Disney’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Coming May 29 on Digital, June 5 on Disc

A Wrinkle in Time, starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling and directed by Ava DuVernay, will come out May 29 on Digital HD, 4K Ultra HD and Movies Anywhere and June 5 on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, DVD and On-Demand from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

The film has earned $93.7 million in theaters.

Based on Madeleine L’Engle’s Newbery Medal-winning young adult novel, the story follows Meg Murry (Storm Reid) who — with the help of Mrs. Which (Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Kaling) — journeys across dimensions with classmate Calvin (Levi Miller) and younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) in search of her father (Chris Pine), a world-renowned physicist who mysteriously disappeared four years ago.

Bonus material includes an extended featurette providing inside access to the cast and crew; audio commentary from DuVernay and team; deleted scenes; bloopers; and two music videos, “I Believe,” performed by DJ Khaled and Demi Lovato, and “Warrior,” performed by Chloe x Halle.

HBO to Release ‘Games of Thrones: Season 1’ on UHD Blu-ray June 5

Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season will debut on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with Dolby Vision high dynamic range June 5 from HBO Home Entertainment.

“Game of Thrones” is the first HBO series released by HBO Home Entertainment in 4K.  (HBO’s “Westworld” got a 4K release, but it was distributed by Warner.)

The first season release includes all 10 episodes in the 4K format with extras in HD.

In the season one of the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning series, trouble is brewing in a land where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime. From the scheming south and the savage eastern lands, to the frozen north and the ancient wall that protects the realm from the darkness beyond, powerful families are engaged in a deadly cat-and-mouse game for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. As betrayal, lust, intrigue and supernatural forces shake the four corners of the Kingdoms, their bloody struggle for the Iron Throne will have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences. Winter is coming.

Season 1 bonus features (in HD) include:

  • “Animated Histories,” about the mythology of Westeros as told from the varying perspectives of the characters themselves;
  • “Anatomy of an Episode,” an in-episode experience that explores the creative minds and colossal efforts behind episode six, “A Golden Crown”;
  • cast auditions, with rarely-seen footage of the cast auditioning;
  • “Making Game of Thrones,” an exclusive 30-minute feature including never-before-seen footage from the set and interviews with the cast and crew;
  • profiles of 15 major characters as described by the actors portraying them;
  • “Creating the Show Open,”an inside look at the creation of the Emmy-winning opening title sequence for “Game of Thrones”;
  • “From the Book to the Screen,” in which executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss along with author George R.R. Martin talk about the challenges of bringing Martin’s epic fantasy novel to life on HBO;
  • “The Night’s Watch,” an in-depth look at the unique order of men who patrol and protect the wall, a 700-foot ice structure that separates the Seven Kingdoms from the darkness beyond;
  • “Creating the Dothraki Language,” a glance into the comprehensive language created for the Dothraki people in the series;
  • seven audio commentaries with cast and crew, including David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, George R.R. Martin, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Mark Addy, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Bryan Cogman, Harry Lloyd, Daniel Minahan and Alan Taylor; and
  • a digital download code for the ten-episode season in HD.

 

Lionsgate to Mount ‘Escape Plan’ on 4K UHD

Lionsgate will release Escape Plan (2013), starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in a first-time pairing, in a 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and digital copy) June 5 from the Summit Entertainment label at $22.99.

The thriller also stars Jim Caviezel, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Sam Neill, Vinnie Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio and Amy Ryan. In the film, one of the world’s foremost authorities on structural security agrees to take on one last job: breaking out of an ultra-secret, high-tech facility called “The Tomb.” Deceived and wrongfully imprisoned, Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) must recruit fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to help devise a daring, nearly impossible plan to escape from the most protected and fortified prison ever built.

The 4K disc will feature Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.

Combo pack special features include:

  • audio commentary with director Mikael Håfström and co-writer Miles Chapman;
  • the “Executing the Plan: The Making of Escape Plan” featurette;
  • the “Maximum Security: The Real-Life Tomb” featurette;
  • the “Clash of the Titans” Featurette; and
  • deleted scenes.

Kubrick’s ‘2001’ to Be Feted at Cannes and Released in 4K HDR for 50th

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Warner Bros. Pictures will debut an “unrestored” 70mm print of the director’s groundbreaking science fiction epic at the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival and screen it in select U.S. theaters in 70mm beginning May 18.

The world premiere will be held May 12 during the Cannes Classics section of the festival, featuring an introduction by award-winning filmmaker Christopher Nolan. The screening is also scheduled to be attended by members of Stanley Kubrick’s family, including his daughter, Katharina Kubrick, and longstanding producing partner and brother-in-law, Jan Harlan.

Warner Bros. will continue the celebration later this year when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time in 4K resolution with HDR. Also produced in close collaboration with Nolan, the home entertainment release will be available in the fall of 2018.

