It was a pretty quiet week (July 19-July 25) in the SVOD arena, at least so says Nielsen (especially because HBO Max is yet to be included in these lists). To wit, their movie rankings was dominated by Disney and Pixar’s Luca, which logged another 454 million minutes viewed dropping just 13% from last week’s 541 million minutes. The well-reviewed and well-liked Pixar toon, which is a Disney+ exclusive in participating markets and opens in China today (the first Hollywood release since Peter Rabbit 2 in mid-June), has been quite leggy even as much of its competition has fallen by the way side. I wish the film had been in theaters worldwide as intended, but it has done its job as an A-level Disney+ attraction.
Four out of five of the Twilight Saga flicks made up spots 2 (Twilight), 5 (New Moon), 6 (Eclipse) and 7 (Braking Dawn part II) while poor Breaking Dawn part I didn’t quite make the top ten. The blockbuster Kristen Stewart/Robert Pattinson franchise, which earned $3.3 billion worldwide between 2008 and 2012 on a combined $419 million budget, logged at least (not counting Breaking Dawn part I) a combined 1.068 billion minutes viewed, or right between Manifest (937 million minutes) and Virgin River (1.27 billion) over on the television side. We’ll see if The Twilight Saga even makes the cut “next week,” but it just highlights the strength of catalogue titles and the need for “once were successful” theatrical offerings even in a streaming world.
Netflix’s original “Die Hard on a plane but with vampires” flick Blood Red Sky logged 296 million minutes for a comparatively miniscule 2.4 million views of the 121-minute feature. Likewise, Gunpowder Milkshake fell hard in frame two, registering just 290 million minutes (-47%) compared to 540 million minutes in its debut. Chris McKay’s The Tomorrow War earned just 194 million minutes in its fourth frame, down 54% from its 413 million minutes-viewed third frame. That’s fine, the Chris Pratt sci-fi flick, which Skydance sold to Amazon for $200 million, got plenty of eyeballs in its first few weeks. One movie not in the top ten this week was Marvel’s Black Widow, which logged 541 million minutes in week one, 444 million minutes in week two.
The MCU prequel earned less than 187 million minutes earned by Raya and the Last Dragon and Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans, in week three. The Scarlett Johansson-led flick, which cost $30 to lease, dropped at least 57% in week three. Everyone who wanted to lease and watch Black Widow on Disney+ instead of (or alongside) seeing it in theaters did so in the first two weeks. That’s not a surprise, and why I wasn’t *that* impressed with Disney crowing about $60 million on opening weekend via Disney+. That likely represented the vast majority of folks paid up. Nonetheless, A) Premier Access is a necessary evil in the time of Covid and B) the Disney+ viewership will likely explode once Black Widow is “free” in early October.
Meanwhile, Loki dropped hard in the first week after its sixth and final episode. The Tom Hiddleston-led MCU series logged 386 million minutes in its seventh week of availability, down 62% from last week’s 1.011 billion minutes viewed. That’s not a surprise or a problem, as audiences showed up when there were new episodes but now are showing up in much lesser numbers now that the season is over. However, the extent to which Disney+ is dependent on MCU and Star Wars content to stand alongside Netflix and Amazon on these lists is a long-term issue which perhaps requires a long-term solution. Jungle Cruise will pop on next week’s chart and both Shang-Chi (after a 45-day window) and Black Widow will both debut “for free” on Disney+ in early October.