Which Aussie Streaming Service Has The Most Box Office Hit Movies?

No single streaming service will offer every movie, but which of the big four Australian contenders has the broadest range of titles? We've rated Netflix, Stan, Presto and Quickflix to identify how many certified box office hits they offer.

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When Netflix launched last month, we examined how many of the movies that reached #1 in Australian cinemas were available on both the Australian and US versions. Below, we've taken the same list and checked which titles are available across Netflix Australia, Stan, Presto and Quickflix. We've also updated the results for Netflix, as it has changed its movie offering ever so slightly since launch.

All results are from each service's own internal search engine as of 15/4/2015; keep in mind that offerings can and do alter over time. Conclusions are below the data, so just keep on scrolling.

2014

2014 Netflix AU Stan Presto Quickflix
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Yes Yes No No
Frozen Yes No Yes No
The Wolf of Wall Street No Yes No No
Wolf Creek 2 No Yes No No
Non-Stop No No Yes No
300: Rise of an Empire Yes No No No
The Monuments Men No No No No
Noah No No Yes No
The Lego Movie No Yes No No
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 No No Yes No
The Other Woman No No No No
Bad Neighbours No No Yes No
Godzilla No No No No
X-Men: Days of Future Past No No No No
The Fault in Our Stars No No No No
22 Jump Street Yes No No No
Transformers: Age of Extinction No No No No
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes No No No No
Hercules No No No No
Lucy No No No No
Guardians of the Galaxy No No No No
The Inbetweeners 2 No No No No
Into the Storm No No No No
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles No No No No
The Maze Runner No No No No
Gone Girl No No No No
Fury No No No No
Interstellar No No No No
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 No No No No
Horrible Bosses 2 No No No No
Paddington No No No No
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies No No No No
Total #1 movies 32 32 32 32
Available 4 4 5 0
% available 12.50% 12.50% 15.63% 0.00%

2013

2013 Netflix AU Stan Presto Quickflix
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Yes Yes No No
Life of Pi No No No No
Django Unchained Yes No No No
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters No Yes No No
Safe Haven No No No No
Silver Linings Playbook No No No No
I Give It a Year No No No No
Oz the Great and Powerful No no No No
A Good Day to Die Hard No No No No
The Croods No no No No
Oblivion No No No No
Iron Man 3 No No No No
Star Trek Into Darkness No No No No
The Hangover Part III Yes No No No
The Great Gatsby No No No No
Fast & Furious 6 No No No No
World War Z No No Yes No
Man of Steel Yes No No No
Despicable Me 2 No No Yes No
The Heat No No No No
The Wolverine No No No No
Now You See Me No No Yes No
Elysium No No No No
RED 2 No No Yes No
White House Down No No Yes No
The Smurfs 2 No No Yes No
Turbo No No Yes No
Grown Ups 2 No No Yes No
Gravity Yes No No No
Captain Phillips No No Yes No
Thor: The Dark World Yes No Yes No
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa No No Yes No
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire No No No No
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues No No Yes No
Total #1 movies 34 34 34 34
Available 6 2 12 0
% available 17.65% 5.88% 35.29% 0.00%

2012

2012 Netflix AU Stan Presto Quickflix
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked No No No No
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows No Yes No No
The Descendants No No No No
Underworld: Awakening No No No No
Chronicle No No No No
The Vow No Yes No No
Contraband No No No No
Project X No No No No
John Carter No No No No
21 Jump Street No Yes No No
The Hunger Games No No No No
American Pie: Reunion No No No No
Battleship No No No No
The Avengers No No No No
The Dictator No No No No
Men in Black 3 Yes No No No
Prometheus No No No No
Snow White and the Huntsman No No No No
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift No No No No
Ted No No No No
The Dark Knight Rises Yes No No No
The Bourne Legacy No No No No
Total Recall No No No No
The Expendables 2 No No No No
Kath & Kimderella No No No No
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted No No No No
Taken 2 No No No No
Paranormal Activity 4 No No No No
Argo Yes No No No
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Yes Yes No No
Skyfall No Yes No No
Total #1 movies 31 31 31 31
Available 4 5 0 0
% available 12.90% 16.13% 0.00% 0.00%

