Scream Factory Releasing ‘Universal Horror Collection Vol. 1’ Blu-ray June 18

Scream Factory, the horror imprint of multi-platform distributor Shout! Factory, will release Universal Horror Collection Vol. 1 on Blu-ray June 18. Celebrating the legacy of horror icons Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, the collection includes their collaborations in the films The Black Cat (1934), The Raven (1935), The Invisible Ray (1936) and Black Friday (1940).

The Black Cat will include new commentaries from film historians Gregory William Mank and Steve Haberman, the documentary “Dreams Within a Dream: The Classic Cinema of Edgar Allan Poe” narrated by Doug Bradley, the featurette “A Good Game: Karloff and Lugosi at Universal Part One — The Black Cat,” and vintage footage of “The Black Cat Contest.”

The Raven comes with a new 2K scan of the original film elements, plus a commentary with Haberman, another commentary with Gary D. Rhodes, the featurette “A Good Game: Karloff and Lugosi at Universal Part Two — The Raven,” and an audio recording of Lugosi reading Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The Invisible Ray features a new 2K scan of the original film elements, a commentary with film historians Tom Weaver and Randall Larson, the featurette “A Good Game: Karloff and Lugosi at Universal Part Three — The Invisible Ray,” and a Re-Release theatrical trailer.

Black Friday comes with a new 2K scan of the original film elements, a commentary with film historian Constantine Nasr, the featurette “A Good Game: Karloff and Lugosi at Universal Part Four — Black Friday,” an “Inner Sanctum Mystery Radio Show” performances of The Tell-Tale Heart starring Boris Karloff, and the theatrical trailer.

All films will also include still galleries.

Hulu Extends 99 Cents Per Month Deal

Online subscription service Hulu extended its Thanksgiving weekend deal of 99 cents per month for a year through 10 a.m. PST Nov. 27.

The deal is for the limited commercials plan only.

The offer is good to new subscribers and eligible returning subscribers who have not been Hulu subscribers in the past 12 months.

The price for the service is $7.99 after the 99 cents per month year.

Amazon: Cyber Monday Biggest Shopping Day in Company History

As expected, Amazon Nov. 27 said Cyber Monday was the single biggest shopping day in the company’s history with more products ordered worldwide than any other day – including the ecommerce behemoth’s annual Prime Day.

Amazon said consumers worldwide ordered more than 18 million toys and more than 13 million fashion items on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, combined.

Adobe Analytics estimated consumers spent more than $7.8 billion shopping on Cyber Monday.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to break records on Amazon year over year,” Jeff Wilke, CEO, worldwide consumer, said in a statement. “With curated gift guides, convenient shopping experiences, product selection, and free shipping, Amazon offers customers tremendous value.”

Weekend highlights included:

  • Sales by small and medium-sized businesses worldwide grew more than 20% on Black Friday year-over-year.
  • Throughout the five-day Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday period, Amazon customers ordered more than 180 million items.
  • Christmas lights were a bestseller on Prime Now.
  • The best-selling products at Amazon 4-star and Amazon Books over the weekend included the Echo Dot, Becoming by Michelle Obama, the Amazon Smart Plug, and the L.O.L. Surprise Series toys.
  • Customers ordered more than four million toys and electronics on the mobile app on Black Friday.
  • The best-selling products on Cyber Monday included the Echo Dot, AncestryDNA: Genetic Testing Ethnicity, Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones for Apple devices, Becoming by Michelle Obama, Jenga, and Instant Pot DUO60 – 6 Quart.
  • The all-new Echo Dot was the #1 selling product on Amazon globally, from any manufacturer, in any category.

Thanksgiving, Black Friday Retail Traffic Rivals 2017 as E-Commerce Soars

Consumer foot traffic to brick-and-mortar retail stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday resulted in a combined 1% decline for the two-day period compared to last year, with a 1.7% decline in traffic on Black Friday versus 2017, according to new data from ShopperTrak.

“The fact that the combined shopper visits remained almost the same this year compared to the last three years proves that the notion of Black Friday not being popular anymore is a myth,” Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak, said in a statement.

The National Retail Federation predicted that about 164 million people would shop over the five days through Cyber Monday – which equals last year’s tally.

Meanwhile, online shopping over the holidays — much like e-commerce during the year — continues to grow exponentially.

Adobe reportedly expects online holiday shopping in November and December to increase nearly 15% from 2017. The tech company said Black Friday shopping on the Internet increased nearly 28% to $6.4 billion. Online shopping on Thanksgiving increased 28% to $3.7 billion.

Regardless, ShopperTrak estimates 80% of the holiday’s busiest shopping days are still ahead. The days include Super Saturday, which falls on Dec. 22, and the Sunday before Christmas, Dec. 23.

Notably, for the third year in a row, there are four Saturdays in December prior to Christmas Day, which will enhance the importance of both Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. In addition, similar to last year, the Saturday after Christmas, Dec. 29, is expected to be one of the busiest shopping days taking the last spot on the top 10 busiest day’s list.

“Shopping in physical stores during the holidays continues to be an exciting annual event for consumers and based on the Black Friday traffic data, retailers are in for a successful holiday season,” said Field.

