Merchandising: New ‘Mortal Kombat Legends’ Steelbook at Best Buy

Best Buy’s ‘Mortal Kombats Legends: Battle of the Realms’ 4K Steelbook

Retailers didn’t have much in the way of exclusive promotions tied to the Aug. 31 new releases.

The only one of note was from Best Buy, which offered a Steelbook 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition of Warner’s new direct-to-video animated movie Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms, at $32.99.

A sequel to 2020’s Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge and based on the “Mortal Kombat” video game franchise, Battle of the Realms finds the team of heroes besieged by the enemy forces of Shao Kahn — forcing Raiden and his group of warriors into a deal to compete in a final Mortal Kombat that will determine the fate of the realms. As the travel to Outworld in order to defend Earthrealm, Scorpion must find the ancient Kamidogu before it’s used to resurrect the One Being — which would mean certain destruction of all things in the universe.

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Vudu Mounting Sci-Fi and Fantasy Title Sale

Fandango’s TVOD service Vudu is mounting several sales on science-fiction and fantasy titles.

Taking place Aug. 31 through Sept. 13 is Vudu’s Summer of Savings: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Sale, featuring more than a hundred titles at 25% off, such as blockbuster bundles including the Lord of the RingsThe HobbitStar Trek and Godzilla franchises, as well as recent titles such as Nicolas Cage’s Willy’s Wonderland, Anthony Mackie’s Synchronic and Bruce Willis’ Cosmic Sin. Also included in the sale are: Avatar, Labyrinth, Interstellar, Ready Player One, They Live, Limitless, Arrival, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Total Recall, War of the Worlds (2005) and Edge of Tomorrow.

Other sci-fi-related sales include the Marvel Studios sale, Aug. 31-Sept. 8, with titles up to 60% off (select titles such as Black Panther and Captain Marvel for $7.99, with the four-movie Avengers collection for $29.99); “Pixar Fest,” Aug. 31-Sept. 15, with select Pixar titles, such as  Luca, Onward, Up and WALL-E, available at $9.99 each; and 1950s films at $5 each Aug. 31-Sept. 14, including The Incredible Shrinking Man, Creature From the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature, It Came from Outer Space, It Came from Beneath the Sea, It! the Terror from Beyond Space and The War of the Worlds (1953).

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Netflix’s ‘Clickbait’ Top Rising Show on TV Time Charts

Netflix’s “Clickbait” was the top rising show on the TV Time charts the week ended Aug. 29.

In the miniseries, when a family man is abducted in a crime with a sinister online twist, those closest to him race to uncover who is behind it and why. “Clickbait” started streaming Aug. 25.

No. 2 on the rising show chart was the French reality competition series “Koh-Lanta” followed by Netflix’s “Family Reunion” at No. 3. “Family Reunion” is about a family that struggles to make the transition from life in Seattle to Georgia, where the extended family lives. Episodes in season two of “Family Reunion” debuted Aug. 26.

Leading the binge chart was the anime series “One Piece” followed by perennial binge favorites “Modern Family” and “Grey’s Anatomy” at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by almost 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day. The “Shows on the Rise” chart is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program. The network displayed is the network where the show first aired (e.g. “Friends” on NBC).

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Top Binge Shows Week Ended Aug. 29 by Share of Binges:

  1. “One Piece” (Fuji TV) — 2.04%
  2. “Modern Family” (U.S.) (ABC) — 1.74%
  3. “Grey’s Anatomy” (U.S.) (ABC) — 1.69%
  4. “Outer Banks” (Netflix) — 1.65%
  5. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) — 1.59%
  6. “The Good Doctor” (U.S.) (ABC) — 1.21%
  7. “The Office” (U.S.) (NBC) — 1.13%
  8. “Friends” (NBC) — 1.08%
  9. “Naruto Shippuden” (TV Tokyo) — 0.96%
  10. “My Hero Academia” (Nippon TV) — 0.87%


Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended Aug. 29 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “Clickbait” (Netflix) — 100%
  2. “Koh-Lanta” (TF1) — 94.4%
  3. “Family Reunion” (Netflix) — 94.1%
  4. “Britannia” (Sky Atlantic) (U.K.) — 91%
  5. “See” (Apple TV+) — 84.7%
  6. “Archer” (2009) (FX) — 75.4%
  7. “American Horror Story” (FX) — 72.7%
  8. “Hidden Truths” (TV Globo) — 70.3%
  9. “Mr. Robot” (USA Network) — 67.2%
  10. “Supergirl” (CBS) — 66.1%

Criterion Sets ‘Uncut Gems’ 4K Edition for Nov. 23

The Criterion Collection has announced a Nov. 23 street date for the 2019 drama Uncut Gems, which will be released in new Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray editions.

The film, directed by brothers Josh and Benny Safdie, stars Adam Sandler as Howard Ratner, a fast-talking New York jeweler and gambler in relentless pursuit of the next big score. When he comes into possession of a rare opal, it seems Howard’s ship has finally come in — as long as he can stay one step ahead of a wife (Idina Menzel) who hates him, a mistress (Julia Fox) who can’t quit him, and a frenzy of loan sharks and hitmen closing in on him.

The cast also includes LaKeith Stanfield, Eric Bogosian, Judd Hirsch and NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett.

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The Criterion edition will boast a new 4K digital transfer approved by the Safdie Brothers, with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack on the 4K UHD and Blu-ray editions. The 4K edition will be a combo pack with the film in Dolby Vision HDR on a 4K disc, and the film with bonus materials on a regular Blu-ray disc.

Extras include an audio commentary from 2019 featuring the Safdies, writer and editor Ronald Bronstein, and producer Sebastian Bear-McClard; new interviews with cinematographer Darius Khondji, costume designer Miyako Bellizzi, production designer Sam Lisenco, and casting director Jennifer Venditti; documentaries from 2019 and 2020 on the making of the film and soundtrack; a screen test featuring actors Adam Sandler and Julia Fox; Goldman v Silverman, a 2020 short film by the Safdies, featuring Sandler and Benny Safdie; Question & Answer, a 2020 short film featuring the Safdies, Sandler, actor Jason Bateman, and comedy writer Megan Amram; audition tapes; deleted and extended scenes, including a full performance of “The Morning” by The Weeknd; trailers; and an essay by film critic J. Hoberman and, for the 4K UHD and Blu-ray editions, a 2020 discussion of the film by the editorial staff of Jewish Currents magazine.

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The film was previously released by Lionsgate on Blu-ray in March 2020 with just a making-of featurette. Criterion DVD and Blu-ray editions had previously been earmarked for an Oct. 26 release.

Uncut Gems becomes Criterion’s fourth 4K release in November, joining Citizen Kane, Mulholland Dr. and Menace II Society among the boutique distributor’s first slate of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray titles.

Documentary About Daniel Craig’s Time Playing James Bond Streaming for Free on Apple TV App

The documentary Being James Bond from MGM will be available to stream as a free rental exclusively on the Apple TV app ahead of the upcoming theatrical release of No Time to Die, the 25th film in the official “James Bond” franchise. Customers in more than 30 countries and regions around the globe can access the film for free on the Apple TV app from Sept. 7 to Oct. 7.

The 45-minute retrospective features actor Daniel Craig candidly reflecting on his 15-year tenure as the cinematic secret agent. Including never-before-seen archival footage from Casino Royale to No Time to Die, Craig shares his personal memories in conversation with 007 producers, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, in the lead up to his final performance as James Bond.

“A lot of people here have worked on five pictures with me,” Craig notes during the conversation with the films’ producers in Being James Bond. “I’ve loved every single second of these movies, and especially this one because I’ve got up every morning and I’ve had the chance to work with you guys, and that has been one of the greatest honors of my life.”

“Daniel has just taken this, the character, the series, the whole thing, to a place that is so … extraordinary. And so emotionally satisfying,” Broccoli says in the documentary.

