‘Green Book,’ ‘Roma,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘Black Panther’ Lead Oscar Winners

The big story of the 91st Academy Awards Feb. 24 is that Hollywood isn’t quite ready to crown Netflix with its highest honor just yet, as another traditional studio film, Universal Pictures’ Green Book, earned the Oscar for Best Picture from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Green Book, which is available now for digital download and will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD March 12, also earned Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali (his second win in the category after 2016’s Moonlight).

Many prognosticators had pegged Netflix’s Roma as the favorite for Best Picture, but Alfonso Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical reflection of his childhood in Mexico City still ended up with three historic Oscars. Cuarón won for both Best Director and Best Cinematography, the first individual to win both awards. Cuarón also accepted Roma’s award for Best Foreign-Language Film, though technically the win is attributed to the home country — in this case, Mexico, the first film for the country in the category.

Universal’s Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic of the rock band Queen, rode its musical stylings to four Oscars, with Best Actor Rami Malek leading the way with his performance as Freddie Mercury. The film also won for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing, while John Ottman won his first Oscar for Best Film Editing. The film is available now on disc and digital.

Meanwhile, the ceremony took on a bit of a comic book flair, as Marvel’s Black Panther set a new mark for most Oscar wins by a superhero movie, with three, passing the two won by 2008’s The Dark Knight and 2004’s The Incredibles. The film, available now on disc and digital from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, won for Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Original Score. The wins represent the first Oscars for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which arrives digitally Feb. 26 and on Blu-ray and DVD March 19, won for Best Animated Feature.

Pixar’s Bao, included with Disney’s home video release of Disney’s Incredibles 2, won for Best Animated Short.

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Best Actress went to Olivia Colman for The Favourite, which is available now digitally and on Blu-ray and DVD March 5. Colman, who plays Queen Anne in the film, will play Elizabeth II in the upcoming third season of “The Crown” on Netflix.

Best Supporting Actress went to Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk, which arrives digitally March 12 and on Blu-ray and DVD March 26.

Best Documentary Feature went to Free Solo, which is available for digital download now and arrives on DVD March 5 from National Geographic. The film chronicles a rock climber’s attempt to summit Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan without equipment.

Spike Lee won his first Oscar as part of the writing team for BlackKklansman, which won Best Adapted Screenplay. The film is available now digitally and on disc from Universal.

A complete list of winners is available here.

Netflix’s ‘Roma’ Leads Oscar Nominations

The critically acclaimed film Roma from director Alfonso Cuarón scored a major victory in Netflix’s efforts to be taken seriously as a movie-distribution outlet, securing 10 Oscar nominations.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 91st Academy Awards Jan. 22. Roma tied with Fox Searchlight’s The Favourite, which also had 10 nominations.

Roma is available now for viewing on the SVOD service, having qualified for the Oscars with a brief theatrical run at the end of 2018. Its nominations include Best Picture, Best Foreign-Language Film (representing Mexico), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress for Yalitza Aparicio, Best Supporting Actress for Marina de Tavira, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. Its 10 nominations tie it with 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for most nominations by a foreign-language film.

Another Netflix-distributed film, the Coen Bros.’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, earned three nominations, including adapted screenplay, original song for “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” and costume design.

The Favourite earned nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress for Olivia Colman (who takes over as Queen Elizabeth II on Netflix’s “The Crown” later this year), Best Supporting Actress for Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, Best Director for Yorgos Lanthimos, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best Production Design.

An aggressive marketing push from Walt Disney Studios helped secure seven nominations for Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, including for Best Picture, the first comic-book based superhero film to earn such an honor (a decade after the snub of The Dark Knight supposedly prompted the Academy to increase the Best Picture field from five nominees to up to as many as 10 – there were eight this year). Black Panther also earned noms for Best Original Score, Best Original Song for “All the Stars,” Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. The film is readily available through digital channels and on Blu-ray and DVD. It was the No. 3-selling disc of 2018, according to the NPD Group.

And in a bit of a double whammy for comic book movies, Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse earned a nomination for Best Animated Feature, alongside Disney’s Incredibles 2 (available now on disc and digital) and Ralph Breaks the Internet (available digitally Feb. 12 and on disc Feb. 26), Fox’s Isle of Dogs (available now on disc and digital), and Gkids’ Mirai.

Other Best Picture nominees include Universal’s BlackKklansman (available on disc and digital), which earned six nominations; Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody (on digital now, disc Feb. 12), which earned five noms, including Best Actor for Rami Malek; Universal’s Green Book (on digital Feb. 19, disc March 15), which earned five noms; Warner’s A Star Is Born (available now digitally, on disc Feb. 19), which earned eight noms, including Best Original Song for “Shallow”; and Annapurna’s Vice.

