent, inexpensive film can find paid customers (again, we have no exact numbers, unlike theatrical grosses) like this suggests the opportunity might exist for much bigger films. The economics are different of course. A top title like “Tenet” or “Mulan” if solely depending on PVOD to make back their investment might need a domestic total of eight to 10 million customers. And that is to break even, not make the hoped for profits the previous theatrical model provides.

Around 80 indoor theaters played this. That’s only a tiny fraction of those that are open, nearly all of them independents and smaller markets. And nearly all of the top grosses for “The Rental” were drive in theaters. This is not remotely a test of what “Tenet” might do, and we are weeks away in changeable conditions. But for this popular title, even when the indoor option is available, audiences are mostly avoiding it.

Screen Media Films

In VOD only play, “The Outpost” (Screen Media) continues its strong presence. #1 at Spectrum, #2 at FandangoNow and Apple TV, the Rod Lurie-directed Afghanistan mission film remains another big success in the shutdown period. Like “The Rental, it is getting much more attention than likely would have been paid otherwise.

“Trolls” actually fared best this weekend, placing between first and third on all our charts (Amazon Prime along with the other three). It is enjoying a resurgence after a decrease in price to $5.99 ($6.99 at Spectrum). Likewise, “The High Note” (Focus), also after a 90 day higher price availability, is coming back strong at popular pricing.

Original new entries include the romantic comedy “A Nice Girl Like You” (Vertical), “The Room” (Elle Driver), a French horror entry, and “Most Wanted” (Saban), a Canadian film with Josh Hartnett trying to get out of a Thai prison. Out of nowhere “Rad,” Hal Needham’s forgotten 1986 film about motor bike racing showed up on Apple, often the most sophisticated of the charts.

“John Lewis: Good Trouble” (Magnolia), which has placed during much of the week, is currently #11 at Apple TV. Among other high end specialized releases, the late arriving “First Cow” (A24) is currently at #20 there.

Netflix viewers mostly are favoring their originals, with sequel “The Kissing Booth 2” an immediate #1, and dragging the 2018 original along with it. “Animal Crackers,” a 2017-originated Chinese animated film, placed #2 just after its debut. “The Old Guard” still is holding on at #4. Of note is that cult favorite “Ip Man 4: The Finale,” theatrically released last year, then having some VOD success, is finding new fans on the streamers.

All this comes as planned theatrical releases “The Greyhound” on Apple TV and “Palm Springs” on Hulu presumably continue to gain viewers, but the numbers and even their relative placement remain top secret data other than their reported initial first weekend surges.

Apple TV

Ranked by number of transactions, with position as of Monday, July 27

1. The Rental (IFC) – $5.99

2. The Outpost (Screen Media) – $6.99

3. Trolls World Tour (Universal) – $5.99

4. The Invisible Man (Universal) – $5.99

5. Bad Boys for Life (Sony) – $2.99

6. The High Note (Focus) – $5.99

7. A Nice Girl Like You (Vertical) – $6.99

8. Rad (Sony) – $3.99

9. The Gentleman (STX) – $4.99

10. The Archive (Vertical) – $6.99

FandangoNOW

Ranked by revenue accrued not transactions, for the week of July 20 – 26

1. Trolls World Tour (Universal) – $5.99

2. The Outpost (Screen Media) – $6.99

3. Scoob! (Warner Bros.) – $19.99

4. The Invisible Man (Universal) – $5.99

5. The King of Staten Island (Universal) – $19.99

6. The High Note (Focus) – $5.99

7. The Room (Elle Driver) – $3.99

8. Most Wanted (Saban) – $6.99

9. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount) – $4.99

10. Bad Boys for Life (Sony) – $2.99

Spectrum

Ranked by transactions for July 17 – 23; all $6.99 except as noted

1. The Outpost (Screen Media)

2. Trolls World Tour (Universal)

3. Relic (IFC)

4. Force of Nature (Lionsgate)

5. Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo (Universal)

6. Swing of Things (Lionsgate)

7. Bad Boys for Life (Sony)

8. Money Plane (Quiver)

9. The Invisible Man (Universal)

10. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)

Amazon Prime

Ranked by number of transactions, with the daily position as of Monday, July 27

1. The Greatest Showman (Disney) – $3.99

2. Trolls World Tour (Universal) – $5.99

3. The King of Staten Island (Universal) – $19.99

4. Game Night (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

5. Bad Boys for Life (Sony) – $5.99

6. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount) – $4.99

7. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony) – $5.99

8. The Gentlemen (STX) – $5.99

9. The Addams Family (United Artists) – $5.99

10. Bloodshot (Sony) – $4.99

“The Kissing Booth 2”

Marcos Cruz/Netflix

Netflix Movies

Most-viewed, current ranking as of Monday, July 27

1. The Kissing Booth 2 (2020 Netflix original)

2. Animal Crackers (2020 Netflix original)

3. The Kissing Booth (2018 Netflix original)

4. The Old Guard (2020 Netflix original)

5. Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019 theatrical release)

6. Fatal Affair (2020 Netflix original)

7. The Lorax (2012 theatrical release)

8. How Do You Know (2010 theatrical release)

9. Despicable Me (2010 theatrical release)

10. Offering to the Storm (2020 Spanish Netflix original)

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