‘Monster Hunter’ Rules VOD As ‘Minari’ Gets Golden Globes Boost
Fandango and Vudu are reporting that Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich’s Monster Hunter has again topped the VOD charts for the week of February 29 to March 1, 2021 and is currently tops on iTunes and YouTube. That’s not a huge surprise, as it’s the kind of film (a pulpy video game adaptation from the same director/star team that brought you the Resident Evil series) that would tend to qualify, in the best of times, as a “wait for VOD/DVD/streaming pick for general audiences. Moreover, since the $40 million Sony release played theatrically beginning on December 18 during a period when A) most American theaters were closed and B) there were lots of at-home premieres over the holidays, it stands to reason that folks who otherwise would have seen the PG-13 action fantasy in theaters chose to (or were forced to) wait until its PVOD debut.
For those keeping track, the film has earned $14 million (from a $2.2 million debut) domestically and $30 million worldwide, with some major territories left to go over the next two months. I’m not expecting a massive upswing from Argentina (March 4), Spain (March 12), Italy (April 23) or France (April 28), but I’ll happily eat crow if it kicks butt in Japan starting March 26. For reference, Resident Evil: Afterlife earned around $33 million in those respective non-Japanese territories back in 2010 while grossing $55 million in Japan. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter earned around $36 million in Japan in 2017 while earning around $15 million in the other territories and $159 million in China. Alas, Monster Hunter got banned from China over opening-night controversies concerning racially insensitive dialogue, so Constantin and friends are depending on everywhere else.
The Wrong Turn reboot, which repositions the “murderous backwoods cannibals” horror franchise as a skewed “indigenous folks versus foreign invaders” romp, popped up in third place on iTunes and Vudu, and fourth on Fandango, Google and YouTube as it entered “priced-to-rent” VOD territory. In good news for good movies, the PVOD debut of A24 and Plan B’s Golden Globe-winning Minari (launching this past Friday) is in the top ten at almost every major site save for iTunes. That includes YouTube (#6), Fandango (#6), Google (#8), Vudu (#8) and Amazon where it’s the top movie at the moment. Take that, Yellowstone! Lee Isaac Chung’s acclaimed melodrama about a patriarch (Steven Yeun) who relocates his family from California to rural Kansas in pursuit of economic advancement via farming may end up in the Oscar race.
Its victory at the Globes for “Best Foreign Language Film” sparked controversy since the film is financed by American studios and is made by/stars Korean Americans. It’s not literally a foreign film. Blame a HFPA regularity rule going back to when Inglorious Basterds competed in the Best Drama category despite 70% being in a language other than English. It’s a bad look, but it did win the category in question which brought it a higher profile than just being among the nominees in the Best Drama race. Moreover, it will be able to compete for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards. Good-faith qualms about the category placement (where it was placed by A24, natch) notwithstanding, it’s a good movie which makes a killer double-bill with The Nest. See it before this year’s Oscar nominations are announced on March 15.
In terms of popular movies on the various streaming platforms, Tom & Jerry is tops at both the box office and on HBO Max, where it sits ahead of Blade Runner 2049 (plenty of folks kicking themselves for not seeing that visual delight on an IMAX screen) and Judas and the Black Messiah. Hulu isn’t officially listing their most-watched flicks, but I would hope that they are Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland (which won Golden Globes for Best Drama and Best Director) and Lee Daniels’ The United States Vs. Billy Holiday which overcame mixed reviews to nab a surprise Best Actress (Drama) win for Andra Day. I couldn’t tell you what’s tops over at Shudder, but Bryan Bertino’s The Dark and the Wicked made its anticipated debut on the horror-centric site this past Thursday and it’s pretty good.
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