Streaming movie hits – 2013 edition

For the past few years, I’ve been taking the temperature of the online streaming world by looking at how many of the previous year’s box office winners were legally available for online streaming (see 2013, 2012, 2011). This year we seem to see some major progress in how Hollywood is treating the internet, finally offering large swath of content to people who are willing to watch it legally. Let’s take a look…

All you can eat

Netflix and Amazon Prime have established themselves on an all-you-can-eat model around movies and, to date, have not fared that well with recent content. So let’s take a look at this year’s movies:

RankTitleNetflixAmazon PrimeDVD/Blue Ray
1The Hunger
Games: Catching Fire
NoNoYes
2Iron Man 3YesNoYes
3Despicable
Me 2
NoNoYes
4FrozenNoNoYes
5Man of SteelNoNoYes
6Monsters
University
NoNoYes
7GravityNoNoYes
8The Hobbit: The
Desolation of Smaug
NoNoYes
9Fast & Furious 6NoNoYes
10Oz The Great and
Powerful
NoNoYes
11Star Trek Into
Darkness
NoNoYes
12Thor: The Dark WorldNoNoYes
13World War ZNoNoYes
14The CroodsYesNoYes
15The HeatNoNoYes
16We’re the
Millers
NoNoYes
17The Great
Gatsby (2013)
NoNoYes
18The ConjuringNoNoYes
19Identity
Thief
NoNoYes
20Grown Ups 2NoNoYes
21The WolverineNoNoYes
22G.I. Joe:
Retaliation
NoNoYes
23Anchorman 2:
The Legend Continues
NoNoYes
24Cloudy with a
Chance of Meatballs 2
NoNoYes
25Now You See MeNoNoYes
26Lee Daniels’ The
Butler
NoNoYes
27The Hangover
Part III
NoNoYes
28EpicNoNoYes
29Captain
Phillips
NoNoYes
30American HustleNoNoYes
31Jackass
Presents: Bad Grandpa
NoNoYes
32Pacific RimNoNoYes
33This is
the End
NoNoYes
34Olympus
Has Fallen
YesNoYes
3542NoNoYes
36ElysiumNoNoYes
37PlanesNoNoYes
38The Lone RangerNoNoYes
39OblivionNoNoYes
40Insidious
Chapter 2
NoNoYes
41TurboNoNoYes
42The Wolf
of Wall Street
NoNoYes
432 GunsNoNoYes
44White House
Down
NoNoYes
45MamaNoNoYes
46Safe HavenNoNoYes
47The Smurfs 2NoNoYes
48Saving Mr.
Banks
NoNoYes
49The Best Man
Holiday
NoNoYes
50Percy
Jackson: Sea of Monsters
YesNoYes
51A Good Day to Die
Hard
NoNoYes
52Warm BodiesNoNoYes
53Jack
the Giant Slayer
NoNoYes
54The PurgeNoNoYes
55Last VegasNoNoYes
56Ender’s GameNoNoYes
57PrisonersNoNoYes
58After EarthNoNoYes
59Escape
From Planet Earth
NoNoYes
60Hansel
and Gretel: Witch Hunters
YesNoYes
61Free BirdsNoNoYes
62Evil Dead
(2013)
NoNoYes
63The Secret
Life of Walter Mitty
NoNoYes
64Red 2NoNoYes
65Tyler
Perry’s A Madea Christmas
NoNoNo
66Tyler
Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor
NoNoYes
67The CallNoNoYes
68Pain and GainNoNoYes
69Lone SurvivorNoNoYes
70Gangster
Squad
NoNoYes
71Jurassic
Park 3D
NoNoNo
72The InternshipNoNoYes
73Instructions
Not Included
NoNoYes
74SnitchNoNoYes
75RiddickNoNoYes
76A Haunted
House
YesNoYes
7712 Years
a Slave
NoNoYes
7847 RoninNoNoYes
79The Family (2013)NoNoYes
80Carrie (2013)NoNoYes
81Texas
Chainsaw 3D
YesYesYes
82Walking
with Dinosaurs
NoNoYes
83R.I.P.D.NoNoYes
84Blue JasmineNoNoYes
85Kevin Hart:
Let Me Explain
YesNoYes
86Side Effects
(2013)
YesNoYes
87Scary Movie 5NoNoYes
88The
Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
NoNoYes
89Delivery ManNoNoNo
90One
Direction: This is Us
NoNoYes
91Grudge MatchNoNoNo
92Kick-Ass 2NoNoYes
93Rush (2013)NoNoYes
94The Host (2013)YesNoYes
95The World’s EndNoNoYes
9621 and OverYesNoYes
97Escape PlanNoNoYes
98Don JonNoNoYes
99The
Incredible Burt Wonderstone
NoNoYes
100PhilomenaNoNoYes

