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‘Barbarian’ Scares Up Big VOD Views Despite Streaming

The ground is changing for post-theatrical strategies as "Barbarian," the sleeper horror mid-level hit, finds success on streaming and VOD.

Georgina Campbell as Tess in 20th Century Studios' BARBARIAN, exclusively on Hulu. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

“Barbarian”

Courtesy of 20th Century Studios

With all the (justified) media notice of the surprise success of micro-budget horror film “Terrifier 2” (Iconic), studio-made but still low-budget “Barbarian” (Disney/$3.99) is adding to its much bigger take with an amazing response on multiple home platforms.

The $4.5 million budget release from their Fox unit isn’t remotely aligned with what Disney ownership sees as a priority in their productions. It already has an over $40 million domestic theatrical gross (it is going straight to streaming in many countries, with only about $2 million amassed overseas).

It popped up on both HBO Max and Hulu 45 days after theatrical release (HBO Max still has claims on Fox films, so both streamers are playing). The availability came with no PVOD first, which is somewhat different than is typically seen from many studios taking the direct revenue from rentals and purchases ahead of subscriber-based streaming appeal.

The most amazing note on “Barbarian” is that it is #1 at Vudu, which ranks by revenue and usually favors higher-priced titles. An explanation could be that its $14.99 download sales boosted its figures. At iTunes and Google Play, it ranks #5 and #4, respectively (both rank by transactions).

“Barbarian” is one of three different films to take a #1 slot; “Bullet Train” (Sony/$5.99) at iTunes and “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount/$3.49-$5.99) at Google Play are both still thriving with lower prices.

DON'T WORRY DARLING, from left: Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, 2022. © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

“Don’t Worry Darling”

©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett C

“Don’t Worry Darling” (Warner Bros. Discovery/$19.99), out after 30 days in theaters and before its HBO Max play, didn’t exactly take home viewing by storm even after its high-profile interest earlier. Despite little competition among new titles, it ranks no better than #3 at any site (at Vudu, where it is the top PVOD listing). Its performance during the week parallels “Bros” (Universal/$19.99), which grossed only 25 percent as much. Meantime, the gay rom-com quickly fell in its second week, with only a #10 placement at iTunes (and only by excluding “Room on a Broom,” a 25-minute decade-old cartoon).

Halloween of course plays into this, with six of the 17 total films relating to the holiday. Universal chose the week to reduce the price for “Nope” ($5.99), completing the list of five that made all lists. A24 released “Pearl” ($19.99), which placed only at Vudu. “Jeepers Creepers Reborn” (Screen Media/$6.99) made the lower end of two charts, while “The Black Phone” (Universal/$5.99) and Henry Selick’s animated 2009 “Coraline” (Focus) on iTunes are also Halloween friendly.

WENDELL & WILD - (L-R) Wendell (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key), Kat (voiced by Lyric Ross) and Wild (voiced by Jordan Peele). Cr: Netflix © 2022

“Wendell & Wild”

Courtesy of Netflix

Selick also is the creator of Netflix’s new “Wendell & Wild” at #8, surprisingly only the fifth highest among multiple new originals this week. The strong showing for new releases is led by “The Good Nurse,” a hospital-set murder mystery starring Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne. The German “All Quiet on the Western Front” is a surprising #2, with the latest version of Erich Maria Remarque’s World War I novel proving again that there is an audience for films with military themes. (The film is Germany’s Oscar International Film entry).

Also new originals this week are the South African crime drama “Wild Is the Wind” and the Spanish thriller “The Chalk Murder.” Also notable is “Blade of the 47 Ronin,” a Universal production that, instead of theatrical play or going to its own streamer, is on Netflix and, atypically, on VOD at $5.99. Once again, companies are increasingly testing the multi-platform model.

iTunes and Google Play rank films daily by number of transactions. These are the listings for October 31. Distributors listed are current rights owners. Prices for all titles are for rental.

iTunes

1. Bullet Train (Sony) – $5.99

2. Nope (Universal) – $5.99

3. Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount) – $5.99

4. Don’t Worry Darling (WBD) – $19.99

5. Barbarian (Disney) – $3.99

6. Fall (Lionsgate) – $5.99

7. Where the Crawdads Sing (Sony) – $5.99

8. Confess, Fletch (Paramount) – $4.99

9. Coraline (Focus) – $2.99

10. Bros (Universal) – $19.99

 

Google Play

1. Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount) – $3.49

2. Bullet Train (Sony) – $5.99

3. Nope (Universal) – $5.99

4. Barbarian (Disney) – $3.99

5. Don’t Worry Darling (WBD) – $19.99

6. Where the Crawdads Sing (Sony) – $5.99

7. Minions: The Rise of Gru (Universal) – $4.99

8. Jurassic World: Dominion (Universal) – $5.99

9. Jeepers Creepers Reborn (Screen Media) – $6.99

10. The Black Phone (Universal) – $5.99

Vudu

Vudu ranks by revenue, not transactions, which elevates Premium VOD titles. This list covers  October 24-30.

1. Barbarian (Disney) – $3.99

2. Bullet Train (Sony) – $5.99

3. Don’t Worry Darling (WBD) – $19.99

4. Nope (Universal) – $5.99

5. Pearl (A24) – $19.99

6. Fall (Lionsgate) – $5.99

7. Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount) – $4.99

8. Medieval (Avenue) – $19.99

9. DC League of Super-Pets (WBD) – $5.99

10. Jeepers Creepers Reborn (Screen Media) – $6.99

 

Netflix Movies

Most viewed, current ranking on Netflix’s daily chart on Monday, October 31. Originals include both Netflix-produced and acquired titles it initially presents in the U.S. Netflix publishes its own weekly top 10 on Tuesdays based on time viewed.

1. The Good Nurse (2022 Netflix original)

2. All Quiet on the Western Front (2022 German Netflix original)

3. The School for Good and Evil (2022 Netflix original)

4. Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015 theatrical release)

5. Wild Is the Wind (2022 South African Netflix original)

6.The Chalk Line (2022 Spanish Netflix original)

7. Blade of the 47 Ronin (2022 VOD release)

8. Wendell & Wild (2022 animated Netflix original)

9. Sing 2 (2021 theatrical release)

10. Despicable Me 2 (2013 theatrical release)

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