Universal is still collecting data for its digital rental release of DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls World Tour this past weekend, but it’s believed to be a record weekend and opening-day digital rental. Here are the benchmarks indicating so, even though retailers will provide full dollar amounts in a weekly flash report down the road.
Trolls World Tour did 10 times that of Universal’s previous opening-day digital champ, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which according to home entertainment sources did around $2 million-3 million stateside on day one. Avengers: Endgame, per sources, had a first digital domestic rental week of $30 million in flash reports, and the extrapolation off first-day numbers is that Trolls World Tour will far exceed the figure amassed by the Russo Brothers-directed sequel.
Other indicators of success over the weekend: Trolls World Tour is the No. 1 title across all major on-demand platforms, topping expectations on digital distributors including Amazon, Comcast, Apple, Vudu, Google/YouTube, DirecTV and FandangoNOW.
Apparently, studios typically don’t report video revenue because there’s no central efficient means of monitoring in real time, like Comscore’s box office data system (a reporting crossway between theaters and studios). Home entertainment monies usually are reported by several outlets (i.e., GooglePlay, cable systems) and such figures are often delivered in weekly flash reports to the studio.
That said, digital revenue reporting is possible: Showtime has reporting pay-per-view dollar and viewership figures for its PPV boxing matches; it’s just often been delayed. The $600 million (4.3 million views) that PPV generated from the August 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight was reported by Showtime four months later.
If PPV boxing revenues and stats can be ranked, so can major digital titles, and if this is the new normal, it only makes sense that studios are held accountable. Netflix will occasionally report on Twitter what their biggest views were for a movie or title, i.e., Bird Box or Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston’s Murder Mystery, but it’s on company faith value that we digest that. Nielsen has independently tracked Netflix viewership, recently reporting that its docuseries Tiger King drew 34 million in its first 10 days.
Trolls World Tour received a marketing push akin to a theatrical release, and that’s because Universal was already knee-deep in promo partner, merchandise and TV spot commitments. It’s for that reason Uni opted not to push the Walt Dohrn-directed movie on the theatrical release calendar, but to embrace a largely VOD in-home launch in the current COVID-19 climate that has shut down movies nationwide.
Trolls World Tour was promoted through Comcast/NBCUniversal’s Symphony program — which only select event theatrical titles receive in a given year. This entails that a Universal movie is being pushed across the conglom’s entire portfolio, i.e., Trolls balloons in the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade; the re-airing of the Trolls Holiday Special on NBC, along with custom pieces on NBCUni cable networks Bravo, E!, Universal Kids, USA, Telemundo and Syfy; and an expanded Xfinity co-branded campaign. Publicity highlights during launch week included appearances by Trolls World Tour stars Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Kelly Clarkson Show and On Air with Ryan Seacrest. Three movie trailers for the sequel have amassed over 130M views.
Timberlake promoted the film twice on Ellen, joined most recently by Anderson .Paak and SZA, where they kicked off the #TrollingForGood campaign to raise funds for the Little Kids Rock charity. Online and social media pushes included a “Which Troll Are You” AR lens that drew 331,000 impressions; the “Smooth Jazz Chaz” TikTok Challenge, with six top influencers acting out the “I can’t feel my face” moment from the film; a Tiny Diamond dance challenge on Tik Tok; and a mobile gaming specifically targeting moms and kids among other campaign elements.
AMC-Universal-Trolls World Tour Windows Battle
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