Allied Vaughn Inks Digital Distribution Deal With Redbox

Allied Vaughn Entertainment, a manufacture-on-demand company and digital content aggregator, May 7 announced an agreement with Redbox to deliver movies and TV series from their content providers to Redbox’s Free Live TV and Free On Demand services.

“With nearly 100 linear channels and thousands of hours of movies and TV, the deal with Redbox marks an important milestone to bring our content providers titles to an innovative and growing streaming service from one of the most powerful brands in home entertainment,” according to Allied Vaughn.

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Allied Vaughn as a digital rights aggregator also delivers content to Amazon, TubiTV, Overdrive, Cinedigm’s OTT channels, Crackle and roughly 25 Roku channels.

‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Due on ‘Premium Digital’ May 21, 4K and Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD June 15

Godzilla vs. Kong will come out on “Premium Digital” May 21 and on DVD, 4K Ultra HD combo pack and Blu-ray combo pack June 15 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The May 21 “Premium Digital Ownership” release will be available at $29.99.

The film was previously released concurrently in theaters and on the streaming service HBO Max. It has earned more than $415 million at the global box office.

From Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, the film stars Alexander Skarsgård (The Legend of Tarzan, TV’s “Big Little Lies”) and Millie Bobby Brown (TV’s “Stranger Things”). In this installment in the MonsterVerse, Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe. The epic clash between the two titans — instigated by unseen forces — is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.

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The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc will feature both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ dynamic metadata HDR formats, as well as Dolby Atmos sound.

Special features include “Kong Discovers Hollow Earth”; “Kong Leaves Home”; “Behold Kong’s Temple”; “The Evolution of Kong, Eighth Wonder of the World”; “Godzilla Attacks”; “The Phenomenon of GŌJIRA, King of the Monsters”; “Round One: Battle at Sea”; “Round Two: One Will Fall”; “Titan Tag Team: The God and the King”; “The Rise of MechaGodzilla”; and commentary by Wingard (only on 4K and Blu-ray).

Ice-T Film ‘Equal Standard’ Coming to Digital June 8, Disc July 6 From Mill Creek and Mutiny

The Ice-T film Equal Standard will debut theatrically May 7, on digital June 8, and on DVD and Blu-ray July 6 from Mill Creek Entertainment and Mutiny Pictures.

Taheim Bryan’s writing and acting debut inspired by his life experience, the film tells the timely and politically charged story of police in New York City struggling with race, rank, betrayal and loss. Directed by Brendan Kyle Cochrane, the story is an billed as an unflinching — and unbiased — lens on the lives of police and the community they’re called upon to protect, and what happens when that covenant goes sideways, offering a perspective from both sides of the law.

Equal Standard stars Ice-T (New Jack City, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”), Naughty by Nature’s Anthony “Treach” Criss (“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “The Sopranos”) and Robert Clohessy (“Hill Street Blues,” The Wolf of Wall Street).

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“There are people who have never dealt with the cops’ brutality or it doesn’t happen in their community,” Ice-T recently told Entertainment Tonight. “What I hope is all the protesters take [the lessons from Equal Standard] with them in their day-to-day life, and when they see racism or they see something wrong, that they step up against it as one person.”

The film was an Official Selection at the Durban International Film Festival; a Best Trailer Nominee at the Paris Art and Movie Awards (PAMA); a Screenplay Semi-Finalist for Taheim Bryan at the Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival; and an Official Selection at the Black Film Festival Los Angeles.

Spaghetti Western ‘Django’ on 4K Ultra HD and ’12 Monkeys’ in Next Batch of Blu-ray Releases From Arrow and MVD

The spaghetti Western Django on 4K Ultra HD and the sci-fi title 12 Monkeys are in the next batch of titles coming to Blu-ray Disc from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

