Clint Eastwood’s critically acclaimed Gran Torino continues its appeal with movie watchers who drove the film to become the number one worldwide Video on Demand (VOD) title this year*. The touching tale of Walt Kowalski has enthralled audiences and spent four weeks at the top of Rentrak’s domestic VOD charts. Worldwide, Gran Torino has generated nearly six million VOD transactions since its June 2009 release and $30 million in consumer spend.
The film has also been a major success in packaged media sales with over three million DVD and Blu-ray Discs sold domestically alone. Gran Torino gained instant momentum from its Day-and-Date release and has maintained a high level of consumer interest as a result of the extraordinary storytelling in the film. Warner Bros. leads the industry in VOD with its Day-and-Date offerings, an ongoing strategy that continues to show the complementary relationship between the Studio’s packaged goods and digital businesses.
“We knew Gran Torino was a special project and it’s wonderful to see movie fans connect to the film across so many different platforms,”said Bill Gerber, producer of Gran Torino.
*Source: Rentrak / Warner Bros. Internal Research
Gran Torino’s breakthrough performance on VOD can be attributed to the gritty, heartfelt screenplay that is shaped by Clint Eastwood’s celebrated performance. The film tells the story of an iron-willed and inflexible Korean War veteran living in a changing world, who is forced by his immigrant neighbors to confront his own long-held prejudices.
“Gran Torino is classic Clint Eastwood and the film clearly resonates with fans,”said Andy Mellett, senior vice president, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. “Recognized by AFI as one of the ‘Ten Best Films of 2008’ it was one of our key Day and Date titles this year and it has far exceeded our expectations.”
Gran Torino has received widespread praise with Golden Globe nominations this year for Best Original Song, Best Actor (Clint Eastwood) and Best Original Screenplay (Nick Schenk) honors from the National Board of Review. Clint Eastwood was also honored with a Best Actor nomination from Chicago Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.
“Gran Torino was our most viewed movie On Demand so far this year,”said Diana Kerekes, vice president of Video Content for Comcast. “Clint Eastwood’s work in this film has made it an ‘instant’ classic for our On Demand Library and we are thrilled that customers continue to view Gran Torino On Demand at their convenience.”
About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s home video, digital distribution, interactive entertainment/videogames, direct-to-DVD production, technical operations and anti-piracy businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. WBHEG is responsible for the global distribution of content through DVD, electronic sell-through and VOD, and delivery of theatrical content to wireless and online channels, and is also a significant worldwide publisher for both internal and third party videogame titles.
About Warner Bros. Digital Distribution
Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD) manages Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group’s electronic distribution over existing, new and emerging digital platforms, including pay-per-view, electronic sell-through, video-on-demand, wireless and more. WBDD also oversees the WBHEG’s worldwide digital strategy, partnerships in digital services and emerging new clients and business activities in the digital space.