‘Hocus Pocus,’ ‘Back to the Future’ Dominate National Disc Sales Charts

A pair of perennial catalog favorites dominated the national DVD and Blu-ray sales charts the week ended Oct. 24.

Disney’s Hocus Pocus, a frequent Halloween-season top seller, returned to the top spot on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales. It was the 1993 film’s third time in the top spot in the past four weeks.

On the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, a collection of the three “Back to the Future” movies took over the top spot, boosted by a new 4K Ultra HD edition of the trilogy released to mark the 35th anniversary of the 1985 original. Back to the Future: The Ultimate Trilogy was the No. 2 overall disc seller, with 80% of its total unit sales coming from the 4K Ultra HD version (another 16% came from the regular Blu-ray edition).

The No. 3 overall disc seller, and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart, was Universal’s Tremors: Shrieker Island, the direct-to-video seventh entry in the comedic horror monster franchise. A seven-movie “Tremors” collection released only on DVD was No. 50.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Another catalog title, Disney’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, landed at No. 4 overall and No. 5 on the Blu-ray Disc chart.

The No. 5 overall seller was Warner’s A Charlie Brown Christmas, the 1965 animated special that has been trending lately after the news that it and other “Peanuts” specials would be available exclusively on the Apple TV+ streaming service, ending annual traditions of broadcasting them on network television.

Similarly, 1966’s It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was No. 7 (No. 14 on the Blu-ray chart), and 1973’s A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving was No. 13. The boxed set of all three specials, The Peanuts Holiday Collection, was No. 38 overall and No. 26 on the Blu-ray chart.

Maintaining the No. 2 spot on the Blu-ray sellers chart was Warner’s Batman: Death in the Family, a collection of animated shorts based on DC Comics characters, featuring an interactive Batman story that allows viewers to guide the plot. A Blu-ray-only release, it dropped two spots to No. 9 on the overall disc chart.

Follow us on Instagram!

On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Oct. 25, the thriller The Vanished, from Paramount, debuted at No. 1.

The previous week’s top rental, Lionsgate’s The Doorman, dropped to No. 2.

Newcomer The Owners, a horror movie from RLJE Films, debuted at No. 3.

Rounding out the top five were Redbox’s Ava at No. 4 and RLJ’s The Tax Collector, at No. 5, each down two spots from the previous week.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 10-24-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 10-25-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 10-24-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 10-24-20
Sales Report for Week Ended 10-24-20
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 10-26-20

Awkwafina and Sandra Oh to Star in Sister Comedy for Netflix

Awkwafina and Sandra Oh will star in an untitled sister comedy for Netflix.

Golden Globe winners Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians, The Farewell) and Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” Over the Moon) will star in the movie, which will deal with a lonely recluse whose life is upended when her trainwreck of a sister vows to mend their relationship by helping her fulfill her lifelong dream: to be a contestant on her favorite game show.

The writer is Jen D’Angelo, who wrote the upcoming sequel to Hocus Pocus for Disney+ and is a co-executive producer on the NBC series “The Young Rock” starring Dwayne Johnson. She was recently the on-set writer for Skydance’s sci-fi feature The Tomorrow War. Additional credits include “Solar Opposites” (Hulu), “Workaholics,” “The Millers” and “Cougar Town.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Netflix Announces New CG-Animated Series ‘My Dad the Bounty Hunter’

Netflix has announced the new CG-animated series “My Dad the Bounty Hunter.”

The series is created by Academy Award-winning director Everett Downing (“Maya and the Three,” “Hair Love”) and Patrick Harpin (Hotel Transylvania 2, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation).

The action-comedy series follows the toughest bounty hunter in all the galaxy, a man with razor sharp skills but also a secret — his family on Earth has no idea what he does for a living. So when his two kids accidentally hitch a ride into outer space and crash his latest mission, they discover that their average Dad’s job is anything but boring. Dodging dangerous aliens and laser fights galore, family bonding time goes to the extreme.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The series will star Russell Hornsby (“The Hate U Give”), Yvonne Orji (“Insecure”), Priah Ferguson (“Stranger Things”), Yvette Nicole Brown (“Community”), JeCobi Swain (Troop Zero), Leslie Uggams (Deadpool), Rob Riggle (The Hangover) and Jim Rash (“Community”).