Due June 1 is the 1966 spaghetti Western Django — the inspiration for the Oscar-winning Quentin Tarantino movie — on 4K Ultra HD for the first time with Dolby Vision. Franco Nero stars as Django, a mysterious loner who arrives at a mud-drenched ghost town on the Mexico-U.S. border, ominously dragging a coffin behind him. After saving imperilled prostitute Maria, Django becomes embroiled in a brutal feud between a racist gang and a band of Mexican revolutionaries. With Django, director Sergio Corbucci upped the ante for sadism and sensationalism in Westerns, depicting machine-gun massacres, mud-fighting prostitutes and savage mutilations. Django’s brand of bleak nihilism would be repeatedly emulated in a raft of unofficial sequels. Also included in the set is Texas, Adios on Blu-ray, which also stars Nero, and was released as a sequel to Django in some countries. Extras include six double-sided collector’s postcards, a double-sided fold-out poster, a 60-page bound book featuring writing by Howard Hughes and Roberto Curti and original reviews, and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips. Special features on the Django disc include audio commentary by film critic, historian and theorist Stephen Prince; “Django Never Dies,” an interview with Nero; “Cannibal of the Wild West,” an interview with assistant director Ruggero Deodato; “Sergio, My Husband,” an interview with Corbucci’s wife Nori Corbucci; “That’s My Life: Part 1,” an archival interview with co-writer Franco Rossetti; “A Rock ‘n’ Roll Scriptwriter,” an archival interview with co-writer Piero Vivarelli; “A Punch in the Face,” an archival interview with stuntman and actor Gilberto Galimberti; “Discovering Django,” an appreciation by spaghetti westerns scholar Austin Fisher; an Introduction to Django by Alex Cox, an archival featurette with the acclaimed director; a gallery of original promotional images from the Mike Siegel archive; and original trailers. The Texas, Adios Blu-ray also has several special features.

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Available May 25 is 12 Monkeys in a Blu-ray Steelbook limited edition. Following the commercial and critical success of The Fisher King, director Terry Gilliam’s next feature would turn to science fiction and a screenplay by Janet and David Peoples (Blade Runner, Unforgiven) inspired by Chris Marker’s classic short film La Jetée. In the film, in 1996, a deadly virus is unleashed by a group calling themselves the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, destroying much of the world’s population and forcing survivors underground. In 2035, prisoner James Cole (Bruce Willis) is chosen to go back in time and help scientists in their search for a cure. The film features an Oscar-nominated turn by Brad Pitt (Fight Club) as mental patient Jeffrey Goines. Special features include audio commentary by Gilliam and producer Charles Roven; “The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys,” a feature-length making-of documentary by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe (Lost in La Mancha); “The Film Exchange with Terry Gilliam,” a 1996 interview with Gilliam and film critic Jonathan Romney, recorded at the London Film Festival; an appreciation by Ian Christie, author of Gilliam on Gilliam; “The Twelve Monkeys Archives”; the theatrical trailer; limited-edition steelbook packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin; and a limited edition booklet featuring writing on the film by Rabin and an excerpt of Gilliam on Gilliam by Christie.

Bringing together six films, all new to Blu-ray and in brand new restorations, on four discs, Weird Wisconsin: The Bill Rebane Collection is due June 1. It packs in a mutant astronaut bothering blissful sunbathers (Monster a Go-Go), a contagion apocalypse as seen from the vantage point of a remote mountain cabin (Invasion from Inner Earth), deadly alien spores from the rocks of Mars (The Alpha Incident), rural gothic and outright horror (The Demons of Ludlow), an eccentric “body count” movie (The Game) and a comedy smash-’em-up that pits three hillbilly stooges against a talking Monster Truck with artificial intelligence (Twister’s Revenge). The set includes numerous special features.

