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Comedy Is King: ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Tops ‘House of Gucci’ on VOD After Price Drop

Elsewhere, "The Tinder Swindler" shaped up to be perfect Netflix bait, as the thrill-filled doc about a seductive con man quickly jumped to #1 on the streamer's movie chart.

GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE, from left: Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Logan Kim, 2021. ph: Kimberley French / © Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife”

Everett Collection

Comedy is king, both at home and in theaters. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” (Sony/$5.99) took the top spot on all three VOD charts this week, just as “Jackass Forever” (Paramount) won the box office after opening in theaters and more than doubling any other film’s total take this weekend.

A normal post-PVOD $14 price cut seems to have prompted a renewed surge of interest for Sony’s comedy update, which had previously hit #1 at a higher cost. That led it to topping the initial (and delayed — the film didn’t hit VOD until more than two months after it opened in theaters) release of Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci” (United Artists/$19.99).

The latter may have timed its availability to coincide with Oscar nominations on Tuesday, when it is expected to score some key nods. Expect it to sustain a multi-week run, which is more important than just its initial position, though other early results are telling: the film trailed “Ghostbusters” on Vudu, which ranks by money spent on a film, not total rentals. At less than one third the VOD price of Scott’s film, viewers rented the Jason Reitman-directed sequel than three times more than those who picked up “Gucci” during the same period.

The Tinder Swindler,” a Netflix original documentary with a crime thriller draw (it follows an Israeli Lothario who managed to bilk multiple women across several countries), debuted at #1 on the streamer. This came the same week that Adam McKay’s hit “Don’t Look Up,” another Oscar contender, failed to place in the top 10 for the first time since Christmas.

“Ghostbusters” and “Gucci” were two of the six titles to place on all three lists, which overall contained only 15 different features. “Gucci” scored #2 on two to make the next best overall showing. “Dune” (Warner Bros./$5.99), “Sing 2” (Universal/$19.99), “Clean” (IFC/$6.99), and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” (Sony/$5.99) complete the list.

“American Underdog”

“American Underdog” (Lionsgate/$19.99) is the second new PVOD release. The Kurt Warner biopic hit home viewing 45 days after theaters (where it still was #8 this weekend), taking third place at iTunes and Vudu (Google Play usually lags a few days behind the others).

Both “Despicable Me” films returned to high positions on Netflix. After both had strong showings a year ago, they left the platform and had strong showings on VOD last fall. Now they are back at the streamer, with the 2013 sequel at #2 and the 2010 original #4.

Two “Transformers” titles (from 2009 and 2011) also placed at the moment. That the two prime Paramount titles, along with the Universal animated ones, still show up at Netflix when both studios have their own streaming platforms shows the residual impact of long-term deals that prevent the studios from (so far) really benefiting from Peacock and Paramount+.

Along with “The Tinder Swindler,” the other new Netflix original is the Spanish romance “Through My Window.” Next week’s chart will likely be full of similar titles, as viewers start thinking about Valentine’s Day.

iTunes and Google Play rank films daily by number of transactions, irrespective of revenue accrued. These are the listings for February 7. Distributors listed are current rights owners.

iTunes

1. Ghostbusters Afterlife (Sony) – $5.99

2. House of Gucci (United Artists) – $24.99

3. American Underdog (Lionsgate) – $19.99

4. Dune (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

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

6. Sing 2 (Universal) – $19.99

7. Clean (IFC) – $6.99

8. Spencer (Neon) – $2.99

9. Don’t Breathe 2 (Sony) – $0.99

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

Google Play

1. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) – $5.99

2. Dune (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

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

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

5. Sing 2 (Universal) – $19.99

6. Clean (IFC) – $6.99

7. House of Gucci (United Artists) –  $19.99

8. Free Guy (Disney) – $5.99

9. The Matrix Resurrections (Warner Bros.) – $24.99

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

Vudu

Vudu ranks by revenue, not transactions, which elevates Premium VOD titles. This list covers January 31 – February 6.

1. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) – $5.99

2. House of Gucci (United Artists) – $19.99

3. American Underdog (Lionsgate) – $19.99

4. Dune (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

5. Sing 2 (Universal) – $19.99

6. The Matrix Resurrections (Warner Bros.) – $24.99

7. Clean (IFC) – $6.99

8. The 355 (Universal) – $19.99

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

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

The tinder swindler netflix scam documentary

“The Tinder Swindler”

Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix Movies

Most viewed, current ranking on Netflix’s daily chart on Monday, February 7; originals include both Netflix-produced and -acquired titles they initially presented in the U.S. Netflix publishes its own weekly top ten on Tuesdays based on time viewed.

1. The Tinder Swindler (2021 Netflix original documentary)

2. Despicable Me 2 (2013 theatrical release)

3. Home Team (2021 Netflix original)

4. Despicable Me (2010 theatrical release)

5. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009 theatrical release)

6. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011 theatrical release)

7. Through the Window (2021 Netflix Spanish original)

8. The Hangover (2009 theatrical release)

9. Can You Keep a Secret? (2019 VOD release)

10. Just Go with It (2011 theatrical release)

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