Martial Arts Film ‘The Paper Tigers’ Coming to Blu-ray and DVD June 22 From Well Go

The martial arts action comedy The Paper Tigers will come out on Blu-ray and DVD June 22 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

The film is currently available in theaters and on digital.

An homage to feel-good martial arts films such as The Karate Kid, the film follows three dedicated kung fu disciples who grow up into washed-up, middle-aged men. When their master is murdered, they must juggle their dead-end jobs, dad duties and old grudges to avenge his death.

The feature film debut of director Tran Quoc Bao, The Paper Tigers stars Alain Uy (“Helstrom,” “True Detective”), Ron Yuan (Mulan, “Marco Polo”) and Mykel Shannon Jenkins (The Gods, Undisputed III: Redemption).

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Following its world premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival, The Paper Tigers won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Film at the Boston Asian American Film Festival and the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Film at the Seattle Asian American Film Festival.

Western ‘Righteous Blood,’ Horror Flick ‘Blackout Experiment’ Due on DVD and Digital From Distribution Solutions and Archstone

The Western Righteous Blood and the horror flick The Blackout Experiment are coming on DVD and digital this summer from Distribution Solutions/Alliance Entertainment and Archstone Entertainment.

The Blackout Experiment

The Blackout Experiment is coming to DVD and digital June 15. A horror film in the vein of Saw and Hostel,  it follows a small group of strangers who wake up in a locked room, each armed with a weapon, and find themselves the unknowing participants in a twisted psychological experiment. Not only are their lives at stake — the lives of their loved ones are also on the line. The terms are simple: Follow the rules, or their loved ones die.  The film stars Troy Jones (“Criminal Minds,” Abraham’s Boys) and Cheverly Amalia (London Virginia).

Righteous Blood will come out on DVD and digital rental Aug. 3  From writer-director Rene Perez (The Snow QueenSleeping Beauty), the actioner finds a wanted gunslinger facing the most formidable enemy of all: his inner demons. In Righteous Blood, grizzled outlaw Jericho (Michael Paré, The Virgin SuicidesThe Lincoln Lawyer) is on the run from a bounty hunter that will not quit. In a barren place that seems to know no moral code, a chance encounter with a humble priest causes Jericho to question everything.

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RIGHTEOUS BLOOD TRAILER from Distribution Solutions AEC on Vimeo.

 

‘The Marksman’ Again Hits Top Spot on Vudu and FandangoNow Charts

The Liam Neeson actioner The Marksman again led the Vudu and FandangoNow charts the week ended May 9.

Both are transactional VOD services owned by Fandango.

Available for digital purchase, The Marksman follows a hardened border town rancher (Neeson) who helps a young boy escape to safety across America with vicious drug cartel assassins on their heels.

Repeating at No. 2 on both charts was Universal Pictures’ Nobody, available for premium VOD rental. The suspense actioner stars Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) as a seemingly ordinary suburban husband and father whose pent-up fury is unleashed when his home is broken into. His search for vengeance unveils a secret from his past.

Warner Bros.’ The Little Things, available for digital rental and purchase, rose from No. 8 to No. 4 on the Vudu chart and reappeared on the FandangoNow chart at No. 3 for the week.

The psychological thriller stars Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto. It follows Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe “Deke” Deacon (Washington), who is sent to Los Angeles for what should have been a quick evidence-gathering assignment. Instead, he becomes embroiled in the search for a killer who is terrorizing the city. Leading the hunt is L.A. Sheriff Department Sergeant Jim Baxter (Malek), impressed with Deke’s cop instincts, unofficially engages his help. But as they track the killer, Baxter is unaware that the investigation is dredging up echoes of Deke’s past, uncovering disturbing secrets that could threaten more than his case.

The DC Comics film Wonder Woman 1984, on sale for digital purchase at both outlets, reappeared on the Vudu chart to No. 3 and on the FandangoNow chart at No. 9.

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Disney’s animated Raya and the Last Dragon, available for digital rental or purchase, held at No. 4 on the FandangoNow chart and dropped to No. 5 on the Vudu chart for the week.

The fantasy adventure became available for digital purchase April 2 following its debut in theaters and via Premier Access with an added charge for subscribers to the Disney+ streaming service. In the film, long ago, in the world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. When sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned, and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good.

Coming in at No. 5 on the FandangoNow chart (No. 6 on Vudu) was the sci-fi film Voyagers, available as a premium VOD rental. Starring Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn Whitehead and Colin Farrell, the film follows a crew of astronauts setting off for a new planet, a journey that descends into chaos.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended May 9, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. The Marksman
  2. Nobody
  3. Wonder Woman 1984
  4. The Little Things
  5. Raya and the Last Dragon
  6. Voyagers
  7. Tom & Jerry
  8. The Resort
  9. The Croods: A New Age
  10. Minari

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended May 9, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. The Marksman
  2. Nobody
  3. The Little Things
  4. Raya and the Last Dragon
  5. Voyagers
  6. Tom & Jerry
  7. The Resort
  8. Percy vs. Goliath
  9. Wonder Woman 1984
  10. Above Suspicion

Pressure Mounts on HFPA as NBC Refuses to Air 2022 Golden Globes; Actor Tom Cruise Returns His Three Statuettes

NBC May 10 announced it would not broadcast the 2022 Golden Globe Awards due to ongoing issues within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, whose membership selects movie and TV show award nominees and winners.

