‘Fast X’ Gets Expedited Early PVOD Release and Easily Wins the Race

Universal executives last week made a statement about how lucrative early PVOD availability has been for the studio (over $1 billion in retail revenue, most returned to them). Then on Friday, they made a statement suggesting how accepted the practice has become.

“Fast X,” with an investment approaching $500 million in production and marketing costs, became available on domestic platforms for $19.99 rental ($24.99 purchase). That was 22 days after it debuted in theaters, and grossed $67 million its opening weekend.

Hold on there — wasn’t the oft-repeated understanding that any Universal film that opened over $50 million had at least a 31 day window? This was widely reported when the studio came to an understanding with major exhibitors in 2020 (which included the latter having some participation in the revenue).

That has consistently been the minimum case over the past three years. And recently “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” an even bigger grossing film, had a 41 day window, 10 days longer than normal.

Neither Universal nor exhibition sources would comment on this. But the lack of any protest suggests that the studio had convinced theaters that this move would have little impact on the remaining play of “Fast X.” It fell 46 percent this weekend, about the expected range, for #6 and $5.2 million.

With a disappointing (versus cost) $653 million worldwide take, close to what it will finish with, the film needs additional revenue badly. This is the easiest way to get it.

There is no indication that the longer “SMB” window and this have any relationship. But it does suggest that both Universal and top theaters accept common sense flexibility. That’s healthy for all parties.

“Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret” Courtesy of Lionsgate

“Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret” (Lionsgate) held off until after six weekends. It was rewarded with a mediocre showing, making only two charts (#7 on Vudu, #10 on iTunes). Compare that to how “Nefarious” (Soli Deo), also $19.99 is doing. The latter, a small faith-based horror film, grossed $5 million in theaters and got little mainstream media attention. The July Blume adaptation received strong reviews and significant coverage, with a lackluster $20 million gross. The added PVOD attention will add some revenue to defray from the cost (production and advertising combined perhaps $20 million), but it doesn’t appear to be nearly enough.

“SMB” was #2 at Vudu, iTunes, and Google Play, with “John Wick: Chapter 4” (Lionsgate) either #3 or 4. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Sony) was #3 at iTunes, #4 at Google Play (its $3.99 rental price hurts it at revenue-counting Vudu). “The Pope’s Exorcist” (Sony), with a reduced $5.99 price, also made all three charts.

The best non-horror independent performance again came from “BlackBerry” (IFC), which came out after three weekends. It currently #6 on iTunes.

Netflix is different this weekend. Not so much the entries on the chart (primarily the same as last week, reordered — the animated “Boss Baby” is #1), but because there isn’t a single of their original films listed. On average, most weeks have at least three, often topping the chart. Often they are international and even non-English original languages.

“Extraction 2”Jasin Boland/Netflix

But not this week. Part of this seems to be lack of anything new of note (itself unusual — a sign of production cutbacks, or delaying some titles anticipating a future lag because of the WGA strike?). That will change when “Extraction 2” debuts this Friday. The sequel to their graphic comic Chris Hemsworth-starring action film, which had about 100 million views its first month, should be an easy #1 initially.

The biggest change was that Best Actress nominated “To Leslie,” which briefly hit #1, quickly fell of the chart in its second week.

iTunes and Google Play rank films daily by number of transactions. These are the listings for Monday, June 12. Distributors listed are current rights owners. Prices for all titles are for rental.

iTunes

1. Fast X (Universal) – $19.99

2. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Universal) – $24.99

3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony) – $3.99

4. John Wick: Chapter 4 (Lionsgate) – $19.99

5. The Covenant (MGM) – $19.99

6. BlackBerry (IFC) – $6.99

7. The Pope’s Exorcist (Sony) – $5.99

8. Operation Fortune: Russe de Guerre (Lionsgate) – $.99

9. Dungeons & Dragon: Honor Among Thieves (Paramount) – $5.99

10. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret (Lionsgate) – $19.99

Google Play

1. Fast X (Universal) – $19.99

2. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Universal) – $24.99

3. John Wick: Chapter 4 (Lionsgate) – $19.99

4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony) – $3.99

5. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (Paramount) – $19.99

6. 65 (Sony) – $5.99

7. Nefarious (Soli Deo) – $19.99

8. The Covenant (MGM) – $19.99

9. Evil Dead Rise (WBD) – $19.99

10. The Pope’s Exorcist (Sony) – $5.99

Vudu

Vudu ranks by revenue, not transactions, elevating premium VOD titles. This list covers June 5-11 

1. Fast X (Universal) – $19.99

2. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Universal) – $24.99

3. John Wick: Chapter 4 (Lionsgate) – $19.99

4. 65 (Sony) – $5.99

5. Nefarious (Soli Deo) – $19.98

6. Evil Dead Rise (WBD) – $19.99

7. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret (Lionsgate) – $19.99

8. Creed III (MGM) – $5.99

9. The Pope’s Exorcist (Sony) – $5.99

10. Hypnotic (Ketchup) – $19.99

Netflix Movies

Most viewed, current ranking on Netflix’s daily chart on Monday, June 12. 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. Boss Baby (2017 theatrical release)

2. We’re the Millers (2013 theatrical release)

3. The Angry Birds Movie (2016 theatrical release)

4. Zookeeper (2011 theatrical release)

5. Forever My Girl (2018 theatrical release)

6. The Choice (2013 theatrical release)

7. Mean Girls (2004 theatrical release)

8. The Kingdom (2007 theatrical release)

9. Funny People (2009 theatrical release)

10. Missing (2023 theatrical release)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *