"Captain Phillips" debuted at No. 1 for movies on demand from Jan. 20 to Jan. 26, 2014, according to Rentrak. "Captain Phillips" is a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is — through director Paul Greengrass' distinctive lens — simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (played by Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain Muse (played by Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control. "Captain Phillips," which received six Oscar nominations (including Best Picture), was a big hit with critics and moviegoers.
"Lee Daniels' The Butler" dropped from No. 1 to No. 2. "Lee Daniels' The Butler" is a historical drama based on the real-life account of Eugene Allen, who served as a White House Butler from 1952 to 1986. The film was directed by Lee Daniels and features an all-star ensemble cast. Forest Whitaker plays Cecil Gaines, an African-American who witnessed some of the notable events of the 20th century during his tenure as a White House butler. "Lee Daniels' The Butler" got mostly positive reviews from critics and was a huge hit at the box office.
"Runner Runner" debuted at No. 3. Princeton grad student Richie (played by Justin Timberlake), believing he’s been swindled, travels to Costa Rica to confront online gambling tycoon Ivan Block (played by Ben Affleck). Richie is seduced by Block’s promise of immense wealth, until he learns the disturbing truth about his benefactor. When the FBI tries to coerce Richie to help bring down Block, Richie faces his biggest gamble ever: attempting to outmaneuver the two forces closing in on him. "Runner Runner" was a flop with critics and moviegoers.
"Blue Jasmine" debuted No. 4. After everything in her life falls to pieces, including her marriage to wealthy businessman Hal (played by Alec Baldwin), elegant New York socialite Jasmine (played by Cate Blanchett) moves in with her sister Ginger (played by Sally Hawkins) in Ginger's modest San Francisco apartment to try to pull herself back together again. Also starring Peter Sarsgaard, Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay. "Blue Jasmine" was nominated for three Oscars. The movie got mostly positive reviews from critics and did well in the art-house cinema circuit.
"Riddick" fell from No. 2 to No. 5. "Riddick," the latest chapter of the saga that began with 2000’s hit sci-fi film "Pitch Black" and 2004’s "The Chronicles of Riddick" reunites writer/director David Twohy and star Vin Diesel. Diesel reprises his role as the anti-hero Riddick, a dangerous, escaped convict wanted by every bounty hunter in the known galaxy. The infamous Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he’s encountered. Most critics hated "Riddick," but the movie did solid business in theaters.
Also noteworthy: "All Is Lost" (starring Robert Redford as a man lost at sea) debuted at No. 7.
Here are the Top 5 movies on demand for the week of Jan. 20 to Jan. 26, 2014:
1. Captain Phillips (debut)
2. Lee Daniels' The Butler (No. 1 in the previous week)
3. Runner Runner (debut)
4. Blue Jasmine (debut)
5. Riddick (No. 2 in the previous week)