‘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.

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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.

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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

‘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.

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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.

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.

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IFC’s ‘Summerland’ Heading to Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 17

IFC Films will release the British drama Summerland on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Nov. 17.

The film stars Gemma Arterton as a reclusive writer living on the seaside cliffs of Southern England during World War II, who is forced to take in a young boy (Lucas Bond) evacuated from the London Blitz. While resistant at first, she soon learns the two have more in common than she realized.

The cast also includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Tom Courtenay.

The film earned $58,498 domestically and $409,240 internationally for a total box office of $467,738 during a limited theatrical run.

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Netflix Renews ‘Baby-Sitters Club’ for Second Season

Netflix has renewed the series “The Baby-Sitters Club” for a second season. The announcement came via an Oct. 28 YouTube video of the show’s young cast singing the news.

Based on the best-selling book series of the same name, “The Baby-Sitters Club” follows a group of middle school-aged girls who start a babysitting business in Connecticut.

The first season of 10 episodes debuted in July. The second season will premiere sometime in 2021.

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Cohen Media Enters Distribution Deal With Kino Lorber

Cohen Media Group Oct. 28 announced it has signed a deal for Kino Lorber to distribute all Cohen Blu-ray and DVD titles.

A leading producer and distributor of independent, foreign and arthouse films, Cohen releases special-edition Blu-rays and DVDs of the films in its library under the Cohen Media Group and Cohen Film Collection labels as well on as its streaming service Cohen Media Channel.

The new arrangement will begin with Cohen’s Dec. 8 release of Buster Keaton Collection Vol 4: ‘Go West’ andCollege.’ More than 200 Cohen titles will be available through Kino Lorber and on Kino’s transactional VOD platform, Kino Now, including cinema landmarks such as the Merchant Ivory Collection.

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‘After We Collided’ Tops Redbox On Demand Chart; ‘The Vanished’ Debuts as No. 1 Disc Rental

Open Road Films’ After We Collided, released through premium VOD and select theaters Oct. 23, debuted at No. 1 on the Redbox On Demand chart the week ended Oct. 25. A sequel to 2019’s After and based on the book of the same name, the film is a romantic drama about a college girl dealing with the aftermath of an intense breakup.

The newly released The Vanished, an action thriller from Paramount, topped the Redbox disc rental chart and landed at No. 3 on the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital rental transactions.

The film, which was released on DVD Oct. 20, stars stars Thomas Jane, Anne Heche and Jason Patric in the story of parents who take the law into their own hands when their daughter disappears during a vacation.

The No. 2 title on the Redbox On Demand chart was Lionsgate’s Unhinged, the Russell Crowe road rage thriller that began a PVOD run Oct. 20. It arrives on DVD, Blu-ray and digital sellthrough Nov. 17.

The previous week’s top disc rental, Lionsgate’s The Doorman, slipped to No. 2 on the disc chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red kiosks.

Another new release, RLJE Films’ The Owners, debuted at No. 3 on the disc chart. The horror film deals with a group of friends whose robbery of a house in the English countryside is interrupted when the elderly owners return home early.

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Redbox’s own Ava slipped to No. 4 on the disc chart.

RLJE Films’ The Tax Collector dropped to No. 4 on the On Demand chart and No. 5 on the disc chart.

Lionsgate’s The Secret: Dare to Dream slid to No. 5 on the Redbox On Demand chart and No. 10 on the disc rental chart.

Other newcomers on the disc chart were Universal’s Tremors: Shrieker Island, the seventh film in the comedic monster horror franchise, at No. 8, and Lionsgate’s The Amityville Harvest at No. 9.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended Oct. 25:

  1. The Vanished — Paramount
  2. The Doorman — Lionsgate
  3. The Owners — RLJ
  4. Ava — Redbox
  5. The Tax Collector — RLJ
  6. The Silencing — Lionsgate
  7. Scoob! — Warner
  8. Tremors: Shrieker Island — Universal
  9. The Amityville Harvest — Lionsgate
  10. The Secret: Dare to Dream — Lionsgate


Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended Oct. 25:

  1. After We Collided — Open Road
  2. Unhinged — Lionsgate
  3. The Vanished — Paramount
  4. The Tax Collector — RLJ
  5. The Secret: Dare to Dream — Lionsgate
  6. Cut Throat City — Well Go USA
  7. Beetlejuice — Warner
  8. Alone (2020-B) — Lionsgate
  9. The Silencing — Lionsgate
  10. The Hunt — Universal


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Merchandising: Best Buy Unleashes ‘Rambo’ Steelbook Set

Lionsgate’s much-anticipated 4K Ultra HD Steelbook boxed set of the five “Rambo” films finally arrived at retail Oct. 27 exclusively at Best Buy.

The set, priced at $94.99, contains individual Steelbook cases for all five films inside a larger Steelbook box, and includes 4K and standard Blu-ray discs, plus a digital copy for each film. As an added bonus, a digital copy of the previously unreleased extended cut of the fifth film, Rambo: Last Blood also is included, with a note from director and star Sylvester Stallone.

A check of shelves at a Best Buy location in Costa Mesa, Calif., the afternoon of Oct. 27 found no copies had yet been stocked on the floor. A clerk pulled about eight copies out of the back room, and most had some sort of damage in the form of dents to the Steelbook cases, likely sustained during shipping.

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Also noticeable at the store: most of the shelves allotted to packaged media such as DVD and Blu-ray were empty and stocked to about 25% capacity.

For the week, Best Buy also offered a Blu-ray Steelbook of the My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising movie from Funimation, for $27.99.

Best Buy’s ‘My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising’ Steelbook

Season Two of CBS All Access’ ‘Twilight Zone’ Arrives on DVD Jan. 12

CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment will release season two of streaming service CBS All Access’ reboot of anthology sci-fi/horror series “The Twilight Zone” on DVD Jan. 12.

Based on the classic series created by Rod Sterling, the updated version is hosted by Jordan Peele and features guest stars such as Kumail Nanjiani, Seth Rogen, Tracy Morgan, John Cho, Zazie Beatz and more.

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‘Mandalorian’ Returns to Top of Parrot’s Digital Originals Chart on Eve of Season 2

The Disney+ live-action “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” returned to the top spot on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals rankings the week ended Oct. 24. It had been No. 2 the week before. With the show’s second season premiere looming Oct. 30, it had a 12.2% increase in demand expressions, the proprietary metric Parrot uses to gauge a show’s popularity. The show had 63.7 times the demand of the average series.

Netflix’s perennially popular “Stranger Things” rose a spot to No. 2. Demand expressions were up 7.5% to give the show 58 times average demand.

The top title the past few weeks, Amazon Prime Video’s “The Boys” slid to  No. 3. “The Boys” had 43.6 times the demand of the average show, with demand expressions down 39.8% a few weeks after its second-season finale.

“Cobra Kai,” the “Karate Kid” spinoff that was formerly a YouTube Premium original series before moving to Netflix, remained No. 4. The show had 43.5 times the demand of the average series, with expressions down 8.5% for the week.

Rounding out the top five was CBS All Access’ “Star Trek: Discovery,” which had 37.4 times average demand after expressions rose 5.8%. The sci-fi series is in the midst of its third season and rose a spot from the previous week.

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A “digital original” is Parrot’s term for a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney+.

The No. 1 overall TV series was “SpongeBob SquarePants,” with 94.2 times average demand. “The Mandalorian” was No. 4 on the overall TV list.

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Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures demand for TV content in a given market through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites. Results are expressed as a comparison with the average demand for a TV show of any kind in the market.