‘Greatest Showman’ Due on Digital March 20, Disc April 10

The Greatest Showman will arrive on digital and Movies Anywhere March 20 and VOD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Disc April 10 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The musical, starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zack Efron, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya, has earned more than $160 million at the box office.

The film picked up an Oscar nod for Best Original Song for “This is Me.” The song won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, and Hugh Jackman was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance.

Extras include two hours of behind-the-scenes footage, as well as sing-along and music machine “jukebox” features.

Research Report: 4K UHD to Buttress Blu-ray

New format 4K UHD will be a key driver in extending the Blu-ray format, according to a new report from Research and Markets, “Global Blu-ray Media and Players Market, Forecast to 2023.”

“The intense bandwidth requirements of 4K content formats are unable to replicate the smooth and seamless playback of 4K UHD titles,” the report found. “Therefore, physical Blu-ray discs are still considered one of the best options for enjoying HD content that also supports HDR and Dolby surround sound. The majority of consumers, especially in the developed markets, are increasingly turning to UHD Blu-ray players to access movie and TV show content. To meet this demand, over 250 UHD titles were released in 2017 alone.”

The new format is offering an assist to a Blu-ray market facing competition from online services, according to the report.

“While physical discs remain a key revenue generator in the home entertainment business, the growing revenue from digital services and the rise of download and over-the-top (OTT) streaming services such as iTunes and Netflix have negatively impacted physical disc sales in the last four-five years,” the report found. “Therefore, an overall gradual decline in disc sales through the forecast period is expected.”

Unit shipments for the global Blu-ray players market are expected to decrease from 72.1 million in 2017 to 68 million in 2023, according to the report. Unit shipments for the global Blu-ray media market are expected to decrease from 595 million in 2017 to 516  million in 2023.

Paramount Preps 40th Anniversary Edition of ‘Grease’

Paramount Home Media Distribution is readying a 40th anniversary edition of the musical Grease for April 24 release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray Disc, DVD and Digital.

Featuring star-making performances from John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, Grease has given the pop-culture world such memorable songs as “Greased Lightnin,” “Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” “Summer Nights,” “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” “Beauty School Drop Out” and the title track.

Paramount says it worked with director Randal Kleiser to restore Grease “to its original vibrancy, with the highest quality sound, picture resolution and color.” The original negative was scanned and received extensive clean up and color correction using previously unavailable digital restoration tools such as high dynamic range (HDR) technology.  In addition, the audio was enhanced from a six-track mix created for the film’s original 70mm release, giving the music more clarity.

The Grease 40th anniversary edition 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc combo packs include the fully restored version of the film plus an all-new, in-depth exploration of the little-known origins of what would become a Broadway play and then a feature film.  “Grease: A Chicago Story” features new interviews with writer Jim Jacobs and original cast members of the Chicago show. In addition, the discs include the original song the title sequence was animated to and an alternate ending salvaged from the original black-and-white16mm work print discovered by director Randal Kleiser.

Both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Combo Packs also feature more than an hour of previously released bonus material, including a sing-along, vintage interviews with the cast, deleted scenes and more.  Plus, the Blu-ray Combo comes in collectible packaging with 16 pages of images laid out like a high school yearbook.  In addition, a Grease Collection will be available in a Steelbook Locker, which includes the 40th anniversary Blu-ray of Grease, as well as Grease 2 and Grease: Live! on Blu-ray for the first time.

‘Downsizing’ Coming to Disc, Digital March 20

Paramount Home Media Distribution will release director Alexander Payne’s Downsizing Digital HD, Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray March 20.

The futuristic comedy stars Matt Damon as Paul Safranek, who with his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to ditch their stressed-out lives in favor of shrinking down in size and moving to a luxurious miniature community, Leisureland.

Downsizing, which earned $24.4 million in U.S. theaters also stars Christoph Waltz and Hong Chau, the latter in a breakthrough performance that earned her Golden Globe and SAG nominations.

The Downsizing 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc Combo Packs include nearly an hour of bonus content, including six behind-the-scenes featurettes on the making of the film, the production design, and the visual effects, among others.

The Downsizing Blu-ray Disc is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Portuguese and Spanish subtitles.  The DVD in the Combo Pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack includes the Blu-ray Disc as well as an Ultra HD Disc presented in 4K Ultra HD and English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Czech 5.1 Dolby Digital, French – Canadian 5.1 Dolby Digital, French – Parisian 5.1 Dolby Digital, German 5.1 Dolby Digital, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Polish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese – Brazilian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Russian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish – Castilian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish – Latin American 5.1 Dolby Digital, and English Audio Description with English, English SDH, Arabic, Bahasa – Malaysian, Cantonese, Simplified Chinese, Mandarin, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French – Canadian, French – Parisian, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Icelandic, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese – Brazilian, Portuguese – European, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Spanish – Castilian, Spanish – Latin American, Swedish, Thai and Turkish subtitles. The Combo Pack also includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film.

Oscar Frontrunner ‘Three Billboards’ Set for February Home Video Release

Acclaimed indie film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is slated to hit digital retail Feb. 13 and packaged media Feb. 27 from 2oth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture,  Billboards features Oscar winner Francis McDormand (Fargo) as the defiant mother of murdered girl who erects three local signs with a controversial message seeking justice.

The billboards and McDormand soon come into conflict with local cop (Sam Rockwell) and the chief of police (Woody Harrelson).

Written and directed by Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards won four Golden Globes Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (McDormand) and Best Supporting Actor (Rockwell).

In addition to being available on Digital HD through Movies Anywhere and other digital retailers, the movie will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

Bonus material includes featurette “Crucify ‘Em: The Making of Three Billboards” and short film Six Shooter.

The disc release comes the week before the March 4 Oscars ceremony.

Fox Sets Digital and Disc Release Dates for ‘Ferdinand’

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has set release dates for Ferdinand, the 3D computer-animated comedy-drama adventure movie from the creators of Ice Age and Rio.

The film, based on Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson’s children’s book The Story of Ferdinand, will be available digitally on Feb. 27 through Movies Anywhere and is set for release on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc on March 13.

Ferdinand, which grossed just under $80 million in U.S. theaters, was released theatrically in mid-December 2017.  It was produced by Blue Sky Studios, Davis Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Animation.

The film is centered around the title character, a giant bull who is torn from his home after being mistaken for a dangerous beast. He bands together with a team of misfit friends in his quest to return home.