Streaming hits – 2012 edition

What can you stream legally in 2013?

As has become customary on TNL.net, January is the time when I look at the streaming market through the Box Office Lens (for reference, here’s data from 2011 and 2010). So it’s time to pick up the 2012 list of box office hits and take the same look.

2012: A subscription odyssey

This year saw the rise of a potential competitor to Netflix in Amazon Prime, as the retail giant started offering an all-you can-eat buffet of movie and TV shows. For each movie of the top 100 movies at the box office, I pulled data on for streaming info on Netflix and Amazon Prime. I also pulled up availability of DVDs to use as a yardstick in terms of overall movie availability. The final chart looked like this:

Rank Title Studio Netflix Amazon Prime DVD
1 Marvel’s The Avengers BV No No Yes
2 The Dark Knight Rises WB No No Yes
3 The Hunger Games LGF No No Yes
4 Skyfall Sony No No No
5 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Sum. No No No
6 The Amazing Spider-Man Sony No No Yes
7 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey WB No No No
8 Brave BV No No Yes
9 Ted Uni. No No Yes
10 Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted P/DW No No Yes
11 Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Uni. No No Yes
12 MIB 3 Sony No No Yes
13 Wreck-It Ralph BV No No No
14 Ice Age: Continental Drift Fox No No Yes
15 Snow White and the Huntsman Uni. No No Yes
16 Hotel Transylvania Sony No No No
17 Taken 2 Fox No No Yes
18 21 Jump Street Sony No No Yes
19 Lincoln BV No No No
20 Prometheus Fox No No Yes
21 Safe House Uni. No No Yes
22 The Vow SGem No No Yes
23 Magic Mike WB No No Yes
24 The Bourne Legacy Uni. No No Yes
25 Argo WB No No No
26 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island WB No No Yes
27 Rise of the Guardians P/DW No No No
28 Flight Par. No No No
29 Think Like a Man SGem No No Yes
30 Life of Pi Fox No No No
31 The Campaign WB No No Yes
32 The Expendables 2 LGF No No Yes
33 Wrath of the Titans WB No No Yes
34 Les Miserables (2012) Uni. No No No
35 Dark Shadows WB No No Yes
36 Django Unchained Wein. No No No
37 John Carter BV No No Yes
38 Act of Valor Rela. Yes No Yes
39 Contraband Uni. No No Yes
40 Looper TriS No No Yes
41 Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection LGF No No Yes
42 Battleship Uni. No No Yes
43 Mirror Mirror Rela. Yes No Yes
44 Chronicle (2012) Fox No No Yes
45 Pitch Perfect Uni. No No Yes
46 Hope Springs Sony No No Yes
47 Underworld Awakening SGem No No Yes
48 The Lucky One WB No No Yes
49 The Dictator Par. No No Yes
50 Total Recall (2012) Sony No No Yes
51 Titanic 3D Par. No No No
52 American Reunion Uni. No No No
53 ParaNorman Focus No No Yes
54 This Means War Fox No No Yes
55 Project X WB No No Yes
56 The Woman in Black CBS No No Yes
57 Paranormal Activity 4 Par. No No No
58 The Devil Inside Par. Yes Yes Yes
59 Jack Reacher Par. No No No
60 The Odd Life of Timothy Green BV No No Yes
61 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Sony No No Yes
62 The Grey ORF Yes No Yes
63 Red Tails Fox No No Yes
64 The Possession LGF No No Yes
65 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Fox No No Yes
66 Sinister Sum. No No Yes
67 Beauty and the Beast (3D) BV No No Yes
68 Savages (2012) Uni. No No Yes
69 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel FoxS No No Yes
70 Moonrise Kingdom Focus No No Yes
71 The Three Stooges Fox No No Yes
72 Here Comes the Boom Sony No No Yes
73 Red Dawn (2012) FD No No No
74 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (in 3D) Fox No No No
75 This Is 40 Uni. No No No
76 Resident Evil: Retribution SGem No No Yes
77 The Cabin in the Woods LGF No No Yes
78 What to Expect When You’re Expecting LGF No No Yes
79 Finding Nemo (3D) BV No No No
80 End of Watch ORF No No Yes
81 Rock of Ages WB (NL) No No Yes
82 Parental Guidance Fox No No No
83 Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Fox No No Yes
84 Lawless Wein. No No Yes
85 That’s My Boy Sony No No Yes
86 Trouble with the Curve WB No No Yes
87 The Watch Fox No No Yes
88 Step Up Revolution Sum. No No Yes
89 Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds LGF No No Yes
90 Frankenweenie BV No No Yes
91 2016 Obama’s America RM No No Yes
92 House at the End of The Street Rela. No No Yes
93 The Pirates! Band of Misfits Sony No No Yes
94 Joyful Noise WB No No Yes
95 Silver Linings Playbook Wein. No No No
96 Chimpanzee BV No No Yes
97 The Five-Year Engagement Uni. No No Yes
98 Cloud Atlas WB No No No
99 One For the Money LGF Yes Yes Yes
100 Alex Cross Sum. No No Yes

