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.”

‘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.

Disc Replicator Technicolor Downplays Market Rumors

Technicolor SA Nov. 19 issued a statement attempting to quell market scuttlebutt the Paris-based entertainment tech company is about sell assets, including the company itself.

Technicolor operates a set-top box division (called “connected home”) and entertainment unit, the latter providing digital effects to movies and DVD, Blu-ray Disc replication to home entertainment.

In March, Technicolor sold its patent licensing unit to wireless provider InterDigital for $475 million. The connected home division generated 56.5% of the company’s first-half revenue of 1.77 euros ($2.02 billion).

Technicolor said it regularly reviews and evaluates strategic alternatives for its assets, whether acquisitions, combinations or divestments, in the best interest of its stakeholders.

“This may involve discussions with industry players and/or financial investors,” the company said in a statement, adding “any discussions are at a preliminary stage. No strategic decision or commitment has been made.”

The company said it would provide no further comment on rumors.

Since acquiring Cinram Corp. in late 2015 and securing outsourcing agreements with Sony DADC in North America and Australia, Technicolor has become the world’s largest replicator of DVD and Blu-ray Disc units.

The company said disc replication services would continue to maximize cash generation while continuing to develop further “opportunities.” Indeed, Technicolor said it shipped a record 1.6 billion discs in 2017.

“People want to own their favorite movies, the classics, and the blockbusters,” Rose told Forbes.com earlier this year. That’s what they put under the tree. We were the only ones who saw the growth left in this business.”

 

 

‘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.

Home Entertainment on a Roll as Consumer Spending Soars 15%

Consumer spending on home entertainment rose 15%, to an estimated $5.7 billion, in the third quarter of 2018, according to numbers released this week by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

For the first three quarters of the year, spending was at nearly $17 billion, an 11% year-over-year gain.

Digital purchases of movies, TV shows and other filmed content, known in the industry as “electronic sellthrough,” or EST, rose 18% in the quarter compared with the same quarter in the year prior, a significant uptick from the single-digit gains posted in prior years.

Consumers spent an estimated $624 million in the third quarter to buy content digitally from vendors such as Apple iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, FandangoNow, Redbox On Demand, Microsoft Movies & TV and Google Play. That’s up from $529 million in the third quarter of 2017.

Industry observers attribute at least some of the gain to the rising popularity of the multi-studio Movies Anywhere platform, which uses a cloud-based digital rights locker to allow consumers to have immediate access to their purchased content at any time, on a wide range of devices, from home theaters to mobile phones.

The EST spending gain also was driven by a 31% surge in spending on movies that played theatrically prior to their digital release, generally two weeks prior to their appearance on Blu-ray Disc and DVD.

For the year through Sept. 30, EST spending was at $1.8 billion, up more than 12% from the comparable period in 2017.

On the physical side of the business, consumer spending on discs was down 11.5% to an estimated $844 million.

But sales of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs soared 68% in the quarter from the same quarter last year “as more consumers purchased new TVs and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players equipped with the advanced technology,” according to the DEG.

Thanks to the big increase in spending on digital purchases,  total spending on  content buys was only down 1% in the quarter. This marks the first time that EST spending gains nearly offset the decline in physical media purchases.

Transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), the digital equivalent of renting a movie, also realized significant gains, with consumer spending up nearly 10% to an estimated $497 million in the quarter from the prior-year quarter. The big digital sellers of content, such as Apple iTunes, FandangoNow and Redbox On Demand, also offer consumers a lower-cost option to stream movies on a temporary basis, generally for a 48-hour period and a start time within 30 days of the transaction date.

Consumer spending on streaming subscriptions rose more than 30% in both the third quarter and the first nine months of this year, totaling an estimated $3.3 billion and $9.4 billion, respectively. The DEG report attributed these numbers to data compiled by global information provider IHS Markit.

The DEG also said more than 4.2 million 4K Ultra HD TVs were sold in the first three quarters of 2018, bringing the total number of U.S. households to more than 42 million, an increase of 80% from the prior year period. Approximately 2.3 million Ultra HD Blu-ray playback devices (both dedicated players and video game consoles) were sold through to consumers in the first nine months of the year.

Growth of 4K Ultra HD content is rapidly expanding, the DEG reported, with 392 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc titles available representing more than $162 million in consumer spend for the period. There are also 595 4K titles available digitally.

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.

