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Last Christmas was a great period for films. We had superhero adventures like Aquaman and the amazing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. There were beautiful family movies like Mary Poppins Returns and even Bumblebee. However, one movie that did not belong in this category was the Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly comedy Holmes and Watson.
Based on both the reviews and the box office, Holmes and Watson was a travesty of a movie, one of the worst in recent memory that had viewers literally walking out of the theater before it was over. And yet, four months later, the film is now at the top of the rental charts.
Holmes and Watson was something of an epic flop. Quite frequently, a movie that is panned by critics is still able to put up some decent numbers at the box office, but that wasn't the case here. The film holds an 11% rating on review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes and has an only slightly better 27% score from the general audience.
Not only did a lot of people who saw it not love it, but not all that many people actually saw it. The film only made $30 million domestically and barely broke $40 million globally, on a reported budget of $42 million. The film was officially a box office flop, though it's possible the movie might be able to find its way to breaking even thanks to rental numbers.
Clearly, those who did not bother to go see Holmes and Watson on the big screen are willing to give it a shot with a rental. Redbox physical rentals can cost less than $2, which means if you pick up something you don't like, you're not out much.
Rentals in general are done by people who want to give a look to something that they missed in theaters. While the Redbox top 10s published by Media Play News do include those bigger films like Aquaman and Bumblebee, the lists are largely populated by movies that didn't make a smash, like Second Act, and Instant Family, in addition to The Mule and Holmes and Watson.
Of course, it has to be said that just because people are renting Holmes and Watson, doesn't mean any more people are actually liking it than they did the first time around. It's also hard to say how many people are actually watching it. Physical DVD rental may not be dead, but we have no idea how many people in absolute numbers are actually taking the time to go to a kiosk to rent it.
Still for a movie like Holmes and Watson, any good news should be celebrated.