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As ‘Black Adam’ Takes Over on VOD, WBD Inhales the Sweet Scent of Cash

"Black Adam" is a major VOD player and still in theaters while "Smile" has gone low profile everywhere — except Paramount+.

Black Adam

“Black Adam”


Black Adam” (Warner Bros. Discovery/$19.99) swept the #1 positions on all VOD charts this week. The Dwayne Johnson-starring DC Comics hit (still #6 in theaters over the weekend) is the fall’s second $100 million+ domestic release to reach home availability. The other is “Smile” (Paramount/$19.99). Now in its second week, it fell from #1 to #6 at Vudu (which ranks by revenue), is #10 at Google Play, and not listed at all at iTunes (both calculate by transactions).

The difference: “Black Adam” is  not streaming on HBO Max. “Smile” is on Paramount +.

We’ve seen some past releases thrive with that parallel play, but studios are beginning to realize the gold in the PVOD hills justifies delaying streaming for subscribers. Hit films boosts subscriptions, but they don’t offer the immediate rush of a lengthy VOD run. It also suggests consumers are beginning to catch on — how many people have rented a VOD only to realize that it was soon headed to (or worse, already arrived at) the streaming platform they already pay for?

“Smile” appears nowhere in iTunes top 30, nor on its home page that highlights new releases. Pure speculation, but: Apple doesn’t like to compete with streaming.

Stunt performer Jenel Stevens with Viola Davis on the set of "The Woman King"

“The Woman King”

Courtesy of Jénel Stevens

Five new home release titles made at least one list. “The Woman King” (Sony/$19.99) did best making all three lists and as high as #2 at Vudu. “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” (Sony/$19.99) is #3 at Vudu, just missed iTunes’ top 10, and is #21 at Google Play (which usually lags by a few days).

Direct-to-home release “Poker Face” (Screen Media/$6.99) directed by and starring Russell Crowe took #7 at iTunes. “Till” (United Artists/$19.99) is the sole specialized release to place. Helped by its PVOD price, it is #10 at Vudu — and then only because our list omits “Yellowstone Season 5.”

Many lower-budget specialized titles like “Parasite,” “Promising Young Woman,” “The French Dispatch,” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” reaped bounties from multiple weeks on VOD. This year, recent theatrical releases “TÁR” (Focus/$19.99), “Armageddon Time” (Focus/$19.99), and “Triangle of Sadness” (Neon/$14.99) largely fell short of any top 10.

Along with “Adam” and “Woman King,” “Maverick,” “Bullet Train” (Sony/$5.99), and “Ticket to Paradise” (Universal/$19.99) complete the list of films that made all charts.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” made a theatrical splash this weekend in a limited-time release before it streams starting December 23. In the meantime, Netflix is top-heavy with other original movies with six debuting on its top 10 this week.

The Noel Diary. (L to R) Justin Hartley as Jake, Barrett Doss as Rachel in The Noel Diary. Cr. KC Bailey/Netflix © 2022.

“The Noel Diary”

KC Bailey/Netflix

“The Noel Diaries” starring Josh Hartley (“This is Us”) and directed by Charles Shyer (“Father of the Bride”) is #1 for now. At #2 is the documentary “Ghislaine Maxwell: Filthy Rich,” #3 “The Swimmers” (TIFF debut), “Christmas on Mistletoe Farm” is #6, Polish crime thriller “Lesson Plan” is #7, and French thriller “The Lost Patient” is #10. Figure that “Where the Crawdads Sing,” #5 in its third week, likely is still a major draw. “Glass Onion” will add much more ahead.

iTunes and Google Play rank films daily by number of transactions. These are the listings for November 28. Distributors listed are current rights owners. Prices for all titles are for rental.


1. Black Adam (WBD) – $19.99

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

3. Bullet Train (Sony) – $5.99

4. Ticket to Paradise (Universal) – $19.99

5. The Woman King (Disney) – $19.99

6. The Grinch (Universal) – $3.99

7. Poker Face (Screen Media) – $6.99

8. Knives Out (Lionsgate) – $3.99

9. Lamborghini: The Man Behind the Legend (Lionsgate) – $6.99

10. Nope (Universal) – $5.99


Google Play

1. Black Adam (WBD) – $19.99

2. Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount) – $4.49

3. Bullet Train (Sony) – $5.99

4. Nope (Universal) – $5.99

5. Ticket to Paradise (Universal) – $19.99

6. The Woman King (Disney) – $19.99

7. The Grinch (Universal) – $3.99

8. Knives Out (Lionsgate) – $3.99

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

10. Smile (Paramount) – $19.99



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

1. Black Adam (WBD) – $19.99

2. The Woman King (Disney) – $19.99

3. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (Sony) – $19.99

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

5. Ticket to Paradise (Universal) – $19.99

6. Smile (Paramount) – $19.99

7. Bullet Train (Sony) – $5.99

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

9. Nope (Universal) – $5.99

10. Till (United Artists) – $19.99

Netflix Movies

Most viewed, current ranking on Netflix’s daily chart on Monday, November 28. 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 Noel Diary (2022 Netflix original)

2. Ghislaine Maxwell: Filthy Rich (2022 Netflix documentary original)

3. The Swimmers (2022 Netflix original)

4. Slumberland (2022 Netflix original)

5. Where the Crawdads Sing (2022 theatrical release)

6. Christmas on Mistletoe Farm (2022 Netflix original)

7. Lesson Plan (2022 Polish Netflix original)

8. Falling for Christmas (2022 Netflix original)

9. The Bad Guys (2022 theatrical release)

10. The Lost Patient (2022 French Netflix original)


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