On Sept. 24, 2013, Rentrak debuted its first chart that ranks movies that have been sold or rented digitally. This type of weekly chart had been a requested for a long time, but the chart has some flaws since it excludes movies from NBC Universal and independent studios. Over time, movies from these companies might be included.
The chart comes from Rentrak's Digital Download Essentials® Industry tracking service. The report, which includes Internet Video-On-Demand (iVOD) and Electronic Sell Through (EST), for both Standard Definition and Digital HD movie purchases, was introduced at the 2013 Digital Media Pipeline conference held in Los Angeles by the Entertainment Merchants Association.
Some of the biggest movies released in 2013 by NBC Universal (the parent company of Universal Pictures and Focus Features) including "Despicable Me 2," "Fast & Furious 6" and "Identity Thief."
There are too many independent studios shut out of this chart, but some of the more prominent ones include IFC Films (whose biggest hit in 2013 is "Frances Ha"), Cohen Media Group (whose biggest hit in 2013 is "The Attack") and Magnolia Pictures (whose biggest hit in 2013 is "Blackfish").
Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment, the Weinstein Company, Relativity Media, A24 Films, Fox Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics, Open Road Films, Millennium Entertainment, Anchor Bay and Roadside Attractions are independent film companies with ties to larger corporations (not NBC Universal) for home-video releases, and therefore can be included on the list.
Here is the first chart released by Rentrak ranking the Top 10 movies sold and rented digitally:
1. Now You See Me
2. Iron Man 3
3. Pain & Gain
4. The Great Gatsby
5. Olympus Has Fallen
6. Star Trek: Into Darkness
9. Empire State
10. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
In a Rentrak press release, Rentrak president of national television Chris Wilson commented, "The industry has been seeking a weekly digital movie chart and we are proud to deliver it. Only Rentrak, with census-based measurement is able to offer the level of detail required by clients."
The press release mentioned that NBC Universal and other companies were excluded from the chart, but did not say why these companies are excluded. Rentrak had no further comment.