Record-Breaking On-Demand ‘Trolls World Tour’ Leads Home Viewing Charts

"Trolls World Tour" performed just as well as Universal claimed it did, across multiple platforms. But is it an anomaly?
(third from left) Delta Dawn (Kelly Clarkson) in DreamWorks Animation's "Trolls World Tour," directed by Walt Dohrn.
"Trolls World Tour"
DreamWorks Animation

Yes it’s true. Universal’s $19.99 48-hour rentals of “Trolls World Tour” exceeded the studio’s highest expectations. The premium Video on Demand market (which also allows for some downloads) is not yet the new normal for top releases. But these results will encourage other companies to make pricing experiments with their backlog of unreleased films.

With Pixar’s “Soul” (Disney) the latest top pre-July release rescheduled for November, we have it at least three more months before theaters might reopen. Even Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden cites theaters and events as opening much later than stores and offices. (“We will be guided by public health officials,” wrote NATO spokesman Patrick Corcoran in an email.) “It’s fluid,” said Jeanne Berney, COO of Picturehouse, which moved religious drama “Fatima,” starring Harvey Keitel and Sonia Braga, from April 24 to August 14 opposite “Wonder Woman 1984.” Now the indie distributor has more time to reach out to church groups and promote the film’s Andrea Bocelli single.

No one knows when theaters will open again or in what form. Meantime studios are continuing to experiment with rapid premium play, including some price reductions for some pre-March releases. They’re trying to figure out how to supply consumers with no content as their interest in PVOD rises. More surprises could be in the offing.

According to Universal, the “Trolls” success crossed all outlets, which is reflected in the charts (see below): FandangoNow, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Vudu, DirectTV, and others all have it at #1. Some companies don’t publish charts, or lag behind with reporting. But the evidence buttresses Universal’s claims. At Verizon’s Fios on Demand it was three times as popular as their #2 title.

The charts below represent varying tracking methods. The FandangoNOW list is based on money spent, not the number of paid units paid. It’s impressive that four films, led by “Birds of Prey” (which offered lower-price rentals last Tuesday) rank in the top ten despite their lower price. Because these titles were available in recent weeks at higher prices, it suggests that many studios are willing to wait. “Trolls” is #1 here in a full-week chart, suggesting a very strong initial showing vs. other titles with seven days of availability.

The Amazon Prime and ITunes charts daily track units, not dollars. Despite this, Prime shows that four of the top five places went to premium titles, since “Trolls” was released on Friday. iTunes shows how prices impact unit sales. Their chart does not yet show “Trolls,” with only two premium titles appearing at the bottom.

The Spectrum cable full-week listing ran on Friday before “Trolls” was released. It shows that the family audience doesn’t seem to be bothered by paying for Disney’s “Onward” and “Frozen II” despite being accessible for free to Disney+ subscribers. Among premium offerings, the initial top dog, “The Invisible Man” (Universal), and the still-lagging “I Still Believe” (Lionsgate) are their sole top performers.

Then there’s Netflix. Other than top-ranked “Tiger King” and the current season of “Ozark” riding high, the list is radically different this week. That includes five movies: a strange brew indeed. Currently #2 is the barely-released Canadian crime/action drama “Code 8,” which must have clicked with their promos.

“Love Wedding Repeat”Riccardo Ghilardi

For Easter, “Hop” showed up at #7. “Angel Has Fallen,” a nearly $70-million grosser last year for Lionsgate, showed up for a second week. Also placing are two originals, the British wedding comedy “Love Wedding Repeat” and the WWE-partnered “The Main Event.” This is the strongest showing for movies on the Netflix top ten since we’ve been tracking. Their acclaimed documentary “Crip Camp” had a one-day appearance the previous week, nor is the just-premiered indie feature “Tigertail” making much impact.

Additional reporting by Anne Thompson.

FandangoNOW (Ranked by total revenues from Monday-Sunday)

1. Trolls World Tour (Universal) – $19.99 – rental only

2. Bad Boys for Life (Sony) – $19.99 – digital download

3. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount) – $19.99 – digital download

4. Birds of Prey (Warner Bros.) – $5.99 –  rental only

5. The Invisible Man (Universal) – $19.99 – digital download

6. Dolittle (Universal) – $5.99 – rental only

7. The Call of the Wild (Disney) – $3.99 – rental only

8. Like a Boss (Paramount) – $14.99 – digital download

9. Bloodshot (Sony) – $19.99 – digital download

10. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony) – $4.99 – rental only

Amazon Prime  (Ranked by total transactions not revenue, most recent daily placement, then highest during past week)

1 (1) Trolls World Tour (Universal) – $19.99 rental only

2 (1) Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount) – $19.99 digital download

3 (2) Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony) – $5.99 rental

4 (2) Bloodshot (Sony) – $19.99 digital download

5 (3) Bad Boys for Life (Sony) – $19.99 digital download

6 (4) Knives Out (Lionsgate) – $5.99 rental

7 (6) The Greatest Showman (Disney) – $3.99 rental

8 (6) Little Women (Sony) – $4.99 rental

9 (6) Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney) – $4.99 rental

10 (10) The Gentlemen (STX) – $14.99 – digital download

iTunes (Ranked by total transactions not revenue, most recent daily placement, then highest during past week)

3 (1) Birds of Prey (Warner Bros.) – $5.99 rental

2 (2) 1917 (Universal) -$3.99 rental

1 (1) Call of the Wild (Disney) – $5.99 rental

(3) Little Women (Sony) – $5.99 rental

5 (2) Dolittle (Universal) – $5.99 rental

6 (2) Knives Out (Lionsgate) – $5.99 rental

7 (1) Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney) – $4.99 rental

(3) Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony) – $5.99 rental

9 (4) Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount) – $19.99 digital download

10 (5) Bad Boys for Life (Sony) – $19.99 digital download


1. Onward (Disney) – $6.99

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney) – $6.99

3. 1917 (Universal) – $6.99

4. Jumanji: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney) – $6.99

5. Just Mercy (Warner Bros.) – $6.99

6. Little Women (Sony) – $6.99

7. The Invisible Man (Universal) – $19.99

8. Birds of Prey (Warner Bros.) – $6.99

9. Frozen II (Disney) – $6.99

10. I Still Believe (Lionsgate) – $9.99


1 (1) Tiger King – limited series

2 (5) Code 8 – 2019 theatrical film

3 (2) Ozark – episodic dramatic series

4 (4) Angel Has Fallen – 2019 theatrical film

5 (3) Love Wedding Repeat – original narrative film

6 (5) Money Heist – limited original dramatic series

7 (7) Hop – 2011 animated theatrical film

8 (3) The Big Show – original comedy series

(6) All American – original dramatic series

10 (9) Main Event – original narrative film

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