‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Gets Home Release Dates

The much-ballyhooed biopic on the rock band Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, is coming home.

The film – a celebration of Queen, their music, and lead singer Freddie Mercury (portrayed by Rami Malek) – was a surprise box office hit for 20th Century Fox, with a domestic gross of $189.2 million and global theatrical earnings of $702.6 million.

The film will be released on digital Jan. 22, followed by a Feb. 12 release on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

Nominated for two Golden Globe Awards (Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama) and two SAG Awards (Outstanding Performance by a Cast Motion Picture and Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role), Bohemian Rhapsody follows Queen’s meteoric rise and unique sound – as well as Mercury’s battle with AIDS. The film also chronicles the band’s highly acclaimed 1985 performance at the Live Aid benefit concert in England in 1985.

The home release versions of Bohemian Rhapsody include the complete Live-Aid movie performance, featuring two never-before-seen songs (“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “We Will Rock You”) that according to Fox are “packed into a 22-minute collective experience recreating the original event.”

In addition, on Blu-ray Disc and digital, fans will get a look behind the making of the film including interviews with Queen, the cast and creative team.

FandangoNow Launches 4K Title Sale

FandangoNow is offering a code for 10% off 4K UHD titles for the New Year with the tag “Make 4K Your Resolution.”

The code is good through Jan. 7 “while supplies last,” according to the online VOD service, and is valid for up to 20 uses. It excludes bundles.

Through Jan. 1, the service offered $8 off Fandango movie tickets for every $20 spent on FandangoNow.

Roku Adds Third-Party OTT Video Services

Taking a page from Amazon Channels, Roku Jan. 2 announced it is expanding The Roku Channel to include “premium subscriptions.” Users will be able to watch both free ad-supported and paid entertainment in one interface, with personalized recommendations, where they can browse, trial and subscribe to third-party over-the-top video services.

Specifically, The Roku Channel will soon offer users the option to add more than 25 OTT video services such as Showtime®, Starz and Epix into one monthly bill using their existing Roku® account information.

Other platforms include Baeble Music, CollegeHumor’s Dropout, CuriosityStream, FitFusion, The Great Courses Signature Collection, Hopster, Magnolia Selects presented by Magnolia Pictures, MHz Choice, Noggin, Smithsonian Channel Plus, Tastemade, and Viewster Anime, among others.

“We’re focused on making it easy to find great entertainment of all types on the platform and adding Premium Subscriptions is a natural evolution for The Roku Channel,” Rob Holmes, VP, programming and engagement, said in a statement. “By making it easy for users to discover, subscribe to and watch premium subscriptions, we believe this offering will result in increased subscriptions and user engagement for our subscription partners and an even better user experience.”

The Roku Channel will continue to include thousands of free, ad-supported titles available without a subscription and is available on a range of devices; users do not need any subscriptions or memberships in order to access quality free, ad-supported content

Customers will be able to start a free trial or subscribe to new premium subscriptions with one click using their existing Roku account information once they visit the subscription page. All premium content can be trialed for at least seven days. A reminder is sent before each free trial expires and billing starts

Subscriptions will be managed directly from my.roku.com. Customers will receive one monthly bill for all premium subscriptions on The Roku Channel.

In 2015, Amazon launched Amazon Channels, a platform enabling Prime members direct access to third-party OTT video services. Now called Prime Channels, the platform has helped HBO Now, Starz and CBS All Access, Dove Channel, among others, attract myriad new subs through the Prime ecosystem.

The Roku mobile app will soon enable users to watch content from The Roku Channel. For the first time, users with iOS and Android devices will be able to use the Roku mobile app without a Roku device, enabling them to watch The Roku Channel anytime, anywhere in the United States. Users will be able to start a video on a Roku player or Roku TV and pick up from where they left off while on the go.

Premium subscriptions and search capabilities on The Roku Channel will begin rolling out to select Roku devices in late January, with a phased rollout planned for early 2019. The Roku mobile app update will also begin rolling out to iOS and Android devices in late January.

“Bringing our premium programming to a highly engaged user base via The Roku Channel is a great opportunity to expand our reach, drive more viewership and make our range of original TV series and movies more widely accessible to new and growing audiences,” said Joe Glennon, EVP of affiliate sales, Starz, which is owned by Lionsgate

 

McAfee: Gamers Worried About Cybersecurity

A new survey by Cybersecurity company McAfee shows three-quarters of PC gamers are worried about the security of gaming in the future. Nearly 64% have experienced or know someone who has been directly affected by a cyberattack.

The “Game Over: The Future of Gaming Security” found that while gamers profess to exhibit good cybersecurity habits, 55% of gamers reuse passwords across accounts for online services, and the average gamer has experienced almost five cyberattacks.

“We found that gamers are most certainly concerned about cybersecurity, however they tend to engage in poor security habits,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee. “As PC gaming continues to grow in popularity, it’s important for gamers to take steps to help keep their device and personal information protected.”

Among security measures taken to secure their PCS, 83% of gamers have installed antivirus software. McAfee recommends gamers use a firewall to protect their system, don’t click on messages from unknown users, and use unique passwords for all online accounts.

AT&T Sells Data Center Assets in Further Debt Reduction Bid

AT&T Inc. Jan. 1 completed the sale of its data center colocation operations and assets to Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners.