“We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform,” NBCUniversal said in a statement. “However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right. As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes. Assuming the organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023.”

WarnerMedia May 10 also announced it was cutting ties with the HFPA, a decision preceded last week by Netflix and Amazon Studios. Then actor Tom Cruise May 10 reportedly returned his three Globes won for movies Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire and Magnolia.” Actress Scarlett Johansson May 8 cited the HFPA’s “sexist” culture and urged Hollywood to boycott.

The 78th Golden Globes, held on Feb. 28, saw TV ratings plummet 63% to 6.9 million viewers from 18.4 million in 2020.

The move by NBC and others follows a growling avalanche of criticism toward the HFPA after the Los Angeles Times wrote a story citing allegations of a lack of diversity, including that the group has no blacks or other minorities among its 86 media members, among other issues. The organization has promised change, including upping and diversifying its membership 50% over the next 18 months.

That reportedly didn’t sit well with Netflix co-CEO and CCO Ted Sarnados, who, on May 7, fired off a letter to the HFPA criticizing what he considered pushback within the group toward change.

“Like many in our industry, we’ve been waiting for today’s announcement in the hope that you would acknowledge the breadth of issues facing the HFPA and provide a clear roadmap for change,” Sarandos wrote. “So we’re stopping any activities with your organization until more meaningful changes are made.”

Time’s Up President and Chief Executive Tina Tchen piled on, contending the HFPA has responded to the issues with little transformational change.

“Instead, these measures ensure that the current membership of the HFPA will remain in the majority and that the next Golden Globes will be decided with the same fundamental problems that have existed for years,” Tchen said in a statement.

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Third Season on Disc July 20

CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment will release Star Trek Discovery: Season Three on Blu-ray Disc and DVD July 20. A limited-edition Blu-ray in Steelbook packaging also will be available.

The four-disc set includes all 13 episodes of the latest season of the Paramount+ series, in which the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery travels 900 years into the future and learns that by the 32nd century the Federation has been shattered by a mysterious cataclysm that disrupted warp travel in the galaxy.

The cast includes Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Wilson Cruz, David Ajala, Blu del Barrio, Ian Alexander and Michelle Yeoh.

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The Blu-ray and DVD editions include the featurettes “Star Trek: Discovery — The Voyage of Season 3,” featuring interviews with the cast and creative team; “Stunted,” a look at the stunts on the show; “Kenneth Mitchell: To Boldly Go,” a profile of the actor who plays Aurellio, his life with ALS, and incorporating his wheelchair into the show; and “Bridge Building,” a look at some of the supporting cast.

Exclusive home video extras include deleted scenes, a gag reel, a “Being Michael Burnham” featurette focused on Sonequa Martin-Green, and a “Writer’s Log: Michelle Paradise” featurette in which the showrunner discusses shooting the beginning of the season in Iceland.

Mena Suvari Film ‘Locked in’ Opening on DVD July 6

The Saban Films action thriller Locked in, starring Mena Suvari and Jeff Fahey, will debut on DVD July 6 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

It is available now in theaters and on digital and on demand.

In the film, after a diamond heist takes a fatal turn, a pair of thieves must entrust their fortune with an accomplice at a high-tech storage facility while they lay low. Hiding the goods within the labyrinth of storage units, the thieves’ inside man pays the ultimate price when he turns against them. Hellbent on recovering the missing stones, they seize the facility and kidnap surviving employee Maggie (Suvari, American Beauty), threatening her family unless she helps them. Locked in with nowhere to run, Maggie’s only chance to escape alive is to fight back and stay one step ahead of her captors.

The film also stars Manny Perez, Costas Mandylor, Bruno Bichir and Jasper Polish.

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Netflix’s Lisa Nishimura Shares Personal Experience Promoting Streamer’s Tribute to Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

At a time when racism and xenophobia towards Asian Americans has become a national issue, Netflix is co-sponsoring the 3rd annual National AAPI Day Against Bullying+Hate set for May 18.

Lisa Nishimura, VP, documentary and independent films at Netflix, shared personal insight growing up as the only Japanese-American in her family in a mostly white Northern California town.

Lisa Nishimura

“I remember moments of feeling like a foreign exchange student in my own home,” Nishimura writes in a May 10 blog post. “I say that with a lot of love as I’m incredibly close to my family. But as the only one in my family born in the United States, I don’t think I realized until I was well into adulthood that the threshold of my home represented an invisible transition from the outside western world and the Japanese home in which I was raised.”

Nishimura, whose production credits over a 14-year career at Netflix include “The 13th,” “American Factory,” “Chef’s Table,” 2017 Oscar-winning The White Helmets, “Making a Murderer,” “Tiger King,” and “Wild Wild Country,” recounts growing up in a “inherently reserved” Japanese household that called for becoming comfortable with “quietude.”