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The 1958 Japanese comedy Giants and Toys debuts on Blu-ray May 11. The corporate satire revolves around the ruthless machinations of a group of admen working in the confectionary industry. Its absurdist and acidly cynical take on the excesses of the media and advertising worlds presents a garish vision of a bold new postwar Japan where traditional company values come head-to-head with American-style consumer capitalism. As a new recruit to the marketing department of World Caramel, fresh-faced graduate Nishi is eager to impress his ambitious and hard-nosed boss Goda, even if it strains his relationships with his college friend Yokoyama and new love interest Masami, who work at the rival companies of Giant and Apollo. With World’s lead over its competitors slipping badly, the two spot a chance to get back in the race in the shape of the pretty but unsophisticated 18-year-old, Kyoko. The two get to work polishing this rough diamond as their new campaign girl, but as the three rival confectionary companies pitch themselves into an all-out advertising war that spills out onto the streets of Tokyo as it escalates to ludicrous extremes, Kyoko’s newfound fame starts going to her head. With the pressure mounting within the hothouse environment of World’s boardroom, it soon becomes clear to Nishi that the Goda has sold out more than just his family in the name of corporate advancement. Making its worldwide Blu-ray debut, this adaptation of the award-winning 1957 novel by Ken Kaiko is considered a landmark in Japanese film history and a key work by Yasuzô Masumura (Blind Beast, Red Angel), one of the country’s most acclaimed directors of his generation. Special features include a new audio commentary by Japanese cinema scholar Irene González-López; a newly filmed introduction by Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns; “In the Realm of the Publicists,” a new visual essay by Asian cinema scholar Earl Jackson; an original trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella; and, for the first pressing only, an illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by Michael Raine.

Available now on Blu-ray is the comic horror film A Ghost Waits (2020), winner of Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor at Frightfest & Screamfest 2020, from first-time writer/director Adam Stovall and producer/star MacLeod Andrews. Tasked with renovating a neglected rental home, handyman Jack (Andrews) quickly finds out why the tenants keep leaving in droves — this house is haunted. The ghost in question is Muriel (Natalie Walker), herself employed from beyond the veil to keep the home vacant. Against the odds, Jack and Muriel find they have a lot in common. Having found a kindred spirit in an otherwise lonely existence, they must fight for their newfound affection as pressure mounts for them each to fulfill their “cross-purposes.” Special features include audio commentary by writer/director Stovall; audio commentary by Stovall and Andrews; audio commentary by the cast and crew; “Humanity and the Afterlife in A Ghost Waits,” a new video essay by Isabel Custodio exploring the film’s themes and cinematic forebears; eight interviews with cast and crew; an interview and post-film Q&A with Stovall moderated by Alan Jones at Frightfest Glasgow 2020; outtakes; Easter eggs; the theatrical trailer; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sister Hyde; and, for the first pressing only, an illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by Craig Ian Mann.

‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run’ Due on Disc July 13

The animated The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will come out on Blu-ray and DVD July 13 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

In the CGI-animated adventure with live-action elements, SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary goes missing in a plot hatched by Plankton to get the Krabby Patty recipe, and he and his friend Patrick head to the Lost City of Atlantic City to retrieve him. The film features appearances by Keanu Reeves and Snoop Dogg, among others.

The film was originally released as a premium VOD rental March 4 and also to Paramount+ streaming subscribers.

Special features on disc include:

  • The mini-movie “I’m Urchin You to Leave”;
  • “Campfire Songs,” with the”Agua” music video by Tainy & J. Balvin, the “How We Do” lyric video by Snoop Dogg and Monsta X, the “Krabby Step” lyric video by Tyga, Swae Lee & Lil Mosey, and the“Agua” lyric video by Tainy & J. Balvin;
  • “Campfire Stories,” with the deleted storyboards “Wake Up” and “Sumo Ninja”;
  • “Camp Coral Buddies,” with “The Ballad of SpongeBob and Patrick!” and “I ♥ Camp Coral by SpongeBob SquarePants”;
  • “Camp Arts and Crafts,” featuring “Drawing the Cutest Camper Ever,” “Drawing the Cutest Snail Ever” and “The Amazing Stages of Animation”; and
  • “But Wait … There’s S’mores!,” featuring “The Wonders of the Patty Mobile.”

Paramount+ in Close Demand Share Race With HBO Max, Peacock

Paramount+ content (9%), including such original series as “Star Trek: Picard,” is in a close race with HBO Max (10%) and Peacock (8%) in demand share, according to year-to-date data from Parrot Analytics released as the streamer’s parent, ViacomCBS, reported financials.

Parrot’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions 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.

