Amazon Prime Cinema

With almost all the movie theaters closed around the United States, movie studios are releasing some recent and upcoming theatrical releases on VOD much further in advance than usual. Universal Pictures was the first to take a step in this direction, and they’ll be shaking things up even more when they release Trolls: World Tour on VOD on the same date it was intended to be released in theaters. Since then, other studios have followed suit with movies like Sonic the Hedgehog and Bloodshot arriving on VOD early. So Amazon has unveiled a dedicated space for them to be featured, and it’s called Amazon Prime Cinema.

As for how the former theatrical releases of movies like The Invisible Man and Onward are faring so far, it’s only Disney’s latest Pixar Animation adventure that seems to have cracked Top 10 lists. Instead, it’s the cheaper VOD movies that were more recently released on home video have been dominating the charts. Get the lowdown below.

Amazon Prime Cinema

First up, Amazon Prime Cinema was unveiled over the weekend as the first VOD releases of theatrical movies were made available for rent and/or purchase. It’s not really anything more than a different designation for theatrically released movies that have been made available for VOD purchase or rental. Movies like Onward, Emma., and The Invisible Man are currently highlighted, but more will surely be added as the library of “current” theatrical releases grows in the coming weeks.

It’ll be interesting to see if Amazon Prime Cinema is something that continues after this unique situation is over. Will they start to feature other VOD releases that are also in theaters, such as indie films that are in limited release but available to watch as VOD rentals at home? That’s something we won’t know until this coronavirus situation has passed and things get back to normal.


Onward Cracks Top 10 Charts for VOD Rentals

Last weekend was the first one where movies that were still in theaters became available for VOD rental at a price of $19.99 for a rental period of 48 hours. Universal released The Invisible Man, Emma., and The Hunt while Disney released Onward. So how did those movies fare with customers over the weekend?

IndieWire took a look at the top charts made available on Sunday morning from iTunes, Amazon Prime and Spectrum Cable to see if these movies had made a dent in the market. However, they do caution that they don’t have the tools to make detailed assessments, and iTunes and Amazon Prime’s charts change daily, so this isn’t necessarily representative of the entire weekend performance for these movies. Here’s how the charts shook out on Sunday morning:


  1. Onward (Disney)
  2. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony)
  3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
  4. Contagion (Warner Bros.)
  5. Knives Out (Lionsgate)
  6. Spies in Disguise (20th Century Fox)
  7. Bombshell (Lionsgate)
  8. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony)
  9. Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
  10. 1917 (Universal)


  1. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony)
  2. Knives Out (Lionsgate)
  3. Bombshell (Lionsgate)
  4. Midway (Lionsgate)
  5. Uncut Gems (A24)
  6. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
  7. The Greatest Showman (20th Century Fox)
  8. Onward (Disney)
  9. Frozen II (Disney)
  10. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony)


  1. Bombshell (Lionsgate)
  2. Frozen II (Disney)
  3. Knives Out (Lionsgate)
  4. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony)
  5. Spies in Disguise (20th Century Fox)
  6. Uncut Gems (A24)
  7. Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
  8. Midway (Lionsgate)
  9. Dark Waters (Focus)
  10. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony)

As you can see, Onward is the only “current” theatrical release to crack any of the lists, and it topped the iTunes chart. The rest of the charts are filled out with movies that were recently released on Blu-ray/DVD, and thus available for rental. However, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker isn’t available on physical media yet, it was made available for rental early by Disney/Lucasfilm. Otherwise, the rest of the movies are more recent home video releases, with the exception of Contagion, which has renewed interest for obvious reasons.

Since there’s no easy way to measure the number of rentals on these services, this is all we have to go on for now. But it makes sense that Onward is doing so well on the charts with kids all over the country being kept home from school. Plus, the other three theatrical releases available on VOD have a much smaller appeal to wider demographics. It’ll be interesting to see how/ the charts change when more movies like Birds of Prey, Sonic the Hedgehog and Bloodshot become available on March 24.

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