‘Underwater’ Tops Redbox On Demand Chart; ‘Dolittle’ Stays Atop Disc Rentals

The newly released Underwater, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, took over the No. 1 spot on Redbox’s On Demand chart and was No. 2 on Redbox’s kiosk disc rental chart the week ended April 19.

The Redbox disc rental chart tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red kiosks. The Redbox On Demand chart tracks digital transactions, including both electronic sellthrough and streaming rentals.

Universal’s Dolittle, which debuted atop both charts a week earlier, remained No. 1 on the kiosk disc rental chart but slipped to No. 2 on the On Demand chart.

Another newcomer, Warner’s Just Mercy, debuted at No. 3 on the disc chart and No. 9 on the digital chart.

Sony Pictures’ Jumanji: The Next Level dropped to No. 4 on the rental chart and No. 5 on the On Demand chart.

Universal Pictures’ 1917 slid to No. 5 on the disc chart and No. 10 on the On Demand chart.

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The animated sequel Trolls World Tour remained at No. 3 on the On Demand chart.

Warner’s Birds of Prey was the No. 4 On Demand title.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended April 19:

  1. Dolittle — Universal
  2. Underwater — Fox
  3. Just Mercy — Warner
  4. Jumanji: The Next Level — Sony Pictures
  5. 1917 — Universal
  6. Little Women (2019) — Sony Pictures
  7. Spies in Disguise — Fox
  8. Knives Out — Lionsgate
  9. Gemini Man — Paramount
  10. The Grudge (2020) — Sony Pictures

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended April 19:

  1. Underwater — Fox
  2. Dolittle — Universal
  3. Trolls World Tour — Universal
  4. Birds of Prey — Warner
  5. Jumanji: The Next Level — Sony Pictures
  6. The Gentlemen — STX
  7. The Call of the Wild — Fox
  8. The Way Back — Warner
  9. Just Mercy — Warner
  10. 1917 — Universal

 

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‘Wendy’ Available for Digital Purchase April 17

The fantasy film Wendy, a reimagining of Peter Pan, will be available through digital retailers April 17 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

When an adventurous young girl named Wendy (Devin France) follows her spirited nature, she lands on a seemingly magical island. Together with her happy, reckless, pleasure-seeking new friend Peter (Yashua Mack), she explores the island in all its wonder, and gets to know this spectacular land’s other inhabitants. Soon, though, it’s clear that Wendy is in a fight to save her family, her freedom, and the joyous spirit of youth from the deadly peril of growing up, with the most powerful ability she has — love.

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Extras include a deleted scenes reel, an audition reel, a “Making Wendy” featurette and VFX breakdowns.

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Comedy ‘Downhill’ on Disc May 19

The comedy Downhill will arrive on Blu-ray Disc and DVD May 19 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. It is available now for digital purchase in 4K and HD.

A remake of the European film Force Majeure, Downhill stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell as a married couple whose lives are thrown into disarray as they are forced to reevaluate their relationship after barely escaping an avalanche during a family ski vacation in the Alps.

The cast also includes Zach Woods, Zoe Chao, Giulio Berruti, Kristofer Hivju and Miranda Otto.

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Blu-ray and digital extras include deleted scenes, an alternate opening, outtakes, and the featurettes “Origins of the Film” and “Locations.” The featurette “Casting the Stanton Family and Friends” is offered as a digital exclusive.

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Fox Releasing ‘Call of the Wild’ on Disc May 12

The wilderness adventure film The Call of the Wild will arrive on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray May 12 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. It is available now for digital purchase.

Adapted from the novel by Jack London, the film tells the story of Buck, a big-hearted dog (created using CGI animation) whose blissful domestic life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Canadian Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s. As the newest rookie on a mail delivery dog sled team — and later its leader — Buck experiences the adventure of a lifetime, ultimately finding his true place in the world and becoming his own master.

The film stars Harrison Ford, Omar Sy, Dan Stevens, Karen Gillan, Bradley Whitford, Cara Gee, Michael Horse, Jean Louisa Kelly, Colin Woodell, Adam Fergus and Abraham Benrubi.

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The Blu-ray and digital editions will include the featurettes “Origins,” “The On-Set Experience,” “State of the Art” and “The World of the Wild.” The featurette “A Man and His Dog” is offered as a digital exclusive.

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Merchandising: Declassifying ‘Spies in Disguise’ Exclusives

Best Buy and Target offered exclusive 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray versions of the new animated movie Spies in Disguise, which hit shelves March 10 from Disney-owned 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Best Buy offered the film with Steelbook packaging for $34.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Spies in Disguise’ Steelbook

Target had a $32.99 limited edition with a pack-in “Super Spy Training Manual” booklet.

