Dungeons & Dragons #1 on VOD, A Man Called Otto #1 on Netflix
Paramount Pictures is celebrating this week after its film, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, topped all video-on-demand (VOD) charts. The success comes after the studio reported a $1.23 billion loss in the first quarter of the year. The film was released in theaters after its fifth weekend and costs $19.99. Meanwhile, Sony continues to feature movies at No. 1 on Netflix’s top ten, with A Man Called Otto arriving just four months after its wide release there.
Deciphering studio strategies can be confusing, but it seems that Paramount was hoping to increase interest in its streaming platform, Paramount+, by releasing “Scream VI” on both its own platform and premium VOD (PVOD). . The horror film only peaked at No. 1 on Vudu, which ranks by revenue rather than transactions, and only appeared on one of the three top ten lists at the end of its second week. While it’s unclear how much revenue a #1 film will take, it’s estimated that at $19.99, Paramount is getting about $14 back per transaction.
In addition to “D&D”, three other new titles joined the top ten. Universal’s Renfield and Sony’s The Pope’s Exorcist were both released in theaters after three weekends, both for $19.99. That was normal for Universal but atypical for Sony. Neither film grossed over $10 million, and both fell quickly, making the moves logical. Despite Nicolas Cage’s continued popularity on home platforms, “Exorcist,” starring Russell Crowe, consistently outperformed “Renfield” on PVOD.
Beautiful Disaster, a college romantic drama filmed in America but filmed in Bulgaria, also debuted on all three charts this week for $6.99. This comes after it was played as a two weekday Fathom event last month. Response to home viewing suggests that this type of game has increased interest.
Long-running play Avatar: The Way of Water (reduced to $12.99) and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania ($19.99), both from Disney, plus Creed III (MGM) completed the unusually high number (seven) of films to be placed across the board. A curious newcomer was Apple’s “The Tomorrow Man” from 2019. Probably because of Chris Pratt’s presence in the theatrical reboot “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”, the unusual VOD game for an old streaming title, appeared in the iTunes charts on (which is of course an Apple trademark).
It is sometimes said that many people assume that all movies are on Netflix. That’s never been the case, and even less so since four studios set up their own streamers. But confusion is understandable when nine of the ten titles with the most views, in addition to Sony (“Otto”), also include Universal (“Pitch Perfect”, “American Gangster”, “The Dilemma”, “The Wedding Date” and “Das Dilemma”) who now own the rights to “The Croods”), Paramount (“GI Joe: Retaliation”), Warner Bros. Discovery (“Heat”) and Lionsgate (“The Glass Castle”). That’s everything except Disney. “Pitch Perfect” took first place before “Otto” took over.
Some studios are happy to take Netflix’s money for at least short-term streaming exclusivity rather than including it for their own subscribers. In any case, only one Netflix Original – last week’s #1 French crime thriller “AKA” – is on the charts right now.
iTunes and Google Play rank movies by number of transactions daily. These are the listings for Monday May 1st. The distributors listed are current rights holders. The prices for all titles apply to rental. Vudu ranks by revenue, not transactions, increasing premium VOD titles. This list covers May 1st through May 7th.
In conclusion, Paramount Pictures has something to celebrate this week after Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves took the number one spot on all VOD charts. Meanwhile, Sony continues to feature movies at No. 1 on Netflix’s top ten, with A Man Called Otto arriving just four months after its wide release there. It’s sometimes said that many people assume all movies are on Netflix, but that’s not true, and some studios are happy to take Netflix’s money for at least short-term streaming exclusivity, rather than including them for their own subscribers.