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‘Drive My’ Car Is Available Today for Just $5.99 — and on HBO Max Tomorrow

They really want you to see this movie.

DRIVE MY CAR, (aka DORAIBU MAI KA), Hidetoshi Nishijima, 2021. © Janus Films / courtesy Everett Collection

“Drive My Car”

Courtesy Everett Collection

The remaining previously non-home available titles among Best Picture and acting Oscar nominees by tomorrow will all arrive either on PVOD, VOD, streaming, or some combination. “West Side Story” hits HBO Max and Hulu and PVOD, “Drive My Car” VOD and HBO Max (the latter tomorrow), while “Licorice Pizza” is out on PVOD only.

Meanwhile, Tyler Perry’s blockbuster Madea franchise moved to Netflix in one of the streamer’s most significant franchise acquisitions, with “A Madea Homecoming” immediately taking the top position.

“Drive My Car” is making the most interesting news. As of today, it is listed at Vudu and Amazon Prime to rent at $5.99 and iTunes  $6.99.  Google Play lists is still as not released.

The interesting play here is that Janus, whose 179-minute Japanese arthouse title is approaching a stunning $2 million in gross, and score four key nominations including Best Picture, is skipping the higher return PVOD price, usually $19.99. But this makes sense – the audience to pay the higher rate for the rarefied, less known subtitled film is likely limited.

But with its Oscar elevation, a lower price should encourage more viewers to take a chance. And for — in normal film terms — its very low expense to Janus means even $2 million — their share of a $5.99 charge — if 500,000 people rented it would be a big deal.

As for the VOD audience, it could use some fresh titles. This week’s charts reflect a rehash of titles, some with new pricing. The top spots went to “Sing” (Universal/$24.99) at Vudu, “House of Gucci” (United Artists/$5.99 at iTunes), and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” (Sony/$5.99) at Google Play.

This is the first #1 for “Gucci,” thanks to a lower price this week. “Ghostbusters” had a three-week run at #1 after it also went to $5.99. With its very high price, “Sing 2” has the edge at Vudu with its accounting by revenue. It previously topped the charts last month when it was released during its third weekend in theaters.

Compared to the 2016 franchise starter, “Sing 2” generated about 60 percent of the box-office gross. This weekend, 10 weeks in, the sequel was #6 in theaters. This dual performance is a standout example of a film working both in theaters and on early-release PVOD.

“Sing 2” didn’t make all VOD charts, however. Along with “Gucci” and “Ghostbusters,” there’s “Dune” (Warner Bros./$5.99), “American Underdog” (Lionsgate, just reduced to $5.99), “The King’s Man” (Disney, deep reduction to $3.99 as it hits Hulu and HBO Max), and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” (Sony/$5.99).

Naomi Watts

“The Desperate Hour”

Sabrina Lantos

In total, only 15 titles charted and “The Desperate Hour” (Vertical/$6.99) was the only new release. Directed by Philip Noyce and starring Naomi Watts as a woman desperately trying to find her child in a locked-down town (Metacritic: 35, with limited theaters this weekend), it managed #10 at iTunes.

Netflix recently announced a $45 million influx into French film production and the streamer’s #2 is the original French thriller “Restless.” The rest of the top 10 largely repeats last week’s titles. Its “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remake, initially #1, dropped to #7 this week.

iTunes and Google Play rank films daily by number of transactions. These are the listings for February 28. Distributors listed are current rights owners.

iTunes

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

2. Dune (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

3. American Underdog (Lionsgate) – $5.99

4. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) – $5.99

5. The King’s Man (Disney) – $3.99

6. King Richard (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

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

8. The Lost Leonardo (Sony Pictures Classics) – $0.99

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

10. The Desperate Hour (Vertical) – $6.99

Google Play

1. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) – $5.99

2. Dune (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

3. The King’s Man (Disney) – $3.99

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

5. The House of Gucci (United Artists) – $5.99

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

7. Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (Sony) – $5.99

8. Sing 2 (Universal) – $24.99

9. Free Guy (Disney) – $3.99

10. American Underground (Lionsgate) – $5.99

Vudu

Vudu ranks by revenue, not transactions, which elevates Premium VOD titles. This list covers February 21-27.

1. Sing 2 (Universal) – $24.99

2. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) – $5.99

3. The King’s Man (Disney) – $3.99

4. Dune (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

5. The 355 (Universal) – $19.99

6. Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (Sony) – $5.99

7. American Underdog (Lionsgate) – $5.99

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

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

10. A Journal for Jordan (Sony) – $19.99

Netflix Movies

Most viewed, current ranking on Netflix’s daily chart on Monday, February 28; 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. A Madea Homecoming (2022 Netflix original)

2. Restless (2022 Netflix original)

3. Despicable Me 2 (2013 theatrical release)

4. The Tinder Swindler (2022 Netflix original documentary)

5. Despicable Me (2010 theatrical release)

6. St. Vincent (2014 theatrical release)

7. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022 Netflix original)

8. Home Team (2002 Netflix original)

9. Blackhat (2015 theatrical release)

10. Downfall: The Case Against Boeing (2022 Netflix original documentary)

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