Best Buy Extends Holiday Deals With ’20 Days of Doorbusters’

On the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, Best Buy has unveiled yet another promotion for the holidays starting Dec. 1: “20 Days of Doorbusters.”

Consumers can sign up to receive text alerts for each day’s “doorbuster,” which they can select on the Best Buy website.

Best Buy will offer doorbuster deals for big screen smart 4K TVs on Dec. 4, Dec. 12 and Dec. 18, and for a game console on Dec. 8. The website doesn’t specify brands.

Futuresource: Global 4K UHD TV Shipments to Surpass 100 Million Units in 2018

Pushed by average retail prices reaching parity with HDTV sets, annual global shipments of 4K UHD TVs are expected to surpass 100 million units in 2018, according to the latest market tracking report from Futuresource Consulting.

“The market will continue to grow with double-digit CAGR throughout our forecasting period to 2022,” said Tristan Veale, market analyst at Futuresource, in a statement. “What’s more, high dynamic range — HDR — is beginning to make its presence felt and will be included in over half of all 4K UHD TVs sold worldwide in 2018, though consumer understanding remains limited.”

The Asia Pacific region leads the way in volume, helped along by China, the largest single market for 4K UHD. North America has also seen strong uptake of 4K UHD, with rapidly declining prices and a general preference for larger screens, according to Futuresource. In Europe, the firm projects shipments will grow by 30% this year.

Global shipments of UHD Blu-ray players are expected to almost double the installed base of standalone players this year, according to Futuresource, while UHD compatible media streamer shipments will rise more than 85% year-over-year, accounting for nearly half of all media streamer shipments. Game consoles are significantly increasing the installed base of UHD Blu-ray capable homes, bolstered by consumers updating consoles and taking advantage of upgrades available for both the PlayStation and Xbox, according to Futuresource.

“When it comes to the content, SVoD remains the primary gateway for consumers to get their UHD fix,” said Veale in a statement. “Netflix is the key service driving UHD SVoD spend. Depending on the country, around 20 percent to 30 percent of subscribers have opted for the UHD premium tier.”

Physical media is growing as well, according to the firm.

“UHD Blu-ray content continues to progress ahead of the expectations of many, with global consumer spend on track to reach $360 million this year,” said Veale in a statement. “UHD Blu-ray has held onto its price premium and, as a result, consumer spend continues to outperform digital sellthrough of UHD, despite the volumes being almost identical.”

Broadcast of the format is also making strides.

“Broadcast UHD has also received a welcome boost in 2018, with February’s Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup accelerating many broadcasters’ plans to introduce 4K UHD coverage, making high quality streams available,” Veale said in a statement. “However, for wider uptake, a reduction in the cost to deliver UHD and HD broadcasts simultaneously is needed. IP delivery is expected to be key to this, at least in the short to medium term.”

Disney Expands Home Video Market Dominance in 2018

Despite generating four of the top-selling DVD/Blu-ray Disc titles in 2017 – including Top 3: Moana, Beauty and the Beast and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story –  Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment upped its game in 2018.

The studio is primed to end the year with six titles in the Top 10, including Black Panther, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Coco in the top three with combined disc sales of exceeding $243 million, according to The-Numbers.com.

The home entertainment studio ended the fiscal year (ended Sept. 29) with $1.75 billion in revenue – down 3% from revenue of almost $1.8 billion during the previous-year period.

Revenue reflected a 5% decrease from lower unit sales, partially offset by an increase of 3% from higher average net effective pricing. Lower unit sales were driven by the success of Moana and Finding Dory in the prior-year period compared to Coco and Cars 3 in the current year.

These decreases were partially offset by the release of three Marvel titles and two Lucasfilm titles (The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story) in the current year compared to two Marvel titles and one Lucasfilm title (Rogue One) in the prior year. The increase in average net effective pricing was due to higher rates and a higher sales mix of Blu-ray discs, partially offset by a lower mix of new release titles.

