‘Nobody’ Takes Over No. 1 Spot on Redbox Disc and Digital Charts

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Nobody debuted at No. 1 on Redbox’s disc rental chart and took over the top spot on the Redbox On Demand chart as well the week ended June 27.

The actioner, produced and written by the creators of “John Wick,” stars Bob Odenkirk as an unassuming family man whose dangerous past self reemerges in the aftermath of his house being robbed. It earned $27 million at the domestic box office.

The previous week’s top disc rental, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Godzilla vs. Kong, dropped to No. 2 on the disc rental chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at Redbox’s more than 40,000 red kiosks.

The No. 3 disc rental, and No. 2 on the On Demand chart, was Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s The Unholy. Based on James Herbert’s best-selling book Shrine, the film follows a young hearing-impaired girl who is visited by the Virgin Mary and can suddenly hear, speak and heal the sick. As people from near and far flock to witness her miracles, a disgraced journalist (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) hoping to revive his career visits a small New England town to investigate.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Tom & Jerry came in at No. 4 on the disc chart and No. 6 on the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital VOD and sellthrough transactions.

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Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s The Marksman dropped to No. 4 on the Redbox On Demand chart after five weeks in the top spot. The Liam Neeson actioner was No. 5 on the disc chart.

The No. 3 On Demand title was Paramount’s The Misfits, about a band of modern-day Robin Hoods recruit a renowned thief (Pierce Brosnan) to help them pull off the heist of the century.

The Redbox-exclusive Lansky, starring Harvey Keitel as aging mobster Meyer Lansky recounting his life, entered the chart at No. 7, pushing another Redbox exclusive, Rogue Hostage, to No. 8.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended June 27:

  1. Nobody — Universal
  2. Godzilla vs. Kong — Warner
  3. The Unholy — Sony Pictures
  4. Tom & Jerry — Warner
  5. The Marksman — Universal
  6. City of Lies — Lionsgate
  7. Lansky — Redbox
  8. Rogue Hostage — Redbox
  9. Voyagers — Lionsgate
  10. Raya and the Last Dragon — Disney

 

Top Digital (VOD + Sellthrough), Redbox On Demand, Week Ended June 27:

  1. Nobody — Universal
  2. The Unholy — Sony Pictures
  3. The Misfits — Paramount
  4. The Marksman — Universal
  5. Rogue Hostage — Redbox
  6. Tom & Jerry — Warner
  7. The Hitman’s Bodyguard — Lionsgate
  8. Voyagers — Lionsgate
  9. Four Good Days — Vertical
  10. Wrath of Man — MGM

 

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Warner’s ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Scores Third Week Atop U.K. Home Entertainment Sales Chart

It was a Warner Bros. week in home entertainment in the U.K.

Warner Home Video’s Godzilla vs. Kong finished atop the the Official Film Chart in the U.K. through June 30, more than doubling the sales of its closest competition. The title saw 75% of its weekly sales made up of DVD and Blu-ray Disc units.

At No. 2, the week’s highest new entry was Batman: The Long Halloween — Part 1. The DC animated movie is the first of a two-part series, starring Jensen Ackles, Josh Duhamel, Troy Baker and the late Naya Rivera.

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Former chart topper Zack Snyder’s Justice League dropped two spots to No. 3, while Tom & Jerry sustained its No. 4 spot. Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard moved up four spots to No. 5, thanks to its sequel, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, being released theatrically.

Wonder Woman 1984 dropped three spots to No. 6, while Paramount Pictures’ A Quiet Place fell two spots to No. 7, and Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon spent a second week at No. 8, while Tenet climbed one spot to No. 9.

Finally, Universal Pictures’ Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw jumped nine spots to No. 10, due to the popularity of F9: The Fast Saga in theaters.

Rank Previous Week Movie Peak
Position
Weeks on Chart
1 1
Godzilla v. Kong
Warner Home Video
1 5
2 New
Batman: The Long Halloween — Part 1
Warner
2 1
3
Zack Snyder’s Justice League
Warner
1 10
4 4
Tom & Jerry (2021)
Warner
2 6
5
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Lionsgate
5 3
6
Wonder Woman 1984
Warner
1 16
7
A Quiet Place
Paramount
3 21
8 8
Raya and the Last Dragon
Disney
1 6
9 10 
Tenet
Warner
1 26
10 19 
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Universal
1 42

Disney+, Verizon Partner to Deliver Streaming Content Faster to Consumers

The Walt Disney Company and Verizon recently began testing advanced content caching technology affording Fios fixed network subscribers faster access to Disney+ streaming content.

Based on specifications developed by the Streaming Video Alliance and Verizon’s existing edge caching capabilities, the companies have collaborated on a trial platform that stores the most requested streaming video content, like “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” in network facilities closer to the customer, which results in content starting faster, while also reducing freezing, pausing or playback failures during streaming.

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“This trial with Disney is another step in our journey with a global brand that is providing value for our shared customers,” Kyle Malady, chief technology officer for Verizon, said in a statement.

