In the week since its digital release, The New Mutants, the final Fox-produced X-Men movie from the pre-Disney era, has topped the sale and rental charts at Fandango, the digital retailer revealed today. Fandango and its partner site Vudu, which sort their list very much like a box office report, sorting by revenue, rather than spotlighting individual charts for rentals and sales. The New Mutants topped both, with the Russell Crowe thriller Unhinged and Come Play, a horror movie starring Community's Gillian Jacobs, rounding out the top 3. After that, the two charts diverge a little bit, although very little.
Vudu, formerly owned by Walmart and likely still benefiting somewhat from their long-standing deals with their former parent company, has Mulan at #4 and Elf -- currently featured on endcap displays at many Walmart retail stores -- at #10. It's likely that physical disc sales put Elf on the list.
Mulan is really just flipped with The Informer -- Mulan in fourth and The Informer in fifth at Vudu, whereas it goes The Informer - Mulan at Fandango proper. There could be a million explanations for that, but given that Walmart likely carried many more copies of Mulan than any other non-New Mutants release in the last few weeks could explain it.
Iron Mask, Love and Monsters, Jiu Jitsu, Chick Fight, and Elf round out Vudu's top ten. On Fandango, it's Iron Mask, Chick Fight, Love and Monsters, Jiu Jitsu, Dreamland.
Dreamland, which carries a 70% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, is of particular note with genre movie fans. While it's a fairly straightforward period piece about a pair of criminals falling in love during the Depression, it features familiar faces like Margot Robbie and Garret Hedlund.
Directed by the Fault in Our Stars helmer Josh Boone, The New Mutants is a horror-tinged adaptation of the Marvel Comics property of the same name, featuring a number of characters virtually no non-comics-reader would be familiar with. It stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Blu Hunt, and Charlie Heaton, and loosely adapts the events of the fan-favorite "Demon Bear Saga" from the comics by superstar creator Bill Sienkiewicz.
The film was delayed a number of times even before the pandemic hit, with rumors swirling that either Fox wasn't happy with it, that it needed reshoots, or that they just watned to distance themselves from the failure of X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Eventually it became a joke, with some fans insisting thef ilm would never see the light of day. Ultimately, it hit theaters -- the ones that were open -- back on August 28. The irony that a movie delayed multiple times prior to the pandemic, hindered its own box office prospects by sticking to a release date during the pandemic, was not lost on fans. It earned about $45 million in theaters -- not anywhere close to its reported $70 million-ish budget, but comparable to more or less every big release except Tenet this summer.
The nature of the pandemic has shaken up the theatrical market, and has studios reinventing the wheel in terms of digital release. Movies like Mulan, Trolls World Tour, and now Wonder Woman 1984 are canaries in the coal mine, giving their owners an idea for what the profit potential is in skipping theaters when nobody is able to leave the house. If The New Mutants performs roughly comparable to some of those movies, it could ultimately turn a pretty decent profit -- but we would likely never know it, since home entertainment receipts aren't publicly announced the way box office takes are.