 

Plenty of Black Friday Deals on Home Entertainment: Discs for Under $2, Digital Rentals for 99 Cents

Home entertainment content has never been cheaper — or easier to get.

Over the Black Friday holiday weekend, consumers can buy DVDs for less than $2 at Walmart. They can purchase Blu-ray Discs for less than $4 at Walmart, Target and Best Buy.

And, for those who’d rather stay home and not brave the crowds, they can rent some movies for as little as 99 cents at Redbox and Google Play, buy movies digitally for as little as $4.99 at Google Play, or purchase a broad selection of recent hits, from A Quiet Place to Sicario: Day of the Soldado, at Redbox or FandangoNOW for under $10.

At Walmart – which was open all day on Thanksgiving – Black Friday prices went into effect at 2 p.m. the day before, on Wednesday, Nov. 21.

The first taste of home entertainment in the giant retailer’s 36-page mailer comes on page 7, with a Walmart digital Vudu Card with Mission: Impossible – Fallout available for $7.96, $12 off the regular price.

On the same page, Walmart is promoting an LG “smart” Blu-ray Disc player for $49, which includes $10 in Vudu credit.

DVDs and Blu-ray Discs don’t get called out until page 11, with Walmart promising more than 110 different DVD movies for $1.96, including Ice Age: Collision Course, The Peanuts Movie and The Wizard of Oz.

Walmart also is offering more than 180 DVDs and Blu-ray Discs for $3.96, including Home Alone, Fast & Furious 8, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the live-action one, with Jim Carrey); 50 at $5.96 (including Ice Age, Justice League and the Deadpool 2 DVD); 30 at $7.96 (including the Deadpool 2 Blu-ray Disc); 50 at $8.96 and 90 at $9.96.

Walmart also is offering Xbox and PlayStation 4 games for as low as $12.

Sparse shelves at Target in Mission Viejo, Calif., Nov. 23.

Target Stores’ mailer prominently advertises the hot new video game Call Duty: Black Ops 4, which came out Oct. 12, for $45. Stores opened on Thanksgiving Day at 5 p.m., but Black Friday pricing went into effect at 6 p.m. the day before, on Wednesday, Nov. 21.

The retailer’s big “Doorbuster” is a Sony PS4 console, bundled with the new Spider-Man game and one wireless controller, for $199.99

Movies start on page 15 of the 47-page flier, with the whole top half of the page devoted to $4 DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, including Deadpool, Bad Moms, Ocean’s 8, The Greatest Showman and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (all on DVD only) as well as Blu-ray Discs of The Peanuts Movie, Smurfs: The Lost Village and The LEGO Batman Movie.

A 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc display at Target in Mission Viejo on Black Friday.

Target also is selling an assortment of discs for $6 (Bad Moms, Justice League, Wonder Woman, Peter Rabbit, Paddington 2, all on Blu-ray Disc), as well as another batch at $9 (including 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray editions of Deadpool, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Hitman’s Bodyguard and Pacific Rim).

Also available at Target come 5 p.m. Nov. 22 are $10 season sets of TV series like “The Walking Head,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Supernatural” and “Westworld.”

At Best Buy, stores also opened on Thanksgiving Day at 5 p.m. and, like Target, Black Friday prices have been in effect since Nov. 21 at 6 p.m.

Right on page one of the retailer’s 52-page mailer is an ad for $6.99 Blu-ray Disc/DVD combo packs of Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Coco and Deadpool 2. “These Deals are Blockbusters,” the headline reads.

Inside are ads for games at $19.99 to $29.99 and $14.99 and under.

Hot new releases Red Dead Redemption 2 and Fallout 76 are not discounted ($59.99), but come with collectible freebies: a collapsible cup for Red Dead Redemption and a Vault Boy keychain for Fallout 76.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is available for $44.99, a penny less than at Target,

Best Buy also is advertising 55 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc titles at $14.99 each, including Ant-Man and The Wasp, Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Coco, Black Panther and Skycraper.

On the next pages are 75 Blu-ray Discs at $3.99 each, including Wonder Woman, Jurassic World, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Kingsman: The Secret Service; 70 at $5.99, including Ready Player One, It, Tag, The Darkest Minds, and Dunkirk; 50 at $7.99, including The Death of Superman, Overboard, Deadpool 2 and Uncle Drew; and 35 at $9.99, including Justice League, Jumani: Welcome to the Jungle, and Sicario: Day of the Soldado.

Best Buy also is selling more than 20 Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc titles at $7.99 each, including John Wick, American Assassin, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, The Hitman’s Bodyguard and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Digital retailers are offering movie deals this holiday weekend, as well.

Google Play offered 99 cent rentals on Thanksgiving Day, including such recent releases as Crazy Rich Asians and Incredibles 2, giving consumers something to watch while they enjoy their turkey coma.

It has also slashed prices on digital purchases to as low as $4.99. Among the movies consumers can buy for less than $5 are The Maze RunnerWrath of the TitansNow You See MeEscape Plan 2A Prayer Before Dawnand Independence Day: Resurgence.