With 11 titles available this year, Netflix seems to have made a tremendous jump compared to other years (last year, it had only 5 of the top 100 movies from the previous year). So while Netflix’s 2013 story has been about its original content (House of Cards, Orange is the New Black), it seems the company is also quietly working on improving its position in delivering studio content. Meanwhile, Amazon Prime comes in with only 1 title (Texas Chainsaw 3D) in its offering, even less than it did in the previous year. This, of course, is compared to a total of 96 titles being available on DVD today so if you’re looking at the all you can eat model to feed your recent movie habit, you’re out of luck.

But let’s now take a look at whether you can rent those movies in an on-demand fashion over the internet.

VOD

To do so, I pulled data on the most popular rental services online: iTunes, Amazon on-demand, Vudu, and the emerging YouTube service.

RankTitleAmazon digital rentaliTunesVuduYouTubeDVD/Blue Ray
1The Hunger
Games: Catching Fire
NoNoNoNoYes
2Iron Man 3Purchase onlyPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
3Despicable
Me 2
YesYesYesYesYes
4FrozenYesPurchase onlyYesNoYes
5Man of SteelNoYesYesYesYes
6Monsters
University
YesYesYesNoYes
7GravityYesYesYesYesYes
8The Hobbit: The
Desolation of Smaug
NoNoNoNoYes
9Fast & Furious 6NoYesYesYesYes
10Oz The Great and
Powerful
NoPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
11Star Trek Into
Darkness
Purchase onlyPurchase onlyPurchase onlyYesYes
12Thor: The Dark WorldNoNoNoNoYes
13World War ZNoYesNoYesYes
14The CroodsNoYesYesYesYes
15The HeatNoYesYesYesYes
16We’re the
Millers
YesYesYesYesYes
17The Great
Gatsby (2013)
NoYesYesYesYes
18The ConjuringNoYesYesYesYes
19Identity
Thief
NoPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
20Grown Ups 2YesYesYesYesYes
21The WolverineNoYesYesYesYes
22G.I. Joe:
Retaliation
NoPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
23Anchorman 2:
The Legend Continues
NoNoNoNoYes
24Cloudy with a
Chance of Meatballs 2
NoNoPurchase onlyNoYes
25Now You See MeNoYesPurchase onlyYesYes
26Lee Daniels’ The
Butler
NoYesNoYesYes
27The Hangover
Part III
YesYesYesYesYes
28EpicYesYesYesYesYes
29Captain
Phillips
YesYesYesNoYes
30American HustleNoNoNoNoYes
31Jackass
Presents: Bad Grandpa
NoPurchase onlyNoNoYes
32Pacific RimNoYesNoYesYes
33This is
the End
NoPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
34Olympus
Has Fallen
NoPurchase onlyYesNoYes
3542NoYesYesYesYes
36ElysiumNoYesYesYesYes
37PlanesYesYesYesYesYes
38The Lone RangerNoYesYesYesYes
39OblivionNoPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
40Insidious
Chapter 2
NoYesYesYesYes
41TurboYesYesYesYesYes
42The Wolf
of Wall Street
NoNoNoNoYes
432 GunsYesYesYesYesYes
44White House
Down
YesYesYesYesYes
45MamaNoPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
46Safe HavenNoYesYesYesYes
47The Smurfs 2NoYesYesYesYes
48Saving Mr.
Banks
NoNoNoNoYes
49The Best Man
Holiday
NoNoNoNoYes
50Percy
Jackson: Sea of Monsters
NoYesYesYesYes
51A Good Day to Die
Hard
NoPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
52Warm BodiesNoPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
53Jack
the Giant Slayer
NoPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
54The PurgeNoYesYesYesYes
55Last VegasNoNoNoNoYes
56Ender’s GameNoNoNoNoYes
57PrisonersYesYesYesYesYes
58After EarthNoPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
59Escape
From Planet Earth
NoPurchase onlyYesYesYes
60Hansel
and Gretel: Witch Hunters
NoPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
61Free BirdsNoNoNoNoYes
62Evil Dead
(2013)
NoPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
63The Secret
Life of Walter Mitty
NoNoNoNoYes
64Red 2YesYesYesYesYes
65Tyler
Perry’s A Madea Christmas
YesNoNoNoNo
66Tyler
Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor
Purchase onlyNoNoNoYes
67The CallPurchase onlyPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
68Pain and GainYesYesNoYesYes
69Lone SurvivorNoNoNoNoYes
70Gangster
Squad
Purchase onlyYesPurchase onlyNoYes
71Jurassic
Park 3D
NoNoNoNoNo
72The InternshipYesYesYesYesYes
73Instructions
Not Included
YesYesPurchase onlyYesYes
74SnitchPurchase onlyPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
75RiddickYesYesYesYesYes
76A Haunted
House
YesYesNoYesYes
7712 Years
a Slave
Purchase onlyPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
7847 RoninNoNoNoNoYes
79The Family (2013)YesYesYesYesYes
80Carrie (2013)YesYesYesYesYes
81Texas
Chainsaw 3D
Purchase onlyYesYesNoYes
82Walking
with Dinosaurs
NoNoNoNoYes
83R.I.P.D.YesYesNoNoYes
84Blue JasmineYesYesYesYesYes
85Kevin Hart:
Let Me Explain
YesYesYesYesYes
86Side Effects
(2013)
YesYesYesYesYes
87Scary Movie 5YesYesYesYesYes
88The
Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
YesYesYesYesYes
89Delivery ManNoNoNoNoNo
90One
Direction: This is Us
Purchase onlyYesYesYesYes
91Grudge MatchNoNoNoNoNo
92Kick-Ass 2YesYesYesYesYes
93Rush (2013)YesYesYesYesYes
94The Host (2013)YesYesYesYesYes
95The World’s EndYesYesYesYesYes
9621 and OverYesYesYesYesYes
97Escape PlanPurchase onlyPurchase onlyPurchase onlyNoYes
98Don JonYesYesYesYesYes
99The
Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Purchase onlyPurchase onlyPurchase onlyPurchase onlyYes
100PhilomenaNoNoNoNoYes