At first look, the subscription based business doesn’t see to be where you want to go if you are looking for the latest hits. Of the top 100 movies at the box office in 2012, Netflix had 5 and Amazon Prime had 2. By comparison, 77 of those movies were available for rent on DVD (if you still have a corner rental place, that is). Let’s grade on the curve and assume that 77 is the number of movies we can expect to see available as the other 23 are still in theater. That would mean that Netflix saw 6.5% availability while Amazon prime saw 2.6% availability. The only thing we can assume, from there is that online subscription services are not the type of place you want to go to if you are looking to see movies that came out in the previous year. As the two services are looking to develop their catalog, it looks as if they decided that the first 12 months after release of a movie do not figure in their existing business plan and that consumers will go find such movies somewhere else.

VOD

So while it’s clear that the rental market is not so great, how is the internet VOD market doing? Over the last year, we’ve see the entry of YouTube into the VOD market, offering titles for $3.99-4.99. Also, last year, some readers felt that I had unfairly left Blockbuster out so I’ve added them. At the current time, only Vudu offers 3D title but because it does offer such titles, I decided to only include availability on a 3D re-release of an old title (eg. The Phantom Menace) if it is available as a streaming 3D title (However, titles that were new in both 2D and 3D this year were accepted if one of the format was available):

Rank Title Studio iTunes Amazon Vudu YouTube Blockbuster DVD
1 Marvel’s The Avengers BV Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
2 The Dark Knight Rises WB Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
3 The Hunger Games LGF Purchase only Purchase only Purchase only No Purchase only Yes
4 Skyfall Sony No No No No No No
5 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Sum. No No No No No No
6 The Amazing Spider-Man Sony Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
7 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey WB No No No No No No
8 Brave BV Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
9 Ted Uni. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
10 Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted P/DW Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
11 Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Uni. Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
12 MIB 3 Sony Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
13 Wreck-It Ralph BV No No No No No No
14 Ice Age: Continental Drift Fox Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
15 Snow White and the Huntsman Uni. No No Yes No Yes Yes
16 Hotel Transylvania Sony No No No No No No
17 Taken 2 Fox Purchase only No No No No Yes
18 21 Jump Street Sony Purchase only No Purchase only No Purchase only Yes
19 Lincoln BV No No No No No No
20 Prometheus Fox Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
21 Safe House Uni. No Yes No No No Yes
22 The Vow SGem No No No No No Yes
23 Magic Mike WB Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
24 The Bourne Legacy Uni. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
25 Argo WB No No No No No No
26 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island WB No No No No No Yes
27 Rise of the Guardians P/DW No No No No No No
28 Flight Par. No No No No No No
29 Think Like a Man SGem Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
30 Life of Pi Fox No No No No No No
31 The Campaign WB Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
32 The Expendables 2 LGF Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
33 Wrath of the Titans WB No No No No No Yes
34 Les Miserables (2012) Uni. No No No No No No
35 Dark Shadows WB Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
36 Django Unchained Wein. No No No No No No
37 John Carter BV Purchase only Purchase only Purchase only No No Yes
38 Act of Valor Rela. Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
39 Contraband Uni. No No No No No Yes
40 Looper TriS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
41 Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection LGF No No No No No Yes
42 Battleship Uni. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
43 Mirror Mirror Rela. Yes Yes No Yes No Yes
44 Chronicle (2012) Fox Purchase only Purchase only Purchase only No No Yes
45 Pitch Perfect Uni. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
46 Hope Springs Sony Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
47 Underworld Awakening SGem Purchase only Purchase only Purchase only No Purchase only Yes
48 The Lucky One WB Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
49 The Dictator Par. Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
50 Total Recall (2012) Sony Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
51 Titanic 3D Par. No No No No No No
52 American Reunion Uni. No No No No No No
53 ParaNorman Focus Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
54 This Means War Fox Purchase only Purchase only Purchase only No No Yes
55 Project X WB No No No No No Yes
56 The Woman in Black CBS Purchase only No Yes No No Yes
57 Paranormal Activity 4 Par. No No No No No No
58 The Devil Inside Par. Yes Purchase only Purchase only No No Yes
59 Jack Reacher Par. No No No No No No
60 The Odd Life of Timothy Green BV Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
61 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Sony Purchase only Purchase only Purchase only No Purchase only Yes
62 The Grey ORF Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
63 Red Tails Fox Purchase only Purchase only Purchase only No No Yes
64 The Possession LGF No No No No No Yes
65 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Fox Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
66 Sinister Sum. No Yes No No No Yes
67 Beauty and the Beast (3D) BV No No No No No Yes
68 Savages (2012) Uni. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
69 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel FoxS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
70 Moonrise Kingdom Focus Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
71 The Three Stooges Fox No Purchase only Purchase only No No Yes
72 Here Comes the Boom Sony No No No No No Yes
73 Red Dawn (2012) FD No No No No No No
74 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (in 3D) Fox No No No No No No
75 This Is 40 Uni. No No No No No No
76 Resident Evil: Retribution SGem Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
77 The Cabin in the Woods LGF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
78 What to Expect When You’re Expecting LGF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
79 Finding Nemo (3D) BV No No No No No No
80 End of Watch ORF No No No No No Yes
81 Rock of Ages WB (NL) Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
82 Parental Guidance Fox No No No No No No
83 Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Fox Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
84 Lawless Wein. Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
85 That’s My Boy Sony Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
86 Trouble with the Curve WB Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
87 The Watch Fox Purchase only Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
88 Step Up Revolution Sum. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
89 Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds LGF Purchase only Purchase only Yes No No Yes
90 Frankenweenie BV No No No No No Yes
91 2016 Obama’s America RM Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
92 House at the End of The Street Rela. Purchase only Purchase only Purchase only Purchase only No Yes
93 The Pirates! Band of Misfits Sony Purchase only Purchase only Purchase only No Purchase only Yes
94 Joyful Noise WB No No No No No Yes
95 Silver Linings Playbook Wein. No No No No No No
96 Chimpanzee BV No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
97 The Five-Year Engagement Uni. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
98 Cloud Atlas WB No No No No No No
99 One For the Money LGF Purchase only Purchase only Purchase only No No Yes
100 Alex Cross Sum. No No No No No Yes