Rebranding to Paramount+ has not yet changed CBS All Access’ standing as a medium-sized player in the United States SVOD market, according to Parrot data. The rebrand to Paramount+ in March 2021 did grant a modest boost in demand to the platform, but the relative growth in other SVODs at the same time meant this held the demand share steady rather than leading to an increase in absolute terms.

The Paramount+ U.S. SVOD demand share of around 9% is fairly stable month-by-month, according to Parrot.

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Year to date, the full Netflix catalog of original and licensed series accounts for around 20% of U.S. demand for SVOD services. Netflix consistently has the highest demand share for SVOD original series in the United States, typically around 40% to 50%, according to Parrot. However, the ongoing loss of licensed content to competitors reclaiming content for their own services may explain the downward trend for the overall Netflix demand share, Parrot noted.

The large amount of highly in-demand library/licensed content available on the Hulu platform leads it to have the largest slice of demand for SVOD services in 2021 so far. Disney’s majority ownership of Hulu combined with the market’s appetite for the much newer Disney+ service means the company is the largest entity in the U.S. SVOD market, based on audience demand.

Apple TV+ typically has around 4% to 5% of the demand share for U.S. digital original series, but their originals-only strategy leads to less than 1% share of demand of the overall U.S. SVOD market.

The HBO Max streaming service seems to occupy the same niche as the HBO cable channel, with a smaller number of highly demanded premium series, according to Parrot. This now includes tentpole superhero original series from the DC Universe service, which merged into HBO Max early in 2021. This strategy has secured a 10% demand share, placing it just ahead of Paramount+ so far this year, according to Parrot.

“The market is continually changing as new services launch, with many recent SVODs concentrating on specialist niches,” reported Parrot. “This increase in competition can be seen in the growth of demand for the ‘Other’ category over time.”

 

Premiere Digital Expands With Connecticut Facility

Premiere Digital, a media services, distribution and aggregation, and SaaS technology solutions company, has announced the expansion of its facilities.

This expansion comes via a built-out of the Stamford, Conn., location of the recently acquired CMI Media Management, a media provisioning company in inflight entertainment.

In order to provide better solutions for both new and existing clients, Premiere has established more-streamlined operations globally with the Stamford facility, adding to existing facilities in Los Angeles and Bangalore, India, according to the company. The Stamford facility will augment its end-to-end business model with a technical operations staff that is ramping up to grow significantly, according to Premiere.

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The Stamford facility will continue to focus on inflight entertainment, while scaling Premiere’s media servicing and distribution operations with an emphasis on HDR servicing. The facility’s East Coast location also enables Premiere to be more accessible to its global clientele, providing reliable support for existing workflows, according to the company.

The facility’s transition will be under the guidance of Elizabeth Archer, director of mastering, who has relocated from the Los Angeles office and reports directly to COO A.J. Sauer. Archer is responsible for building the foundation of the facility’s operations and integrating its systems with Los Angeles’s processes and technologies.

“In this era of shrinking content exploitation windows and global expansion, turnaround times are measured in hours, not days or weeks, so it’s important that we have a distributed workforce and operations that chase the sun,” Sauer said in a statement. “By adding Stamford to our existing facility locations in Los Angeles and Bangalore, we can increase efficiencies in our workflows and better meet our clients’ global digital supply chain needs.”

Samsung TV Plus Adds Impact Wrestling

Professional wrestling organization Impact Wrestling, a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment, has inked an agreement with Samsung TV Plus, giving viewers access to its library of wrestling content through both a dedicated Impact Wrestling Channel and on VOD.

Samsung TV Plus is a free ad-supported streaming (FAST) service, offering viewers instant access to more than 160 channels. Samsung TV Plus comes pre-installed on 2016-21 Samsung Smart TVs and is available on select Samsung Galaxy devices. Impact’s dedicated channel is on channel 1,164 on Samsung TV Plus.

