Without precise figures, made public, we have no way of determining if the various new films broadcast on VOD and streaming are really successful.
As of this moment, HBO Max’s homepage currently proclaims Scoob! as their “most trending movie”, which probably means more people are watching Scoob! let them watch any other movie on the streaming site (absolutely stuffed with cinema worth watching). What does that mean? Well, beyond that simple”Scoob! is number one! statement, I have no idea. And that’s a big deal with the “new normal” where more and more of our entertainment is debuting on VOD platforms and streaming sites with, more or less periodic exceptions, no third-party public accountability.
We don’t really know how many HBO Max subscribers are watching Scoob! and/or what is the most watched TV show. Just like, even as we try to make sense of the various most rented movies in google play», the most watched films on netflix
In short, yes, I miss the box office. Technically, box office revenue still counts, even though cinemas (hard-top and drive-in) are mostly filled with old blockbusters and arty horror movies. Heck, the coronavirus shutdown has turned everything upside down, with “event movies” like The old guard and hamilton coming to streaming while cinemas feast on IFC indies (The unfortunate, Relic) and nostalgic favorites (The Goonies, Jurassic Park). But aside from the relative dominance of art horror films and old glories, we don’t really know how well this season’s debutants are doing.
Yes we know Trolls: around the world earned around $4 million at the (unofficial) domestic box office since April 10 and around $95 million in PVOD rentals in its first 19 days of release. But, as is usually the case with VOD and physical media sales, we don’t have hard numbers because no one is providing them. There are a lot of issues with the box office as it was, but we still had numbers. Since we didn’t just have a rating but actual currency, we could (at the very least) note that “this movie started out with so much money and could eventually make so much money, which is good or bad by relative to cost, expectations and precedent”.
Unless a movie or TV show debuts to explode in viewership, it’s not in Disney+’s or Netflix’s best interest to tell us how many people are actually watching. hamilton or eurovision opening weekend and beyond. What was once a mere pet peeve, the focus on weekend box office charts as opposed to gross, is now a major problem. Arbitrary rating is now the only yardstick we have for the vast majority of filmed entertainment. Streaming sites and respective studios control the narrative in terms of success (never mind that a 74% jump in Disney+ subscriptions over hamiltonopening weekend of only meant 742,000 new customers and only $5.2 million) and what isn’t.
Yes, it was nice that Mark Wahlberg patriots day was the most-watched film on Independence Day, but it was precisely because it bombed in theaters ($58 million off a $40 million budget in 2016 despite strong reviews) that made its remarkable Netflix splash. Also, trivia aside, we don’t know if that high viewership means anything to the folks who made the movie (which is no longer in their top ten) and/or released it theatrically first. place. No matter how cruelly ironic films like Peter Berg’s patriots day thrive (temporarily) on Netflix although streaming sites are a key reason why films like Peter Berg’s patriots day bombard the halls.
I would bet Scoob! is number one at HBO Max right now because it was supposed to be in theaters only to release on PVOD in May for (allegedly) just decent numbers. It was a family title that appealed to children and adults. And by virtue of its theatrical ambitions, it’s the biggest “new” movie or TV show on the site. just like The Lorax (a blockbuster that debuted with a then eye-popping $70 million in March 2012) is probably the best movie on Netflix as it’s the biggest Hollywood/theatrical movie that debuted on Netflix the week of July 7th. At least when it comes to movies, cutting-edge streaming sites still tend to thrive on old-school Hollywood movies.
Yes The old guard Netflix’s top spot tonight will be partly because it has a big movie star (Charlize Theron) in a big-budget (about $70 million) action flick that feels like the kind of movie that once was an A-level theatrical release before marquee characters became more important than movie stars or even intellectual property. Aside from strokes of luck like 365 (A Polish 50 shades imitation slightly less sexy than The ground is lava), movies that do well on Netflix are either theatrical hits like Ugly or new Netflix movies that are close to, for example, Hollywood romantic comedies (The kissing booth) or the underdog sports comedies of Will Ferrell (eurovision) of an earlier generation.
Even though everyone is talking about streaming and VOD replacing theatrical cinema, the current lure of home theaters and VOD/streaming is still the notion of watching movies in theaters (or movies that were supposed to be in rooms) at home. Movies that were previously theatrically released, were supposed to be released theatrically, or were supposed to look like the kind of movies that once thrived in theaters are still prone to rule the various streaming and VOD sites. Even theatrical releases that did very well on VOD (I think) like Jumanji: the next level (which grossed over $800 million in worldwide box office) enjoyed a successful theatrical release and the prestige/interest/notoriety such a thing still brings.
Maybe that’s the future, and maybe that’s just one of the reasons why studios would prefer to shift the majority of their resources to streaming-specific content, so that the only true measure of “success” would be when a title ranks in an ever-changing top. -ten list and/or in the chatter accumulated on social networks. But given how much theatrically released titles seem to be the most popular, even on streaming sites filled with straight-to-stream originals, audiences still prefer to watch real Hollywood theater over something that comes close to the real thing. a Hollywood theater. Of course, if audiences don’t show up when these movies hit theaters, they won’t exist to be theatrical in the first place, but that’s the enigma of our time.
So yeah, all the gazillions thrown at streaming originals, and right now the best movies on Disney+ (hamilton), HBO Max (Scoob!) and Netflix (The Lorax) are either theatrical offerings or films that were acquired or produced with the intention, without the pandemic, of making their theatrical debut. And, beyond a whopping $5 million in new Disney+ subscribers, we don’t have many clues as to what those rankings mean, nor do we know how much actual revenue was earned by the outpost Last weekend. In terms of new movies with hard numbers, the biggest movies of the summer are still Les Miserables, Becky and (so far) Relic.