Horror Title ‘Hereditary’ Due on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 4 From Lionsgate

The horror title Hereditary arrives on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and digital), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and digital) and DVD Sept. 4 from Lionsgate.

The film, from writer-director Ari Aster, stars Toni Collette as the beleaguered mother in a grieving family haunted by tragic and disturbing events. The film also stars Alex Wolff (Patriot’s DayMy Friend Dahmer), newcomer Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd (TV’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”) and Gabriel Byrne (The Man in the Iron Mask, TV’s “Vikings”). When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited.

The Hereditary 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $42.99, $39.99, and $29.95, respectively. The 4K UHD version includes Dolby Vision HDR.

Special features include deleted scenes, the making-of featurette “Cursed: The True Nature of Hereditary” and the “Evil in Miniature” photo gallery.

Roku Introduces Roku TV Wireless Speakers

Streaming device pioneer Roku July 16 unveiled the Roku TV wireless speakers, the first speakers made exclusively for Roku TV.

The speakers are “meticulously engineered and calibrated to deliver powerful, premium audio to Roku TVs,” according to a Roku press release.

“Because Roku controls the software in both the speakers and TV, Roku is uniquely able to provide seamless wireless setup and connectivity, optimize sound for the picture and ensure audio video sync,” the release stated.

Roku TV users can pre-order from Roku.com through July 23 for an introductory price of $149.99. From July 24 through Oct. 15, it’s $179.99. Beginning Oct. 16, pricing is $199.99. The speaker bundle begins shipping to customers by late October. The bundle includes two Roku TV wireless speakers, a Roku TV voice remote, a Roku touch tabletop remote, two Power Cables and four AAA batteries.

“Picture quality, a tremendous selection of content, value, and ease of use make Roku TVs some of the most popular smart TVs on the market today,” said Roku CEO Anthony Wood in a statement. “Adding great audio dramatically enhances the way people experience their favorite entertainment. With Roku TV wireless speakers, we’re able to offer our customers a simple and affordable way to further immerse themselves into the TV, movies and music they love, while providing them with a better whole home entertainment experience.”

The speakers can be wirelessly paired to Roku TVs via Roku Connect, according to the release. Once paired, users can listen to audio from any streaming channel on the Roku platform, live TV from an antenna, or other devices such as a cable set-top box through the speakers. The speakers support Bluetooth music streaming from mobile devices. The speakers also offer automatic volume leveling to lower the volume on loud scenes and boost the volume on quieter ones and dialog enhancement to improve the intelligibility of speech.

Roku TV wireless speakers work exclusively with Roku TVs, which accounted for one out of every four smart TVs sold in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2018, according to the company.

Emerging Markets Streaming Service Iflix Reaches 15 Million Subscribers

iflix, a streaming and download entertainment service for emerging markets, announced it has reached more than 15 million subscribers and experienced 250% growth since January 2018.

iflix is available to consumers in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Maldives, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Cambodia, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Nepal, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Tanzania and Uganda. It offers users unlimited access to thousands of TV shows, movies and other content including comedies, drama, K-drama, Turkish drama, Bollywood, Nollywood, cartoons, movies and live sports from Hollywood, the United Kingdom, Asia, the Middle East and Africa for a monthly fee.

“2018 is already a transformational year for iflix,” said iflix co-founder and group CEO Mark Britt in a statement. “We continue to be passionately obsessed with what emerging markets customers need and want. The huge growth we’ve seen across the business is a testament to that commitment. We have one goal and that is to make iflix ubiquitous across emerging markets. To achieve this, we will continue to learn and innovate to build global culture and find new audiences for extraordinary world class content.

The service is moving away “from the traditional Western SVOD model” to “culturally rich, engaging localized programming and features,” according to an iflix press release.

The service has seen growth in customer engagement, with content consumption doubling in the last five months for an overall 22.84 billion minutes (43,500 years) streamed since launch, according the iflix.

User data shows that local audiences have a strong preference for local content, according to the release. To cater to this demand, iflix has significantly increased its acquisition and commissioning of local content, with the aim of quadrupling its commissioning slate by 2019 with 12 original TV series, 30 feature movies and 75 short form films, the service announced.

iflix is beefing up resources for translation and subtitling, to help make its international content library more accessible to local audiences, the release noted.

In January this year, iflix announced a joint venture with Football Malaysia. The company has also added Bangladesh cricket, Formula E and 2018 World Cup Russia action, as well as music events.

The company has built a live hub with live streaming infrastructure and capabilities, enabling streaming of every World Cup match on its Kwesé-iflix service across Africa.

Seventh Annual Los Angeles Entertainment Summit Opens Tomorrow

The seventh annual Los Angeles Entertainment Summit opens tomorrow (Tuesday, July 16) with a focus on independent product, both physical and digital, as well as the booming OTT marketplace.

The trade show, produced by the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), runs for two days at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, Calif.

The 2018 Los Angeles Entertainment Summit is centered on one-on-one business meetings between independent content providers and retailers and streaming services, the EMA said back in May, when the event’s dates were announced.

The summit also features the  first-ever OTT Channels conference – a day of research presentations, sessions with industry thought leaders, and an exploration of opportunities in subscription video on demand and ad-supported video on demand.

LAES continues to provide an opportunity for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) to raise funds.

The event opens July 17 with a morning welcome session, featuring a CFF update from LAES co-chair Mark Horak and an EMA update from Mark Fisher, the association’s president and CEO.

Then comes a research super-session moderated by Media Play News publisher Thomas K. Arnold, featuring research presentations by GfK Entertainment, IHS Markit, Nielsen and the NPD Group.

Next is a spotlight presentation from Tobias Queesser, cofounder of Cinelytic.

