HDR10+ Announces First Certified Products, Adopters

HDR10+ Technologies, a joint venture among 20th Century Fox, Panasonic Corp. and Samsung Electronics, has announced the first certified products and first adopters for the loyalty-free HDR10+ license program.

Panasonic and Samsung are also among the first to announce firmware has been deployed to select 2018 television models enabling support of HDR10+ for consumers.

HDR10+ advances High Dynamic Range (HDR) and HDR10 TV formats by adding dynamic metadata to each frame. It enables advanced chipsets to create a true-to-life picture across a wider range of displays.

The HDR10+ license program and logo ensure that HDR10+ compliant products meet high standards for picture quality and that the true intent of filmmakers is preserved within these key parameters:

  • The display performance certification qualifies requirements on the display mode, peak luminance level, peak luminance stability, transfer function and white point tracking performance and color gamut coverage.
  • The metadata processing certification qualifies carriage and accuracy of metadata over interfaces. The display management performance certification qualifies tone-mapping based on HDR10+ Metadata such as shadow preservation.
  • The Ultra HD Blu-ray player certification qualifies the processing and accuracy of HDR10+ Metadata carriage over the HDMI interface.

Depending on the category of adopter, certification can be obtained by self-certification or through an Authorized Testing Center (ATC) such as Allion and TTA — the first centers verified for HDR10+ certification. Adopter categories include UHD Blu-ray player manufacturers, OTT set-top box manufacturers or services, display manufacturers, SoC vendors, content companies and tool vendors.

More than 80 companies have already applied or completed the license program.

“A standardized licensing process has allowed partners, including content creators, television and device manufacturers, to easily incorporate HDR10+ technology,” said Danny Kaye, EVP of 20th Century Fox and managing director of the Fox Innovation Lab, in a statement. “We’re encouraged by the interest of early adopters and an expanded HDR10+ ecosystem that will improve the viewing experiences for all audiences.”

20th Century Fox has committed to incorporating HDR10+ in its upcoming new release slate.

“Panasonic is happy to announce that through the deployment of a firmware update, the majority of our 2018 4K models are now HDR10+ certified meaning that our viewers will be able to enjoy content even closer to the intentions of the filmmakers,” said Toshiharu Tsutsui, director of Panasonic’s TV Business Division, in a statement.

“We are thrilled that the majority of our 2018 lineup will be fully certified for HDR10+,” said Bill Mandel, VP of Industry Relations at Samsung Research America, in a statement. “We are collaborating with other HDR10+ adopters globally who are making tools, developing their own SoCs and/or TV line-ups to be HDR10+ compliant to provide consumers broad access to a great HDR experience.”

“We are so excited to be a part of this promising new technology standard that is HDR10+,” said Denver Mishima, head of Standards & Compliance Division of Allion Japan Inc, in a statement. “As a third-party Authorized Test Center, Allion always strives to provide value proposition to prestigious organizations such as HDR10+ Technologies and its adopters. Providing adopters a better testing and certification experience is our mission and commitment in this venture.”

“TTA is pleased again to be working with the display and media industries to launch the newest HDR technology with HDR10+ LLC adopters,” said Park Yongbum, VP of TTA. “We are looking forward to providing testing and certification services for this latest logo program.”

More on the certification requirements and application process can be found here.

Companies adopting HDR10+ are listed on the website.

Companies can learn more about the HDR10+ license and logo program, including final specifications and adopter agreements here.

Fox Doubles Fiscal-Year Hulu Equity Loss

Hulu, the SVOD service co-owned by The Walt Disney Co., Comcast, 21st Century Fox and WarnerMedia, may have 20 million subscribers, an Emmy-winning series (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and an online TV component. It also has burgeoning costs for its corporate owners.

Fox on Aug. 8 disclosed it generated a $127 million fourth-quarter (ended June 30) equity loss for its 30% stake in Hulu. That was up 135% from an equity loss of $54 million during the previous-year period.

For its fiscal year, Fox posted a Hulu equity loss of $445 million – more than double the $215 million equity loss last year.

With Disney assuming Fox’s Hulu stake (for 60% controlling stake) as part of its $71 billion acquisition of 20thCentury Fox Film and other Fox assets, expect the Mickey Mouse company’s equity loss to increase.

Disney CFO Christine McCarthy alluded as much on the company’s Aug. 7 fiscal call.

“The higher losses at Hulu were primarily driven by higher programming and labor costs, partially offset by higher subscription and advertising revenue,” McCarthy said

Indeed, Disney attributed a $49 million second-quarter equity loss to Hulu, which mushroomed to a $193 million through the first six months of the year.

