‘Spies in Disguise’ Nabs Top Redbox Chart Spots

The animated Spies in Disguise, from Disney-owned 20th Century Fox, debuted in the No. 1 spot on Redbox’s kiosk disc rental and On Demand charts the week ended March 15.

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.

Several new titles made their way to the charts during the week.

Lionsgate’s Uncut Gems, starring Adam Sandler, debuted at No. 2 on both charts.

Sony Pictures’ latest Charlie’s Angels installment landed at No. 4 on both charts in its first week.

And the Lionsgate sexual harassment drama Bombshell bowed at No. 6 on the disc chart and No. 3 on the On Demand chart.

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Lionsgate’s Knives Out slipped to No. 3 on the disc chart in its third week, and came in at No. 5 on the digital chart. It had been the top digital title the previous two weeks.

The previous week’s top disc rental, Disney’s Frozen II, slid to No. 5 on that chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 15:

  1. Spies in Disguise — Fox
  2. Uncut Gems — Lionsgate
  3. Knives Out — Lionsgate
  4. Charlie’s Angels (2019) — Sony Pictures
  5. Frozen II — Disney
  6. Bombshell — Lionsgate
  7. Midway (2019) — Lionsgate
  8. Ford v Ferrari — Fox
  9. 21 Bridges — Universal
  10. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood — Sony Pictures

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 15:

  1. Spies in Disguise — Fox
  2. Uncut Gems — A24
  3. Bombshell — Lionsgate
  4. Charlie’s Angels (2019) — Sony Pictures
  5. Knives Out — Lionsgate
  6. Ford v Ferrari — Fox
  7. Dark Waters — Universal
  8. Midway (2019) — Lionsgate
  9. Contagion — Warner
  10. Playing With Fire — Paramount

 

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Fox Releasing ‘Underwater’ on Home Video April 14

The sci-fi thriller Underwater will be available on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and digitally April 14 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Kristen Stewart stars as a quick-thinking mechanical engineer on board an undersea mining rig damaged by an earthquake that renders its communication and escape systems unusable. After temporarily staving off disaster, the crew finds their only hope is a dangerous walk across the ocean floor to an abandoned vessel, but they quickly learn they are not alone among the depths of the ocean.

The cast also includes Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr., Mamoudou Athie and T.J. Miller.

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The ‘PG-13’-rated film earned $17.2 million at the domestic box office.

Blu-ray and digital extras include feature audio commentary by director William Eubank, associate producer Jared Purrington and production writer Phil Gawthorne; deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary; a “Real Bunny Montage”; and the three-part “Making Underwater,” with chapters on “Design,” “Production” and “Creatures & Visual Effects.”

The digital version of the film will include an exclusive alternate ending with optional commentary. A digital copy is included with the Blu-ray.

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‘Ford v Ferrari’ Finishes First on Redbox Charts

The racing drama Ford v Ferrari from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment grabbed the No. 1 spot on Redbox’s kiosk disc rental and On Demand charts the week ended Feb. 16.

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.

The previous week’s top title, Paramount’s Playing With Fire, slipped to No. 2 on both charts.

Warner’s Doctor Sleep stayed at No. 3 on the rental chart and fell to No. 6 on the digital chart.

Warner’s Joker was No. 4 on both charts.

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Paramount’s Terminator: Dark Fate dropped to No. 5 on Redbox’s kiosk disc rental chart and No. 7 on the On Demand charts.

Best Picture Oscar winner Parasite, from Universal Pictures, jumped to No. 3 on the digital chart .

Sony Pictures’ Zombieland: Double Tap was the No. 5 On Demand title and No. 7 on the disc chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended Feb. 16:

  1. Ford v Ferrari — Fox
  2. Playing With Fire — Paramount
  3. Doctor Sleep — Warner
  4. Joker — Warner
  5. Terminator: Dark Fate — Paramount
  6. Gemini Man — Paramount
  7. Zombieland: Double Tap — Sony Pictures
  8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — Sony Pictures
  9. Harriet — Universal
  10. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil — Disney

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended Feb. 16:

  1. Ford v Ferrari — Fox
  2. Playing With Fire — Paramount
  3. Parasite — Universal
  4. Joker — Warner
  5. Zombieland: Double Tap — Sony Pictures
  6. Doctor Sleep — Warner
  7. Terminator: Dark Fate — Paramount
  8. Harriet — Universal
  9. Gemini Man — Paramount
  10. Black and Blue — Sony Pictures

 

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Disney Dropping ‘Fox’ From Content Branding

The Walt Disney Company will drop the “Fox” name from some of the assets it acquired in its $71.3 billion buyout of 21st Century Fox studio from the Murdoch family last March, according to reports.

