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‘Freaky’ Debuts Well in Holiday Home Viewing, but ‘Mank’ Falls Short on Netflix

Low-cost comfort-food Christmas titles like "Elf" and "The Christmas Chronicles" dominate the charts.

FREAKY, from left: Celeste O'Connor, Vince Vaughn, Misha Osherovich, 2020. ph: Brian Douglas / © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection


Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

The first week of December saw a lot of people watching holiday films at home. Makes sense; ’tis the season, even in this dreadful year. There’s also little in the way of new titles as competition — and the one major film to debut, timed to the awards season, failed to gain traction.

Mank,” David Fincher’s Netflix biopic of screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, is considered a leading Oscar contender but debuted to very little initial response. Available on Friday, it showed up at #10 Saturday (the first day it could chart), and has not reappeared since. The black-and-white film starring Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried didn’t gain the attention of other high-profile originals like “Da 5 Bloods,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” and “Hillbilly Elegy,” all of which debuted at first or second. Bumping “Mank” from 10th place was the 2000 Adam Sandler comedy “Little Nicky.” (At this writing, it ranks at #7.)

On the four VOD charts we track, four different films took #1. Two of these are Premium VOD offerings from Universal, which adds a PVOD strategy after three weeks of theatrical release.

Freaky,” from Blumhouse Prods., tops FandangoNow’s price-oriented chart and placed #1 despite its Friday release. The film also is at #4 at AppleTV and #6 at GooglePlay. Expect it to surface on Spectrum next week, where “Let Him Go” took #1 this week.

“Let Him Go”

“Buddy Games,” from director-actor Josh Duhamel, is #1 at GooglePlay. “The Grinch,” the 2018 animated retelling of the Dr. Seuss story, took #1 at AppleTV after leaving Netflix, where it has ranked high for the past few weeks. “Fatman,” the standard-price Santa-themed action comedy starring Mel Gibson, placed on all four charts.

The Christmas tie is key to seven of the 21 total films listed below, including three that ranked among the top 13 in theaters this weekend. “Elf” was #6 among ticket buyers, the highest library title of the week, and placed on three streaming lists. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “Polar Express” are also in theaters.

Two fresh films debuted: “Wander,” a mystery with Aaron Eckhart and Tommy Lee Jones, showed up at AppleTV and FandangoNow, and “Girl” with Bella Thorne is popular at Spectrum.

Half the titles on Netflix’s top 10 are holiday related, but its two most popular films are recent action titles that apparently feel new to the streamer’s subscribers: The 2018 “Peppermint” with Jennifer Garner leads, with the even less-remembered 2016 release “Marauders” starring Bruce Willis at #2.

Apple TV

Ranked by number of transactions, with position as of Monday, December 7

1. The Grinch (Universal) – $3.99

2. Elf (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

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

4. Fatman (Saban) – $6.99

5. Office Christmas Party (Paramount) – $2.99

6. Freaky (Universal) – $19.95

7. Love Actually (Universal) – $3.99

8. Polar Express (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

9. Wander (Saban) – $6.99

10. Made in Italy (IFC) – $9.99



Ranked by revenue accrued not transactions, for November 30 – December 6

1. Freaky (Universal) – $19.99

2. Let Him Go (Focus) – $19.99

3. Fatman (Saban) – $6.99

4. Buddy Games (Paramount) – $4.99

5. The New Mutants (Disney) – $5.99

6. Unhinged (Solstice) – $4.99

7. Wander (Saban)

8. Come Play (Focus) – $19.99

9. Love and Monsters (Paramount) – $19.99

10. Elf (Lionsgate) – $5.99


Ranked by transactions between November 27 – December 3; all priced $6.99 except where noted

1. Let Him Go (Universal) – $19.99

2. Fatman (Saban)

3. Buddy Games (Paramount)

4. The New Mutants (Disney)

5. Girl (Screen Media)

6. Unhinged (Solstice)

7. Come Play (Focus) – $19.99

8. The Iron Mask (Lionsgate)

9. Always and Forever (Novus)

10. Antebellum (Lionsgate)




Google Play

Ranked by number of transactions, with the daily position as of Monday, December 7

1. Buddy Games (Paramount) – $4.99

2. The New Mutants (Disney) – $5.99

3. Fatman (Saban) – $6.99

4. Freaky (Universal) – $19.99

5. Unhinged (Solstice) – $4.99

6. Elf (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

7. Iron Mask (Lionsgate) – $5.99

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

9. Let Him Go (Focus) – $19.99

10. Bill & Ted Face the Music (United Artists) – $5.99



Netflix Movies

Most-viewed, current ranking as of Monday, December 7; originals include both Netflix-produced and -acquired titles

1. Peppermint (2018 theatrical release)

2. Marauders (2016 theatrical release)

3. The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020 Netflix original)

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

5. The Christmas Chronicles (2018 Netflix original)

6. Rust Creek (2018 theatrical release)

7. Little Nicky (2000 theatrical release)

8. Hillbilly Elegy (2020 Netflix original)

9. The 2nd (2020 VOD release)

10. Captain Underpants Mega Blissmas (Netflix animated original)


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