Everett Downing and Patrick Harpin will serve as creators and executive producers.

“We can’t wait to share our brainchild with the world. My Dad the Bounty Hunter is a love letter to animation, science fiction, and Black families rolled into a crazy action-comedy,” said Downing and Harpin in a statement. “We threw everything we love about sci-fi into this show, but it’s the family at the center of the story that we’re most excited about.”

New Episodes From ‘Arthur,’ ‘Nature Cat,’ ‘Xaxier Riddle’ Coming in November on PBS Kids Prime Video Channel

PBS Distribution in November will feature programming from “Arthur,” “Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum,” “Elinor Wonders Why,” “Cyberchase” and “Nature Cat” on the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 a month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Arthur: An Arthur Thanksgiving bows Nov. 17. In this new film, Arthur and his family are getting ready for Thanksgiving, but when Pal disappears to go on his own adventure, Arthur puts his plans on hold to search for him. Meanwhile, D.W. starts to think that Aunt Minnie might be more of an Aunt “Meanie.” In this movie, family, friends, and the rest of Elwood City will try to get Pal home, and hopefully D.W. and Aunt Minnie will be able to joyously celebrate the holiday together.

“Cyberchase Vol. 12” debuts Nov. 6. Digit’s friend Ren is excited to plan a Valentine’s Day party at his favorite garden but discovers that the garden isn’t available. He and the CyberSquad must find a Plan B in “A Garden Grows in Botlyn.” Then, Digit’s cousin Brigit is in a bind. Her flowering cactus plants are not bearing any apple cactus fruit. According to her chart, the bats she needs to pollinate the flowers are missing. The Earth kids lead a search party in “Missing Bats in Sensible Flats.” Plus, Buzz and Delete surprise their boss Hacker with a blissful day at a spa in “Water Woes,” but when the water supply suddenly stops flowing, Hacker and the other patrons are left out to dry. Then, trouble is brewing beneath Serene Greens, the cybersite greenery. Hapo the earthworm needs help underground, and the CyberSquad must figure out what is happening to their small friend’s home in “Soil Turmoil.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“Nature Cat Vol. 10” is coming Nov. 13. Nature Cat and his pals want to take their lava game to a whole new level for the amateur volcanologist club in “Tally Ho! A Volcano!/No Rest For The Squeeky.” The only problem is that for their plan to work, they will need to find an active volcano. Then, Squeeks thinks she will be able to spend her whole night skateboarding, doing karate, and yodeling instead of sleeping. In “Amber Rocks/The Big Stink,” Daisy collects garbage at the beach and finds an orange nugget among the rocks. Could the little nugget be a piece of amber? Plus, Squeeks stumbles upon a patch of mysterious looking mushrooms in Ronald’s backyard, and Nature Cat and his pals celebrate midsummer — a magical time to celebrate the growing season with all the new life that it brings, in “A Magical Mushroom Mystery Tour/A Midsummer’s Day Dream.”

“Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum, Volume 5” debuts Nov. 20. Xavier Riddle, his sister Yadina, and their friend Brad travel back in time via the Secret Museum to learn how to solve their everyday problems by learning lessons from real-life inspirational figures, when they were still kids. Each adventure helps children ages 4 to 7 make connections between the character skills that made these historical figures into heroes and those same qualities within themselves.