Here, we see substantial improvements compared to last year. iTunes has 55 of the top 100 available for rent, closely followed by YouTube (52) and Vudu (49) but Amazon is trailing with only 35 titles. If you throw in titles one can purchase (generally purchases are in the $15-20 range as opposed to rentals which average around $5), iTunes has 78 titles, Vudu 72, YouTube 53, and Amazon 46. The puzzling thing her is around Amazon’s video on demand service: on the one hand, they’ve been aggressively promoting Amazon Prime and building out new original content and on the other, they appear to be trailing the competition in terms of VOD.

You may wonder what it looks like compared to previous years so I’ll delve into my historical data for rentals:

AmazoniTunesVuduYouTubeDVD/Blue Ray
2010484646No data74
2011454444No data74
20124444463877
20133555495296

The first thing that jumped at me was how many of the titles were actually available on BlueRay/DVD this year. I actually went back to look at the sources as it seemed incongruous but the data appeared valid. Secondly, we seem to be witnessing the quiet rise of YouTube as a rental service and the floundering of Amazon VOD.

If you factor in sales, the data looks as follows:

AmazoniTunesVuduYouTubeDVD/Blue Ray
2010566057No data74
2011616261No data74
20125759593877
20134678725396

Here, we’re still seeing an Amazon service that appears to be struggling compared to the competition. iTunes and Vudu are strong players in the sales space while YouTube seems to have little interest in in.

Conclusion

2013 and 2014 are boom years for media streaming. While a lot has been written about the emergency of Netflix, Amazon and others as sponsors of new filmed content, another interesting story the data gives us is that 2013 seemed to have been the turning point in terms of Hollywood’s acceptance of streaming as a legitimate form of media consumption.

However, we are also seeing an industry that is clinging to the old release window model, distributing movies on plastic before they do so online (in fairness, the time lag between the two has been growing increasingly small so one can hope they will eventually do away with that approach).

With the Oscars broadcasting tonight, one could wonder whether the next step for the movie industry is not same time release. For example, many of the movies in the running are still not available online, even though they have been in movie theaters for a couple of months already. One could hope that the movie industry will look into this practice and decide that they want to release movies in a legal fashion earlier so that interested fans could catch them online. That said, there are still more movies available on plastic disks than there are online, which brings up the question as to why aren’t we seeing more simultaneous releases on DVD/BlueRay and online.

So kudos to Hollywood for embracing digital and now on to the next challenge of making content available in everyone’s home (for a fee, of course) at the same time it is in theaters.

Methodology

To capture the data set, we went to canistream.it and plugged in the titles of the top 100 winners at the box office in 2013. The research was performed during the first week of February 2014. I would like to thank Mary LoPorto for her help in gathering this data set.

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