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‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ Tops Multiple VOD Charts as Chadwick Boseman Films Soar

The success of "Bill & Ted" suggests the best path for mid-budget success may lie with VOD rather than in theaters.

Bill & Ted Face the Music

Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in “Bill & Ted Face the Music”


The Premium VOD debut of United Artists’ “Bill & Ted Face the Music” topped charts from the moment it debuted August 28. As a mid-budget title that’s thriving at $19.99, it could be as important as “Tenet” in determining the shape of movie distribution. “Bill & Ted” didn’t see much theatrical play, but given its day-and-date debut it also didn’t have the option. About 1,000 independent theaters did play the title, where by our estimate it grossed around $1.1 million, or around $1,000 per theater.

That’s not a lot, but it’s better than Searchlight’s theater-only flop “The Personal History of David Copperfield.” Based on those two performances, UA made the right move: Searchlight devoted marketing spend to a disappointheatrical release that now must wait until November before it can play VOD.

“Bill & Ted” was first on all three possible charts (Spectrum’s full-week list ended August 27, the day before its availability). “Fatima” (Picturehouse), the other new PVOD entry, appeared on two. FandangoNow (which ranks by revenue and boosts higher-price titles, not transactions) shows it at #3, while AppleTV has it as #9 among all rentals. Leading on rentals charts suggests the depth of its appeal.

Also of note on Apple — which is always the first to reflect changes in ranking — is the early interest in films starring Chadwick Boseman. Post-weekend, “42” is #2, “Black Panther” (which was available on ABC Saturday, commercial free) is #4, and “Marshall” is #6.

(from left) Kelsey (Bel Powley) and Scott Carlin (Pete Davidson) in The King of Staten Island, directed by Judd Apatow.

“The King of Staten Island”

Alison Cohen Rosa / Universal Pictures

Price reductions boosted “The King of Staten Island,” now at $5.99 after its mid-June release. It stands as #2 at FandangoNow and #3 at AppleTV.

Two recent action releases showed up on all four VOD charts. “The Tax Collector” was #1 at Spectrum and “The Silencing” was as high #2 at Google Play.

Among specialized releases, the second week of “Tesla” held spots on two charts, though down from its initial response.

Netflix continues to confound. “The Frozen Ground,” a 2013 Lionsgate release starring Nicolas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens, and John Cusack, ranks at #1 on its movie chart. In the U.S., this was a VOD play; perhaps that the lack of familiarity is an asset? Did subscribers see it listed, see the cast, and think it was a new title?

Apple TV

Ranked by number of transactions, with position as of Monday, August 31

1. Bill & Ted Face the Music (United Artists) – $19.99

2. 42 (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

3. The King of Staten Island (Universal) – $5.99

4. Black Panther (Disney) – $3.99

5. The Silencing (XYZ) – $6.99

6. Marshall (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

7. Hard Kill (Vertical) – $6.99

8. The Tax Collector (RLJE) – $6.99

9. Fatima (Picturehouse) – $19.99

10. Tesla (IFC) – $6.99






Ranked by revenue accrued not transactions, for the week of August 24 – 30

1. Bill & Ted Face the Music (United Artists) – $19.99

2. The King of Staten Island (Universal) – $5.99

3. Fatima (Picturehouse) – $19.99

4. The Tax Collector (RLJE) – $6.99

5. Hard Kill (Vertical) – $6.99

6. The Silencing (XYZ) – $6.99

7. Rogue (Grindstone) – $5.99

8. The Vanished (Saban) – $6.99

9. The Secret – Dare to Dream (Lionsgate) – $19.99

10. Trolls World Tour (Universal) – $5.99




Ranked by transactions for August 21 – 27; all $6.99 

1. The Tax Collector (RGLE)

2. The Vanished (Saban)

3. Emperor (Briarcliff)

4. The Deep Blue Sea 3 (Warner Bros.)

5. Trolls World Tour (Universal)

6. The Silencing (XYZ)

7. Made in Italy (IFC)

8. You Should Have Left (Universal)

9. Tesla (IFC)

10. Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons (Warner Bros.)


Google Play

Ranked by number of transactions, with the daily position as of Monday, August 31

1. Bill & Ted Face the Music (United Artists) – $19.99

(includes listing for three pack of entire series)

2. The Silencing (XYZ) – $6.99

3. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount) – $4.99

4. The Tax Collector (RLJE) – $6.99

5. Trolls World Tour (Universal) – $5.99

6. Hard to Kill (Vertical) – $6.99

7. Fatima (Picturehouse) – $19.99

8. The Vanished (Saban) – $6.99

9. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (United Artists) – $3.99

10. Homefront (Vertical) – $3.99


Netflix Movies

Most-viewed, current ranking as of Monday, August 31

1. The Frozen Ground (2013 theatrical release)

2. Project Power (2020 Netflix original)

3. Drunk Parents (2019 theatrical release)

4. The Sleepover (2020 Netflix original)

5. 1BR (2020 VOD release)

6. Santana (2020 Netflix original)

7. All Together Now (2020 Netflix original)

8. Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014 theatrical release)

9. The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019 theatrical release)

10. Despicable Me (2010 theatrical release)


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