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‘American Fiction’ Plays the Long Game on VOD and Plays It Well

“Wonka” reigns again on the VOD charts, but the week’s real star is Amazon/MGM’s “American Fiction.” Driven by its five Oscar nominations and continued success at the box office, it reached #2 at Apple TV/iTunes on Saturday and is currently #4. Not bad for a racial satire that’s grossed $17 million to date.

It suggests the film will earn substantially more than its theatrical take, reflecting smart strategy: While Amazon makes movies for streaming, it recognizes (like Apple) the value of making VOD its first at-home platform. It’s also a good argument that the Netflix MO of deemphasizing theatrical and skipping VOD misses opportunities to get awards and audience traction.

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“Oppenheimer” (Universal) repeats as #2 on two charts, though its reduced price keeps it from making Vudu revenue-driven list. Christopher Nolan’s Oscar frontrunner has been the strongest film since its home-viewing debut three months ago, now sustained by Oscar nomination-leading total.

Netflix’s big new original this week is “Lover, Stalker, Killer,” a true crime documentary presumably (counter)programmed for Valentine’s Day. It was an immediate #1 on the top 10.

Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones in The Greatest Night in Pop Netflix documentary
“The Greatest Night in Pop”Netflix

That’s higher placement than its Sundance-premiered and well-reviewed “The Greatest Night in Pop.” The star-studded documentary about recording the iconic “We Are the World” is gone from the list after less than two weeks.

At the moment, Netflix subscribers prefer (at #2) the 2017 Lionsgate release “American Assassin” starring Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton, just ahead of 2014’s “Horrible Bosses 2.” Go figure. (If you’re a completist who needs to see “Horrible Bosses” first, you’ll have to rent it; that 2011 comedy starring Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston is currently unavailable on streaming.)

“The Beekeeper” (Amazon MGM), still #3 in theaters, maintained its presence with #2 at Vudu, third elsewhere. It placed on all three lists, along with “Wonka,” “Fiction,” “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” (WB), “Trolls Band Together” (Universal), and “Migration” (all $19.99).

Oscar nominees took eight of 30 slots on the three lists, with “Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon) on two, “Barbie” and “The Holdovers” (Focus) on one.

Apple TV and Google Play rank films daily by number of transactions. These are the listings for Monday, February 12. Distributors listed are current rights owners. Prices for all titles are for lowest for either rental or download.

Apple TV/ iTunes

1. Wonka (WB) – $19.99

2. Oppenheimer (Universal) – $5.99

3. The Beekeeper (Amazon MGM) – $19.99

4. American Fiction (Amazon MGM) – $19.99

5. Napoleon (Sony) – $19.99

6. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (WB) – $19.99

7. Migration (Universal) – $19.99

8. Anatomy of a Fall (Neon) – $6.99

9. The Holdovers (Focus) – $5.99

10. Trolls Band Together (Universal) – $19.99

Google Play

1. Wonka (WB) – $19.99

2. Oppenheimer (Universal) – $5.99

3. The Beekeeper (Amazon MGM) – $19.99

4. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (WB) – $19.99

5. Migration (Universal) – $19.99

6. Barbie (WB) – $5.99

7. Napoleon (Sony) – $19.99

8. Trolls Band Together (Universal) – $19.99

9. American Fiction (MGM Amazon) – $6.99

10. Anatomy of a Fall (Neon) – $6.99

Vudu

Vudu ranks by revenue, not transactions, elevating premium VOD titles. This list covers February 5-11.

1. Wonka (WB) – $19.99

2. The Beekeeper (Amazon MGM) – $19.99

3. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (WB) – $19.99

4. Migration (Universal) – $19.99

5. I.S.S. (Bleecker Street) – $19.99

6. American Fiction (Amazon MGM) – $19.99

7. Wish (Disney) – $19.99

8. Trolls Band Together (Universal) – $19.99

9. The Book of Clarence (Sony) – $19.99

10. Thanksgiving (Sony) – $5.99

Netflix Movies

Most viewed, current ranking on Netflix’s domestic daily chart on Monday, February 12. Originals include both Netflix-produced and acquired titles it initially presents in the U.S. Netflix publishes its own worldwide weekly top 10 on Tuesdays based on time viewed.

1. Lover, Stalker, Killer (2024 Netflix original British documentary)

2. American Assassin (2017 theatrical release)

3. Horrible Bosses 2 (2014 theatrical release)

4. Seraphim Falls (2007 theatrical release)

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

6. Orion and the Dark (2024 Netflix animated original)

7. Tom & Jerry (2021 theatrical release)

8. It Could Happen to You (1994 theatrical release)

9. Ready Player One (2018 theatrical release)

10. Made in Italy (2020 theatrical release)

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