Through the end of the fiscal year, the studio had about 1,500 produced and acquired titles, including 1,100 live-action titles and 400 animated titles, in domestic retail channels, according to a Nov. 21 regulatory filing. Disney had approximately 1,600 produced and acquired titles, including 1,100 live-action titles and 500 animated titles, in the international marketplace.

 

 

 

 

 

Best Buy Ups Q3 Same-Store Entertainment Sales

Best Buy is looking good heading into Black Friday (Nov. 22).

The CE retailer Nov. 20 reported 12.4% increase in third-quarter (ended Nov. 3) same-store entertainment sales, compared to 4.1% increase in the previous-year period.

The entertainment segment, which includes DVD/Blu-ray Disc movies, video game hardware and software, books, music CDs and computer software, generated 6% ($525.3 million) of Best Buy’s domestic revenue in the quarter compared to 6% ($509.5 million) last year.

Internationally, entertainment same-store sales increased 10.8%, generating $58.4 million (7%) of revenue. That compared to 7.8% increase and revenue of $49.7 million (6%) last year.

Best Buy’s legacy CE unit saw 3.7% increase in domestic same-store sales, up from 3.5% increase last year. Revenue remained relatively flat at $2.71 billion compared to $2.63 billion last year.

The nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer remains upbeat heading into Black Friday and the winter retail season.

“The holiday season is here, and our team has put together a best-in-class assortment, prepared an amazing set of deals, and ensured we have great inventory availability across all the product categories we carry,” CEO Hubert Joly said in a statement. “In addition, we have continued to enhance our digital shopping experience and further improved our shipping speed, allowing us to delight customers with fast and free delivery.”

 

Marcy Magiera: It’s Looking a Lot Like a 4K UHD Christmas

Long before the Thanksgiving turkeys are hauled home, its seems Americans’ minds turn to holiday shopping. For weeks, winter holiday decorations have been popping up in malls and headlines have been written about retailers’ plans surrounding Black Friday – which stores will be open on Thanksgiving day, what will be used as “doorbusters” and just how low prices will go.

The “doorbusters” phenomenon will certainly work to increase 4K UHD TV adoption as low prices can be a prime factor in persuading shoppers to replace their aging living room sets with new technology, as discussed recently at the 4K UHD Summit, produced by DEG and the UHD Alliance. Featured prominently on the cover of Best Buy’s Black Friday circular are Smart 4K Ultra HD TVs with HDR from Toshiba, Samsung and LG, ranging in size from 43 inches to 7o inches.  Samsung and LG Electronics both kicked off Black Friday TV promotions earlier this month.  And publications ranging from Consumer Reports to Forbes to USA Today are publishing roundups of the best holiday promotions on TVs.

For more charts, see the DEG website.

“This year, we’re seeing more 4K UHD TVs offered at low prices, plus deals on larger screen sizes. In the past, Black Friday TV deals always involved super-low-price doorbusters, often on lesser-known brands. But now we’re also seeing a lot of major-brand sets, especially from LG, Samsung, and Vizio,” wrote Consumer Reports’ James K. Wilcox on Nov. 14.  “We expect online retailers to react to each other’s deals right through the Black Friday weekend, and then on Cyber Monday.”

This season, 12% of holiday shoppers will be looking specifically for 4K Ultra HD TVs, according to CTA’s 25th Annual Holiday Shopping Research, and 55% of shoppers expect to buy entertainment content.

All this is happening as 4K UHD TV moves beyond early adopters and solidly into what market researchers call the “early majority” and content availability grows quickly. About 20 percent of U.S. homes now having a 4K UHD TV (see slide at top of post), and well over half of millennials are interested in using 4K Ultra HD TV, analyst John Buffone of The NPD Group said at the 4K UHD Summit.

CTA estimates that by 2020, 4K UHD will account for 75 percent of TVs shipped to retail. 4K/UHD Blu-ray player demand also continues to grow and will account for nearly all Blu-ray players in the market by 2021, according to CTA.

