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‘Napoleon’ Battles ‘Oppenheimer’ for VOD Lead; ‘Lift’ and Kevin Hart #1 at Netflix

When “The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.) opened on Christmas Day, it grossed over $18 million, fueled by marketing campaign that focused on group sales to attract its core audiene. Its total was $40 above what “Les Miserables” did on December 25, 2012 (its opening day) before it grossed nearly $150 million in the U.S./Canada.

Unfortunately for the musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel (and Steven Spielberg’s 1985 movie), the operation was a success but the patient did less well. Through three weeks of play, despite an A Cinemascore suggesting strong audience response, it has grossed only $58 million, barely three times its opening day. The recent weekend, its third, took in under $2 million after losing almost two-thirds of its theaters.

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On Tuesday, after 22 days in theaters, it will become the first holiday release to reach home audiences on PVOD (at $19.99 to rent). Perhaps it can find greater success there.

It comes as Netflix, the premier site for home movie watching, has three films led by Black actors among its top six most viewed currently, including the top two. #1 is “Lift,” an action comedy starring Kevin Hart and directed by the highly regarded F. Gary Gray (“Straight Outta Compton,” “The Italian Job”), with “The Equalizer 3” with Denzel Washington second (earlier it had led the chart). And #6 is Tyler Perry’s 2014 “The Single Moms’ Club.”

LIFT. Kevin Hart as Cyrus in Lift. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
“Lift” Courtesy of Netflix © 2023Courtesy of Netflix

Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon,” produced by Apple and released by Sony in theaters like the streamer’s earlier “Killer of the Flower Moon,” began its run on PVOD ($19.99) ahead of its streaming debut and took the #1 spots at both iTunes and Vudu, #2 at Google Play.

“Napoleon’s” VOD success comes at the same time Martin Scorsese’s started showing on Apple TV for subscribers. “Killers” streaming debut arrives before its normal reduced $5.99 rental option. That suggests Apple wished to elevate its site at the expense of additional VOD rental. It had an impact on “Killers.” The film, which had consistently been at or close to #1 in recent weeks, fell off iTunes top 10 entirely and placed lower on the other charts.

“Oppenheimer,” which has had a strong initial PVOD run and is now doing well at $5.99, ranks #1 at Google Play, #2 at iTunes, and #4 at Vudu (where it is the highest non-PVOD film on a list that ranks by revenue as opposed to transactions). Universal just announced the film will start streaming on Peacock on February 16.

Little else changed this week, with “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” (Lionsgate), “Trolls Band Together” (Universal), and “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” (TAS), all still PVOD joined by “Barbie” (WB) which is also playing on Max and ranks on all three charts.

ANATOMY OF A FALL, (aka ANATOMIE D'UNE CHUTE), from left: Samuel Theis, Sandra Huller, Milo Machado Graner, 2023. © Neon / Courtesy Everett Collection
“Anatomy of a Fall”Courtesy Everett Collection

Of note this week — “Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon) is gaining attention far ahead of most French films as its award chances rise. It is #5 at iTunes, #9 at Google Play (renting for $6.99). The other new entry this week, #7 at Vudu, is the direct-to-home animated “Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths — Part One,” digital download available for $19.99.

Netflix had three films prior to “Lift” at #1 during the week. International Oscar contender and Netflix original from Spain “Society of the Snow” had two days atop the chart (currently #3), with “Single Moms'” and last year’s Young Adult appeal “After Everything” both having a turn at #1 for a day.

iTunes and Google Play rank films daily by number of transactions. These are the listings for Monday, January 15. Distributors listed are current rights owners. Prices for all titles are for lowest for either rental or download.

iTunes

1. Napoleon (Sony) – $19.99

2. Oppenheimer (Universal) – $5.99

3. Trolls Band Together (Universal) – $19.99

4. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Lionsgate) – $19.99

5. Anatomy of a Fall (Neon) – $6.99

6. Barbie (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

7. Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (TAS Rights Management) – $19.89

8. Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning: Part One (Paramount) – $5.99

9. Past Lives (A24) – $5.99

10. Dumb Money (Sony) – $5.99

Google Play

1. Oppenheimer (Universal) – $5.99

2. Napoleon (Sony) – $19.99

3. Trolls Band Together (Universal) – $19.99

4. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (Lionsgate) – $19.99

5. Barbie (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

6. Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning: Part 1 (Paramount) – $5.99

7. Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple) – $19.99

8. John Wick Chapter 4 (Lionsgate) – $5.99

9. Anatomy of a Fall (Neon) – $6.99

10. Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (TAS Rights Management) – $19.89

Vudu

Vudu ranks by revenue, not transactions, elevating premium VOD titles. This list covers January 8-14

1. Napoleon (Sony) – $19.99

2. Trolls Band Together (Universal) – $19.99

3. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (Lionsgate) – $19.99

4. Oppenheimer (Universal) – $5.99

5. Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple) – $19.99

6. The Bricklayer (Vertical) – $9.99

7. Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths — Part One (WB) – $19.99

8. Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (TAS Rights Management) – $19.89

9. Thanksgiving (Sony) – $19.99

10. Barbie (WB) – $5.99

Netflix Movies

Most viewed, current ranking on Netflix’s domestic daily chart on Monday, January 15. Originals include both Netflix-produced and acquired titles it initially presents in the U.S. Netflix publishes its own international weekly top 10 on Tuesdays based on time viewed.

1. Life (Netflix original)

2. The Equalizer 3 (2023 theatrical release)

3. Society of the Snow (Netflix Spanish original)

4. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023 theatrical release)

5. After Everything (2023 theatrical release)

6. The Single Moms’ Club (2014 theatrical release)

7. The Croods (2013 theatrical release)

8. The Flintstones (1994 theatrical release)

9. Trapped (2002 theatrical release)

10. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018 theatrical release)

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