‘Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection’ coming May 22 from Universal

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release the “Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection” on May 22, in time for the theatrical debut of Jurassic Word: Fallen Kingdom, the fifth installment in the series due in theaters June 22.

Available for the first time ever in 4K Ultra HD and featuring newly remastered versions of the films, the collection also includes Blu-ray and Digital via the Movies Anywhere app. The set features book-style packaging and hours of bonus content, including deleted scenes, storyboards, interviews and behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Jurassic Park, based on the best-selling book by Michael Crichton, won three Academy Awards, spawned a series of sequels, and continues to be one of the highest-grossing franchises of all time, grossing more than $3 billion worldwide.

The set includes Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park, from director Steven Spielberg; Jurassic Park III, from director Joe Johnston; and Jurassic World, from director Colin Trevorrow. Among the films’ stars are Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.

Bonus features include:

  • “Return to Jurassic Park,” a six-part documentary featuring interviews with the many of the cast members from the first three films, the filmmakers and Spielberg;
  • “Welcome to Jurassic World,” an in-depth look at the creation, look and feel of Jurassic World in whichTrevorrow and Spielberg discuss how the idea of the film came together and how the casting was decided with actors’ commentary on their roles and filming locations;
  • “Dinosaurs Roam Once Again,” behind-the-scenes look at the making ofJurassic World’s visual effects, how the dinosaurs came to life and how actors filmed scenes;
  • “Jurassic World: All-Access Pass,” in which Pratt and Trevorrow discuss key moments in the film, supported by behind-the-scenes footage and VFX breakdowns;
  • deleted scenes;
  • and more than 40 additional bonus featurettes from all four films.

The 4K Ultra HD combo pack includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and Digital. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-ray version in 4K resolution.

‘Die Hard’ 30th Anniversary Edition Disc Coming in May

A 30th anniversary edition of the classic action film Die Hard is on the way from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The studio on May 15 will release an all-new 4K Ultra HD remaster as well as a regular Blu-ray Disc.

The 1988 film, which launched a five-film franchise, stars Bruce Willis as a New York City police officer who flies to Los Angeles on Christmas Eve to visit his wife at a party in her company’s elegant high-rise (the same Century City building that is now headquarters for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment). A group of terrorists seize the building and take everyone hostage except for Willis, who must single-handedly save the day.

Fox also has partnered with Walmart to issue the Die Hard 5-Film Box Set, a steelbook-encased collection of all five “Die Hard” movies: the 1988 original, Die Hard 2 (1990), Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Live Free or Die Hard (2007) and A Good Day to Die Hard (2013). The five-film set is also due May 15 and will be available only at Walmart stores.

The Blu-ray Disc reissue features no new bonus content, just the same extras as on a previous release:

  • Commentary by director John McTiernan and production designer Jackson DeGovia
  • Scene-specific commentary by special effects supervisor Richard Edlund
  • Subtitle commentary by various cast and crew members
  • “The News Casts” featurette
  • Interactive style gallery
  • Interactive articles from Cinefex and American Cinematographer
  • Full-length screenplay
  • Trailers and TV spots

Tribeca Film Festival Expands Brightcove Video Platform for Global Audience

The Tribeca Film Festival April 26 announced it is expanding Brightcove’s video platform for online viewers worldwide to 2018 Festival through April 29.

The independent film festival launched in 2002 by actor Robert De Niro and others, extended the core Brightcove platform and website by incorporating emotive, engaging, video experiences around trailers, festival programs, and film guides.

Tribeca relies on video content to extend brand visibility, increase viewership, drive ticket sales and boost partnership and sponsorship opportunities. With the Brightcove platform, Tribeca is able to deliver on all these objectives across its target audiences, according to David Speer, operations manager of the festival.

“At Tribeca, our goal is to be able to showcase and provide access to the independent film culture for audiences, wherever they may be,” Speer said in a statement. “With Brightcove, we have been able to deliver an exceptional experience for our viewers to not only watch on demand clips and highlights on our website but also view trailers of our festival films and other full features and shorts to press and industry members. We continue to be impressed with the technology from Brightcove that allows us to continuously reach a wide-ranging audience, while ensuring a premium end-user experience.”

The festival also partners with Lionsgate for Tribeca Short List, an over-the-top video subscription service featuring curated movies hosted by actors, directors and producers.

Warner Bros. Ups Q1 Home Entertainment Revenue

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment April 26 reported first-quarter (ended March 31) revenue of $396 million from the sale of packaged media and digital movies. The tally was up 7% from revenue of $368 million in the previous-year period.

Home entertainment sales of TV content, which includes HBO, declined 14% to $75 million from $87 million last year.

