‘Croods 2′ and ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Show VOD Rebound as ‘Barb and Star’ Makes Strong Debut

Tom Brueggemann
·5 min read

Each week brings new and curious VOD data: This week, “The Croods: A New Age” and “Wonder Woman 1984” — late 2020 releases, both viewable at home for almost two months, saw rebounds based on nothing more than small tweaks in availability.

The distribution business is in flux, with different patterns evolving and lessons learned. “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” which reteams “Bridesmaids” writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumulo (who also star), debuted exclusively as a $19.99 Premium VOD release with placement on all charts.

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Unlike Halloween and Christmas, audiences didn’t flock to romantic titles for Valentine’s Day. That could suggest couples found it a good excuse to celebrate out of the house (theater grosses improved this weekend, as one example).

“Croods” returned to #1 in theaters in its 12th weekend, and for the first time since its third week. It’s in its eighth week available at $19.99. So what happened?

New life came via digital-download availability; prior to now, availability was limited to 48-hour rentals. Parents are now spending the same amount, again, to entertain kids for an unlimited period.

An even stranger showing comes from the “Wonder Woman” sequel. It was withdrawn from HBO Max, as planned, after 31 days. For the first time, it is a $19.99 PVOD. It was second on two charts, #5 on a third.

Here’s why this feels weird: People who wanted to see the film since Christmas could connect with HBO Max for $14.99 a month (free with a cable HBO subscription) and watch not only this but other recent Warner Bros. theatrical releases plus everything else it has. Many people preferred to pay for PVOD — were they aware of the HBO Max option?

The AT&T-owned company makes money either way, bur it suggests subscriber outreach is missing a lot of people.

“Barb and Star” stood out among new titles, ranked third to fifth on its three possible platforms. Lionsgate is a key player in VOD originals (action films in particular), but until recently they also had some theater presence. The decision to market this as a premium had some risk, but paid off initially. It will take more time to gauge its success.

The still-PVOD Greenland” took two #1 spots, continuing to thrive on what is clearly excellent word of mouth. It has held steady with much higher-profile PVOD titles for weeks now. “Tenet” also remains vital.

The sole film on four charts was “Let Him Go,” which continues to add viewers as it plays at $5.99. It was #1 at Spectrum (last week it held that position at Apple).

Other fresh titles include Nicolas Cage’s “Willy’s Wonderland.” Unlike many of his recent films, it is PVOD. It placed #6 at revenue- rather than transaction-based FandangoNow. Spectrum, often a treasure trove of less-known films, features faith-based “Tulsa” at #2 and “Savage State” at #8. The latter is a Canadian French/English film about a Missouri family struggling to get to New York during the Civil War so they can return to Europe. It showed at last year’s Rotterdam Film Festival and had a multi-country release a year ago. The promise of action looks like the hook here.

Sia’s poorly regarded “Music” starring Kate Hudson, with two top Golden Globe nominations, is showing little initial interest despite its $6.99 price.

Netflix capitalized on romance much more successfully than other platforms. Third-time out “To the All Boys: Always and Forever” was an immediate #1 there. Two other originals — “Red Dot” from Sweden about a couple on the run and “Squared Love” — also sit in their top four. Last week’s top entry “Malcolm & Marie” has already dropped off the list.

Apple TV

Ranked by number of transactions, with position as of Monday, February 15

1. Greenland (STX) – $19.99

2. The Croods: A New Age (Universal) – $19.99

3. Barb and Star Go to Vista del Mar (Lionsgate) – $19.99

4. Let Him Go (Focus) – $5.99

5. Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros.) – $19.99

6. Tenet (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

7. Freaky (Universal) – $5.99

8. Valentine’s Day (Warner Bros.) – $2.99

9. Love and Monsters (Paramount) – $4.99

10. The War with Grandpa (101) – $5.99

FandangoNOW

Ranked by revenue accrued not transactions, for February 8-14

1. The Croods: A New Age (Universal) – $19.99

2. Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros.) – $19.99

3. Greenland (STX) – $19.99

4. Barb and Star Go to Vista del Mar (Lionsgate) – $19.99

5. News of the World (Universal) – $19.99

6. Willy’s Wonderland (Screen Media) – $19.99

7. Let Him Go (Focus) – $5.99

8. Promising Young Woman (Universal) – $19.99

9. Freaky (Universal) – $14.99

10. Fatale (Lionsgate) – $19.99

Google Play

Ranked by number of transactions, with the daily position as of Monday, February 15

1. Greenland (STX) – $19.99

2. Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros.) – $19.99

3. The Croods: The New Age (Universal) – $19.99

4. Tenet (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

5. Barb and Star Go to Vista del Mar (Lionsgate) – $19.99

6. Let Him Go (Focus) – $5.99

7. The War with Grandpa (101) – $5.99

8. Honest Thief (Briarcliff) – $5.99

9. Love and Monsters (Paramount) – $4.99

10. Freaky (Universal) – $5.99

Spectrum

Ranked by transactions between February 5-11, all priced $6.99 except where noted

1. Let Him Go (Focus)

2. Tulsa (Pryor)

3. News of the World (Universal) – $19.99

4. Honest Thief (Open Road)

5. Tenet (Warner Bros.)

6. Come Play (Focus)

7. American Skin (Vertical)

8. Savage State (Goldwyn)

9. Wild Mountain Thyme (Bleecker Street)

10. Born a Champion (Lionsgate)

Netflix Movies

Most-viewed, current ranking as of Monday, February 15; originals include both Netflix-produced and -acquired titles

1. To All the Boys: Always and Forever (2021 Netflix original)

2. War Dogs (2016 theatrical release)

3. Red Dot (2021 Swedish Netflix original)

4. Squared Love (2021 Netflix original)

5. Finding ‘Ohana (2021 Netflix original)

6. We Can Be Heroes (2020 Netflix original)

7. The Dig (2021 Netflix original)

8. Are We There Yet? (2005 theatrical release)

9. Money Talks (1997 theatrical release)

10. The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019 theatrical release)

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