Merchandising: Best Buy Offers ‘Hellboy’ Steelbook

Best Buy Oct. 15 offered a Steelbook edition of Sony Pictures’ new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version of the 2004 Hellboy movie.

Otherwise, a slow week for new releases didn’t yield much in the way of retailer promotions.

Target offered a number of Halloween-themed titles for sale on disc, such as Disney’s Hocus Pocus on DVD for $5 and Blu-ray for $10; The Nightmare Before Christmas Blu-ray for $10; DVDs of the first two “Hotel Transylvania” movies for $4 each and the DVD of the third movie for $10; and Paramount’s DVD double feature of The Addams Family and Addams Family Values for $5.

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Merchandising: Collecting ‘Toy Story 4’

Disney’s Toy Story 4 arrived on retail shelves Oct. 8 with a few retailer exclusive options for fans.

Best Buy had a Steelbook edition of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray for $34.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Toy Story 4’ Steelbook

Target offered a version of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack with a 40-page gallery storybook for $34.99.

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Target also had an exclusive DVD of Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol: Pups Chase a Mystery for $9.99.

Shoppers could get 15% off all movies and books with Target Circle, a new coupon program available through the Target app, excluding new releases, preorders and clearance items.

Target had the firt two seasons of “Stranger Things” on Blu-ray on sale for $5 each.

Merchandising: ‘Spider-Man’ Brings Exclusives Home

The big retailers trotted out their usual exclusive add-ons for the Oct. 1 Blu-ray release of Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Best Buy offered the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of the superhero film in Steelbook packaging for $32.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ 4K Steelbook

Target had the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with a 48-page mini-book for $24.99.

Target’s ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Blu-ray with mini-book

And Walmart packaged the Blu-ray combo pack with a Night Monkey retro action figure for $27.96.

Walmart’s ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Blu-ray gift set with Night Monkey figure

Also at Walmart, fans looking to prepare for the 2020 debut of the new season of “Doctor Who could pick up the DVD of BBC Studios’ Doctor Who: The Complete Eleventh Series as a gift set with a collectible 3-inch figure of the Doctor for $29.96.

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Best Buy Eyeing $50 Billion in Revenue, $1 Billion in Cost Cuts By 2025

Best Buy is projecting strength and growth heading into an investor event Sept. 25 in New York.

The consumer electronics retail giant’s “Building the New Blue: Chapter Two” under new CEO Corie Barry includes revised financial targets through 2025.

The company plans to trim $1 billion in costs over the period, while boosting revenue to $50 billion, up from 2020 guidance of $43.1 billion to $43.6 billion.

Heady goals in a retail environment under constant siege from ecommerce giants such as Amazon and Walmart, among others.

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Indeed, Best Buy last month revised downward fiscal-year revenue estimates — largely due to ongoing tariff concerns with China.

The company, like most CE retailers and manufacturers, relies in large part on Chinese-made products, including its line of Insignia TVs.

Second-quarter entertainment same-store sales dropped 13.7% compared to a 8.5% increase a year ago. The business unit includes DVD/Blu-ray Disc movies, video game hardware and software, books, music CDs and computer software.

Domestic entertainment revenue topped $441 million, down from $608 million during the previous-year period. The segment represented 5% of Best Buy’s domestic revenue compared to 7% last year. Best Buy closed 13 large format stores in the period.

Regardless, CFO Matt Bilunas remains optimistic.

“In this next chapter, our focus continues to be top-line growth,” Bilunas said in a statement. “We also believe the initiatives we will outline today … along with continued focus on cost reductions, will result in operating income rate expansion over the five-year time frame.”

Merchandising: A Disney Vault Made of Steelbook

Retailers mostly eschewed attaching exclusives to the Sept. 24 new releases in lieu of giving special treatment to a handful of Disney catalog titles.

The day saw the release of new “Signature Collections” of 1959’s animated Sleeping Beauty and 1961’s animated 101 Dalmatians, as well as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition of 2014’s Maleficent.