Specifically, Warner Home Video benefitted from strong retail sales of horror film, It, which has generated $31.5 million in combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc sales since its Jan. 9 retail release, according to The-Numbers.com. The title — based on Stephen King’s novel about pre-teens fighting an evil demon that poses as a child-killing clown — ranks No. 2 in disc sales in 2018 after Disney/Pixar’s Coco with $33.1 million.

Other top-selling Warner disc in the quarter included Oscar winners Blade Runner 2049 ($22.5 million since Jan. 18 street date) and Dunkirk ($7.6 million). The Christopher Nolan war film has generated $29 million in disc sales since its Dec. 17, 2017 retail bow.

Overall, Warner said operating income decreased 34% ($168 million) to $322 million primarily due to revenue declines – the latter decreasing 4% ($127 million) to $3.2 billion, due to lower television and theatrical revenue.

The decline in television revenue was primarily due to the comparison to the domestic licensing of certain library series in the prior-year quarter. Theatrical revenue decreased due to the mix and timing of releases, as the prior-year quarter included the releases of Kong: Skull Island and The Lego Batman Movie compared to the late quarter release of Ready Player One in the current year, partially offset by higher international licensing revenues.

From its opening on March 29 through April 24, Ready Player One grossed over $525 million at the worldwide box office and is Warner’s highest-grossing film ever in China.

Warner Bros. Television shows “The Big Bang Theory,” “Young Sheldon” and “Mom,” as well as “The Voice,” “The Bachelor” and “Ellen’s Game of Games.”

 

House Passes Updated Music Copyright Bill

The House of Representatives April 25 approved the Music Modernization Act (H.R. 5447), legislation intended to update music copyright laws and remuneration to artists and creators in the digital age.

The bill, which was introduced to the House on April 10 House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), would be the biggest update to music legislation in 40 years, if confirmed by the Senate, according to the Recording Academy.

To help gain passage of the bill, the Academy sent more than 100 Grammy winners, nominees and industry leaders to meet with lawmakers in the House and Senate April 18-19 as part of the Academy’s “Grammys on the Hill” grassroots initiative.

The Music Modernization Act unites provisions from four previously introduced bills — the Allocation for Music Producers (AMP) Act, the Classics Act, the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, and a songwriter-specific version of the Music Modernization Act —under one legislative umbrella to ensure advancement and protections for all music creators.

The Recording Academy has been championing the need for music reform in the digital age as public consumption of recorded music moves from transactional to subscription streaming. The Academy first established a lobbying presence in Washington, D.C., 20 years ago, according to CEO Neil Portnow.

“Passage of the Music Modernization Act in the House is a historic step forward for all music creators, ensuring that they are credited, paid, and shown the respect they deserve for the impact they have on our culture and daily life,” Portnow said in a statement.

A hearing is expected to be scheduled in the Senate within the coming weeks.

Research: U.S. Pay-TV Affordability Has Dropped Since 2000

Consumers who complain about their cable bill may have good reason.

Multichannel video affordability in the United States has plummeted since the turn of the millennium, squeezing the penetration rate, particularly among the more economically vulnerable households, according to new data from Kagan, S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Since 2000, there has been a 74% increase in the inflation-adjusted pay-TV bill while incomes have stagnated, according to the research.

The estimated nominal average monthly multichannel revenue per subscriber across the cable, DBS and telco platforms rose at a 5.5% CAGR between 2000 and 2017. Kagan calculated U.S. multichannel purchasing power based on 2017 inflation-adjusted annual multichannel average revenue per user, or ARPU, and average income figures. The affordability calculation dropped from a 10 in 2000 to a 6 in 2017.

Multichannel offerings have evolved a great deal since 2000, including a greater number of networks and advanced services such as video on demand, DVR services and improved user interfaces, with the vast majority of the packages delivered to subscribers digitally and in HD, but consumers’ ability to pay the price for that improvement didn’t grow much.

“The eroding legacy multichannel affordability partly explains the popularity of over-the-top services such as Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Video,” according to Kagan.

Roku-Commissioned Study Finds OTT Ads More Effective

Video ads on the Roku OTT platform are 67 percent more effective per exposure at driving purchase intent than ads on broadcast and cable television, according to a study conducted by MAGNA, IPG Media Lab and Roku.

The study, “Under the Hood of Over-the-Top Measurement,” commissioned by Roku, tracked and measured ads from four brands — Applebee’s, H&M, McCormick and Truvia. The study used the Roku platform to identify households with exposure to linear TV and/or OTT ads. MAGNA surveyed a total of 4,621 consumers — both those exposed to the ads and an unexposed control group. The survey consisted of traditional brand metrics, such as ad recall, brand favorability and purchase intent.

The study also found that consumers consider brands that run video ads on the Roku platform to be twice as innovative as traditional linear TV alone. In addition, consumers found the ads to be more memorable than those on linear TV, due in part to fewer ads on OTT.