“It’s also emotionally tough being Daniel’s last one. It’s tough on Barbara, it’s tough on me,” Wilson adds.

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The Apple TV app is available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, popular smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, VIZIO, TCL, and others, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast with Google TV, and PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Customers can visit on iPhone, iPad and Mac now to add Being James Bond to Up Next on the Apple TV app and be alerted when the film is available to watch.

Being James Bond was directed by Baillie Walsh (Flashbacks of a Fool) and produced by Charlie Thomas, Carla Poole and Special Treats Productions. Colin Burrows served as executive producer.

No Time to Die will be released in theaters beginning Sept. 30 in the  United Kingdom through Universal Pictures International, and in the United States on October 8 through MGM via their United Artists Releasing banner. The latest trailers for the film were released Aug. 31.

‘Masterpiece Mystery! — Guilt,’ Season Four of ‘Frankie Drake Mysteries’ Among PBS Titles Due on DVD in September

Masterpiece Mystery!: Guilt,” season four of “Frankie Drake Mysteries” and several documentaries are among the titles coming to DVD in September from PBS Distribution.

The dark comedy series “Masterpiece Mystery! — Guilt” is due in a two-DVD set Sept. 14. In the series, a drunken drive home from a wedding lands two brothers in increasingly hot water, as they commit more and more serious crimes to hide their culpability in a hit-and-run. Mark Bonnar (“Line of Duty,” “Catastrophe,” “Unforgotten”) and Jamie Sives (“Valhalla Rising,” “Mean Machine”) star as the brothers, with Ruth Bradley (“Grabbers,” “Flyboys,” “Pursuit”) as the victim’s niece, who falls for her uncle’s killer.

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Season four of “Frankie Drake Mysteries” comes out in a three-DVD set Sept. 7. The season opens with our intrepid detectives Frankie Drake (Lauren Lee Smith) and Trudy Clarke (Chantel Riley) alongside their best gal pals, Mary Shaw (Rebecca Liddiard) and Flo Chakowitz (Sharron Matthews), traipsing through the woods on a scavenger hunt that quickly turns deadly. From the wilderness to the world of high society, from an underground cabaret to a candy factory, Frankie and Trudy investigate murders, kidnappings, heists and poisonings. Using her position as a morality officer, Mary is able to snoop through police files and be privy to non-civilian discussions, while Flo lends a hand with autopsy reports, science experiments and her newly acquired medical skills. As always, amid high-stakes danger, excitement, intrigue and friendship, the women find their balance in their lives outside of work. Frankie has a European race car-driving beau; Trudy’s dreams of home-sweet-home are closer than ever; Mary falls for the wrong fellow; and Flo starts a family.

Also due on DVD in September are the documentaries Exhumed: A History of Zombies on Sept. 14; Downing of a Flag on Sept. 7; Lucy Worsley’s Royal Myths and Secrets, Volume 2 on Sept. 14; and The Mysteries of Mental Illness on Sept. 28.

The self-help title Discovering Your Warrior Spirit with D.J. Vanas comes out on DVD Sept. 14.

Coming for the kids in September are Molly of Denali: Molly and the Great One, due Sept. 14, and PBS Kids: 15 Girl Power Adventures!, available Sept. 7.

Data: Southeast Asian Online Video Revenue to Reach $4.5 Billion by 2025

Over-the-top video distribution in Southeast Asia continues to proliferate. Total online video market revenue in the region projected to rise to $4.5 billion by the end of 2025, according to new data from London-based research firm Omdia. By 2025, it is forecast that 62% revenue will come from ad-supported VOD and free ad-supported streaming television, or FAST.

Last year, total online video revenue in key Southeast Asia markets, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand, reached $1.8 billion.

In 2020, the ad-supported segment led the online video with 71% of total revenue. Omdia projects that the subscription-based online video will increase market share from 28% to 37% of total online video revenue through 2025. Transactional VOD makes up less than 1% of total market share.