Follow us on Instagram

“Elinor Wonders Why Vol. 4” comes out Nov. 27. Elinor and her friends have more fun curious adventures in this new volume of episodes. While walking through the forest, Elinor and friends come across a stream and decide to make a stone walkway to cross it in “Water You Doing?/Thinking About Blinking.” Then, Ari is crowned the blinking champion after winning a bunch of intense staring contests at school. In “Follow That Roly Poly/Rain, Rain Don’t Go Away,” the Exploring Club searches for somewhere super cool to explore when they find a Roly Poly that leads them on their next adventure: discovering bugs under a log. Also, when the kids’ fun gets cut short by weather, they start to wonder why it needs to rain at all. In “Make Music Naturally/Light The Way,” the kids learn that Señor Tapir is putting on a concert. They want to participate, but don’t have any instruments. Then, the kids are camping out, but after Elinor’s Dad falls asleep, they must find a way to communicate quietly. Plus, the pals wonder why people sneeze, and they play in a big soccer game in “These Sneezes/Ari’s Lucky Shirt.”

Apple Generates Record Quarterly Services Revenue of $14.5 Billion

Apple Oct. 29 reported record quarterly revenue for its services segment, which includes iTunes, the App Store, Mac App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, AppleCare, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and Apple News+, among others. The segment generated $14.5 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter, ended Sept. 26, compared to $12.5 billion in the previous-year period. For the fiscal year, services revenue increased 16% to $53.7 billion from $46.2 billion last year.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company posted record September quarter revenue of $64.7 billion, up 1% from $64 billion in the previous-year period. International sales accounted for 59% of the quarter’s revenue.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“Despite the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, Apple is in the midst of our most prolific product introduction period ever, and the early response to all our new products, led by our first 5G-enabled iPhone lineup, has been tremendously positive,” CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

CFO Luca Maestri said the quarter capped off a “remarkable” fiscal year in which Apple set all-time records for revenue, earnings per share, and free cash flow, in spite of a challenging macro environment.

“Our sales results … drove our active installed base of devices to an all-time high in all of our major product categories,” Maestri said.

The results glossed over the fact sales of iPhones fell almost 21% in the quarter to $26.4 billion, from $33.3 billion a year ago.  For the year, iPhones sales declined 3.3% to $137.8 billion, from $142.4 billion a year ago.

Netflix Raising U.S. Subscription Prices, Except Basic Plan

Netflix Oct. 29 has quietly begun implementing price hikes across two of its three subscription plans. The standard plan increases $1 to $14 per month, while the premium plan increases $2 to $18 monthly. The $9 basic plan remains the same. The hikes affect all new subscribers immediately, while existing subs will be phased in over the coming weeks before their billing cycle. Netflix last raised U.S. prices in January 2019.

The SVOD pioneer, which dabbles in pricing at different times in global markets, signaled a price hike during its most recent fiscal call when Greg Peters, chief product officer, said that with Netflix increasing original content production, subscribers could expect to see a price hike to pay for it.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“You heard from Ted [Sarandos] the number of original productions we’re doing, increasing even under these [pandemic] conditions … if we do that, we feel like there is that opportunity to occasionally go back and ask for members where we’ve delivered that extra value to pay a little more,” Peters said on Oct. 20.

A Netflix spokesperson said the U.S. price hike does not suggest a similar global price hike. Netflix ended Q3 with 195 million subscribers. The news sent shares down slightly in after-market trading.

Nielsen: Netflix’s ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Tops Latest Weekly SVOD Chart

It was another week of complete domination by Netflix programming, according to Nielsen’s latest chart of Top 10 streaming programs on the television from the SVOD pioneer, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

Licensed Emmy winner “Schitt’s Creek” snagged the top spot the week ended Oct. 4, with 968 million minutes of content streamed across 80 episodes of the comedy series. The show bumped the Netflix original horror series “Ratched” to No. 5, with 791 minutes streamed across eight episodes.

A chart newcomer, the documentary American Murder: Family Next Door, finished No. 6 with 778 million minutes streamed. The Amazon original series “The Boys” remains the lone non-Netflix show, finishing in seventh place, with 655 million minutes streamed across 15 episodes.