“It’s clear that OTT offers advertisers distinct advantages over traditional TV,” says Kara Manatt, SVP, intelligence, solutions and strategy, MAGNA Global. “Given that OTT needs fewer exposures to generate the impact that linear TV provides at higher exposure levels, brands can run campaigns on OTT that are both more efficient and effective.”

Other findings, according to the study: moving impressions to Roku from linear TV provides a 32 percent increase per exposure in perception that brand has a unique story to tell; Roku audience targeting spurs larger brand lift per exposure than linear television; and OTT ads require less exposure than linear TV.

“Consumers are shifting their TV time from linear to OTT, making it important for marketers to also shift their ad investments,” said Scott Rosenberg, Roku GM of platform business. “This study demonstrates that ads on Roku deliver not only incremental reach, but also higher ROI than linear TV ads.”

MAGNA is the centralized IPG Mediabrands resource that develops intelligence, investment and innovation strategies for agency teams and clients. Part of the Interpublic network, the IPG Media Lab identifies and researches innovations and trends that will change the media landscape and how brands engage with their audiences.

Paramount Posts First Quarterly Profit Since 2015

Paramount Pictures April 25 reported second-quarter (ended March 31) operating income of $9 million on revenue of $741 million. It was Paramount’s first quarterly income since Sept. 30, 2015. The studio reported a $66 million loss on revenue of $895 million during the previous-year period.

Theatrical revenue decreased 79% to $50 million, primarily due to fewer titles in the quarter and a modified release strategy that resulted in certain legacy slate titles moving from theatrical to licensing distribution. Domestic and international theatrical revenues decreased 64% and 86%, respectively.

Licensing revenue grew 37% to $477 million, primarily driven by the release of The Cloverfield Paradox on Netflix, as well as Paramount Television product, including “The Alienist.” Domestic licensing revenue increased 46% while international licensing revenue grew 31%.

“Turnaround efforts have firmly taken hold as the studio improved margins and returned to profitability. This month’s outstanding box-office performance of A Quiet Place, the first film produced and released under the new team at Paramount, is a clear sign of our progress,” Bob Bakish, CEO of parent Viacom, said in a statement.

Paramount Pictures Home Media Distribution posted revenue of $163 million, which was down 18% from revenue of $198 million last year. The home entertainment unit has generated $346 million through six months of the fiscal year, down 22% from $441 million last year.

Domestic home entertainment revenue decreased 29% while international home entertainment revenue increased 13%. Ancillary revenue decreased 54% to $51 million, with domestic and international ancillary revenue down 63% and 11%, respectively.

Overall studio revenue topped $1.2 billion through six months, down 23% from revenue of $1.65 billion through the same period last year.

 

Universal Pictures Q1 Profit Falls 45%

The movie business is often a financial rollercoaster, with release slates and fickle box office turning previous successes into future fiscal headaches.

Universal Pictures said first-quarter (ended March 31) revenue dropped 16.3% to $1.6 billion from $1.9 billion in the previous-year period, primarily due to lower theatrical revenue. The studio includes Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Theatrical revenue decreased 35% due to the higher number of movies in release in last year’s first quarter, including comparing financial results from Fifty Shades DarkerSingSplit and Get Out in last year’s quarter against performances of Fifty Shades Freed, Pacific Rim Uprising, Darkest Hour and Pitch Perfect 3 in this year’s first quarter.

Fifty Shades Darker generated $114.5 million at the previous-period domestic box office compared to $100 million for follow-up Fifty Shades Freed this year.

Animation hit, Sing, generated $634 million globally, including more than $270 million domestically. It also generated almost $63 million in combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc sales in 2017, according to The-Numbers.com. That’s more than the combined box office tally from Pitch Perfect 3, Darkest Hour and Pacific Rim Uprising.

Studio pre-tax income fell 45.2% to $203 million from $370.4 million in the previous-year period, reflecting the decline in revenue, partially offset by lower programming and production costs.

Comcast Loses 96,000 Cable Subs in Q1

Comcast Cable April 25 said it lost 96,000 video subscribers in the fiscal first quarter (ended March 31), compared to adding 42,000 subs in the previous-year period. The cabler ended the period with 22.2 million video subs – down 288,000 subs from 22.5 million last year.

The decline underscores ongoing secular declines in pay-TV to alternative distribution channels as witnessed by Comcast shedding 151,000 video subs in 2017. The cabler gained 161,000 subs in 2016.

Meanwhile, Comcast added 379,000 high-speed Internet subscribers, which was down from 429,000 additions last year. The cabler ended the period with 26.2 million broadband subs compared to 25.1 million subs during the previous-year period.

Indeed, Comcast added more than 1.1 million high-speed Internet subscribers over the past year.

“Our steady increase in customer relationships continued, balanced with solid growth in [pre-tax earnings], reflecting momentum in our high-speed Internet and business services segments,” CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement.