‘Adventure Time’ Complete Series DVD Due April 30

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time: The Complete Collection April 30, a 22-DVD set that includes all 238 episodes of the animated show and a new bonus disc.

The series follows the adventures of a boy named Finn (voiced by Jeremy Shada) and his dog Jake (John DiMaggio) in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo.

The collectible packaging will include a 25-page storybook featuring a centerpiece pop-up with custom illustrations showcasing the show’s characters.

Exclusive extras include “Sonic Sounds From Ooo,” a 13-minute featurette about the show’s music; “Farewell Tour,” a retrospective with the show’s creators and cast; animatics; music videos; live performances from the cast and friends of the series at San Diego Comic-Con; and the “Diamonds and Lemons” Minecraft episode. The DVD set will also include bonus material from previous DVD releases.

A soundtrack featuring 160 songs spanning the entire series will be available for digital download and streaming May 3. In addition, the multi-format Shmow-zow! The Ultimate Soundtrack Box Set will be available for preorder starting May 3 and will include vinyl, CD, cassette and a custom illustration by Mondo.

Cartoon Network is commemorating the 2010-18 show with a fan-generated music video for the theme song “Come Along With Me.” Created in collaboration with the nonprofit The Art of Elysium, the project encouraged youth and teens to use their own individual artistic creativity to animate more than 1,200 different cels that were joined to animated the video.

Criterion Collection Sets April 8 Launch Date for SVOD Service

The Criterion Channel, a new classic movie streaming service, has set an official launch date of April 8 in the United States and Canada and will be available on desktop, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS, and Android devices.

The streaming service will feature more than 1,000 classic and contemporary art-house films, at a subscription price of $10.99 per month or $99.99 for an annual subscription. Those who sign up before the launch date can do so at a discounted rate of $9.99 per month or $89.99 per year.

Further sweetening the charter subscription offer is a 30-day free trial as well as access to a members-only Movie of the Week between now and launch.

Criterion says the new streaming service (criterionchannel.com) will give subscribers access to “constantly refreshed selections of Hollywood, international, art-house, and independent movies, plus access to Criterion’s entire streaming library of more than 1,000 important classic and contemporary films from around the world.”

Movies in Criterion Collection’s library include Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night and David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive.

The company said the service will offer “constantly refreshed selections” of Hollywood, international, art-house, and independent movies. Criterion Channel also will include a Sunday Spotlight feature, focusing on a different director, star, genre, or theme as well as exclusive content like guest programmer series Adventures in Moviegoing, Tuesday’s Short + Feature, the Friday Night Double Feature, Meet the Filmmakers, Art-House America, and Observations on Film Art (billed as a 15-minute-per-month film school).

As reported last November by Media Play News, subscriber pushback over the shuttering of the Turner Classic Movies SVOD service FilmStruck led The Criterion Collection to announced plans to launch its own freestanding service in spring 2019 through a special arrangement with WarnerMedia.

Wholly owned and controlled by the Criterion Collection, the independent Criterion Channel will pick up where it left off as an add-on to the FilmStruck service, with thematic programming, regular filmmaker spotlights, and actor retrospectives, featuring major classics and hard-to-find titles from Hollywood and around the world, complete with special features, including  commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage and original documentaries.

The library of films will also be part of WarnerMedia’s recently announced direct-to-consumer platform slated to launch in the fourth quarter of 2019. WarnerMedia shut down FilmStruck Nov. 29.

‘The Lego Movie’ on Sale at FandangoNow as Sequel Debuts in Theaters

As The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is scheduled to hit theaters Feb. 8, FandangoNow, Fandango’s VOD service, is celebrating the fifth anniversary of The Lego Movie with a special sale starting Feb. 7.

Fans can purchase the animated blockbuster from FandangoNow in 4K for $9.99.

Additional anniversaries this month include the 20th anniversary of Office Space, the 25th anniversary of Footloose and the 30th anniversary of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. FandangoNow is renting thoses titles for as low as $2.99 or $3.99 and $10.99 or $13.99, respectively.

Universal Pictures Retains Grip on Redbox Disc Rental, Digital Charts

Universal Pictures held onto the two top spots on the Redbox charts the week ended Jan. 27, with First Man debuting at No. 1 and Halloween slipping a notch to No. 2 on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming.

First Man, the biopic about Neil Armstrong’s celebrated 1969 moon landing, earned $44.9 million at the domestic box office. Halloween, the 11th installment that began with the 1978 original also called Halloween, earned nearly 160 million in North American theaters.

A third Universal Pictures release, Night School, slipped to No. 3 on the Redbox disc rental chart and No. 5 on the Redbox on Demand digital chart.

In January, the Kevin Hart-starring comedy, which earned $77.3 million in North American theaters, spent three weeks at No. 1 on the kiosk chart and two weeks in the top spot on the digital chart.

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In addition to First Man, three other new releases debut in the top 10 on the Redbox charts – including a fourth Universal Pictures release, Johnny English Strikes Again, which bowed at No. 10 on the disc chart only. The action comedy sequel to 2011’s Johnny English Reborn follows a secret agent who is called into action when a cyber attack exposes all undercover operatives. The film only grossed $4.4 million in U.S. theaters, but racked up worldwide theatrical earnings of more than $153 million.

