‘Free Guy’ Tops VOD Charts One Last Time as Two Eastwoods Debut

The incredible six-week dominance of “Free Guy” (Disney/$5.99) atop Video on Demand charts should come to an end this week, with the just-announced arrival of “No Time to Die” (United Artists/$19.99) on PVOD Tuesday. Shawn Levy’s film’s lengthy run has come at a time of less competition, but its play — both initially at $19.99, then later at $5.99 — has clearly added a major bounty to Disney’s coffers after an over-$120 million domestic box office. We have no access to specifics, but with the higher return from VOD than theatrical, it’s possible the studio saw a higher return from this. Notably, this came after a 45-day theatrical window.

“Free Guy” returns to topping all charts, a streak interrupted last week when “The Addams Family 2” (United Artists/$19.99) took #1 at Vudu, which ranks by revenue, not transactions, as do Apple TV/iTunes and Google Play. That was a Halloween response, as the film is now #3 on Vudu.

In a week with little other change, for the first time ever, one chart (Apple/iTunes) has no Premium VOD titles, and another (Google Play) lists only “Addams.” Even Vudu, which usually is dominated by PVOD entries, lists only five. It is unclear whether this factored into the decision for the early release of “No Time to Die,” but it will have little competition, at least initially.

Sony hasn’t announced the release date for “Venom 2,” which opened theatrically in October. But the studio has tended to go with a 45-day window, suggesting it might become available the following week. (That would be the same time “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” shows up on Disney+ for subscribers.) With “Halloween Kills,” “Dune,” and “Addams” already on home platforms, these are the two remaining titles from the flush October slate with no previous non-theatrical viewing.

Only “Old” (Universal/$5.99) joined “Free” on all charts, second at Google Play, third at Apple/iTunes. Other #2 titles were “Pig” (Neon/$6.99) at Apple/iTunes, reduced from earlier PVOD, and “Candyman” (Universal/$19.99) at Vudu.


“Love Hard”

Of the three new entries, of note is a curious Eastwood family tie. “Cry Macho” (HBO Max/$19.99) played #9 at Vudu after its theater/HBO Max play, with Clint’s film released 50 days (earlier than the usual 60) after its debut on PVOD. Meantime, son Scott’s “Dangerous” (Lionsgate/$6.99), a home premiere, placed #5 at Vudu and #7 at Apple/iTunes.

“Dangerous” has a quirky plot — a parolee, whose sociopathic side has been treated by an idiosyncratic therapist (Mel Gibson), risks his freedom to track down his brother’s killer. What’s interesting is that their relative placement at Vudu (revenue-based) means Scott’s title likely had three times the interest as Clint’s. Its new availability is a major reason, but it’s a sign that the torch may be passing, at least as a draw as an actor.

While the VOD charts are mainly holdover titles, Netflix had its usual major turnover. And as often happens, some surprises: Six new releases placed this week. Initially, the well-received Black western “The Harder They Fall” led. But the current #1 is the less-high-profile “Love Hard.” This early entry in the season’s usual Christmas rom-com lineup (the film involves a dating app cross-country meeting gone bad) is an example of how the site’s audience goes its own way, with little more than targeted highlighting to likely viewers. Another original, “Father Christmas Comes Back,” a British comedy about four sisters dealing with past conflicts, arrived, with John Cleese among the cast.

Apple TV/iTunes and Google Play rank films daily by number of transactions, irrespective of revenue accrued. These are the listings for November 8. Distributors listed are current rights owners.

Apple TV/iTunes

1. Free Guy (Disney) – $5.99

2. Pig (Neon) – $6.99

3. Old (Universal) – $5.99

4. Stillwater (Focus) – $5.99

5. Old Henry (Shout) – $5.99

6. The Alpinist (Roadside Attractions) – $5.99

7. The Protégé (Lionsgate) – $5.99

8. Dangerous (Lionsgate) – $6.99

9. F9 (Universal) – $5.99

10. PAW Patrol (Paramount) – $4.99


“Free Guy”

Fox/Disney

Google Play

1. Free Guy (Disney) – $5.99

2. Old (Universal) – $5.99

3. F9 (Universal) – $5.99

4. Black Widow (Disney) – $5.99

5. Injustice (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

6. The Addams Family 2 (United Artists) – $19.99

7. Venom (Sony) – $3.99

8. PAW Patrol (Paramount) – $4.99

9. Beetlejuice (Warner Bros.) – $3.99

10. Scream (Disney) – $2.99

Vudu

Vudu ranks by revenue, not transactions, which elevates Premium VOD titles. This list covers November 1-7

1. Free Guy (Disney) – $5.99

2. Candyman (Universal) – $19.99

3. The Addams Family 2 (United Artists) – $19.99

4. The Suicide Squad (Warner Bros.) – $19.99

5. Dangerous (Lionsgate) – $6.99

6. Old (Universal) – $5.99

7. Stillwater (Focus) – $5.99

8. Cry Macho (Warner Bros.) – $19.99

9. Black Widow (Disney) – $5.99

10. Jungle Cruise (Disney) – $19.99

Netflix Movies

Most viewed, current ranking as of Monday, November 8; originals include both Netflix-produced and -acquired titles they initially presented in the U.S.

1. Love Hard (2021 Netflix original)

2. The Harder They Fall (2021 Netflix original)

3. 21 Jump Street (2012 theatrical release)

4. Army of Thieves (2021 Netflix original)

5. Yara (2021 Netflix original)

6. American Gangster (2007 theatrical release)

7. Replicas (2013 theatrical release)

8. Father Christmas Is Back (2021 Netflix original)

9. Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher (2021 Netflix original)

10. Amina (2021 Netflix original)

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