Key to this wider adoption, of course, is expanded availability of 4K UHD content in physical and digital forms. According to DEG’s Q3 2018 Home Entertainment Report, there were 392 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc titles available representing more than $162 million in consumer spend for the period, and 595 4K titles available digitally.

In his Summit presentation, NPD’s Buffone sketched a path to the mainstream for 4K streaming, based on the growth of fast, reliable broadband and mesh routers that enable 4K video streaming and quicker downloading, and the widening assort of content available to rent and purchase digitally.

On the physical side, by the time holiday shopping is finished, 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc sales are projected to double in 2018 to more than 11 million units, up from 6 million in 2017, as consumers future proof their entertainment libraries, Universal Pictures’ Eddie Cunningham told Summit attendees, citing NPD data.

Various Summit speakers also addressed increasing content availability, including Bob Buchi of Paramount Home Media Distribution, who said the studio is expanding the number of films from its library available on 4K UHD with HDR, including all six films in the blockbuster Mission: Impossible franchise and Frank Capra’s beloved masterpiece It’s A Wonderful Life, which will be released on Digital 4K this month, making it the first classic black-and-white film to be released on the format.

That’s what we call ringing in the holidays in 4K Ultra HD.

Marcy Magiera is editor at DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and previously was editor of Video Business.

 

 

‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ Due on Digital Dec. 18, Disc Jan. 1 From Fox

The thriller Bad Times at the El Royale will come out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Dec. 18 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 1 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The film earned $17.7 million in theaters.

In the film, seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption before everything goes to hell. Stars include Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm and Chris Hemsworth.

Bonus features on Blu-ray and DVD include “Making Bad Times at the El Royale” and a photo gallery.

‘Halloween’ to Stalk Digital Dec. 28, Disc Jan. 15 From Universal

Halloween, the latest sequel to the horror franchise, will come out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Dec. 28 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Jan. 15 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $158.8 million in theaters.

The film takes place four decades after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, reprising her role in the 1978 John Carpenter classic) narrowly escaped the masked Michael Myers’ brutal killing spree. She now lives in a heavily guarded home on the edge of Haddonfield, where she’s spent decades preparing for Michael’s potential return. After being locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when a bus transfer goes terribly wrong, leading to chaos in the same town he preyed on decades earlier. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the deranged killer returns for her and her family — but this time, she’s ready for him.

The film also stars Judy Greer (Ant-Man and The WaspJurassic World), Andi Matichak (“Underground”), Will Patton (Armageddon, The Punisher) and Virginia Gardner (Project Almanac, “Runaways”).

Bonus features on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital include deleted and extended scenes and the featurettes “Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween,” “The Original Scream Queen,” “The Sound of Fear,” “Journey of the Mask” and “The Legacy of Halloween.”

The film will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and digital. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-ray version, all in 4K resolution.

‘Night School’ in Session on Digital Dec. 11, Disc Jan 1 From Universal

The comedy Night School, starring Kevin Hart, will come out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Dec. 11, on demand Dec. 28, and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 1 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

A successful salesman (Hart, Jumanji, Ride Along 1 & 2) sees his life turned around after getting fired for accidentally destroying his workplace. Forced to attend night school so he can finally get his GED and find another job, he soon finds himself amongst a group of misfit students, a teacher with no patience for class clowns (Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip, Uncle Drew) and his high school nemesis-turned-principal (Taran Killam, Killing Gunther, Ted 2) who will strive to make sure he fails the course.