Hulu lost $920 million in 2017 compared to a loss of $531 million in 2016. The fiscal loss is reportedly projected to reach $1.7 billion this year as the service ups original content spending on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Marvel’s Runaways,” “Future Man,” and “The Doozers,” among others.

 

Fox Holds 30th Anniversary ‘Die Hard’ Screening at Nakatomi Plaza

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Die Hard, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment hosted a screening July 28 in Los Angeles at Fox Plaza, the building that served as the Nakatomi Plaza setting of the film. The Die Hard: 30th Anniversary Edition is available now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and digitally.

Disney, Fox Shareholders Approve Historic Deal

The big deal is on.

As expected, shareholders of The Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox  on July 27 approved Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s entertainment assets, in one of the biggest media mergers of all time.

Investors approved the $71.3 billion deal – first proposed last December – in separate meetings at the New York Hilton. Both meetings were brief, less than 15 minutes. Fox shareholders were told the union would be completed in the first half of 2019.

Indeed, 21st Century Fox, which is selling select Fox assets, including 20th Century Fox Film, and Disney July 26 filed for regulatory approval in Brazil, claiming the merger does not hinder competition.

The shareholder vote came a month, to the day, after Disney won U.S. antitrust approval to buy Fox’s entertainment assets on the condition it divest 22 Regional Sports Networks (RSNs).

Disney had initially offered $52.4 billion to buy the Fox movie and TV assets, but after Comcast Corporation in early June countered with a $65 billion all-cash deal, Disney upped its cash-and-stock offer to $71.3 billion.

A little more than a week ago, Comcast dropped its bid and shifted its focus to buying European pay-TV operator Sky.

HDR10+ Licensing, Logo Certification Program Begins

HDR10+ Technologies LLC June 20 announced the start of the new licensing and logo certification program for HDR10+ technology.

HDR10+ is the royalty-free, open standard dynamic metadata platform for High Dynamic Range (HDR), which optimizes picture quality for 4K Ultra HD displays and improves the viewing experience for all audiences.

The new HDR10+ technology optimizes picture quality for 4K Ultra HD displays by using dynamic tone mapping to reflect frame to frame or scene to scene variations in brightness, color saturation, and contrast. The resulting enhanced viewing experience can now be easily provided on a wide range of displays bringing the viewing experience much closer to the original creative intent for the content.

The HDR10+ license and logo certification is available to interested companies that meet HDR10+ technical and testing specifications. The HDR10+ certification program qualifies the compliance based on different device categories and their technical performance to ensure that HDR10+ compliant products meet high standards for picture quality.

An on-pack HDR10+ logo signifies a product’s certification. The royalty-free adoption of HDR10+ for content production, distribution and consumption currently has more than 40 supporting companies.

“The new HDR10+ licensing and certification program represents a technological step forward for next generation displays,” said Danny Kaye, EVP of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Managing Director of the Fox Innovation Lab. “HDR10+ improves the viewing experience for all audiences by delivering higher picture quality to a wider range of affordable TVs and devices.”

The HDR10+ platform was also designed to allow for future development and innovation in order to deliver a more powerful technology in the years to come.

‘Maze Runner’ Finale Finds Path to Top Spot on Disc Sales Chart

Maze Runner: The Death Cure, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended April 28.

The third and final film based on the post-apocalyptic “Maze Runner” young-adult novels earned $58 million at the domestic box office. A trilogy collection landed at No. 12 overall and No. 10 on the Blu-ray chart.

The musical hit The Greatest Showman, also from Fox, dropped to No. 2 after two weeks in the top spot.

The heist thriller Den of Thieves, from Universal Pictures, debuted at No. 3 overall and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart after a $45 million haul at the domestic box office.

Another newcomer, Lionsgate’s Hostiles, debuted at No. 4 overall and No. 5 on the Blu-ray chart. The film, which stars Christian Bale as a U.S. Cavalry officer assigned to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family back to tribal lands in 1892, earned $29.8 million in U.S. theaters.

Dropping to the fifth spot overall and third on the Blu-ray list was Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi in its fifth week on disc.

Two other newcomers found a spot in the overall top 10, with Warner’s Paddington 2 debuting at No. 6 (No. 7 on the Blu-ray chart) and Lionsgate’s Forever My Girl at No. 7 (No. 11 on the Blu-ray chart).

Blu-ray Disc accounted for 58% of unit sales for both Death Cure and Den of Thieves, compared with 43% for Hostiles, 51% for Paddington 2 and 30% for Forever My Girl.

On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended April 29, Den of Thieves debuted at No. 1, pushing Lionsgate’s The Commuter to No. 2.