AT&T received $1.1 billion for the transaction to support the company’s goal of reducing its net debt-to-EBITDA-ratio to the 2.5x range by the end of 2019. AT&T, which owns WarnerMedia, ended 2018 with a debt ratio of 2.8. Wall Street looks for a company to have a debt ratio between 0.3 and 0.6, according to some analysts.

WarnerMedia, which is setting up its own subscription streaming service to compete with Netflix and Disney+, is reportedly interested in selling its 10% stake in Hulu as part of AT&T’s debt reduction initiative. WarnerMedia’s share could be worth about $1 billion.

AT&T expects to generate $1.5 billion in cost savings (corporate overhead, procurement purchasing, marketing, etc.) and another $1 billion in revenue savings (churn reduction, cross-selling products) by 2021, including $700 million in savings by the end of 2019, $2 billion by the end of 2020.

Brookfield has established a company called Evoque Data Center Solutions to own and operate the assets. Customer contracts, employees supporting the colocation operations, fixed assets, leases and specified owned facilities have been transferred to Brookfield.

Evoque joins AT&T’s global colocation ecosystem program offering business customers access to 350+ data centers around the world.

Merchandising: Target Offers 15% Off Movies

As part of its New Year’s sales, Target is offering shoppers using its app’s Cartwheel mode 15% off DVDs and Blu-rays through Jan. 5, excluding new releases, preorders and clearance items.

Cartwheel is a function of the Target app that allows shoppers to scan individual items in the store using their cell phone’s camera and save special coupons that may be related to the item.

Target is also offering discounts on select recent releases, such as Netflix’s Stranger Things 2 Blu-ray for $17 (down from $24.99); Disney’s Incredibles 2 for $19.99 on Blu-ray and $24.99 for UHD BD (saving $5 apiece); Universal’s The House With a Clock in Its Walls Blu-ray or $19 (saving $3.99); and Disney’s Christopher Robin Blu-ray for $19.99 ($5 off).

Best Buy is now taking preorders for future Steelbook releases of Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet and Mary Poppins Returns ($34.99 each on UHD BD combo pack), and Warner’s Aquaman and A Star Is Born ($29.99 Blu-ray, $34.99 UHD BD).

Survey: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Most-Anticipated Movie in 2019

Avengers: Endgame topped multiple lists of fans’ most anticipated movies to see in 2019, according to a survey by Atom Tickets, the social movie ticketing platform.

The “Avengers” film was the overall top “most anticipated,” “most anticipated superhero movie” and “most excited ensemble cast to see” in the survey.

“Although we expect to see some movement in preferences as release dates near and studios ramp up marketing efforts, there were clear winners in each category. The battles for box office dominance between Dwayne Johnson, Lupita Nyong’o, The Avengers, and Star Wars will be epic, and the 2019 slate looks great overall,” said Matthew Bakal, chairman and co-founder of Atom Tickets, in a statement. “Despite all the headlines about streaming formats dominating the industry, our survey found that consumers are still very enthusiastic about seeing movies in the theater. In fact, an overwhelming 86% of survey respondents said they are likely to see movies in theaters in 2019. Interestingly, a large majority of consumers — 76% — plan to watch the movies they loved and saw in the theater again at home.”

According to the Atom Tickets survey:

The top 10 overall most anticipated movies for 2019 are:

  1. Avengers: Endgame
  2. Captain Marvel
  3. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  4. Toy Story 4
  5. The Lion King
  6. Star Wars: Episode IX
  7. Aladdin
  8. X-Men: Dark Phoenix
  9. Glass
  10. Jumanji sequel

 

The most anticipated superhero movies for 2019 are:

  1. Avengers: Endgame
  2. Captain Marvel
  3. Spider-Man: Far From Home

 

The most anticipated family films for 2019 are:

  1. The Lion King
  2. Toy Story 4
  3. Aladdin

 

The most anticipated horror films for 2019 are:

  1. It: Chapter 2
  2. Pet Sematary
  3. Annabelle 3

 

The top three ensemble casts fans are most excited to see in 2019 are:

  1. Avengers: Endgame with Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo
  2. Star Wars: Episode IX with Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o and John Boyega
  3. Jumanji sequel with Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black and Kevin Hart

 

According to the survey, fans are most excited to see the following actors in 2019:

  1. Ryan Reynolds
  2. Chris Pratt
  3. Dwayne Johnson
  4. Will Smith
  5. Keanu Reeves

 

Moviegoers are most excited to see the following actresses in 2019:

  1. Kristen Bell
  2. Lupita Nyong’o
  3. Brie Larson
  4. Beyoncé
  5. Zendaya

 

Fans are most excited to see the following actors/actresses in their breakout movie roles:

  1. Sophie Turner in X-Men: Dark Phoenix
  2. Mena Massoud in Aladdin
  3. Millie Bobby Brown in Godzilla: King of the Monsters

 

Activision Blizzard’s Spencer Neumann Expected to Become New Netflix CFO

Netflix is reportedly set to announce the hiring of Spencer Neumann as its new CFO, replacing long-time chief executive David Wells, who is leaving the company, according to Reuters, which cited sources familiar with the situation.

Neumann, who has been CFO of Activision Blizzard for less than two years, was put on paid leave Dec. 31 by the Los Angeles-based video game publisher, according to a regulatory filing.

Prior to Activision, Neumann held management positions at Disney’s theme park and television units.

A Netflix spokesperson wasn’t immediately available for comment.