As such, the 20th Century Fox film studio will now be known as 20th Century Studios, while the studio’s indie arm, Fox Searchlight Pictures, is now just Searchlight Pictures. Logos for the newly named subsidiaries have been similarly updated without the “Fox” name.

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The name change has apparently not yet extended to Disney-owned production units 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios, though a potential name change could be coming on that front as well, according to Variety.

Also unknown is how the rebranding will affect the name of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Inquiries to the studio have not yet been answered.

The primary reason for the re-branding is to distinguish the new Disney-owned properties from assets such as the Fox broadcast network and Fox News Channel that were not included with the sale and are still controlled by the Murdoch family under the Fox Corp. banner.

Disney has already started phasing out “Fox” from company email addresses and is using the Fox-less branding for upcoming projects such as the films Downhill and Call of the Wild.

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Interestingly, the history of the 20th Century Fox studio began with the merger of two independent studios in 1935: Twentieth Century Pictures, founded in 1933, and Fox Film Corporation, founded in 1915. Rupert Murdoch bought 20th Century-Fox in the 1980s and dropped the hyphen from the name. Fox Searchlight was created in 1994.

Iconic 20th Century Fox studio elements such as the spotlight logo and the musical fanfare date back to the Twentieth Century Pictures days, and will be retained by Disney.

‘Star Wars,’ Comic Books and the Legacy of Fox

One of the overriding concerns of the aftermath of the Walt Disney Co.’s purchase of 20th Century Fox studios has been how the House of Mouse would treat its newfound assets and the legacy of the studio in general.

The immediate assumption was that the studio was bolstering its content roster for the Disney+ streaming service, which we have seen come to pass with the myriad Fox catalog titles available on the service, such as Home Alone, The Sound of Music and 30 seasons of “The Simpsons.”

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Other questions centered on how Disney would treat established Fox franchises such as “Aliens” or “Die Hard,” and the latest reports have Disney interested in a new “Planet of the Apes” sequel. The fate of Fox’s comic book properties is a bit more cut and dry, with the “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” licenses simply being reabsorbed back into Disney’s Marvel subsidiary, which many fans wanted anyway (and while we’re on the subject, can I pitch a Buffy the Vampire Slayer vs. Blade crossover?).

On the downside, though, are reports that Disney was cutting back authorizations for repertory theaters to show prints of Fox catalog movies — these are the special screenings you might find at film festivals or smaller theaters that show classic movies one night a week.

And on Disney+, old Fox movies were being lumped in with Disney fare in “Disney Through the Decades” categories.

These tend to bely the assumption that Disney would be keeping Fox as a separate theatrical unit, perhaps to distribute edgier, ‘R’-rated content.

The latest example involves, of all things, a reprint of a classic comic book. In the run up to the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Disney subsidiary Marvel Comics Dec. 4 released reprints of several “Star Wars” comic book issues, including “Star Wars” No. 1 from 1977.

Marvel Comics’ original “Star Wars #1” from 1977 on the left, the 2019 reprint on the right

While reprints such as these are rather commonplace in the comic book industry, usually they involve the original pages of art and dialogue being repurposed with modern advertisements, and other changes such as new cover artwork.

The reprint of the original issue of “Star Wars,” however, was what is called a “facsimile edition,” which generally means the original issue is reprinted in its entirety, with the original ads and all. The only updates are usually the pricing, UPC code and the legal text with the copyrights and statements of ownership.

Marvel had also published the original run of “Star Wars” comics in the 1970s and 1980s, so a facsimile edition of the first issue makes sense for them to do. (The first issue, being the first part of an adaptation of the first movie, has been reprinted several times over the years in trade paperback collections by both Marvel and Dark Horse Comics, which had the “Star Wars” license throughout the 1990s and early 2000s).

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Interestingly, this facsimile edition is missing two prominent instances that identified the original “Star Wars” film as a 20th Century Fox release. The first is on the cover, where the comic is described as “Marvel’s Epic Official Adaptation of The Monumental 20th Century Fox Movie! — A Film by George Lucas.” The second is on the first page of the comic, under the masthead as part of the introduction of the story, which identified the film as “A 20th Century-Fox Release” (using the hyphen from the studio’s old branding).

The introduction to “Star Wars #1” from 2015/2019 reprint on top without the 20th Century-Fox credit, compared to the original version below.

The facsimile edition reads “Marvel’s Epic Official Adaptation of — A Film by George Lucas” on the cover. And the first page instead has prominent Disney and Lucasfilm logos stamped at the bottom, with a blank space where the mention of 20th Century-Fox used to be.

