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‘Croods: A New Age’ Dominates PVOD Viewing as ‘The Midnight Sky’ Rises at Netflix

Disney+ is not giving any hint of how heavily viewed Pixar's "Soul" has been since its Friday debut.

"The Croods: A New Age"

“The Croods: A New Age”


About 3 million Americans went to movie theaters this holiday weekend, with a total gross about $25 million. This we know.

We can assume that far more watched movies at home, including multiple titles that in a non-COVID 19 world would either be playing in theaters now or would have already earlier this year. But we don’t know the actual numbers of these movies seen at home; only, in some cases, their relative order of popularity.

At a time when the future of movie theaters is uncertain, knowing the specifics is critical to analyzing what is likely to happen strategically when the pandemic fades. But all we have is tea leaves. Knowledge is power, but it is hard to determine right now because of the ongoing trend of streamers to obfuscate data.

Disney+ is not giving any hint of how heavily viewed Pixar’s “Soul” has been since its Friday debut. It leads on their “trending” list, but anything else would be unexpected.

©Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

In its announcement about pursuing their next “Wonder Woman” film on Sunday, Warner Bros. included unclear wording about its initial performance. The company said nearly half of HBO Max’s retail subscribers viewed it on Friday, along with millions of wholesale subscribers who have access to HBO Max via a cable, wireless, or other partner services. It’s unclear what “retail” means in terms of the overall share of their over 12 million subscribers, or how they define “view.” (Is it watching the entire film or only checking it out briefly?) The key statistic for both services is whether their subscriber bases increase, and what they do with their theatrical titles going forward in the years to come. Warner Bros.’ already said its entire 2021 slate will be similarly released.

We do know for sure that among the everal Premium Video on Demand titles out at the moment, “The Croods: A New Age” (Universal) is leading all titles across the board. The DreamWorks Animation sequel is ahead for the second week, covering the typically lucrative holiday period.

But it did so at sites which list positions on number of rentals, not money spent, and as a result that key mystery remains. Based on that fuzzy math, for every million households purchasing “Croods” over the first 10 days, about $20 million was spent, with Universal’s share of that seemingly coming in at 80 percent. Its success and profit relate to how many millions have done so, but what we only know, in this limited context, was that it led all others.

The next two performers on the up-to-the moment charts are “Tenet” (Warner Bros.), arriving late after a lengthy if COVID-limited theatrical run, and “Greenland” (STX), the Gerard Butler disaster film playing only at home. (Cable provide Spectrum, for unknown reasons, seems not to be offering Christopher Nolan’s film). The evidence from multiple charts is that these three films are getting significant action above all other titles.

Other recent high-priced titles charting are led by “The War With Grandpa” (101), at $14.99 a bit less pricey than its competitors. It placed fourth on two charts. “Honest Thief” (Briarcliff), also $14.99, was lower, also on two charts. “Half Brothers” (Focus) at $19.99 is only on FandangoNow in its first week after the standard three weeks in theaters for Universal/Focus releases..

Universal, which without its own dedicated streaming site heavily invested in early VOD, has two other titles that showed up, each on a single chart. “All My Life,” a romance-interrupted-by-disease drama, placed on FandangoNow’s revenue-based chart with its release three weeks after minor in theater play. “The Reason,” from faith-based Pure Flix but handled by Universal, is on Spectrum’s chart at a standard price ($5.99 at other locations, $6.99 there.)

Christmas related titles thrived during the week, with the two doing best in theaters — “Elf” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (both now Warner Bros.) both making three charts above other holiday entries.

"The Midnight Sky"

“The Midnight Sky”


Netflix presumably also had a high end of viewers this weekend. That makes the five-day No. 1 placement for George Clooney’s science fiction drama “The Midnight Sky” very impressive. Few original films sustain that long a run at the top, and those made for critical/awards attention rarely if at all.

Last weekend, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” one of the leading Oscar contenders this year, took that spot for three days. A week later, it no longer is in the top 10.

Meantime, other originals are doing well. Robert Rodriguez’s family-oriented “We Can Be Heroes” ranks No. 2 for now. Thei documentary comedy take on the past year, “Welcome to 2020,” debuted Sunday and starts at No. 4 In between, following a recent trend of the streamer picking up recent VOD/theatrical releases, is “After We Collided.” The R-rated young adult romance novel adaptation was released by Open Road domestically with over $2 million in gross albeit close to $50 million worldwide, where it was theatrical only.

Apple TV

Ranked by number of transactions, with position as of Monday, December 28

1. The Croods: A New Age (Universal) – $19.99

2. Tenet (Warner Bros.) – $19.99

3. Greenland (STX) – $19.99

4. The War With Grandpa (101) – $14.99

5. The Informer (Vertical) – $5.99

6. Love and Monsters (Paramount) – $4.99

7. Elf (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

8. Honest Thief (Briarcliff) – $14.99

9. Hunter Hunter (IFC) – $6.99

10. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Warner Bros.) – $3.99


Ranked by revenue accrued not transactions, for December 21-27

1. The Croods: A New Age (Universal) – $19.99

2. Greenland (STX) – $19.99

3. Tenet (Warner Bros.) – $19.99

4. The War With Grandpa (101) – $14.99

5. Honest Thief (Briarcliff) – $14.99

6. Let Him Go (Focus) – $19.99

7. Half Brothers (Focus) – $19.99

8. All My Life (Universal) – $19.99

9. Elf (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

10. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Warner Bros.) – $3.99


Google Play

Ranked by number of transactions, with the daily position as of Monday, December 28

1. The Croods: A New Age (Universal) – $19.99

2. Greenland (STX) – $19.99

3. Tenet (Warner Bros.) – $19.99

4. Elf (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

5. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

6. The Informer (Vertical) – $5.99

7. The Grinch (Universal) – $3.99

8. A Christmas Story (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

9. Fatman (Saban) – $6.99

10. The Polar Express (Warner Bros.) – $3.99



Ranked by transactions between December 18-24; all priced $6.99 except where noted

1. The Croods: A New Age (Universal) – $19.99

2. Greenland (STX) – $19.99

3. Unhinged (Solstice)

4. Breach (Saban)

5. Love and Monsters (Paramount)

6. Fatman (Saban)

7. Let Him Go (Universal) – $19.99

8. Wild Mountain Thyme (Bleecker Street) – $19.99

9. Wander (Saban)

10. The Reason (Universal)


Netflix Movies

Most-viewed, current ranking as of Monday, December 28; originals include both Netflix-produced and -acquired titles

1. The Midnight Sky (2020 Netflix original)

2. We Can Be Heroes (2020 Netflix original)

3. After We Collided (2020 theatrical/VOD release)

4. Death to 2020 (2020 Netflix original documentary)

5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2003 theatrical release)

6. The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020 Netflix original)

7. The Croods (2013 theatrical release)

8. Ava (2020 VOD release)

9. A California Christmas (2020 Netflix original)

10. Peppermint (2018 theatrical release)


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