The 4K Ultra HD release will be available in a combo pack with Blu-ray and digital. Bonus features on 4K Ultra HD include an extended cut and gag reel. Bonus Features on Blu-ray and digital include an extended cut, an alternate opening, deleted scenes, a gag reel and several features:

  • “Night School’sin Session,” introducing the band of misfits;
  • “Who’s the Student? Who’s the Teacher?,”in which Hart and Haddish discuss their long friendship;
  • “Prom Night Revisited,” in which the cast looks back at their own high school proms;
  • “Cap ‘n Gown ‘n Giggles,” about Hart’s graduation speech turned comedy show;
  • “Making of the Dance Battle,” about the dance rehearsal for the prom night dance battle;
  • “Christian Chicken,” a never-before-seen Christian Chicken commercial;
  • “Game Over,” in which Hart joins castmates Yvonne Orji and Megalyn Echikunwoke discuss the complicated relationship between Maya and Teddy; and
  • “Extended Performance ‘El Sueno,’” an extended version of Luis’s original “El Sueno.”

Bonus features on DVD include an extended cut, alternate opening and deleted scenes.

All releases include feature commentary with director Malcom D. Lee.

Disney’s Bob Iger Wants to Expedite Home Video Window

Following strong Q4 home entertainment and theatrical results, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger said he has no plans to downsize the theatrical window as it relates to Disney movies transferring earlier to the company’s pending over-the-top video service, Disney+.

The same restraint, however, cannot be said about retail channels, including DVD, Blu-ray Disc and electronic sellthrough.

Speaking Nov. 8 on the fiscal call, Iger said that with the studio generating a record $3 billion in operating revenue – up 27% from a record $2.3 billion in the previous-year period – shortening the traditional 90-day window would only dampen revenue (and anger exhibitors).

Indeed, studio revenue reached nearly $10 billion in the fiscal year, up 19% from $8.4 billion last year.

“With us, if it ain’t broke … ,” quipped Iger, in response to an analyst’s question whether OTT video platform Disney+ afforded the studio opportunities to give consumers earlier streaming access to branded movies in the home.

Iger said Disney would continue fight to maintain the traditional theatrical window, which has been under (now measured) attack by Netflix.

“We have a studio that is doing extremely well and a [release window] formula that is serving us really well in terms of its bottom line,” he said.

Interestingly, Iger gave a shout out to home entertainment – his first in years – which he said continued to deliver strong retail results for digital and physical content. In fact, the executive said there is ongoing internal strategy about putting theatrical content into retail channels sooner.

“The home video window continues to be quite important to us,” said Iger. “You’ll likely see us protect that as well, although there’s going to be discussion around whether there’s an opportunity to move product into that window maybe a little sooner.”

Iger quickly clarified Disney was not looking to encroach – at the moment – upon the theatrical window.

Disney is ending a record year in home entertainment with five of the top-six selling DVD/Blu-ray Disc titles, including Black Panther, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Coco, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and just-released, Solo: A Star Wars Story. The titles — excluding Solo — have generated nearly $400 million in combined revenue since their release.

Thriller ‘A Simple Favor’ to Be Offered on Digital Dec. 11, Disc Dec. 18

A Simple Favor will be offered on digital Dec. 11 and 4K Ultra HD combo pack (plus Blu-ray and digital), Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and Digital), DVD and on demand Dec. 18 from Lionsgate.

The film earned $52.3 million in theaters.

Anna Kendrick (Pitch PerfectTrolls) and Blake Lively (The ShallowsThe Age of Adaline, TV’s “Gossip Girl”) star in this thriller from director Paul Feig (BridesmaidsGhostbusters, TV’s “Freaks and Geek,” TV’s “The Office”), based on the novel by Darcey Bell. The film also stars Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians), Andrew Rannells (TV’s “Girls,” TV’s “The Knick”), Linda Cardellini (TV’s “Freaks and Geeks,” Hunter Killer) and Rupert Friend (TV’s “Homeland”).

The story follows Stephanie (Kendrick), a mommy vlogger who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily’s (Lively) sudden disappearance from their small town. Stephanie is joined by Emily’s husband Sean (Golding).

Special features on digital, 4K UHD and Blu-ray include three audio commentaries with the cast and crew, eight making-of featurettes, a gag reel, deleted scenes, and an alternate ending. The DVD special features include all of these except there are six making-of featurettes, instead of eight.

The 4K UHD includes Dolby Vision HDR.