The titles arrived without much fanfare or advanced promotion, leading to considerable speculation among home entertainment pundits and enthusiasts that the studio was hastily re-releasing its catalog on disc in new editions and new formats to wring some more incremental revenue from them before turning its attention to Disney+, which will become the new home of the famed “Disney Vault” when much of the studio’s catalog will be accessible to subscribers of the pending monthly SVOD service.

However, the titles also have some value as marketing tie-ins for upcoming Disney theatrical releases. In particular, the Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent re-releases herald the Oct. 18 theatrical release of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, the sequel to the 2014 live-action adaptation.

Disney is also making a new 101 Dalmatians movie, the live-action prequel Cruella, with Emma Stone as the villainous character, due for theaters in 2021.

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Best Buy offered Steelbook editions of all three Blu-rays, $29.99 for the new animated editions and $34.99 for the Ultra HD Maleficent. That’s $5 more than the standard versions of each release.

Best Buy’s ‘101 Dalmatians’ Steelbook
Best Buy’s ‘Maleficent’ 4K Steelbook

Target offered the Blu-rays of the animated movies with special storybook packaging for $28.99 each.

Target’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Blu-ray with storybook
Target’s ‘101 Dalmatians’ Blu-ray with storybook

Among the smattering of additional exclusives, Best Buy offered a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition of Warner’s 2019 version of Shaft for $27.99. Only the Blu-ray and DVD versions were made widely available.

Target offered a DVD of Nickelodeon’s Jojo Siwa: Sweet Celebrations with a pack-in sticker sheet for $9.99.

Target also has a buy-two-get-one-free deal on all music, books and movies, excluding new releases, preorders and clearance.

Merchandising: ‘Dark Phoenix’ Exclusives Rising

Target ‘Dark Phoenix’ box art and poster

The big retailers Sept. 17 made Fox’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix the subject of quite a few exclusive offers.

Target had a special $32.99 version of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack with a poster by Orlando Arocena and exclusive box art on a slipcover.

Walmart offered a $32.96 gift set of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack with six collector cards drawn by comic book artists.

Walmart ‘Dark Phoenix’ art cards

Best Buy offered a Steelbook edition of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray for $34.99.

Best Buy ‘Dark Phoenix’ Steelbook

Among other titles, Best Buy had the new Batman 4-Film Collection 1989-1997 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray boxed set with Steelbook packaging for $89.99.

Walmart had a $27.96 double feature of Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Homecoming Blu-ray combo pack with a digital copy of the new Spider-Man: Far From Home redeemable through Vudu.

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Merchandising: Focusing on ‘Aladdin’ and ‘John Wick’

Retailers offered plenty of exclusives for the Sept. 10 releases of Blu-rays for Disney’s Aladdin and Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum.

The exclusives actually extended to both versions of Disney’s Aladdin, the 2019 live-action version and the original 1992 animated classic.

Target offered 40-page filmmaker gallery books with the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo packs for both versions, at $34.99 each.

Best Buy had $34.99 Steelbook editions for each one.

Target’s 4K Blu-ray for 2019’s ‘Aladdin’ with gallery book
Target’s 4K Blu-ray for 1992’s ‘Aladdin’ with gallery book

 

Best Buy’s Steelbook for 2019’s ‘Aladdin’
Best Buy’s Steelbook for 1992’s ‘Aladdin’

For John Wick: Chapter 3, both Target and Best Buy offered Steelbook editions with different covers.

Target’s version was the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack for $24.99.

Best Buy had a $29.99 Steelbook of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version. There was also a $19.99 mini-Steelbook containing a digital copy code of the film, plus a bundle of both (now sold out) for $39.99.

Walmart offered the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray for $24.99 packed with a replica of an Adjudicator coin from the film.