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“This new partnership presents an invaluable opportunity for us to bring Impact Wrestling’s exclusive premium content to even more viewers across the country,” Jaime Pollack, Anthem’s chief revenue officer for its sports media group, said in a statement. “We are excited to share our deep, generation-spanning library with Samsung TV Plus’ audience — giving wrestling fans both old and new a chance to enjoy all of the larger-than-life personas, legendary matches, and gripping story-telling that Impact Wrestling is known for.”

Impact Wrestling includes almost two decades of new and classic original content, with classic stars, including Ric Flair, Sting, Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash and AJ Styles, as well as a current roster of athletes, including Rich Swann, The Good Brothers, former NFL player Moose, Deonna Purrazzo, Sami Callihan, Eddie Edwards, Jordynne Grace, Eric Young and Chris Bey.

Impact programming is televised globally in 120 countries including AXS TV in the United States.

FilmRise Bows Classic TV Channel, Licenses ‘Dick Van Dyke Show,’ ‘Danny Thomas Show’ and ‘That Girl’

New York-based film and television studio and streaming network FilmRise is launching the FilmRise Classic TV Channel and App.

The launch is bolstered by classic television series “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “That Girl” and “The Danny Thomas Show” licensed in a deal between FilmRise and Paul Brownstein Productions.

“These programs continue to resonate with audiences from generation to generation,” Max Einhorn, SVP of acquisitions and co-productions at FilmRise, said in a statement. “They have stood the test of time and have become the foundation for the sitcoms that are created today. Marlo Thomas, Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Danny Thomas … proven talent that continues to entertain as their legacies live on.”

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“The Dick Van Dyke Show” won two Golden Globes and 15 Emmy Awards. It ran for five seasons (1961 to 1966) with a total of 158 half-hour episodes. The series was centered on the work and home life of television comedy writer Rob Petrie, played by Dick Van Dyke. The show was created by Carl Reiner and also starred Mary Tyler Moore. “The Dick Van Dyke Show” was recently featured in Disney+ classic sitcom inspired “WandaVision,” for which Dick Van Dyke himself consulted.

“That Girl,” starring Marlo Thomas, debuted in 1966 and ran for five seasons (1966-71).  It won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for four Emmys. Thomas played Ann Marie, an aspiring actress who moves from her hometown of Brewster, New York, to try to make it big in New York City.

“The Danny Thomas Show”

“The Danny Thomas Show” won five Emmys and ran from 1953 to 1964. Thomas played the role of Danny Williams, a successful comedian and nightclub entertainer at the Copa Club, based on the iconic New York City nightclub the Copacabana. Episodes regularly featured music by Danny Thomas and major guest stars

“These shows define classic television,” Paul Brownstein said in a statement. “The comedy is timeless, and they have all been broadcast continuously for over 60 years. Thanks to FilmRise, the legacy streams on.”

Among the many iconic TV series and films available on FilmRise’s Classic TV Channel and App are “The Rifleman,” “3rd Rock From the Sun,” “Grace Under Fire,” “Grounded For Life,” “Highway to Heaven,” “My Favorite Martian,” “Midsomer Murders,” “Sleepers,” “Dead Calm,” “Forensic Files” and “Unsolved Mysteries With Robert Stack.”

FilmRise operates the FilmRise Streaming Network, comprised of 22 Apps on streaming devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Comcast Xfinity, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Cox Contour TV, and more than a dozen FAST Channels available on platforms such as The Roku Channel, Samsung TV Plus, Vizio Watch Free and IMDbTV, among others.

‘Top Gun’ Flying Back to Theaters for 35th

The Tom Cruise action classic Top Gun will land at more than 150 Dolby Cinemas at AMC across the country for an exclusive one-week engagement beginning May 13.

Newly remastered, the film will be presented with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos audio.

The limited theatrical release is timed to Top Gun Day on May 13, as well as the 35th anniversary of the film, which was originally released on May 16, 1986.

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The film, starring Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards,  is available now on digital, 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray, with more than four hours of bonus content, including a featurette that explores the film’s legacy and enduring popularity through interviews with Cruise, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and members of the cast of the new film Top Gun: Maverick.

The story of an elite group of pilots competing to earn the title of “Top Gun” ultimately earned a worldwide box office of more than $350 million.