The other new releases that debuted in the top 10 are 20th Century Fox’s The Hate U Give, which debuted at No. 6 on the disc-rental chart and No. 3 on the digital chart, and Lionsgate’s American Renegades, which bowed at No. 7 on the kiosk chart only.

The Hate U Give is an adaptation of a young adult novel by Angie Thomas. A gritty urban crime drama that plays into the uproar over cops shooting unarmed black men, the film earned just under $30 million in theaters after an acclaimed premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

American Renegades is an action thriller film about a team of Navy SEALs tasked with salvagaing Nazi gold stored in a bank vault in a submerged town at the bottom of a lake. In the United States the film was released directly to the home market.

 

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ending January 27

  1. First Man (new)
  2. Halloween (2018)
  3. Night School
  4. Goosebumps 2
  5. Venom
  6. The Hate U Give (new)
  7. American Renegades (new)
  8. White Boy Rick
  9. The House With a Clock in its Walls
  10. Johnny English Strikes Again

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ending January 27

  1. First Man
  2. Halloween (2018)
  3. The Hate U Give
  4. Crazy Rich Asians
  5. Night School
  6. Goosebumps 2
  7. Venom
  8. Smallfoot
  9. Bad Times at the El Royale
  10. White Boy Rick

 

Visit the Redbox website.

Buy or rent Redbox On Demand movies.

Four-in-One DVDs of Disaster Flicks and Thrillers Coming From Mill Creek in April

A four-disaster flick DVD, including Arachnoquake and Ghostquake, and a four-dramatic thriller DVD, including A Nanny Seduction and A Deadly Affair, are coming from Mill Creek Entertainment in April.

Four disaster movies are available on the 4-in-1 Apocalypse Collection DVD plus digital. They include Arachnoquake (2012), starring Edward Furlong, Tracey Gold, Bug Hall, Dane Rhodes and Ethan Phillips; Ghostquake (2013), starring Danny Trejo, Charisma Carpenter and M.C. Gainey; Miami Magma (2011), with Rachel Hunter, Cleavant Derricks and Brad Douriff; and Weather Wars (2011), featuring Jason London, Wes Brown, Erin Cahill and Stacy Keach.

Four thrillers are available on the 4-in-1 Thrillers Collection DVD plus digital. They include Status Unknown (2014), Nanny Seduction (2017), Did I Kill My Mother? (2018) and A Deadly Affair (2017).

CEO Zuckerberg: Facebook Watch Going ‘Mainstream’ in 2019

Facebook launched its Watch streaming video platform in 2017 as competition to YouTube and other over-the-top platforms.

Despite initial claims of 50 million monthly viewers, and content spend approaching $1 billion, Watch has reportedly failed to connect with its targeted audience: teenagers.

In fact, just 36% of the desired demo used Facebook in Fall 2018 — down from 52% during the same time period in 2016, according to analyst firm Piper Jaffray.

Indeed, 85% of teens are opting for Instagram (which Facebook owns), followed by Snapchat (84%) and Twitter (47%).

As a result, Facebook is looking to expand the Watch audience while also hoping to further engage younger viewers through social interaction, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

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Speaking on the Jan. 30 fiscal call, Zuckerberg said 400 million users now engage with Watch monthly, including about 20 minutes of content daily.

Specifically, the founder/CEO said Facebook has directed Watch users interested in longform video to engage in content more easily through the ‘Watch Party’ app that allows them to share live streams among friends.

“These are all things that make it so the video-watching experience isn’t just about passive consumption but about interaction, and that’s going to, I think, help really drive engagement as well,” Zuckerberg said.

In addition, the social media platform is focusing on content that resonates with wider audiences and thereby enhances monetization opportunities for creators — and Facebook.

Watch has scored hits with Jada Pinkett Smith’s talk show, “Red Table Talk,” critically-acclaimed drama series, “Sorry for Your Loss,” and “Sacred Lies”; interactive reality show, “Confetti,” and next year’s reboot of “MTV’s The Real World.”

“That has allowed us to really increase the amount of video that people are watching without getting in the way of the core mission of what we do, which is helping people interact,” Zuckerberg said.

 

 

Sony Pictures Ups Q3 Theatrical Revenue 76%

Sony Pictures Entertainment Feb. 1 reported third-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2018) theatrical revenue of $532 million, up 76% from revenue of $302 million in the previous-year period.

Total revenue topped $2.45 billion, up 6.5% from $2.3 billion last year. Operating income increased nearly 10% to $102 million from $93 million.

Principle box office drivers included sci-fi thriller Venom, starring Tom Hardy, with $855 million in global revenue, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, with $225 million.

In the previous-year period, top box office titles included Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($329 million) and Blade Runner: 2049 ($163 million).

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On the retail side, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment generated revenue of $320 million, down less than 4% from revenue of $331 million in the previous-year period. Through nine months of the fiscal year, home entertainment revenue was up 3% at $713 million from $692 million during the previous-year period.

Home entertainment releases in the quarter included Venom, Sicario: Day of the Soldado, The Equalizer 2, Alpha and Hotel Transylvania 3 : Summer Vacation.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Hotel Transylvania 3, Blade Runner 2049 and Spider-Man: Homecoming were the top-selling SPHE titles released on DVD/Blu-ray Disc in 2018 – with combined revenue of $140.6 million, according to The-Numbers.com. .