Let’s aggregate the data to get a better view of what we’re looking at here. The values shown are for rental availability. I’ve put purchasable titles in parentheses:

iTunes Amazon Vudu YouTube Blockbuster DVD
Top 10 6 (+1)  6 (+1) 6 (+1) 5 3 (+1) 7
Top 25 12 (+3) 13 (+1) 12 (+2) 6 9 (+2) 18
Top 50 25 (+6) 24 (+4) 24 (+5) 18 18 (+3) 38
Top 100 44 (+15) 44 (+13) 46 (+13) 38 (+1) 32 (+5) 77

Looking at the aggregate data, it is clear that there is still progress to be made. While 77 of the top 100 movies at the box office in 2012 were available on DVD at the beginning of January 2013, you could only rent up to 46 online. Let’s assume, for a minute, that the DVD data represents total availability because the other movies are still in theater (though a case could be made for release movies online simultaneously). Based on that data, what’s the percentage of available blockbusters:

iTunes Amazon Vudu YouTube Blockbuster
Top 10 85%  85% 85% 71% 43%
Top 25 66% 72% 66% 33% 50%
Top 50 66% 63% 63% 47% 47%
Top 100 44% 44% 46% 38% 32%

This data presents a very sad picture indeed. Less than half of the movies being made available on DVD are available for online streaming, which means that availability of such titles online is limited and will probably lead to increased piracy. Notable also is how far behind Blockbuster seems to be falling in the space. While Apple (iTunes), Amazon, and WalMart (Vudu) seem to be moving in near conjunction, Blockbuster seems to be falling further and further behind, placing 5th after YouTube, which only entered the business this year. The lack of presence on most consumer electronic seems to speak to the other end of the problem for Blockbuster and I would not be surprised if it abandoned online streaming in the future.

But what does this look like from a trending perspective? To do so, I’ve pulled the data for the top 100 movies from 2010 and  2011 and added in this year’s data:

Amazon iTunes Vudu DVD
2010 48 46 46 74
2011 45 44 44 74
2012 44 44 46 77

What’s interesting here is that we are seeing a relatively consistant pattern, with an average of 44-46 blockbusters available for legal online streaming yearly while we see around 75 blockbusters available on DVD.

