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‘Don’t Look Up’ Atop Netflix Over Holiday Weekend, ‘Resident Evil’ Sequel Scores at Home

Home viewing brought mostly retreads this holiday, as film fans have more fresh offerings playing only in theaters.

Jonah Hill, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence in "Don't Look Up."

“Don’t Look Up”


This holiday weekend, Christmas-related older movies accounted for 15 of the 30 slots on the three VOD charts we list. That’s a record share of non-recent titles, underscoring the absence of current films getting early home play. Consider that a sign of a partial return to theater supremacy, at least for the moment.

The weak response for most new releases in theaters so far other than the dominant “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (Sony) and “Sing 2” (Universal) could be further incentive for studios to take care in their length of windows, or even releasing in theaters initially. As always, we have little clue about the revenue raised by popular at-home titles, but the continued appearance from some long-playing films like “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” (Sony/$5.99), “Free Guy” (Disney/$5.99), and “No Time to Die” (United Artists/$5.99) enhance their potential profit.

All three are among the six films that placed on all three lists. “Venom” took #1 at Google Play, while “No Time” leads at iTunes (the reduced price this week led to its return in the top three on all charts). Also on three charts are seasonal favorites “The Grinch” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (both Universal/$3.99) and “Elf” (Warner Bros./$3.99).

Of note this week is the near-total absence of Premium VOD titles, which not only cost three times or more than standard VOD, but also earn a higher return for studios. It appears to be the rare entertainment segment that didn’t see elevated revenues over the holidays.

Sony stands out with a strong showing not only in theaters with “No Way Home” but at home. Apart from “Venom” and recent “Spider-Man” titles “Homecoming” and “Far from Home” (each at $3.99), Google Play is offering pre-buys for the unset date of “No Way Home,” at $19.99 and already at #8.

Jeremy T. Thomas and Keri Russell in the film ANTLERS. Photo by Kimberley French. © 2021 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved


Kimberley French

That accounts for seven slots for the studio. The eighth goes to the just-released “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” ($19.99), which is #1 at Vudu. That site, unlike iTunes and Google Play, counts by revenue, not transactions. Also debuting on Vudu are “Encanto” (Disney/$19.99), also free for Disney+ subscribers, and horror title  “Antlers” (Searchlight/$14.99).

At its prime, MGM claimed to have more stars than there are in heaven. They have a rival for that. Netflix’s chart is led by original films that feature Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Timothée Chalamet, Tyler Perry, Sandra Bullock, Viola Davis, Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reyolds, and Gal Gadot, among others. Their films are all in Netflix’s top four most-viewed films this weekend.

Adam McKay’s just-released climate crisis comedy “Don’t Look Up” was an immediate #1, replacing Bullock’s “The Unforgivable.” “Red Notice,” scorned by some for its reported $200 million budget, has become one of their strongest performers, showing atypical legs on the site. Now in its sixth week, the action-comedy jumped to #4. That’s not normal for a site where even the best-known originals often disappear after little more than a week. A recent case in point: Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog.”

Netflix’s other new original this week is “Vicky and Her Mystery,” at #5. The streamer acquired this French film about a girl recovering from her mother’s death in the mountains with her father, as well as a wild animal companion. It was recently released theatrically in France and Italy, with its domestic availability likely impossible without this option.

Apple TV/iTunes and Google Play rank films daily by number of transactions, irrespective of revenue accrued. These are the listings for December 27. Distributors listed are current rights owners.


1. No Time to Die (United Artists) – $5.99

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Universal) – $3.99

3. Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) – $5.99

4. The Grinch (Universal) – $3.99

5. Elf (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

6. Spider-Man: Far from Home (Sony) – $3.99

7. Love Actually (Universal) – $3.99

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

9. The Last Duel (Disney) – $5.99

10. Free Guy (Disney) – $5.99

Google Play

1. Venom: Let There Will Be Carnage (Sony) – $5.99

2. No Time to Die (United Artists) – $5.99

3. Spider-Man: Far from Home (Sony) – $3.99

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Universal) – $3.99

5. The Grinch (Universal) – $3.99

6. Free Guy (Disney) – $5.99

7. Elf (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

8. Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony) – $19.99 (pre-buys)

9. Spider-Man: Homecoming (Sony) – $3.99

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


Vudu ranks by revenue, not transactions, which elevates Premium VOD titles. This list covers December 20-26.

1. Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (Sony) – $19.99

2. Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) – $5.99

3. No Time to Die (United Artists) – $5.99

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Universal) – $3.99

5. Encanto (Disney) – $19.99

6. Antlers (Searchlight) – $14.99

7. The Grinch (Universal) – $3.99

8. Clifford the Big Red Dog (Paramount) – $19.99

9. Free Guy (Disney) – $5.99

10. Elf (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

Netflix Movies

Most viewed, current ranking as of Monday, December 27; originals include both Netflix-produced and -acquired titles they initially presented in the U.S.

1. Don’t Look Up (2021 Netflix original)

2. The Unforgivable (2021 Netflix original)

3. Back to the Outback (2021 Netflix animated original)

4. Red Notice (2021 Netflix original)

5. Vicky and Her Mystery (2021 French original)

6. Oldboy (2013 theatrical release)

7. The Christmas Chronicles (2018 Netflix original)

8. The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020 Netflix original)

9. A Boy Called Christmas (2021 Netflix original)

10. Premonition (2007 theatrical release)

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