Target’s ‘Spies in Disguise’ limited edition with booklet

Another notable promotion during the week involved Walmart offering a code for exclusive behind-the-scenes content of Disney’s Frozen II with the purchase of Sparkling Ice bottled vitamin water.

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Jojo Rabbit

BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Fox;
Comedy;
Box Office $33.31 million;
$29.99 DVD, $37.99 Blu-ray, $45.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for mature thematic content, some disturbing images, violence, and language.
Stars Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Taika Waititi, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, Stephen Merchant, Archie Yates.

Writer-director Taiki Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit delivers what may be the most concise cinematic spoof of the Nazis since Mel Brooks’ The Producers.

The film has drawn some controversy for its flippant portrayal of the Nazi regime, but its dark humor succeeds mostly in demonstrating how irrational Hitler’s racial philosophies were. At its core, Jojo Rabbit is a screed against idolizing charismatic government figures who demonize others for personal power.

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Based on Christine Leunens’s book Caging Skies, the film tells the story of a 10-year-old German boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), who wants nothing more than to serve the Third Reich. Jojo has an imaginary friend in the form of Hitler (played with over-the-top aplomb by Waititi himself in the tradition of Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator), who constantly spouts Nazi talking points as motivation. At a Hitler youth camp, however, Jojo ends up accidentally blowing himself up with a grenade, scaring his face and rendering him unsuitable for most military duties other than running errands around the city as it prepares for the coming Allied invasion.

As Jojo recovers, he hears strange noises in his home and discovers a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) hiding in the attic, though he comes to realize he can’t turn her in for fear of the trouble it would bring his mother (Scarlett Johansson), though she is fervently anti-Nazi and a supporter of the resistance.

Inspired by an offhand comment by his youth squad’s commander (Sam Rockwell), Jojo studies the girl, hoping to write a book to help Nazi officers better recognize Jews in their mission to remove them from Germany. Some of the tropes spouted by Jojo and the officers in his company rival Borat in their absurdity. Over time, of course, Jojo ends up developing an affection for the girl.

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Focusing the film through Jojo’s perspective allows Waititi, who ended up winning the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, to maintain a lighter tone for most of the story while veering into the more serious aspects of the subject matter when necessary, leading to a film that is both funny and emotionally affecting.

Waititi’s offbeat brand of comedy carries over into the Blu-ray’s bonus materials, particularly a very funny commentary track in which he starts off discussing the film by himself, but tires of that so he begins calling members of the cast to talk to about their experiences in making the film. It ends up being an interesting spin on the typical template for dispersing information in a commentary.

For a more traditional glimpse behind the scenes, there’s a half-hour featurette that delves a lot into the performances, sets and costumes.

The Blu-ray also includes nine minutes of deleted scenes, which is mostly extra footage of Waititi doing his shtick as Hitler, plus a three-and-a-half-minute outtakes reel.

Vudu, as it tends to do, offers a two-minute “Taika Talk” featurette with footage culled from other videos.

 

‘Ford v Ferrari’ Drives to Top Spot on Disc Sales Charts

The auto-racing drama Ford v Ferrari  zoomed to a No. 1 debut on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Feb. 15.

Ford v Ferrari stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale in the story of how the Ford Motor Company designed a car to challenge Ferrari’s dominance in endurance racing in the 1960s. The film, from Disney-owned 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, earned $117 million at the domestic box office.

Jumping back to No. 2 on both charts was Warner’s Joker. The dark comic book adaptation in its sixth week sold about half as many copies as Ford v Ferrari did in its first.

The previous week’s top seller, Warner’s Doctor Sleep, slipped to No. 3 on both charts.

The comedy Playing With Fire, from Paramount, dropped to No. 4 on the overall sales chart and No. 7 on the Blu-ray chart.

Paramount’s Terminator: Dark Fate was No. 5 on the overall sales chart and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart.

The No. 5 Blu-ray was Best Picture Oscar winner Parasite, from Universal Pictures, up from No. 12 the previous week. It jumped to No. 8 on the overall sales chart (from No. 21), with 84% of its unit sales coming from the Blu-ray format for the week.

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Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 68% of the first-week sales of Ford v Ferrari, with 24% of the film’s overall total comprised of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack.

Also of note, Warner’s re-release of Friends: The Complete Series from this past September was No. 13 on the overall sales chart and No. 22 on the Blu-ray chart. Warner has been heavily marketing  the show on disc and digital sellthrough since it was removed from Netflix at the end of 2019 and won’t be available for streaming again until the HBO Max services launches in May.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Feb. 16, Ford v Ferrari debuted at No. 1, pushing Playing With Fire to No. 2.