Target’s Steelbook for ‘John Wick: Chapter 3’
Best Buy’s Steelbook for ‘John Wick: Chapter 3’
Best Buy’s mini-Steelbook for ‘John Wick: Chapter 3’

Best Buy also had a 4K Blu-ray Steelbook of Universal’s Casino for $24.99.

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Merchandising: Here Come the ‘Men in Black’ Exclusives

Best Buy’s ‘Men in Black: International’ Steelbook

Each of the big three major retailers put their own spin on Sony Pictures’ new Men in Black: International Blu-ray upon its Sept. 3 release.

Best Buy offered a Steelbook edition of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of the fourth “Men in Black” film for $29.99.

Target’s ‘Men in Black: International’ Blu-ray

Target had the Blu-ray combo pack with an exclusive 48-page companion mini-book at $22.99.

And Walmart had a $29.96 bundle that included the Blu-ray combo pack of the new film and digital copies of the first three “MIB” films redeemable through the Vudu digital service.

Walmart also had exclusive availability of Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol: Ready Race Rescue DVD with Vudu digital copy for $14.96, from Paramount.

In addition, Walmart appears to have early availability of Warner’s Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island animated movie on DVD for $12.96. The movie was widely released digitally Sept. 3 and will be available everywhere else on DVD Oct. 1.

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Best Buy Stock Slips After Missing Q2 Revenue Estimates, Ongoing China Tariff Concerns

Best Buy shares Aug. 29 fell as much as 9% in early-morning trading after the nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer revised downward fiscal year revenue estimates — largely due to ongoing tariff concerns with China.

Best Buy, like most CE retailers and manufacturers, relies in large part on Chinese-made products, including its line of Insignia TVs.

“This updated guidance factors in our best estimate of the impact of recent announcements regarding tariffs on goods from China … and general uncertainty related to overall customer buying behavior in the back half of the year,” CFO Matt Bilunas said in a statement.

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Meanwhile, entertainment same-store sales dropped 13.7% compared to a 8.5% increase  a year ago. The business unit includes DVD/Blu-ray Disc movies, video game hardware and software, books, music CDs and computer software.

International entertainment same-store sales dropped more than 20%.

Domestic entertainment revenue topped $441 million from $608 million during the previous-year period. The segment represented 5% of Best Buy’s domestic revenue compared to 7% last year.

Best Buy closed 13 large format stores in the period. Restructuring charges of $48 million primarily related to changes in the company’s domestic retail operating model. In the prior year, restructuring charges of $17 million relate to the closure of the company’s domestic Best Buy Mobile stores.

Regardless, new CEO Corie Barry said overall Q2 revenue grew 1.6% on top of a very strong 6.2% last year.

“We also delivered improved profitability driven by gross profit rate expansion and continued disciplined expense management, demonstrating the culture we have built around driving cost reductions and efficiencies to help fund investments,” Barry said in a statement.

Merchandising: The Secret Life of Retail Exclusives

The big three retailers offered a slew of exclusives for several of the new home video releases on Aug. 27.

For Universal’s animated The Secret Life of Pets 2, Walmart offered the Blu-ray combo pack as a $27.96 gift set that included two Funko Pocket Pop! keychains.

Target offered a $26.99 Blu-ray gift set with “Gallery Book” packaging.

Best Buy had the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of the animated sequel in Steelbook packaging for $32.99.

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For Warner’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Best Buy had the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in Steelbook packaging for $34.99, and an exclusive 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack for $29.99 (the wide 3D release doesn’t include the DVD).

Best Buy also offered the Rocketman 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in Steelbook packaging for $32.99.

Target is offering a free $5 gift card with purchase of Rocketman and the CD soundtrack, which is offered at $13.99 with two exclusive songs. The disc of the movie is available at $17.99 for the DVD, $22.99 for the Blu-ray, and $27.99 for the 4K Blu-ray.

Walmart is selling a $29.96 three-film “John Wick” collection that contains Blu-rays of the first two movies and a digital copy of the third film to watch on Vudu.