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With Facebook and YouTube’s popularity in this region is unilateral, this duopoly will remain the biggest contributors to ad-supported video revenue. Omdia estimates 75% of video ad revenue comes from mobile devices and 20% from PCs. Though only 5% is from connected TVs, Omdia expects the CTV segment to grow during the forecast period, albeit at a slower pace than in the U.S. and Western European markets.

“This [revenue growth ] trend is bolstered by more direct-to-consumer OTT video service launches in this region, broadcasters’ ongoing efforts to strengthen their position in the premium video ad marketplace and growth of local and regional players as a result of more enhanced partnerships between content and service providers,” Kia Ling Teoh, senior research analyst at Omdia, said in a statement.

Fellow researcher Jun Wen Woo contends the subscription VOD market will continue to grow with pay-TV and telecom operators adopting more of an hybrid streaming/broadcast business model. He said as increased competition introduces flexible, modular tariff structures that allow users to personalize and customize their online video entertainment selections, revenue will grow.

“Given the low credit card penetration in the region, offering more local payment options—mobile wallet, scratch card, and local bank transfer—will remain important to increase conversion to paid users,” Wen Woo said.

‘Original Christmas Specials’ Blu-ray Steelbook Coming Nov. 2

The Original Christmas Specials Collection will come out in a Steelbook Blu-ray Nov. 2 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, featuring five classic stories produced by Rankin/Bass.

The collection includes Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town and The Little Drummer Boy featuring stop-motion animation and the animated Frosty the Snowman and Cricket on the Hearth. The productions feature the iconic voice talents of Fred Astaire, Jimmy Durante, Mickey Rooney, Danny Thomas, Burl Ives and many more, as well as classic songs.

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Special features include “The Animagic World of Rankin/Bass”; “Restoring the Puppets of Rudolph”; “Reimagining Rudolph in 4D”; “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Attraction Film”; and commentaries.

‘Apocalypse Now: Final Cut’ Due in Exclusive Steelbook at Best Buy Oct. 19

Francis Ford Coppola’s definitive cut of his Vietnam masterpiece Apocalypse Now: Final Cut will come out Oct. 19 on 4K Ultra HD Steelbook from Lionsgate, exclusively at Best Buy.

The film is fully restored from the original 1979 film and enhanced with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, as well as Meyer Sound’s Sensual Sound.

Starring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando and Dennis Hopper, the war epic, in­spired by Joseph Conrad’s story Heart of Darkness, follows Army Capt. Willard (Sheen), a trou­bled man sent on a dangerous odyssey into Cambodia to assassi­nate a renegade American colonel named Kurtz (Brando), who has succumbed to the horrors of war and barricaded himself in a remote outpost.

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The Steelbook features all new artwork from artist Ken Taylor and an intro by Coppola.

‘The Green Knight’ Due on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 12

The fantasy adventure The Green Knight arrives on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD and digital Oct. 12 from Lionsgate.

The title is available in a 4K plus Blu-ray plus digital combo pack, and Blu-ray plus DVD plus digital combo pack, as well as a standalone Blu-ray.

A new take on the 14th century medieval story of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” the film stars Academy Award nominee Dev Patel (2017, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Lion), Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander (2016, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, The Danish Girl), Golden Globe nominee Joel Edgerton (2017, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, Loving), Sarita Choudhury (TV’s “Blindspot,” “Jessica Jones,” “Little Fires Everywhere”), Sean Harris (The King, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Tresspass Against Us), Kate Dickie (Prometheus, The Witch, Filth) and Ralph Iverson (The Witch, Brahms: The Boy II, TV’s “The Accidental Medium”).

From acclaimed writer-director David Lowery (Petes’ Dragons, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, A Ghost Story), The Green Knight tells the story of Sir Gawain (Patel), King Arthur’s reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. Gawain contends with ghosts, giants, thieves and schemers in what becomes a deeper journey to define his character and prove his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom.

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Special features include “Boldest of Blood and Wildest of Heart: Making The Green Knight”; “Practitioners of Magic: Visual Effects”; “Illuminating Technique: Title Design”; and the theatrical trailer.