‘Batman: Soul of the Dragon’ Tops Disc Sales

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Batman: Soul of the Dragon debuted at No. 1 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 Jan. 30.

The direct-to-video animated movie, the 41st under the DC Universe Movies brand, tells a standalone story of Batman in the 1970s teaming with several martial arts specialists from his past to take on a deadly cult.

Warner’s Tenet, which had been in the top spot the prior two weeks and five of the previous six, fell to No. 2 on both charts.

No. 3 on both charts was another newcomer, Paramount’s Fatman, starring Mel Gibson as a cynical Chris Cringle who finds himself the target of a hitman after he gifts a lump of coal to a snotty rich kid.

Another newcomer, Well Go USA’s Synchronic, debuted at No. 4 on both charts. The Sci-Fi thriller deals with a cop who discovers a time travel pill after receiving a terminal diagnosis.

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Rounding out the top five on the overall disc sales chart was Paramount’s Top Gun, down a spot from the previous week. The 1986 actioner has received renewed interest in anticipation of its sequel due this summer. It was No. 21 on the Blu-ray Chart.

The No. 5 Blu-ray Disc was Warner’s eight-film “Harry Potter” collection, a perennial top seller during the pandemic. It was No. 11 overall.

The fourth new release to crack the top 10 overall sellers was Universal’s Come Play, a $10 million-grossing horror film about a young boy who inadvertently unleashes a demon by overusing mobile social media devices. It was No. 7 overall, but just outside the top 30 Blu-ray sellers, with just 23% of its total sales coming in the Blu-ray format.

Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 48% of Fatman sales, and 52% of Synchronic.

For Batman: Soul of the Dragon, Blu-ray accounted for 79% of its total unit sales, which is interesting considering it was widely released only on Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray — the DVD version was a Walmart exclusive, which demonstrates how dominant that retailer still is when it comes to selling home media. The 4K Ultra HD disc comprised 17% of the Soul of the Dragon total.

A fourth newcomer on the top 20 Blu-ray chart was Warner’s Doom Patrol: The Complete Second Season, which was No. 24 overall.

In addition, with the new film Godzilla vs. Kong slated for May, 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters returned to the overall sales chart at No. 17.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Jan. 31, Come Play debuted at No. 1.

Synchronic dropped a spot to No. 2, having topped the chart the previous week thanks to Redbox having it early for disc rental.

Universal’s Honest Thief remained No. 3, while Paramount’s Wander dropped two spots to No. 4, and Universal’s The War With Grandpa slipped a slot to No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 1-30-21
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 1-31-21
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 1-30-21
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 1-30-21
Sales Report for Week Ended 1-30-21
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 2-1-21

Merchandising: Best Buy Offers ‘Batman: Soul of the Dragon’ With Figurine

Jan. 26 saw the first title of 2021 to arrive with an exclusive retailer edition. Best Buy offered a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack of Warner’s new animated movie Batman: Soul of the Dragon as a gift set at $32.99 packed with a figurine of the Bronze Tiger character.

The 1970s-set film features a number of DC Comics’ martial arts themed characters teaming with Batman, including Bronze Tiger, who interestingly has an outfit very similar to the title character of Marvel’s “Luke Cage” Netflix series.

Walmart also had a Batman: Soul of the Dragon exclusive, in the form of a $14.96 DVD edition not available elsewhere, as the movie’s wide release was only on Blu-ray and 4K formats.

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Meanwhile, Target offered 20% of DVD and Blu-ray movies through its app’s Circle discount program. The promotion didn’t extend to pre-orders or new releases.

‘Batman,’ ‘Fatman,’ ‘Come Play,’ ‘Trafficked’ Top New Disc, Digital Releases Available Jan. 26

After several weeks of slim pickings, home viewers have a bountiful crop of new releases available on disc and through digital retailers beginning Jan. 26, including Warner Bros.’ Batman: Soul of the Dragon, Paramount Home Entertainment’s Fatman and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Come Play.

Also new in stores are the 1955 musical Court Jester, part of the Paramount Presents line; Virgil Films’ Trafficked: A Parent’s Worst Nightmare; the Lionsgate sports actioner Born a Champion; and Season 1 of the TV series “Snowpiercer,” from Warner Bros.

Batman: Soul of the Dragon, now available on Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray two weeks after its digital sellthrough debut, is the 41st film in the DC Universe series of animated movies. The Elseworlds tale, set in the 1970s, has Bruce Wayne in martial arts training alongside other students under a master sensei to confront a deadly menace. Read a review of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray here.

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The dark comedy Fatman, now available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, was released last November through digital retailers only. The film stars Mel Gibson as Chris Cringle, the gruff, put-upon chairman of the Christmas workshop whose business is declining every year due to children becoming less enthralled by the magic of the holidays. As Cringle explains, more and more children are being naughty every year, and per the rules of his existence are eligible to receive only coal. One such child, a spoiled rich kid, orders a hit on Santa. Read a review of the  Blu-ray Disc here.

The supernatural thriller Come Play also arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Jan. 26, after two weeks of availability through digital retailers. A young boy who relies on his cell phone and tablet for companionship befriends a strange and sinister non-human creature. When the mysterious creature uses the devices to break into our world, his parents must fight to save their son.

The Court Jester, which is making its Blu-ray Disc debut, stars Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Basil Rathbone, Angela Lansbury and Cecil Parker. In 2004, The Court Jester was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. 