Verizon and Disney+ partnered with the launch of the SVOD in 2019, affording Verizon wireless subscribers 12-months free access to the SVOD. The promotion has been key to Disney+ generating more than  100 million paying subs in less than 18 months.

Caching popular Internet content at the network edge closer to end users is a standard ISP network management practice that has long been a part of the Internet’s architecture.

By storing content closer to customers, the data travels a shorter distance over the network, through fewer routers and switches, reducing delays in delivery of content to the customer. As a result, customers are able to start streaming content more quickly and face fewer potential network events that could cause freezing or buffering. In this trial, FIOS customers throughout the Verizon FIOS footprint were able to access Disney content using Open Caching.  Results from the trial showed faster start times for content, smoother streaming, and less buffering.

Verizon said it is exploring conversations with other content providers, including news organizations, gaming companies, and other entertainment providers to use open caching technology.

Open caching for wireless customers is also under development. With the virtualization built into the wireless network and the server space on the edge of the network developed over the past few years, the wireless network is aiming to deliver an enhanced viewing experience for customers while on the go.

“The ability for us to scale Disney+ internet distribution and create optimal streaming experiences for subscribers around the content is paramount to our continued success as the flagship streaming service from The Walt Disney Company,” said Joe Inzerillo, EVP and CTO.

Merchandising: Best Buy Focused on July 4 Sale

There wasn’t much in the way of major new DVD and Blu-ray releases June 29 aside from some high-profile catalog re-releases and a few TV shows making their way to disc, but nothing that came attached to any retailer exclusives.

Best Buy’s Top Deals section for home entertainment for a second week displayed a banner touting “Hot Films for the 4th of July,” linking to a selection of patriotic and war movies timed for America’s Independence Day holiday.

The offerings included the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition of 1996’s Independence Day for $13.99, the 4K edition of 2019’s Midway for $14.99, The 4K collector’s set of Apocalypse Now for $19.99, the Hacksaw Ridge 4K Blu-ray for $12.99, the Black Hawk Down 4K Blu-ray for $18.99, Zero Dark Thirty on Blu-ray for $5.99, and National Treasure on Blu-ray for $5.99, among others.

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HBO Max Rolls Out in 39 Territories in Latin America and the Caribbean

HBO Max June 29 rolled out in 39 territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, marking the streaming platform’s first launch outside of the United States, and kicking off its global expansion. Max has made a commitment to produce 100 local originals in Latin American over the next two years, in addition to offering subscribers access to its catalog of brands and programming. Later this year, soccer fans in Brazil and Mexico will be able to stream matches of the UEFA Champions League.

With this launch, subscribers of the HBO Max ad-free plan in the U.S. will be able to access the platform while traveling throughout any of these 39 newly supported territories, and Latin American subscribers will also be able to access the platform while traveling in the U.S. The platform’s international rollout will extend to Europe later this year.

“With today’s launch, we are introducing our global platform and providing a brand new user experience to millions of fans across Latin America and the Caribbean,” Johannes Larcher, head of HBO Max International, said in a statement.

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To celebrate the launch, Max is offering new subs through July 31 a 50% discount on the $14.99 regular monthly plan for as long as they maintain their subscription without interruption.

“This past year with its unprecedented health and economic crises has been challenging for our fans from Tijuana to Tierra del Fuego,” said Luis Durán, GM of HBO Max for Latin America.

Max is available for subscription at HBOMax.com, via participating digital stores and through various distribution partners in the region. It’s accessible from supported smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and compatible streaming devices.

  • The standard plan offers families access to three simultaneous users, five personalized profiles, content downloads (up to 30 titles), video in high-definition and some titles in HD and 4K, on all compatible devices.
  • The mobile plan offers access to the same content catalog, but is designed for an individual experience with content downloads (up to 5 titles) enjoyable in standard-definition on compatible smartphones and tablets.

Max is also available from any of the following internet browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Safari (for Mac users) and Edge (for Windows users). The platform is accessible at launch across a range of supported devices, including: Android TV, Android phones and tablets (OS 5+ or later), Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices; iPhone, iPad, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; LG Smart TVs (web OS 3.5 or later); Roku devices and Roku TV models (OS 10+); Samsung Smart TVs (2016 models and later); and Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

‘Brotherhood of the Wolf’ Blu-ray Due July 27 From Scream Factory

The 2001 cult favorite horror fantasy Brotherhood of the Wolf will make its Blu-ray Disc debut July 27 from Scream Factory, the horror imprint of indie distributor Shout! Factory.

In a rural province of France, a mysterious creature is laying waste to the countryside, savagely killing scores of women and children. Unseen, possessed of enormous strength and a human intelligence, the beast has eluded capture for years. King Louis sends in a renowned scientist and his Iroquois blood brother, an unconventional team whose combined methods and capabilities may bring the beast down. But the true nature of the beast is not what anyone could have anticipated.

Directed by Christophe Gans (Silent Hill), the film features an all-star cast including Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci.

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The Blu-ray includes an extended version of the film that showcases more martial arts action.