In the classroom, Nishimura writes she felt Asians were contextualized primarily as wartime opposition, and never as contributors to the fabric of this country. This led in part to her shunning other Asian students to “dilute our Asian-ness,” as well as a bad hair decision to become blonde during her teenage years — a comical move that Nishimura says turned her hair “chaotic orange.” Another attempt to better assimilate with her predominantly white friends.

“All of this was pretty confusing and horrifying to my family,” she writes.

Fast-forward to the present, and Nishimura has helped drive Netflix’s push toward creating content that better reflects its global subscriber base — including offering stories by, for and about the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community.

Programming includes “Bling Empire,” offering new glimpses into different communities through jokes, food, fashion and music. Movies such Finding ‘Ohana, which celebrates Hawaiian culture, romantic comedies The Half of It and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and animation feature Over the Moon, among others.

“As Asian Americans, we represent more than 20 distinct countries of origin and an even greater number of cultures and ethnicities,” Nishimura writes. “Our route of passage and reasons for coming to America are vast. No one story could or should express the experience of all Asian Americans.  As part of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month, we want to celebrate these stories and creators that introduced new perspectives to our members around the world.”

 

 

 

 

Shout! Studios to Distribute Bruce Willis Actioner ‘American Siege’

Shout! Studios, the filmed entertainment production and distribution arm of Shout! Factory, has signed an exclusive deal to distribute the new action thriller American Siege from The Exchange.

American Siege, featuring Bruce Willis, recently wrapped principal photography in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Willis plays a washed-up sheriff who guards the secrets of the wealthy residents of Fitzgerald, a quiet town in Georgia. He finds himself in the middle of a confrontation between the town’s mayor (Timothy V. Murphy) and three outlaws who take the town’s doctor hostage.

“Bruce Willis starring in a taut, twisty, nitrous oxide-fueled thriller is about as good as it gets.  We could not be more excited to share it far and wide,” stated Jordan Fields, VP of acquisitions at Shout! Studios.

The cast also includes Corey Large, Cullen G. Chambers, Rob Gough and Johnny Messner. The film is a production of 308 Enterprises in association with The Exchange and BondIt Media Capital.

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Shout! Studios has secured all distribution rights in North America, including digital, video-on-demand, broadcast, theatrical and home entertainment for cross-platform releases.

Parks: Lower Smart Home Device Pricing Could Add Broadband Households

A new industry report from Parks Associates reveals that among the 42% of U.S. broadband households who do not own and do not plan to buy a smart home device, 17% admit they would likely buy a device if the cost were lower. Capturing these consumers at the right price point would add 7.9 million more households to the population of smart home owners.

Smart home devices include appliances, thermostats, lights, alarms, doorbells, cameras, televisions, Blu-ray Disc players, sound bars and voice-activated speakers, among other devices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Parks’ Q4 2020 survey, affordability of smart home devices ranks as the most important purchase consideration among purchase intenders. Discounting product prices and bundling products in ways that strengthen value are critical strategies to attract the majority of consumers who rank affordability in their top three purchase considerations. Bundling of smart home devices such as smart plugs, smart light bulbs, or smart thermostats with a smart speaker can introduce the smart home experience to consumers through a leading entertainment device that can be used to stream music and control smart home functions, according to Parks.

More than 50% of U.S. broadband households that do not own or intend to purchase a smart home device, report they do not see any benefits to smart home ownership, although this attitude is more prevalent among older consumers.

“Messaging that highlights strong product value helps overcome price sensitivity and counters the perceived lack of a viable value proposition,” analyst Patrice Samuels said in a statement. “Familiarity with devices is increasing, but value perception is not. Brands must emphasize pragmatic value propositions such as energy savings, loss prevention, and safety to persuade the broad swatch of broadband households that do not see any benefit or value in owning smart home devices.”

Report: Global SVOD Subscriptions to Reach 1.5 Billion by 2026

Spurred in part by a pandemic, global streaming video subscriptions are projected to reach 1.5 billion through 2026, according to new data from Digital TV Research. The London-based firm attributed the rise in part to 201 million SVOD subscriptions added in 2020 when increasing numbers of consumers worldwide were quarantined in their homes due to COVID-19. In addition, the report finds that the average consumer will pay for 2.14 SVOD subscriptions by 2026 – up from 1.74 subscriptions in 2020.

“There will be 700 million SVOD subscribers by 2026; up by 35% from 518 million at end of 2020,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement. “The 2026 total represents 39% of TV households, increasing from 30% in 2020.”

Overall, Digital TV Research contends that SVOD membership across 138 countries will increase by 591 million through 2026 to reach 1.495 million, up 65% from 2020.

The report suggests China and the U.S. will combine for 48% of global SVOD subs by 2026, down from 59% in 2020 — with the U.S. usurping China as the main SVOD subscription country. Yet with the U.S. a maturing SVOD market, subscriber growth in other countries is skyrocketing. India will nearly triple subscriptions through 2026 to 155 million, accounting for 10% of the global total.