‘The Predator’ Stalking to Digital Nov. 27, Disc Dec. 18

The Predator will stalk to digital (including Movies Anywhere) Nov. 27 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 18 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The film made $50.9 million at the box office.

The studio will also release a special-edition “Predator” four-movie collection, which includes Predator, Predator 2, Predators and The Predator on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Dec. 18. It includes four collector cards of the original film poster re-issue with some of the franchises most iconic quotes on the back.

The hunt has evolved in the next chapter of the “Predator” series, from director Shane Black (Iron Man 3). The most lethal hunters in the universe are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever, and only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biology professor can prevent the end of the human race.

Extras on The Predator releases include deleted scenes, “A Touch of Black,” “Predator Evolution,” “The Takedown Team,” “Predator Catch-Up” and a photo gallery.

‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ to Debut on 4K Ultra HD Dec. 18 From Warner

As part of the 50th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the groundbreaking science fiction epic on 4K Ultra High Definition Blu-ray in premium collectible packaging Dec. 18.

The classic returned to U.S. theaters in May following the debut of an “unrestored” 70mm print at the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival. The film is playing throughout the summer at select theaters. For the first time since the original release, new 70mm prints were struck from pristine printing elements made from the original camera negative. A longtime admirer of the Kubrick, director Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk, Interstellar, Inception) worked closely with the team at Warner throughout the mastering process. Building on the work done for the new 70mm prints, the 4K UHD with HDR presentation was mastered from the 65mm original camera negative. The 4K UHD also includes both a remixed and restored 5.1 DTS-HD master audio track, as well as the original 1968 six-track theatrical audio mix (formatted for 5.1 DTS-HD master audio).

2001 to me is the most cinematic film that has ever been made and it has been an honour and a privilege to be able to share the film with a new generation,” Nolan said in a statement. “4K UHD allows the closest recreation of viewing the original film print in your own home. Kubrick’s masterpiece was originally presented on large format film and the deeper color palette and superior resolution comes closest to matching the original analogue presentation.”

Originally released in the 70mm Cinerama roadshow format on April 4, 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey was directed and produced by Kubrick and written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, inspired by Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel.”

The 2001: A Space Odyssey 4K UHD Blu-ray with premium packaging ($41.99) includes the feature film in 4K resolution with HDR (including Dolby Vision HDR), a remastered Blu-ray disc, a Blu-ray disc with the special features in HD, and a digital version of the feature film. The premium packaging also includes a collectible booklet and art cards featuring iconic images from the film.

The remastered Blu-ray Disc will also be available as a standalone product at $19.98.

2001: A Space Odyssey is also available for purchase in 4K UHD from select digital retailers, including iTunes, Google and Vudu on October 30.

The 2001: A Space Odyssey 4K UHD contains the following 4K and Blu-ray elements:

  • 4K UHD Blu-ray with Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
  • Remastered Blu-ray with Commentary from Dullea and Lockwood
  • “The Making of a Myth”
  • “Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001
  • “Vision of a Future Passed: The Prophecy of 2001
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey – A Look Behind the Future”
  • “What Is Out There?”
  • “2001: FX and Early Conceptual Artwork”
  • “Look: Stanley Kubrick!”
  • a Nov. 27, 1966 Interview with Stanley Kubrick (audio only)
  • the original Theatrical Trailer
  • a premium booklet
  • art cards

The 2001: A Space Odyssey Blu-ray disc contains the remastered Blu-ray with commentary from Dullea and Lockwood.

Update: This story previously posted June 21, 2018, has been altered to reflect a change in street date from Oct. 30 to Nov. 20, later changed to Dec. 18.

Xbox Partners With Taco Bell to Give Away Xbox One X Consoles

Taco Bell is partnering with Xbox to give fans in the United States the chance to win limited-edition Xbox One X consoles each time they buy a $5 double chalupa box, Xbox announced.

The promotion lasts from Oct. 18 through Nov. 21.

The exclusive platinum-colored console features Taco Bell’s “ring” when powered on (exclusive to the limited-edition consoles); a white, special-edition Xbox Elite wireless controller; and three months of Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold.

An Xbox One X will be rewarded every 10 minutes throughout the promotion and it will be delivered to fans 72 hours after being declared a winner, according to Xbox.

The Xbox One S and Xbox One X both feature a built-in 4K UHD Blu-ray player and Dolby Atmos support.