For the first time since the original release, this 70mm print was struck from new printing elements made from the original camera negative. This is a true photochemical film recreation, according to the studio. There are no digital tricks, remastered effects, or revisionist edits. This is the unrestored film that recreates the cinematic event audiences experienced 50 years ago.

A longtime admirer of Kubrick, Nolan worked closely with the team at Warner Bros. Pictures throughout the mastering process.

“One of my earliest memories of cinema is seeing Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, in 70mm, at the Leicester Square Theatre in London with my father,” Nolan said in a statement. “The opportunity to be involved in recreating that experience for a new generation, and of introducing our new unrestored 70mm print of Kubrick’s masterpiece in all its analogue glory at the Cannes Film Festival is an honor and a privilege.”

“I’m delighted that 2001: A Space Odyssey will be reissued in 70mm, and that Cannes has chosen to honor it,” said Christiane Kubrick in a statement. “If Stanley were alive today, we know he would be in admiration of the films of Christopher Nolan. And so, on behalf of Stanley’s family, I would personally like to thank Christopher for supporting his film.”

Nolan will also participate in a Cannes Masterclass, set for May 13, during which he will discuss his filmography and also share his passion for the work of Stanley Kubrick.

 

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Sci-fi Classic ‘The Matrix’ Coming May 22 in 4K UHD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital

Sci-fi action classic The Matrix will be released in a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and on digital May 22 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Directed by the Wachowski brothers and starring Keanu Reeves as Neo, Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, the 1999 film won four Academy Awards and revolutionized the sci-fi action film genre. The film was the first to sell more than 1 million DVDs and is included on multiple lists of the top sci-fi films of all time. In 2012, it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being culturally, historically and aesthetically significant.

The Matrix 4K UHD release is from a new scan of the original camera negative and is the first remaster of the film in nearly 15 years. Bill Pope, the film’s director of photography, supervised the 4K UHD remaster. A remastered Blu-ray disc from the new 4K scan is also included in the combo pack.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of The Matrix will feature Dolby Vision HDR that dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen — frame by frame. The 4K UHD Blu-ray and Blu-ray discs will feature a Dolby Atmos soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment.

The combo pack retails at $41.99 and features a UHD Blu-ray disc and digitally remastered Blu-ray disc.

The 4K, Blu-ray and digital versions of the film will include more than three hours of previously released extras. The 4K UHD disc and the digitally remastered Blu-ray will include the previously released written intro from the Wachowskis and four commentaries. The bonus disc will include the other previously released special features.

The Matrix Ultra HD Blu-ray contains the following previously released special features:

  • A written Introduction by the Wachowskis;
  • “Philosopher” commentary by Dr. Cornel West and Ken Wilbur;
  • “Critics” commentary by Todd McCarthy, John Powers and David Thomson;
  • “Cast & Crew” commentary by Carrie-Anne Moss, Zach Staenberg and John Gaeta; and
  • “Composer” commentary by Don Davis with the music only track.

The Matrix Blu-ray contains the following previously released special features:

  • “The Matrix Revisited”;
  • “Follow the White Rabbit”;
  • “Take the Red Pill”;
  • Marilyn Manson “Rock is Dead” Music Video;
  • A teaser trailer;
  • The theatrical trailer; and
  • TV spots.

The Matrix 4K UHD digital version ($29.99) will be available to own for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on favorite devices from select digital retailers including GooglePlay, Vudu, Xbox and others, and will be made available digitally on video-on-demand services from cable and satellite providers and on select gaming consoles.

Final ‘Maze Runner’ Installment Due on Digital April 10, Disc April 24

Maze Runner: The Death Cure, the final installment in the series based on the books, will be released on digital and Movies Anywhere April 10 and 4K Ultra HD Disc, Blu-ray Disc and DVD April 24 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The film earned $57.4 million at the box office.

Fans who purchase Maze Runner: The Death Cure on disc will get an exclusive 24-page prequel origins comic book written by screenwriter T.S. Nowlin. The trilogy boxed set, also due April 24 on Blu-ray and DVD, includes the three films in the series and the exclusive comic book. The Blu-ray trilogy will include an exclusive bandana chosen by fans.

In the conclusion to the “Maze Runner” saga, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final mission. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary Last City, a labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all.

Release special features include:

  • Four featurettes, “The Final Run,” “Dystopia,” “Allies Reunited,” “A Look Back” and “Going Out on Top” (Blu-ray and digital only);
  • Deleted and extended scenes with optional audio commentary by Wes Ball, T.S. Nowlin and Joe Hartwick Jr. (Blu-ray and digital only);
  • A gag reel (Blu-ray and digital only);
  • Visual effects with optional commentary (Blu-ray and digital only);
  • Audio commentary by Wes Ball, T.S. Nowlin and Joe Hartwick Jr. (on DVD, Blu-ray, UHD, and digital, but not boxed set); and
  • Picture gallery of more than 300 images (Blu-ray and digital).

