Believe it or not, Ben Affleck's The Accountant was the most rented movie of 2017, beating out Disney's Moana as well as DC's Wonder Woman. The MPAA broke with tradition and has decided to include home entertainment in its annual report. The report reveals that while people aren't going to the movies as much, home entertainment numbers are exploding. While this isn't totally surprising, the fact that The Accountant was the number one, most rented movie of 2017 is very surprising.
The Accountant came out in 2016 and is a crime thriller. The movie was directed by Gavin O'Connor, written by Bill Dubuque, and stars Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J. K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, and John Lithgow. The story follows a small-town Illinois certified public accountant with high-functioning autism who actually makes his living un-cooking the books of dangerous criminal organizations around the world that are experiencing internal embezzlement. The Accountant received favorable reviews and was a success at the box office.
The new MPAA report also revealed that the U.S. portion of home entertainment spending was $20.5 billion, which is up 5 percent, including $13.7 billion in digital spending. This number is up 110 percent from 2013 as streaming and technology have gotten better, allowing for an easier experience for streaming. On the other hand, spending on physical DVDs and Blu-ray is down 15 percent from 2016, which is not a surprise. The DVD industry used to be one of the big money makers, but people opt to stream and buy things digitally now. Even so, the MPAA reports that physical sales were still $6.8 billion.
As far as DVD and Blu-ray sales, Moana is number one, with Rogue One, Wonder Woman, Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 following behind. The Accountant was only the 19th best-selling digital title and didn't even get into the top 30 when it comes to physical sales. Other top rentals of 2017 included Moana, Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Woman, and Passengers.
The Accountant came out to rent digitally and physically on January 10th, 2017, which could count for some of the high rental figures, just by being one of the first titles to be released in the year. The movie was popular enough that it was announced in 2017 that a sequel is in the works with Ben Affleck returning. People were way more excited about seeing Affleck as an accountant than they were about seeing him as Batman in 2017's Justice League or even Batman v Superman. We'll have to wait until The Accountant 2 is released on video to see how it stacks up against the first movie in terms of rentals. Unfortunately, the MPAA doesn't give out the specific numbers of how many times a movie has been rented. You can check out the original report about The Accountant being the most rented movie of 2016 at The Hollywood Reporter.