Extras include deleted scenes with introduction by Gans; theatrical trailers; and three featurettes:

  • “The Guts of the Beast” — a look at the creation of the film from the fight scenes to the digital effects;
  • “The Making of Brotherhood of the Wolf” — a look behind the scenes;
  • “The Legend” — a look at the historical facts behind the legend of the Gévaudan Beast.

 

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Interpret: Half of Consumers Who Plan Smart-TV, Streaming Media Play Purchase are First-Timers

Half of consumers who plan to purchase a smart-TV or a streaming media player within the next three months will be first-time buyers, according to new data released June 29 by Interpret.

The remainder are existing owners who are replacing their streaming device, upgrading to a newer version, or switching to a new brand.

According to Interpret’s “Streaming Devices: Platforms, Brands, and Consumers 2021” report, 10% of consumers plan to buy a smart TV and a similar number plan a streaming media player purchase within the next quarter. Samsung and Vizio owners are the least likely to replace their smart TV, and Roku owners are the least likely to want to replace their streaming media player.

The study also found:

  • 18% of Roku owners plan to replace their device within the next three months;
  • 17% of Samsung owners and 18% of Vizio owners plan to replace their devices within the next three months.

 

“With half of buyers being new to smart TVs and streaming media players, this sector of consumer electronics is primed for continued growth,” said Brett Sappington, Interpret’s VP of research. “However, not all streaming device brands will enjoy the full benefit of that growth. Our research shows that each brand attracts a unique consumer audience, with differing characteristics, habits, and preferences that are often related to key features. Those brands that best meet consumers’ needs stand the best chance of gaining market share.”

MPI Media Group to Release Vintage Cop Show on DVD July 20

MPI Media Group has set a July 20 DVD release of “Code 3: L.A. Sheriff’s Case Files,” a vintage 1957 TV show that, like “Dragnet,” was based on actual police case files.

The collection will contain all 39 episodes from the police procedural series, from Hal Roach Studios and producer Ben Fox.

Starring Richard Travis as Sheriff George Barrett of the Los Angeles County Police Department, the series also featured Denver Pyle as Sgt. Murchison and Fredd Wayne as Sgt. Bill Hollis.

“Code 3″ featured true crime cases from the files of the search and rescue branch of the Los Angeles Police Department – always “changing the names to protect the innocent,” again, much like “Dragnet.”

At the end of most of the broadcasts, the real-life Sheriff of Los Angeles County, Eugene W. Biscailuz, made an appearance to recap that night’s adventure.

Supporting actors in the series, which ran in syndication, include Christopher Dark, Robert Armstrong (King Kong), James Anderson, Harlan Warde, Douglas Kennedy, William Schallert, Ray Montgomery, Peter Leeds, Stacy Keach Sr. (“Get Smart”), Richard Sargent (“Bewitched”), Russell Johnson (“Gilligan’s Island”), John Archer, DeForest Kelley (“Star Trek”), Mike Connors (“Mannix”), Claude Akins, Guy Williams (“Zorro”), Harry Bartell (“Dragnet”), Mae Clarke and James Best (“The Dukes of Hazard”).

‘Meet the Blacks 2’ Home Release Dates Announced

Lionsgate will release the comedy-horror sequel The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2 on Blu-ray, DVD and for digital purchase Aug. 10. It will be available for rental July 9.

The film is a sequel to the 2016 film Meet the Blacks, which is a parody of The Purge.

Mike Epps reprises his role as Carl Black, now a best-selling author after surviving the events of the first film. He moves his family back to his childhood home in Atlanta, where the neighborhood seems to attract strange activity after dark, and his freaky new neighbor Dr. Mamuwalde (Katt Williams), may be a vampire pimp.

The cast also includes Zulay Henao, Bresha Webb, Alex Henderson, Lil Duval, Andrew Bachelor. and Tyrin Turner.

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Directed and co-written by Deon Taylor, the film earned more than $2.5 million during a limited theatrical run.

Extras include audio commentary with the cast and filmmakers; bloopers; deleted scenes; and the featurettes “The House Next Door: Meet the Dope Cast” and “Hidden Empire: Paving a New Way.”

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Australian Sci-Fi Sequel ‘Occupation: Rainfall’ Arriving Aug. 10

Liosngate will release the Australian sci-fi actioner Occupation: Rainfall on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Aug. 10.

A sequel to the 2018 film Occupation, written and directed by Luke Sparke, the film chronicles humanity’s fight to survive two years into an intergalactic invasion of Earth. While casualties of the desperate ground war mount by the day, the resistance — along with some unexpected allies — uncovers a plot that could bring the war to a decisive end.

The cast includes Daniel Gillies, Dan Ewing, Mark Coles Smith, Temuera Morrison and Ken Jeong.

Extras include a commentary with Sparke; a commentary with Sparke joined by producers Carly Imrie and Carmel Imrie, actor Zachary Garred and visual effects supervisor Alex Becconsall; a “Sydney Escape” featurette; and deleted scenes with optional director’s commentary. The Blu-ray also includes a digital copy.

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