Steven Spielberg’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’ Due on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray May 8 for 20th Anniversary

Saving Private Ryan, the five-time Oscar winning World War II epic directed by Steven Spielberg, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo release on May 8 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.

Saving Private Ryan’s five Academy Awards included an award for Spielberg for Best Director. It also won two Golden Globes, Best Director and Best Motion Picture—Drama, and was named by the AFI as one of its 100 greatest American films. The film stars Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore, Ted Danson, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Paul Giamatti and Barry Pepper.

The film’s realistic recreation of the D-Day invasion is rendered in 4K Ultra HD with four times the resolution and more than double the number of colors available with full HD. The release also boasts a Dolby Atmos soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room (along with the original English 5.1 Dolby Digital mix), as well as Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR), which delivers greater brightness and contrast, as well as a fuller palette of rich colors.

The 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo pack includes the film on both 4K Ultra HDand Blu-ray Disc, access to a digital copy, and a second Blu-ray with more than three hours of previously released bonus features that offer viewers a look at the real-life events that inspired the film and behind-the-scenes footage.

 

Oscar-Nominated ‘The Post’ to Hit Digital April 3, Disc April 17

The Post, which earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress (Meryl Streep), will come out on digital April 3, followed by DVD and 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc April 17 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The film will be available on digital locker service Movies Anywhere.

Based on a true story and directed by Steven Spielberg, the film stars Streep as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and Tom Hanks as editor Ben Bradlee as they wrestle with publishing the Pentagon Papers, government documents revealing secrets about the Vietnam War.

Special features include:

  • “Layout: Katharine Graham, Ben Bradlee & The Washington Post” (Blu-ray only), which explores the real-life characters at the heart of the story, Kay Graham and Ben Bradlee;
  • “Editorial: The Cast and Characters of The Post” (Blu-ray only), which covers the casting;
  • “The Style Section: Re-Creating an Era,” about the 1970s style of the film;
  • “Stop the Presses: Filming The Post,” with footage from filming; and
  • “Arts and Entertainment: Music for The Post,” in which Spielberg and composer John Williams talk about their 44-year partnership.

TiVo, Sharp Re-up for 4K TVs, UHD Blu-ray Disc Recorders in Japan

TiVo March 6 said it renewed a license agreement with Sharp Corporation, granting the Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer rights to its G-Guide HTML technology across Sharp’s 4K smart TVs and Ultra HD Blu-ray recorders in Japan. TiVo is also making available the G-Guide xD app and remote schedule recording service for Sharp’s Blu-ray devices.

Additionally, Sharp signed an expanded multi-year license to TiVo’s patent portfolios, enabling it to build customizable content discovery services across its devices.

Sharp, along with Pioneer Corp. and Sony, helped launch the Blu-ray optical disc format in 2004. In 2014, Sharp bowed a Ultra HD 4K TV recorder.

“Today’s renewal … is a testament to TiVo’s customer commitment to their current and future business goals through our technological innovations and the importance of search and discovery for entertainment lovers around the world,” Michael Hawkey, SVP and GM, user experience at TiVo, said in a statement. “TiVo continues to meet the needs of customers worldwide and is recognized for delivering visually-rich, interactive program guides across devices and platforms that feature streamlined user interfaces and search capabilities.”

Best Buy Ups Q4 Entertainment Revenue 17%

It’s not all gloom and doom at Best Buy.

The nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer March 1 reported a 16.8% increase in fourth-quarter (ended Feb. 3) same-store entertainment revenue, compared to a 18.6% decline in the previous-year period.

The entertainment segment, which includes myriad products such as DVD/Blu-ray Disc movies, video game hardware and software, books, music CDs and computer software, generated 10%, or $1.39 billion, of domestic revenue. The segment generated 9% ($1.1 billion) in the previous-year period.

From a merchandising perspective, Best Buy generated comparable sales growth across most of its categories, with the largest drivers being mobile phones, gaming, appliances, smart home, wearables and home theater.

“We are especially proud of our 9% comparable sales growth in the quarter, which brings our annual comparable sales growth to 5.6% for the year,” CEO Hubert Joly said in a statement.

International entertainment segment comp sales increased 11% from a 23.8% decline in 2017, generating 9%, or $123.8 million, in revenue. The segment generated $102.9 million in revenue last year.

While it was reported that Best Buy will be shuttering all domestic branded mobile stores later this year, overall domestic revenue in the quarter was negatively impacted by the closure of 18 big box stores.

Meanwhile, from a profitability standpoint, Best Buy operating income in the domestic segment declined, which CFO Corie Barry attributed to higher employee compensation and SG&E expenses.

“This is due to the increase in the incentive compensation expense for more than 85,000 store and corporate employees as a result of the very strong performance throughout the year, and to the investments we’ve made in the business,” Barry said. “These expenses were partially offset by efficiencies and cost savings.”