But what do things look like when you factor in sales:

Amazon iTunes Vudu DVD
2010 56 60 57 74
2011 61 62 61 74
2012 57 59 59 77

The picture does not get any clearer when you factor in sales data. We are seeing titles being sold as digital copies at a slower pace than their equivalent on plastic disks. With 3 years of data now available, we can observe that there does not seem to be any growth at all in either models and that studios appear wary of the internet. From a business standpoint, it’s unclear why we’re not seeing parity here. After all, an increasing number of people are turning to streaming as the alternative to DVD and it seems that studios are , at best, leaving money on the table or, in the worst case scenario, encouraging piracy. One can only hope that 2013 will be the year when we might see some changes in that space as it concerns legal streaming of data.

Conclusion

2012 seems to have been a flat year when it comes to making progress in offering online content. While the subscription model seems to have avoided presenting popular titles, the VOD business seems to be stagnating with large parts of the catalog still sitting on the sideline. The most surprising finding is probably how the industry now seem to be stagnating when it comes to offering new titles online at the same rate as they’re presenting them on DVD and BluRay. It appears Hollywood is still skittish about the power of the internet and, as a result, may be encouraging further piracy of their titles as they refuse to provide legal ways to acquire the content online.

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About the Author

Tristan Louis

Writing and working on the internet since 1993, I've launched six companies, of which two went public and three were sold. This is my personal site and all opinions here are mine.

  • eoy

    What’s perhaps more concerning is that out of the movies listed, many (Django Unchained, The Hobbit etc.) are available on torrent trackers or by simply googling for “moviename torrent”, yet not obtainable by any legal means. This becomes even worse outside of America where there is a several months long delay before movies appear in in the cinemas compared to in the US.

  • eoy

    What’s perhaps more concerning is that out of the movies listed, many (Django Unchained, The Hobbit etc.) are available on torrent trackers or by simply googling for “moviename torrent”, yet not obtainable by any legal means. This becomes even worse outside of America where there is a several months long delay before movies appear in in the cinemas compared to in the US.

  • Florian Bösch

    Note that outside of the US it looks much worse again.

    Streaming Services: None
    VOD: None

    So THAT is why video piracy happens.

  • Florian Bösch

    Note that outside of the US it looks much worse again.

    Streaming Services: None
    VOD: None

    So THAT is why video piracy happens.

    • Ilkka

      Netflix has opened in Northern Europe and Voddler is in Northern Europe as well so you aren’t totally correct.

      • Florian Bösch

        No Netflix or Voddler in Switzerland.

  • Jeff

    LOL @ comparing blockbuster new releases to the cable-tv competing streaming services. Why did you compare availability to cable and
    satellite subscriptions as well? Because that’d be insane.

    Funny that once you move into actual competing services like Amazon’s streaming rental service, almost all of the big name titles are available.

    You don’t say!

    • http://www.tnl.net Tristan Louis

      Blockbuster online is looking to be a contender against iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, and YouTube. So the comparison is warranted.

      • Jeff

        Not Blockbuster, blockbuster (The Dark Knight Rises, Spiderman, etc).

        Comparing big-time new releases to what’s available on **cable-replacement** streaming services like Prime and Netflix (streaming) is a pretty big distortion of the markets. Even more-so when you can ‘rent’ 99% of these titles that have been released on Amazon and NF (dvd).

        You see the talk-backs, “This is the reason we stream” BS? That’s just a lie.

        • http://www.tnl.net Tristan Louis

          Well, it does indeed look like services like Netflix and Amazon Prime still have some ways to go when it comes to replacing premium TV channels. What is interesting, though, is why VOD is not as readily available as DVD rental. It seems to make no sense that parity would not exist there.

          • keinescheisse

            I do agree that they have a ways to go to replace premium channels and I’m never one to argue that the production companies don’t have a _long_ way to go to align with user demands (in almost any digital media conversation). I just get a little miffed when people use studies like this to excuse piracy when new releases would have never been available on a comparable medium to Prime and NF Streaming and most are still available to stream in another format. They expect companies to just forfeit that revenue because they don’t feel like paying to rent.

            I do agree with your point on VOD not being a mirror of DVD availability. That’s just a blatant money-loser and a pretty valid argument. Same thing with premium channels not licensing their content to stream like Dexter and Game of Thrones as well as trying to get any of this content outside of the US.

  • NS

    Or we have to wait for 5 months untill a tv channel shows a popular american show… (eg. Walking Dead, …)

    Yeah, piracy is because people don’t want to pay – how naïve