2011

2011 Netflix AU Stan Presto Quickflix
Meet the Parents: Little Fockers No No No No
Tangled Yes No No No
Yogi Bear Yes No No No
The Green Hornet No No No No
Black Swan No No No No
No Strings Attached Yes No No No
Unknown Yes No No No
I Am Number Four No No No No
Hall Pass Yes No No No
Rango No No No No
Battle: Los Angeles No No No No
Red Riding Hood No No No No
Just Go with It Yes No No No
Rio No No No No
Fast Five No No No No
Water for Elephants No No No No
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides No No No No
The Hangover Part II Yes No No No
Bridesmaids No No No No
Cars 2 No No No No
Transformers: Dark of the Moon No No No No
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 No No No No
Captain America: The First Avenger No No No No
Rise of the Planet of the Apes No No No No
Friends with Benefits Yes No No No
Horrible Bosses Yes No No No
Zookeeper No Yes No No
The Smurfs No No No No
Real Steel No No No No
Paranormal Activity 3 No No No No
In Time No No No No
Moneyball No No No No
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Yes Yes No No
Puss in Boots No No No No
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol No No No No
Total #1 movies 35 35 35 35
Available 10 2 0 0
% available 28.57% 5.71% 0.00% 0.00%

2010

2010 Netflix AU Stan Presto Quickflix
Avatar No No No No
Valentine's Day No No No No
The Blind Side Yes No No No
Alice in Wonderland Yes No No No
How to Train Your Dragon No No No No
Clash of the Titans No No No No
Hot Tub Time Machine No No No No
Iron Man 2 No No No No
Robin Hood No No No No
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Yes No No No
Sex and the City 2 No Yes No No
Shrek Forever After Yes Yes No No
Toy Story 3 No No No No
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Yes Yes No No
Knight and Day No No No No
Inception Yes No No No
Salt Yes No No No
Tomorrow, When the War Began No No No No
Despicable Me No No No No
Eat Pray Love No No No No
Paranormal Activity 2 Yes No No No
The Social Network No No No No
Jackass 3D Yes No No No
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 No No No No
Megamind No No No No
Tron: Legacy Yes No No No
Total #1 movies 26 26 26 26
Available 10 3 0 0
% available 38.46% 11.54% 0.00% 0.00%

There are all sorts of fascinating trends in this data, but the most stark and obvious fact is that, just like Netflix, nobody has a really good spread of the last few year's worth of hit movies to offer either, which reiterates the point that there really is no one service that rules them all.

Getting a little more specific, there's not even a clear "winner" across all years. Presto "wins" 2014 by a slim margin and 2013 by a much wider margin, but then absolutely falls off a cliff in terms of popular available movies. Stan picks up the slack for 2012, and Netflix whomps everyone when it comes to the movies of 2011.

Then there's poor old Quickflix, which maintained an absolutely consistent level of movie availability, albeit not one that's a stunning advertisement for its subscription streaming service. Not a single one of the titles in this list is available.

To be fair and absolutely accurate, if you search for many of these movies on Quickflix's publicly facing search engine, a huge quantity will come up as available for streaming. The issue here is that these are, without a single exception, "Premium" streaming titles. Premium streaming in Quickflix-speak means that they're a rental title. The correct comparison there would be to services such as iTunes and Google Play, not Netflix, Presto or Stan.

Still, everyone performs badly if you're after box office hits, with nobody even having half of a given year's movies. There are countless titles that absolutely nobody has -- in the case of last year's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that's arguably a good thing -- but as services for delivering popular box office fare, nobody's got a whole lot of crowing to do.