Bill Sondheim, president of the Cinedigm Entertainment Group, will deliver the keynote address at 9:30 a.m., followed by the Independent Studio Home Entertainment Awards.

The OTT Channels conference will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with a lineup of speakers and panelists assembled by conference chair Erick Opeka, EVP of digital networks at Cinedigm Corp.

And from 4 to 6 p.m., the Digital EMA Forum will bring together digital retailers, studios, independent content providers, and service providers to hear the latest research on digital home entertainment and discover how retailers and content providers are streamlining the digital supply chain through common practices.

The day ends with a cocktail party sponsored by FandangoNOW.

Day two of LAES, Wednesday, July 18, is devoted to business meetings and a networking lunch.

MVD Bows Two New Labels

MVD Entertainment Group has created two new labels for collectors, the “MVD Marquee Collection” and “MVD Classics,” featuring low pricing.

Like the recently launched “MVD Rewind Collection,” which features titles from the “video store era” with bonus content and more, the two new brands each have a distinct focus.

The “MVD Marquee Collection” will feature a mixture of major and independent studio product for Blu-ray and DVD from more recent catalog. Some titles will be new to Blu-ray and some will be re-releases of titles that have gone out of print.

Titles in the “Marquee Collection,” at prices ranging from $24.95 to $39.95, include the Blu-ray releases Walking Tall (2004, starring Dwayne Johnson), Crazy Six, Blast, Autumn In New York, Barbershop, Barbershop 2: Back In Business, Beauty Shop, Out Of Time, Art School Confidential, Windtalkers, Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction and Memories of Me.

The “MVD Classics” label includes titles that are lesser known and will be released on DVD only for the most part. The supplier plans to include bonus material if it previously existed. Titles in that collection include the Blu-ray releases Diamonds Of Kilimanjaro and Golden Temple Amazons.

Sci-fi Thriller ‘Flora’ Due on Disc, Digital Aug. 7 From Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment will release the historical sci-fi thriller Flora Aug. 7 on Blu-ray and digital.

Filmed in the Canadian wilderness, Flora is set in the summer of 1929 and follows a small expedition of Ivy League botanists through an uncharted forest on the North American frontier. Tasked to study the native flora, the students unearth a deadly organism and are soon in a fight with nature itself.

Special features include a behind-the-scenes featurette, trailers, deleted scenes, and commentary with writer-director-producer Sasha Louis Vukovic, art director-executive producer-actress Teresa Marie Doran and executive producer-actor Dan Lin.

Flora premiered at the 2017 London International Science Fiction Film Festival where it won Best Feature Film. The film was awarded Best Original Screenplay at the Amsterdam International Film Festival; Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Cinematographer at the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival; Best Science Fiction Feature at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival; Best Feature at the Escape Velocity Film Festival; and Best Score at Filmquest, during its U.S. premiere in Provo, Utah. It was also an official selection at the Twin Cities Film Festival, Other Worlds Austin Film Festival, Boston Science Fiction Film Festival and Lund International Fantastic Film Festival.

Comedy ‘Book Club’ Due on Digital Aug. 14, Disc Aug. 28

Book Club, starring Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen, will be released on digital Aug. 14 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD Aug. 28 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.

In the film, Keaton, Fonda, Bergen and Steenburgen star as four lifelong friends whose lives are turned upside down when their book club attempts to shake things up by tackling the infamous Fifty Shades of Grey. Book Club also stars Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, Craig T. Nelson, Richard Dreyfuss and Ed Begley Jr.

Bonus features on the Blu-ray Combo Pack (with a digital copy and DVD of the film) include deleted and extended scenes, interviews with filmmakers and cast, explorations of the writing and casting process, and behind-the-scenes footage from the set.

Netflix Bows Automatic Download, Delete Feature for Android

Netflix July 10 introduced “Smart Downloads.” The feature, initially available on Android phones and tablets, automatically deletes a downloaded episode when subscribers finish watching it and then automatically downloads the next episode, according to the company blog.

“We know how annoying it can be to go through all your apps and delete files you no longer need; we also understand that when it comes to Netflix, the faster you can get to the next episode you want to watch, the better,” read the blog from Cameron Johnson, director of product innovation. “Whether it is smart downloading or viewing a mobile preview, we realize the best part of Netflix is connecting with the stories you will love in an easier and more fun way.”

Members can choose when they want to use Smart Downloads, according to the blog. There are more details on the feature here .

‘Woman Walks Ahead’ Due on Disc Aug. 28 From Lionsgate

Woman Walks Ahead, a Western starring Jessica Chastain, arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD Aug. 28 from Lionsgate.

Directed by Susanna White (Our Kind of Traitor), and also starring Sam Rockwell and Michael Greyeyes as Chief Sitting Bull, the film tells the fictionalized account of the true-life events of New York portrait painter Catherine Weldon and her time in North Dakota with the Lakota Sioux tribe.

Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD will be available at $21.99 and $19.98, respectively.

Special features include deleted scenes and a making-of featurette and an audio commentary with White.

Season 5 of ‘The Goldbergs’ Coming Out on DVD Sept. 4 from Sony

The Goldbergs: The Complete Fifth Season will come out on DVD Sept. 4 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The ABC series, about a family in the 1980s, stars Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids), Sean Giambrone (TV’s “Clarence”), Troy Gentile (Good Luck Chuck), Hayley Orrantia (TV’s “The X Factor”), Sam Lerner (Truth or Dare), George Segal (TV’s “Just Shoot Me!”) and Jeff Garlin (TV’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”).

The DVD includes all 22 episodes from the fifth season along with a gag reel and deleted scenes.