Doctor Sleep held onto the No. 3 spot, while Joker remained at No. 4. Terminator: Dark Fate slipped three spots to No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 2-15-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 2-16-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 2-15-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 2-15-20
Sales Report for Week Ended 2-15-20
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 2-17-20

Ford v Ferrari

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 2/11/20;
Fox;
Drama;
Box Office $116.38 million;
$29.99 DVD, $37.99 Blu-ray, $45.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for some language and peril.
Stars Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Ray McKinnon.

Director James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari provides an immensely entertaining look at an international corporate rivalry that changed the face of auto racing in the 1960s.

Matt Damon stars as automotive designer Carroll Shelby, a former race car driver enlisted by the Ford Motor Company to design a car that can break the dominance of Ferrari in France’s prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Shelby in turn recruits Ken Miles (Christian Bale) to drive the car, a move that rubs certain Ford bigwigs the wrong way, most notably Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas), the executive in charge of the racing division.

Bales, whose turn as the hotheaded mechanic and driver Miles is essentially a co-lead with Damon, dominates every scene he’s in with an energetic performance that commands attention. In fact, some of his best scenes involve Miles alone on the road in the racecar, commenting to himself about how much he enjoys the ride or doesn’t appreciate the actions of the drivers around him.

The film delivers both in the corporate versus maverick politics of the company’s attempts to constrain Shelby’s efforts, as well as being a thrilling racing movie. Mangold’s racing footage puts viewers on the track and in the cars, and viewers can practically feel the crashes through their high-definition home theaters.

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The scenes involving the design and testing of the new racecars are equally compelling, as Shelby’s team takes on the engineering challenge with the focus and intensity of a NASA mission to the moon.

Though Damon and Bale get the headlines with one of the great screen partnerships of recent years, the supporting cast delivers some noteworthy work as well, particularly Caitriona Balfe and Noah Jupe as Miles’ wife and son, and Ray McKinnon as one of Shelby’s top mechanics.

And the film gets to have its cake and eat it too with the “Batman v Bourne” of it all, when Shelby and Miles have a bit of a spat over how much of Ford’s corporate meddling they’re willing to take.

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The intricacy of detail the filmmakers took in re-creating the racing culture of the 1960s is on display in the hour-long making-of documentary “Bringing the Rivalry to Life” that is included with the Blu-ray and digital copies of the film. The eight-part program offers ample interviews about how much the cast enjoyed making the movie, and how the filmmakers went about making replica cars to use for the racing scenes.

Digital versions include the exclusive “The 24-Hour Le Mans: Re-creating the Course,” a 22-minute featurette that delves into how the filmmakers re-created the Le Mans course, using a mix of replica cars and visual effects to enhance the backgrounds. In some cases, the sons of the original drivers were bought in to play their fathers in the climactic race.

The digital edition also offers a 26-minute highlight reel of pre-vis animation of the race scenes.

Vudu has an additional three-minute featurette edited from clips culled from the other bonus materials.

 

Oscar Nominated ‘Jojo Rabbit’ Coming to Digital Feb. 4, Disc — Including 4K — Feb. 18

Writer-director Taika Waititi’s six-time Oscar nominated Jojo Rabbit will debut on digital Feb. 4 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 18 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The World War II satire follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic.

The film has been nominated for Best Picture Academy Award Nomination, a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for Best Picture, and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Star Davis, whose first-ever acting role was Jojo, won a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Young Actor, as well as a nomination for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy. Additionally, Johansson has received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for her performance as Rosie. Waititi has received Academy Award Nominations for Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture (with Carthew Neal), as well as nominations from the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, and BAFTA (Adapted Screenplay). Earlier this year, the film was honored at the AFI Awards, making it onto AFI’s list of the Top 10 Movies of the Year for 2019. And the film also won TIFF’s highly acclaimed Grolsch People’s Choice Award, while Waititi garnered the Ebert Director Award at the festival’s tribute gala awards event.

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Bonus features include deleted scenes, outtakes, “Inside Jojo Rabbit,” audio commentary from Waititi and theatrical trailers.

‘Ford v Ferrari’ Driving to Home Video

The racing drama Ford v Ferrari will be released through digital retailers Jan. 28, and on Blu-ray Disc, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 11 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Based on the true story about Ford Motor Company’s attempt to create the world’s fastest car, the film stars Matt Damon as American car designer Carroll Shelby, and Christian Bale as the fearless British-born driver Ken Miles, who joined forces to battle corporate interference and the laws of physics to build a revolutionary race car and take on Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.

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Directed by James Mangold, the film earned $110.1 million at the domestic box office.

The Blu-ray and digital editions will include the eight-part, 60-minute behind-the-scenes documentary “Bringing the Rivalry to Life.”

Digital bonus materials include the featurette “The 24 Hour Le Mans: Recreating the Course,” and animated pre-visualizations of the Daytona and Le Mans racing sequences.

A “Matt and Christian: The Conversation” featurette with reflections on the film from Damon and Bale will be available exclusively through iTunes.

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