Shia LaBeouf and Bobby Soto in David Ayer’s ‘The Tax Collector’
Justin Lubin, courtesy of RLJE Films
For those following the DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group’s “Watched at Home Top 20,” we actually have a few updates. As alway, this run-down of the “most-watched movies not in theaters” does not including free-to-stream titles (sorry Hamilton, Work It or American Pickle) or $20-a-pop PVOD offerings (sorry The Secret: Dare to Dream).
After five weeks at the top spot, Universal and Dream Works Animation’s Trolls: World Tour has “fallen” to second place behind RLJ Entertainment’s The Tax Collector. As noted on Sunday, the David Ayer-penned/directed crime melodrama was the top movie at the domestic box office (with $307,000) and the top VOD pick on Fandango, Google and iTunes. And yes, with around $2 million in VOD transactions, the film is indeed last weekend’s “most watched movie.”
Despite lousy reviews, the film scored (relatively speaking) because even the pans tended to point out that the film offered the “goods” (grimy atmosphere, action and violence, old-school mob tropes and, for those so inclined, a nearly-entirely Latino cast) for those who might be interested in the film. Like any number of critically-panned franchise installments (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Batman v Superman, Spectre), even the bad reviews promised those merely interested that, at the very least, they’d get what they paid for.
I wasn’t as down on the film as some, it’s just a grindhouse action drama and honestly, I liked that it held back its violence until the third act and (save for one or two bits) was comparatively restrained in terms of onscreen carnage. That’s not to say it doesn’t offer its share of guns, fights and murders, but it’s pretty conventional R-rated action violence. As for Shia LaBeouf playing a hot-headed enforcer, it’s A) not a Hispanic character and B) very much a supporting role, not unlike Keanu Reeves (who, to be fair, is part-Asian) lending support to Hiroyuki Sanada in Universal’s mega-budget bomb 47 Ronin (which is now getting a future-set VOD sequel).
This is Bobby Soto’s movie from start to finish, and if LaBeouf (who co-starred in Ayer’s World War II tank actioner Fury) helped the film attract wider audience (and more media attention), well, that almost qualifies as a mitzvah. Anyway, if you’re curious, you can rent The Tax Collector for $7 on most VOD platforms. It’s not the next great mob epic, but as someone who was pretty harsh on Suicide Squad and Bright, this is a return to form for the writer/director. Trolls: World Tour ranks second this week, and its continued home at/near the top of the various VOD charts really makes me wish Universal would tell me how much revenue has been earned by this one since April.
(from left) Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) in DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls … [+] World Tour,” directed by Walt Dohrn.
Â© 2019 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.
We can only speculate beyond the reported $95 million in the first 19 days, but I have to guess if it crashed after that then Disney
wouldn’t have risked a PVOD Disney+ release for Mulan. The three seasons of Yellowstone, the Kevin Costner western that has been dominating Amazon
’s charts all summer, sits in the top five alongside Universal’s PVOD Blumhouse chiller You Never Should Have Left. The Kevin Bacon/Amanda Seyfried haunted house movie is now “priced to rent” for $6 on Amazon and the like. Meanwhile, Rod Lurie’s much-liked The Outpost is in seventh place right above WB’s PVOD title (now streaming on HBO Max) Scoob!.
IFC’s The Rental, just the third new movie this summer (after The Wretched and Relic) to pass $1 million in theatrical grosses, sits at ninth under Sonic the Hedgehog. The rest of the top twenty is mostly self-explanatory, with Deep Blue Sea 3 coming just over the Harry Potter eight-film collection, which has also been a popular item during the last few months of “social distancing.” For what it’s worth, Lionsgate Premiere’s Forces of Nature is sticking around, which partially explains why Mel Gibson still gets leading/supporting roles in these grindhouse actioners. He still has an audience, even if it’s probably not how the once A-list movie star wanted to spend the third act of his career.
Possibly thanks to new media attention related to Universal spending an extra $9 million to finish Jurassic World: Dominion with potentially game-changing anti-COVID measures, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is in the top twenty this week. Considering the last two Jurassic World movies grossed $2.979 billion on a combined $320 million budget, spending just $9 million more to get Dominion safely completed and into theaters next June is an absolute bargain. Oh, and Birds of Prey is in 20th place, which reminds me that the terrific live-action Harley Quinn movie will debut on HBO Max on Saturday, where it can make a glorious pairing with the terrific Harley Quinn animated show.
The Indoraptor stalks its preyâ€”(L to R) Owen (CHRIS PRATT), Claire (BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD) and … [+] Maisie (ISABELLA SERMON) in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Welcome to “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”
COPYRIGHT Â© 2018 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS and AMBLIN ENTERTAINMENT, INC. and LEGENDARY PICTURES PRODUCTIONS, LLC.
1 The Tax Collector (RLJ Entertainment)
2 Trolls World Tour (DreamWorks/Universal)
3 Yellowstone: S1 (Paramount
4 You Should Have Left (Universal)
5 Yellowstone: S3 (Paramount)
6 Yellowstone: S2 (Paramount)
7 The Outpost (Screen Media Films)
8 Scoob! (WB)
9 The Rental (IFC Films)
10 Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)
11 Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony)
12 The Invisible Man (Universal, 2020)
13 Deep Blue Sea 3 (WB)
14 Harry Potter (WB, Complete 8-film Coll.)
15 The High Note (Universal)
16 Fantasy Island (Sony, 2020)
17 Force of Nature (Lionsgate, 2020)
18 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal)
19 Most Wanted (Paramount, 2020)
20 Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey (WB)