One final note of caution: I originally started putting this list together using the services of JustWatch, because in theory that's exactly the right tool to work out which movies are across which services, only to find fairly early on that its data isn't always reliable either. Specifically, at the time of checking, JustWatch reckoned that nobody had streaming rights to 22 Jump Street, which rather surprised me, having watched it just recently on Netflix Australia.

Yes, I sometimes watch terrible Hollywood schlock fare, but leaving that aside, it also revealed to me another area where almost everyone needs to improve their streaming services, and that's search. Netflix is a little better and quicker than either Stan or Presto, and while Quickflix has a nice responsive engine, it seems to think that The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe is related to just about every movie on this list. I, for one, fail to see the connection.

At the same time, doing all that searching within each service's own search engine did reveal that for a lot of the movies that were sequels or part of a series, you'll fare much better for older movies. That makes sense given the low entry cost for these streaming services, as it's reasonable to assume that the rights on older movies would cost considerably less than those of recent box office hits.


Comments

    Interesting comparison ... now, can you do another one for a list of maybe the top 50 from the AV Club? or a similar list of more critically acclaimed films?
    It fascinates me that these services insist on trying to fight it out in the ring with bags full of box office hits and schlock, while there's a niche of quality films waiting to be occupied.

    Box office hit movies are cool and all.... but I would give the Netflix CEO a big hug if he could arrange for the Stargates and Star Treks to be available!

      Netflix has Stargate Atlantis. I guess that's a start.

    can you imagine if this was what situation was with video/dvd rental stores back in the day? a limited selection that is crippled by exclusivity/licensing deals with the various networks/studios/distributors and had virtually nothing new/current?

    if your only options were to pay a monthly flat rate subscription to go into one of these stores and pick a movie, or go to the markets where they were bootleg copies of all shows/movies available for next to nothing... where would you be going?

    Having done some spot checking recently, I'm very confused about how streaming rights work. There are TV shows on Netflix US that don't seem to be available from anyone in Australia, and there are several shows and films that are available from multiple sources here. (eg Spartacus season 1 and 2 available from both Stan and Netflix, but neither have seasons 3 and 4. Captain America: Winter Soldier, available on both Presto and Netflix). Very confusing.

      It might be that Foxtel has the rights for their cable TV or one of the free to air channels bought the playing rights... Not everything is going to be available for online streaming at this point.

    Umm, does quickflix actually have any content? They rated 0% for every single year.

      the only good thing quickflix has going for it is that it has 'the west wing'. Which is excellent no doubt but not enough....

      I tried Quickflix for a few months (I had a half price offer) but found that I hardly watched it. They have some half decent TV but as the article says here; all the decent movies are 'premium' at $5.99.

    Im a Quickflix subscriber and they are the only service to have latest release movies - in fact I just watched Big Hero 6 the other day.

      This was addressed in the article -- Quickflix has its premium movie offerings, but those are rental, not subscription, so the pertinent comparison is with iTunes/Google Play, not Stan, Presto or Netflix.

    The question this gives me is who the heck does have the rights for the movies that aren't on any of them?

    Im still not seeing the value of these services. With so many movies missing from the catalog its hardly worth the money.

    Hi Alex EzyFlix.tv has almost all of these movies available to rent or own now - you can stream or download to playback offline and we play out on almost all connected devices including iOS and Android mobile & tablet, Samsung Smart TVs, Chromecast and more

      Rent/Buy is a solid option, but it's not subscription streaming, which was the focus here.

    Netflix is my streamer of choice as a deaf person. Currently the whole or majority of its shows are captioned. This is essential and a legal access requirement for deaf people . I'm hoping audio description will happen too for the vision impaired.

      They've already started (albeit after years of pressure): http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2015/04/netflix-makes-daredevil-accessible-to-the-blind/

    Netflix AU is supposed to be adding more of the US catalogue. Any word when this will happen, or if it will be just gradually adding some things every few weeks and so on?

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