Trafficked, a feature-length drama, becomes available Jan. 26 on DVD and digital HD through Virgil Films, the independent label headed by veteran video executive Joe Amodei. Directed by Joel Paul Reisig and written by Reisig, George Sunders, and Scott Voshel, Trafficked is based on multiple true stories from American suburban families who have had their lives uprooted after a child has been abducted and trafficked. The film tells the story of a beautiful young girl with a bright future and a dream of becoming a veterinarian.  On the eve of her 16th birthday, she sneaks out of her house to meet a handsome boy she met online and disappears.  Her parents contact the police, who assume their daughter is just out with a boyfriend. A private detective discovers the truth — a discovery that sets off a race with time.

The inspirational mixed martial arts action film Born a Champion arrives Jan. 26 on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, just four days after it was released through digital retailers, in select theaters and on demand. The film stars Sean Patrick Flanery as an ex-Marine who loses a blood-soaked jujitsu match in Dubai to superstar Blaine. But years later, an online video proves that Blaine cheated, and the world demands a rematch, motivating the aging underdog to get back into shape to claim revenge.

“Snowpiercer” is a post-apocalyptic dystopian thriller television drama series that premiered on TNT on May 17, 2020. The series follows the passengers of the Snowpiercer, a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe carrying the remnants of humanity seven years after the world becomes a frozen wasteland. The series questions class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

Flurry of New Films, Including ‘Spell,’ ‘Come Play,’ ‘Skylines’ and Animated ‘Batman: Soul of the Dragon’ Debuting Jan. 12 on Digital, Disc

A batch of new movies, including Paramount Home Entertainment’s Spell and Jungleland and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Ammonite and Come Play, top the slate of new disc and digital releases available Jan. 12.

Also new in stores are Skylines and two other new films from Lionsgate and several animated cartoon compilations and movies, including Warner Bros.’ Batman: Soul of the Dragon, which is making its digital debut two weeks prior to its release on disc.

Spell, available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, stars Omari Hardwick as a man flying his family to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia. He loses control of the plane in an intense storm and awakens alone, wounded, and trapped in the attic of a woman who claims she can nurse him back to health with a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin.

Jungleland, a DVD-only release, is a buddy film from Vertical Entertainment that stars Charlie Hunnam, Jack O’Connell and Jessica Barden. The film was released Nov. 10 on premium VOD and for digital purchase — four days after its theatrical debut, in a limited release. Directed and co-written by Max Winkler, Jungleland follows two brothers struggling to stay relevant in the underground world of bare-knuckle boxing, and facing danger when one of them falls into debt with a crime boss.

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Ammonite, about a passionate and all-consuming love affair that changes the lives of two 19th century women, becomes available Jan. 12 through digital retailers and on demand, as well as on Blu-ray Disc and DVD.  The film, written and directed by Francis Lee (God’s Own Country), stars Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.

Come Play makes its digital debut Jan. 12, two weeks ahead of its Blu-ray Disc and DVD release. The supernatural thriller is about a young boy who relies on his cell phone and tablet for companionship. He befriends a strange and sinister non-human creature; when the mysterious creature uses the devices to break into our world, his parents must fight to save their son.

The three new releases from Lionsgate include Skylines, the third and final installment in the science-fiction “Skyline” trilogy. Directed by Liam O’Donnell, the film stars Lindsey Morgan and Rhona Mitra and was initially released last December by Vertical Entertainment in theaters and on Apple TV. It is now available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD as well as through digital retailers such as FandangoNow and Redbox On Demand. The film details the battle between defenders from Earth and invaders from the moon.

Also out from Lionsgate, on DVD and digital only, are the crime thriller American Dream,  about two entrepreneurs (Luke Bracey and Michiel Huisman) who wind up beholden to a Russian mobster (Nick Stahl), and Parallel, another Vertical Entertainment release, starring Kathleen Quinlan, in which a group of friends stumble upon a mirror that serves as a portal to a “multiverse,” but soon discover that importing knowledge from the other side in order to better their lives brings increasingly dangerous consequences.

Also available on Jan. 12 is the crime thriller Coming From Insanity, which home viewers can rent or purchase from digital retailers or watch on demand. The Level 33 Entertainment release follows Kossi, one of many children trafficked and sold into servitude in Nigeria.

Warner’s Batman: Soul of the Dragon, the 41st film in the DC Universe series of animated movies, arrives on digital sellthrough Jan. 12 ahead of its Jan. 26 release on Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. The Elseworlds tale is set in the 1970s and finds Bruce Wayne in martial arts training alongside other students under a master sensei to confront a deadly menace. Batman, joins forces with Richard Dragon, Ben Turner and Lady Shiva, and their mentor O-Sensei, to battle the monsters of this world and beyond.

Also on the cartoon front, Paramount Home Entertainment is out with Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Twelfth Season on DVD only. In the 12th season, Gary tries out a new pair of legs to keep up with SpongeBob and Plankton and practice ruling the world in SpongeBob’s aquarium.

Cartoon fans also may be interested in Mill Creek Entertainment’s release of Ultraman Taro: The Complete Series  on Blu-ray Disc as both a special edition Steelbook and in standard packaging. It’s the North American debut of the series, which has never been broadcast on TV or available on any home entertainment format.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.