Rank Service Title Number of Episodes Minutes Streamed (in Millions)
1 Netflix “Schitt’s Creek” 80 968
2 Netflix “The Office” 192 929
3 Netflix “The Blacklist” 152 852
4 Netflix “Greys Anatomy” 361 852
5 Netflix “Ratched” 8 791
6 Netflix American Murder: Family Next Door 1 778
7 Amazon “The Boys” 15 655
8 Netflix “Criminal Minds” 277 604
9 Netflix “NCIS” 353 584
10 Netflix Enola Holmes 1 573

‘Bobbleheads: The Movie’ Bouncing to DVD and Digital Dec. 8

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release the animated Bobbleheads: The Movie on DVD and through digital retailers Dec. 8.

The new film from Universal 1440 Entertainment, the studio’s production arm, in conjunction with Threshold Entertainment, Microsoft and NVIDIA, is based on the popular collectible figurine that features a bobbing head.

The voice cast includes Jennifer Coolidge, Luke Wilson, Khary Peyton, Brenda Song, Karen Fukuhara, Julian Sands and Cher. In the film, misfit bobbleheads take on trashy humans and a slobbery dog who crash their home with plans to swap a new baseball player bobblehead for a valuable one of them. With some guidance from Bobblehead Cher, they find the courage to bobble-up for an outrageous battle of wits and wobble.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The CG animation was created with NVIDIA GPUs on Azure Cloud, a state-of-the-art platform that allows for improved 3D-rendering and worldwide collaboration.

A soundtrack featuring songs by Greg O’Connor and music supervised by Michael Lloyd will be available digitally Dec. 4 from Back Lot Music.

Bobbleheads: The Movie will also be released on Netflix at a later date.

Entertainment Media Helps Amazon Up Q3 Online Sales 38%

Amazon Oct. 29 said online sales in the third quarter, ended Sept. 30, increased 38% to a record $48. 35 billion, compared with $35 billion in the previous-year period. Online sales include myriad products, but the Seattle-based e-commerce behemoth points out that revenue includes media products available in both a physical (DVD and 4K UHD and Blu-ray Disc) and digital format, such as books, music, videos, games, and software. These product sales include digital products sold on a transactional basis.

Meanwhile, Amazon reiterated its studio’s commitment toward the Amazon original movies slate with additions such as Sacha Baron Cohen’s political satire Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which recently launched globally on Prime Video, as well as Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, starring Michael B. Jordan, slated to launch in 2021.

Amazon premiered several new and returning Amazon Original series, including “The Boys,” “Breathe Into the Shadows,” “Bandish Bandits,” “Mirzapur” and “Putham Pudhu Kaalai” in India, “Peep Time” and “Documental S8” in Japan; “Pan y Circo” in Mexico; and “All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur” in the U.K.

Amazon Prime Video also announced that live international rugby games will be exclusively available to U.K. Prime customers this winter with a brand new tournament called the Autumn Nations Cup. The tournament will feature England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales, as well as two guest teams from Fiji and Georgia.

Amazon announced that more than 100 million Fire TV devices have been sold globally, and Fire TV customers are streaming billions of hours each month. The new Fire TV devices claim to be 50% more powerful than the previous Fire Stick model, while using 50% less power. Amazon also introduced a redesigned Fire TV experience that provides new content-discovery features, enhanced Alexa voice integration, and user profiles for personalized recommendations.

Finally, Amazon Studios and Howard University announced they would partner for a second year of the Howard Entertainment Program, which aims to further diversify the entertainment industry by creating a pipeline of underrepresented talent, including black students, through internships and other educational opportunities.

Fox News International Adds 12 More Countries

Fox News Media’s international streaming platform Fox News International Oct. 29 expanded its distribution to 12 additional countries, including Costa Rica, Ireland, Norway, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Iceland.

The brings the total number of countries receiving the service to 27 in advance of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election. Subscribers have access to live feeds of Fox News Channel and Fox Business, plus a catalog of 20 on-demand programs.

Fox News International is available through mobile and OTT devices, including iPhone, Android, Apple TV and Android TV. It is also now offered with enhanced distribution across Amazon FireTV’s streaming platform.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!