Other “limited time Cyber Week deals” include various recent hit movies for $9.99, including Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again (regular price, $14.99), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($21.99) and Deadpool 2 ($19.99).

Google Play also is offering access to Starz for $5 a month for three months (the regular price is $8.99 per month).

Redbox is offering deals on numerous digital purchases, including such recent releases as A Quiet Place (cut to $7.99 from $14.99), Sicario: Day of the Soldado (at $9.99 from $18.99), Rampage (at $9.99 from $19.99) and Uncle Drew (at $9.99 from $14.99). The rental kiosk company is also offering deals on used discs based on location.

FandangoNow, the on-demand service owned by Fandango, is offering special deals on digital purchases as well, with such new releases as Deadpool 2RampageA Quiet PlaceDaddy’s Home 2 and Ready Player Oneat under $10.

FandangoNow also is offering consumers $8 toward a movie ticket for every $20 they buy on digital purchases or streams.

For consumers who’d rather stream than buy, both Redbox and Google Play are offering 99-cent rentals throughout the holiday weekend.

At Redbox, the selection includes The Other Woman, Playing It Cool, The Girl Next Door and Cast Away.

At Google, 99-cent rentals include a wealth of current hits, including Crazy Rich Asians, The Meg, Incredibles 2, Mile 22, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Extending Black Friday in an OTT World

When you rent and sell packaged media in a streaming world, Black Friday (Nov. 22) becomes a mandatory weeklong sales event. Especially for the country’s last-standing brick-and-mortar video rental store.

Family Video, the privately-owned Glenview, Ill.-based chain of more than 700 stores operating in 29 states, launched special deals on DVD and Blu-ray Disc titles (new and used) beginning Nov. 19 through Nov. 26.

With DVDs priced from $4 and Blu-ray priced from $5, Family Video is also offering 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray titles priced from $12.

Even better: You don’t have to live in the Midwest or South to partake in the sale. FamilyVideo.com will ship (U.S. Postal) for free on any size order through Dec. 16.

The news caught the attention of local NBC television affiliate WYFF4 in Greenville, S.C., which sent an incredulous news crew (“People still go to the video store?”) to a Family Video location in Mauldin to document.

Said one customer, “Man, I haven’t been to a store like this in 10 years. I had to Google why does Family Video even exist?”

And with good reason.

Packaged-media rental revenue from brick-and-mortar stores dropped more than 18% in the third quarter to $71.5 million compared to $87.5 million in the previous-year period, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. The tally is down almost 34% from the first three months of 2017.

As Black Friday approaches even big box retailers such as Target are feeling the heat from over-the-top video. Circling a freestanding point-of-purchase display of discounted animated winter holiday DVDs near the gift cards at a Target in Greer, S.C., a mother and her young kids scanned the titles – on her cell phone.

“No, I think Hulu has that,” said the mom, who left empty-handed.

Walmart Offering Earlier Deals, Snacks, Maps for Black Friday Shopping

Walmart Nov. 8 announced Black Friday deals along with plans to start the deals on Walmart.com at 10 p.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 21, two hours earlier, among other shopping enhancements.

Walmart.com has more than a dozen Black Friday deals available now, including a Sharp 55-inch 4K Ultra HD HDR Smart LED TV at $299; a Sharp 50-inch 4K Ultra HD HDR Smart LED TV at $249; and a RCA 65-inch 4K Ultra HD LED TV at $399.

Nov. 22, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. local time, the retailer will launch “Light Up Black Friday” parties for customers, giving away 4 million cups of complimentary coffee courtesy of Keurig and nearly 2 million free Christmas cookies from the Walmart Bakery, according to the retailer.

At 6 p.m. local time, the in-store event begins with new tools for shopping, including enhanced Black Friday store maps in the Walmart app and “Check Out With Me” associates. The app’s store map feature will transition to a Black Friday version from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. local time. Shoppers can browse the Black Friday circular on the app, select an item and its location will appear on the Black Friday store map. The Black Friday store map will also include pins that direct shoppers to the top eight Black Friday deals. Key departments, such as toys, electronics, home and apparel, will once again be color coded in the Black Friday event circular, in the app store map and on printed maps distributed in stores, as well as in stores on event night with balloons, signs and associates in colored vests. “Check Out With Me” associates — identifiable with a yellow sash — will be placed in key areas of the store.

“There really is no bigger or better day of the year than Black Friday; that’s why we are pulling out all the stops to make it a great night for our customers,” said Steve Bratspies, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. “We’re more confident than ever that our customers will find incredible prices on everything on their holiday wish list at Walmart. And with deep availability of these items in our stores and new features like color-coded Black Friday Store Maps in the Walmart app and Check Out With Me, as well as earlier access to the deals online, it’s never been easier for customers to shop – and save – at Walmart on Black Friday.”

Among the Black Friday deals are the PS4 1TB Slim Spider-Man Bundle ($199); the Sharp/TCL 65-inche Class 4K Roku Smart TV ($398); the Hisense 40-inch Class 1080p TV ($99); and the Xbox ONE S 1TB Minecraft Creators Bundle ($199). The retailer will also offer hundreds of disc titles at prices from $1.96 to $9.96 each.