While it’s not uncommon for comic book companies when reprinting material obtained from other companies to remove or replace the old company’s logos (for example, Dark Horse reprints of this issue would remove the Marvel logo), reprints of “Star Wars” No. 1 prior to Disney owning Lucasfilm left the Fox credit intact.

It turns out that Disney and Marvel (which Disney bought in 2009) first removed the Fox credit when the original 1970s and 1980s Marvel “Star Wars” comics were reprinted as hardcover omnibus editions in 2015, and that this new facsimile is based off of that reprinting, from before Disney’s acquisition of Fox (and not wanting to publicize what was then a rival studio). Rather than restore the text in the facsimile edition, Marvel used the altered versions they already had ready to go.

1977 version on top, 2015/2019 version below

The idea of leaving off the 20th Century Fox credit from the “Star Wars” movie now seems especially bizarre given how Disney+ restored the 20th Century Fox logo to the beginning of the first six “Star Wars” movies — after removing them from the digital releases of the films after it bought Lucasfilm in 2012 (with the exception of the original film, which maintained the Fox logo since Fox had distribution rights to the film in perpetuity).

The ‘Bulletins’ page of the “Star Wars #1” facsimile showing the original unaltered cover art.

But alas, all traces of Fox’s connection to that first comic book weren’t removed from the artwork entirely. The Marvel Bullpen Bulletins page near the back of the issue, essentially a “Notes from the Publisher/Letters to the Editor” type of page, has a miniature picture of the cover, and this version wasn’t altered in the facsimile edition, so at least Fox’s legacy survives there.

 

 

‘Lion King’ Rises Over Redbox Disc Rentals, ‘Stuber’ Remains On Demand No. 1

Disney’s The Lion King remake took over the No. 1 spot on the Redbox kiosk disc rental chart the week ended Oct. 27. The Redbox disc rental chart tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red kiosks.

The live-action-style version of the animated classic earned $543.2 million at the domestic box office.

Disney’s Toy Story 4, which was the top title the previous week, in its third week slipped back to No. 2, where it had debuted two weeks prior.

Stuber, from 20th Century Fox, slid to No. 3 on the disc rental chart but remained No. 1 on the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital transactions, including both electronic sellthrough and streaming rentals.

The No. 4 disc rental was Paramount’s Crawl, which was No. 3 on the On Demand chart.

Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Far From Home slid to No. 5 on the disc chart but rose to No. 2 on the digital chart.

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Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum stayed No. 8 on the rental chart and rose to No. 4 on the On Demand chart.

Warner’s Annabelle Comes Home slipped to No. 7 on the disc chart and No. 5 on the digital chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended Oct. 27:

  1. The Lion King — Disney
  2. Toy Story 4 — Disney
  3. Stuber — Fox
  4. Crawl — Paramount
  5. Spider-Man: Far From Home — Sony Pictures
  6. Aladdin (2019) — Disney
  7. Annabelle Comes Home — Warner
  8. John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum — Lionsgate
  9. Men In Black: International — Sony Pictures
  10. 3 From Hell — Lionsgate

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended Oct. 27:

  1. Stuber — Fox
  2. Spider-Man: Far From Home — Sony Pictures
  3. Crawl — Paramount
  4. John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum — Lionsgate
  5. Annabelle Comes Home — Warner
  6. Yesterday — Universal
  7. Men In Black: International — Sony Pictures
  8. The Secret Life of Pets 2 — Universal
  9. Ma — Universal
  10. The Hustle — MGM

‘Toy Story 4’ Takes Over Redbox Disc Rentals, ‘Stuber’ Tops On Demand

Disney’s Toy Story 4 took over the No. 1 spot on the Redbox kiosk disc rental chart the week ended Oct. 20. The Redbox disc rental chart tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red kiosks.

The animated sequel had debuted at No. 2 on the chart two weeks earlier before hitting the second spot in its second week.

Stuber, from 20th Century Fox, debuted at No. 2 on the disc rental chart and No. 1 on the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital transactions, including both electronic sellthrough and streaming rentals. The film, about a cop teaming up with a rideshare driver, earned $22.4 million at the domestic box office.

The No. 3 disc rental was Paramount’s Crawl, which was No. 2 on the On Demand chart. It earned $39 million at U.S. theaters.

The previous week’s top rental and digital title, Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Far From Home, slid to No. 4 on the disc chart and No. 3 on the digital chart.

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Disney’s remake of Aladdin was No. 5 on the disc rental chart.

Warner’s Annabelle Comes Home slipped to No. 6 on the disc chart and No. 4 on the digital chart.

Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum dropped to No. 8 on the rental chart and No. 5 on the On Demand chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended Oct. 20:

  1. Toy Story 4 — Disney
  2. Stuber — Fox
  3. Crawl — Paramount
  4. Spider-Man: Far From Home — Sony Pictures
  5. Aladdin (2019) — Disney
  6. Annabelle Comes Home — Warner
  7. 3 From Hell — Lionsgate
  8. John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum — Lionsgate
  9. Men In Black: International — Sony Pictures
  10. X-Men: Dark Phoenix — Fox

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended Oct. 20:

  1. Stuber — Fox
  2. Crawl — Paramount
  3. Spider-Man: Far From Home — Sony Pictures
  4. Annabelle Comes Home — Warner
  5. John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum — Lionsgate
  6. The Secret Life of Pets 2 — Universal
  7. Men In Black: International — Sony Pictures
  8. Yesterday — Universal
  9. The Hustle — MGM
  10. X-Men: Dark Phoenix — Fox

Fox Finds ‘Bernadette’ on Home Video in November

The comedy Where’d You Go, Bernadette will be available through digital retailers Nov. 19, and on Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 26, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Based on the bestseller by Maria Semple, the film stars Cate Blanchett as Bernadette Fox, a loving wife and mom who becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Bernadette’s leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery.

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Directed by Richard Linklater, the film earned $9.2 million at the domestic box office.

Bonus material includes a gallery and the featurettes “Bringing Bernadette to Life” and “Who Is Bernadette?”

More Fox, Disney Layoffs — Five Months After Closure of Sale

Two days after Media Play News reported head of marketing Julia Howe as the latest high-profile 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment departure, multiple sources Aug. 29 said the company — now owned by the Walt Disney Co. — has been racked by more layoffs, including division veterans Jennifer Chai and Kavita Smith.

Jennifer Chai

Chai held the title of SVP of worldwide brand marketing for the home entertainment arm. She led worldwide brand marketing and strategy for the entire Fox new release theatrical slate and third-party titles for both the physical and digital business. She also was involved with the cross-studio Movies Anywhere service as well as other digital strategic initiatives. Chai has been at Fox since 2000, joining after three years as brand manager at what was then Buena Vista Home Entertainment, the Walt Disney Co.’s home entertainment arm.

Smith was VP, global marketing communications and publicity. According to her LinkedIn profile, she joined Fox as director of publicity in November 2005 and was elevated to executive director in September 2012. She was promoted to VP in August 2014. She will stay on through October, sources said.

Reports say the layoffs — nearly 60 — have occurred in both the home entertainment and TV distribution divisions, encompassing both Disney and Fox employees. 20th Century Fox TV Distribution EVP of worldwide marketing Greg Drebin also is exiting.

Fox president of worldwide home entertainment Keith Feldman is staying on with Disney, sources told Media Play News, although his contract has not been finalized.

Howe is said to be leaving the company in November.

The new departures come on the heels of previous high-profile exits in the wake of the Disney acquisition.

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Mike Dunn, for years the top home entertainment executive at 20th Century Fox, was among a handful of high-ranking studio executives to leave the studio on March 21, a day after the acquisition closed.

A short time later, Janice Marinelli, head of home entertainment at Disney, set up an office at Fox, reportedly to acquaint herself with the studio’s home entertainment team and see how they operate. But July 16 the 34-year Disney veteran announced her exit.

Also in July, veteran division publicist James Finn, who recently had become co-head of marketing, quietly announced his departure in an email to friends and colleagues. “For nearly 20 years I’ve called Fox my home,” he wrote. “Thank you to my colleagues, my mentors, my family, my friends and my team for making it so much fun.”

After Fox’s sale to Disney closed in March, reports surfaced that as many as 4,000 people could ultimately lose their jobs.

‘Alita’ Battles On, Tops Disc Sales for Second Week

The 20th Century Fox sci-fi actioner Alita: Battle Angel was No. 1 for a second consecutive week 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 Aug. 3.

The top three on both charts were unchanged from the previous week. Lionsgate’s Hellboy remake was No. 2 in its second week, followed by Warner’s Shazam! in its third.

The week’s top newcomer, the animated UglyDolls from Universal Pictures and STX Entertainment, debuted at No. 4 on both charts.

Another newcomer, the Lionsgate political romantic comedy Long Shot, entered the campaign at No. 5 on both charts.

The Sony Pictures thriller The Intruder bowed at No. 6 on the overall sales chart and No. 7 on the Blu-ray chart.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Aug. 4, Long Shot debuted at No. 1, followed by Intruder at No. 2.

Shazam! dropped to No. 3 after a couple of weeks in the top spot, while Alita slipped to No. 4 and Hellboy was No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 8-3-19
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 8-4-19
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 8-3-19
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 8-3-19
Sales Report for Week Ended 8-3-19
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 8-5-19