Hostiles entered the chart at No. 3, with Greatest Showman slipping to No. 4 and Paddington 2 arriving at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 04-28-18
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 04-29-18
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 04-28-18
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 04-28-18
Sales Report for Week Ended 04-28-18
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 04-30-18

‘Die Hard’ 30th Anniversary Edition Disc Coming in May

A 30th anniversary edition of the classic action film Die Hard is on the way from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The studio on May 15 will release an all-new 4K Ultra HD remaster as well as a regular Blu-ray Disc.

The 1988 film, which launched a five-film franchise, stars Bruce Willis as a New York City police officer who flies to Los Angeles on Christmas Eve to visit his wife at a party in her company’s elegant high-rise (the same Century City building that is now headquarters for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment). A group of terrorists seize the building and take everyone hostage except for Willis, who must single-handedly save the day.

Fox also has partnered with Walmart to issue the Die Hard 5-Film Box Set, a steelbook-encased collection of all five “Die Hard” movies: the 1988 original, Die Hard 2 (1990), Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Live Free or Die Hard (2007) and A Good Day to Die Hard (2013). The five-film set is also due May 15 and will be available only at Walmart stores.

The Blu-ray Disc reissue features no new bonus content, just the same extras as on a previous release:

  • Commentary by director John McTiernan and production designer Jackson DeGovia
  • Scene-specific commentary by special effects supervisor Richard Edlund
  • Subtitle commentary by various cast and crew members
  • “The News Casts” featurette
  • Interactive style gallery
  • Interactive articles from Cinefex and American Cinematographer
  • Full-length screenplay
  • Trailers and TV spots

‘Greatest Showman’ Sings Up a No. 1 Disc Debut

After two weeks at No. 1, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi finally ceded the top spot on the national home video sales charts to a new release from 20th Century Fox.

The Greatest Showman, a musical biopic about circus showman P.T. Barnum, took the No. 1 spot the week ended April 14 on both the NPD VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and NPD VideoScan’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.

Last Jedi slipped to No. 2 on both charts, selling about one-third as many discs as the Fox musical, which earned over $173 million in U.S. theaters.

No. 3 on both the overall and Blu-ray disc sales charts was Sony Pictures’ successful Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

The No. 4 spot on the two sales charts went to two different new releases. On the overall disc chart, season three of “Outlander” debuted at No. 4, while on the Blu-ray Disc sales chart Warner’s animated direct-to-video Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay took fourth place.

Hell to Pay bowed at No. 5 on the overall disc sales chart, while on the Blu-ray Disc sales chart fifth place went to Disney’s Thor: Ragnarok, still in the top five after more than a month of availability.

Outlander: Season Three debuted at No. 6 on the Blu-ray Disc sales chart.

One other new release made the top 10 its first week out: Sony Pictures’ Proud Mary, a mob thriller with a box office take of less than $21 million. The film debuted at No. 8 on the overall disc sales chart and No. 10 on the Blu-ray Disc sales chart.

Greatest Showman generated 66% of its first week sales from Blu-ray Disc and 7% from 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, according to VideoScan.

Outlander sales were just 43% Blu-ray, compared with 70% for Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay.

On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended April 15, Jumanji held onto the top spot for a fourth consecutive week.

Warner’s Father Figures remained at No. 2, with the next three chart positions going to new releases: Proud Mary at No. 3; All the Money in the World, also from Sony Pictures, at No. 4; and Molly’s Game, from Universal Pictures, at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 04-14-18
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 04-15-18
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 04-14-18
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 04-14-18
Sales Report for Week Ended 04-14-18
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 04-16-18

‘Red Sparrow’ Coming Out on Disc May 22

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has set a May 22 release date for Red Sparrow, a suspense-driven spy drama starring Jennifer Lawrence.

The film will be released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc, and DVD.

As of April 15, Red Sparrow has earned $46.5 million in U.S. theaters.

Lawrence portrays Dominika, a former ballerina forced to enter Sparrow School, a secret government program that thrusts her into a treacherous espionage game between Russia and the CIA. She emerges trained as a lethal agent, but is trapped in a world she desperately wants to escape.

The film was directed by Francis Lawrence (Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2) and features a supporting cast that includes Joel Edgerton, Jeremy Irons, Matthias Schoenaerts, Mary-Louise Parker, Charlotte Rampling and Joely Richardson. Bonus material takes viewers inside the making of the film, exploring source material with the author, cast and director commentary, deleted scenes and more.

All three disc releases comes with director commentary and deleted scenes (with optional commentary by director Lawrence). The 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc also include the following:

  • “A New Cold War: Origination and Adaptation”
  • “Agents Provocateurs: The Ensemble Cast”
  • “Tradecraft: Visual Authenticity”
  • “Heart of the Tempest: On Location”
  • “Welcome to Sparrow School: Ballet and Stunts”
  • “A Puzzle of Need: Post-Production”
  • Movies Anywhere Digital Code