If you had your TV on this weekend and weren’t watching football, chances are decent that you might have caught a recent hit movie instead. There’s nothing unusual in that, but the difference is that not only does that hit-watching possibility extend to VOD rentals and downloads, but also when it comes to new picks at Netflix.

With a slew of newly available titles from four other top studios, the streamer (with “The Equalizer 3” as #1) is increasingly relying on non-original feature film product to earn those eyeballs. It’s not surprising that Denzel Washington’s latest “Equalizer” effort is #1. Netflix has become Sony’s streaming service, and four months after its theatrical release, it’s a quite recent film available for subscribers.

It is noteworthy, however, how often Warner Bros. is turning over key films to the streamer that they might otherwise have exclusively played on their own Max service. “Aquaman” (the 2018 original) is #2, last summer’s “Meg 2: The Trench” #3, “Elvis” #4, and “Joker” #8. Add two “John Wick” films from Lionsgate (not the most recent), and the message is clear: familiar titles that had theatrical success, not hugely expensive or awards-contending originals, are what Netflix’s audience prefers.

Elsewhere, things are quite different for other studios, as Universal continues to show it does the best job of maximizing its own recent films. Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” nearly six months after its theatrical release, retook the #1 spot at iTunes and Google Play (which rank by transactions) after a rental reduction to $5.99.

Uni’s “Trolls Band Together” at $19.99 is #1 at Vudu, which calculates by revenue. They list “Oppenheimer” at #3, behind “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” (Lionsgate), also $19.99. Those three titles took all but one of the top three slots among all the charts. “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Amazon) placed second at iTunes, still at $19.99.

The big revelation this week is further proof that Netflix is relying on licensing studio movies over their own originals, while Universal and Paramount (both with their own streaming platforms), as well as Sony and Lionsgate, are elevating their offerings to the dominant service. January 1 seems to be a day when new deals kicked in.

"Rebel Moon — Part One"
“Rebel Moon — Part One”Netflix

The result is Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon: Part One — A Child of Fire,” part one of a two-part original film that cost $166 million, dropped in its second week to #9 after initially taking first place. Fellow Netflix original “Leave the World Behind,” which had a much longer run atop their chart at #10, trails a whole slew of films, four from Warner Bros., which got more viewers despite most having had extensive streaming elsewhere.

“Oppenheimer” had its rental price reduced more quickly than “Barbie” (likely because it makes sense for it to premiere on Peacock later this month when Oscar nominations are announced). It’s heavy fare for the holidays, but it has previously prove an unexpected big draw for a serious, lengthy drama. Meantime, the even bigger “Barbie” ($5.99) returned to all three lists for the first time in a while, even available for free for Max subscribers. The more things change…

“Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” joined those two films along with “Flower Moon,” “Hunger Games,” and “Trolls” on all three charts. iTunes, usually with the highest brow of the lists, has both “Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon) and “Past Lives” (A24), suggesting end-of-the-year attention is helping both (each renting for $5.99).

iTunes and Google Play rank films daily by number of transactions. These are the listings for Tuesday, January 2. Distributors listed are current rights owners. Prices for all titles are for lowest for either rental or download.


1.Oppenheimer (Universal) – $5.99

2.Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple) – $19.99

3. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Lionsgate) – $19.99

4. Trolls Band Together (Universal) – $19.99

5.Mission: Impossible —Dead Reckoning: Part One (Paramount) – $5.99

6. Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (TAS Rights Management) – $19.89

7. Barbie (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

8. Anatomy of a Fall (Neon) – $5.99

9. Past Lives (A24) – $5.99

10. Dumb Money (Sony) – $5.99

Google Play

1. Oppenheimer (Universal) – $5.99

2. Trolls Band Together (Universal) – $19.99

3.The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (Lionsgate) – $19.99

4. Barbie (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

5. Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (TAS Rights Management) – $19.89

6. Mission: Impossible —Dead Reckoning: Part 1 (Paramount) – $5.99

7. The Equalizer 3 (Sony) – $5.99

8.Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple) – $19.99

9. Die Hard (Disney) – $3.99

10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Universal) – $3.99

"Trolls Band Together"
“Trolls Band Together”DreamWorks


Vudu ranks by revenue, not transactions, elevating premium VOD titles. This list covers December 26 – January 1.

1. Trolls Band Together (Universal) – $19.99

2.The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (Lionsgate) – $19.99

3.Oppenheimer (Universal) – $5.99

4.Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple) – $19.99

5.Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (TAS Rights Management) – $19.89

6. Thanksgiving (Sony) – $19.99

7. Silent Night (Lionsgate) – $19.99

8. Five Nights at Freddy’s (Universal) – $5.99

9. True Lies (Disney) – $3.99

10. Barbie (WB) – $5.99

Netflix Movies

Most viewed, current ranking on Netflix’s daily chart on Tuesday, January 2. Originals include both Netflix-produced and acquired titles it initially presents in the U.S. Netflix publishes its own weekly top 10 on Tuesdays based on time viewed.

1. The Equalizer 3 (2023 theatrical release)

2. Aquaman (2018 theatrical release)

3. Meg 2: The Trench (2023 theatrical release)

4. Elvis (2022 theatrical release)

5.The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023 theatrical release)

6. John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum (2019 theatrical release)

7. John Wick (2014 theatrical release)

8. Joker (2019 theatrical release)

9.Rebel Moon: Part One — A Child of Fire (Netflix original)

10.Leave the World Behind (Netflix original)

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