For the second week in a row, “The Martian” was No. 1 for movie digital sales and rentals from Dec. 27, 2015 to Jan. 3, 2016, according to Rentrak. The list includes Internet Video on Demand (iVOD) and Electronic Sell-Through (EST), for both Standard-Definition and Digital HD movie purchases and rentals. (Rentrak’s chart for movies on demand is a chart that ranks movies rented through traditional TV outlets.) During a manned mission to Mars, astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, “The Martian” features a star-studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Donald Glover. “The Martian” was a big hit with critics and movie audiences.
“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” jumped from No. 3 to No. 2. With the IMF disbanded, and Ethan Hunt (played by Tom Cruise) out in the cold, the team now faces off against a network of highly skilled special agents, the Syndicate. These highly trained operatives are hellbent on creating a new world order through an escalating series of terrorist attacks. Ethan gathers his team and joins forces with disavowed British agent Ilsa Faust (played by Rebecca Ferguson), who may or may not be a member of this rogue nation, as the group faces their most impossible mission yet. “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” was a massive hit with critics and cinema audiences.
“Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” rose from No. 6 to No. 3. In this next chapter of the epic “Maze Runner” saga, Thomas (played by Dylan O’Brien) and his fellow Gladers face their greatest challenge yet: searching for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD. Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s vastly superior forces and uncover its shocking plans for them all. “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” got mixed reviews but was a big hit in cinemas.
“Ant-Man” jumped from No. 9 to No. 4. The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man.” Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world. Also starring Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña and T.I. “Ant-Man” received mostly positive reviews and was a big hit at the box office.
“Hitman: Agent 47” debuted at No. 5. “Hitman: Agent 47” centers on an elite assassin who was genetically engineered from conception to be the perfect killing machine, and is known only by the last two digits on the barcode tattooed on the back of his neck. He is the culmination of decades of research (and 46 earlier Agent clones) endowing him with unprecedented strength, speed, stamina and intelligence. His latest target is a mega-corporation that plans to unlock the secret of Agent 47’s past to create an army of killers whose powers surpass even his own. Teaming up with a young woman who may hold the secret to overcoming their powerful and clandestine enemies, 47 confronts stunning revelations about his own origins and squares off in an epic battle with his deadliest foe. Starring Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto and Hannah Ware. “Hitman: Agent 47” flopped with critics and cinemas audiences.
Here are the Top 5 movie digital sales and rentals for the week of Dec. 27, 2015 to Jan. 3, 2016:
1. The Martian (No. 1 in the previous week)
2. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (No. 3 in the previous week)
3. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (No. 6 in the previous week)
4. Ant-Man (No. 9 in the previous week)
5. Hitman: Agent 47 (debut)