Like Roma, Cold War also was nominated for Best Foreign-Language Film, representing Poland, and Best Director, for Paweł Pawlikowski, marking the first time two foreign-language nominees were also nominated in the directing category. The other foreign-language nominees were Lebanon’s Caparnaum, Germany’s Never Look Away and Japan’s Shoplifters (due on Disc and Digital Feb. 12 from Magnolia Home Entertainment).

The 91st Academy Awards ceremony will be held Feb. 24 in Los Angeles. A full list of nominees is available at Oscars.com.

2018 On Track to Be Record Year at the Box Office

It’s beginning to look like a record year at the box office.

Consumers as of Dec. 26 have spent an estimated $11.38 billion on movie tickets sales in the United States and Canada, according to Box Office Mojo, the box office revenue tracking site.

That’s on par with total spending in the record year of 2016 — and with six days still remaining in 2018, a new record almost certainly will be set.

Movie ticket sales were fueled by blockbusters such as Walt Disney Studios’ The Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity Wars, which with domestic grosses of $700.1 million and $678.8 million, respectively, are the No. 3 and No. 4 movies of all time, according to Box Office Mojo statistics.

Indeed, three of the year’s top 10 movies are also in the all-time top 10, the third being yet another Disney film, Incredibles 2.  With a domestic gross of $608.6 million, the animated sequel is the No. 3 movie of 2018 – and the No. 9 movie of all time.

Disney had five of the year’s top 10 theatrical performers, the others being Ant-Man and the Wasp (No. 8) and Solo: A Star Wars Story (No. 9).

But other studios also shared in the spoils, including Universal Pictures, which had the year’s No. 4 and No. 6 movies, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch; as well as the 20th Century Fox, with fifth-ranked Deadpool 2; Paramount, with Mission: Impossible – Fallout, ranked at No. 7; and Sony Pictures, whose Venom came in at No. 10.

All but two of 2018’s top 10 theatrical releases are already available for home viewing, on digital as well as DVD and Blu-ray Disc. The most recent release is Sony Pictures’ Venom, which was released to the home market through digital retailers on Dec. 11 and on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on Dec. 18

The lone holdout is Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, from Universal Pictures, which also is the newest theatrical release, bowing on the big screen on Nov. 9.

The film, with a holiday theme, will most likely be released to the home market in the fourth quarter of 2019, observers say.

Also contributing to the strong year for movie theaters were theatrical over-performers such as Paramount’s A Quiet Place (No. 12, $188 million) and Warner Bros.’ A Star is Born (No. 11, $200 million) and Crazy Rich Asians (No. 14, $174 million), observers say.

 

Top Theatrical Films of 2018, Ranked by Domestic Gross (as of Dec. 26)*

  1. Black Panther, Disney, $700,059,566
  2. Avengers: Infinity War, Disney, $678,815,482
  3. Incredibles 2, Disney, $608,581,744
  4. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Universal, $416,769,345
  5. Deadpool 2, Fox, $318,491,426
  6. Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, Universal, $253,588,345
  7. Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Paramount, $220,159,104
  8. Ant-Man and the Wasp, Disney, $216,648,740
  9. Solo: A Star Wars Story, Disney, $213,767,512
  10. Venom, Sony, $213,030,843

 

*Box Office Mojo, as of Dec. 26

‘Black Panther,’ ‘BlacKkKlansman’ Among Top Golden Globes Nominees Already on Home Video

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominees for the 76th annual Golden Globes Dec. 6. Winners will be announced Jan. 6 on NBC.

Nominees for Best Motion Picture — Drama include Disney’s Black Panther, Universal’s BlacKkKlansman, Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Annapurna’s If Beale Street Could Talk, and Warner’s A Star Is Born. Thus far, only BlacKkKlansman and Black Panther are available for home viewing, with both available on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and through digital retailers.

Movies up for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy include Warner’s Crazy Rich Asians, Fox’s The Favourite, Universal’s Green Book, Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns and Annapurna’s Vice. Of those, Crazy Rich Asians is the only one audiences can check out at home, on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and through digital retailers.

Best Motion Picture — Animated nominees include Incredibles 2 (on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K UHD BD and digital from Disney), Isle of Dogs (on Blu-ray, DVD and digital from Fox), GKIDS’ Mirai, Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet and Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Nominees for Best Motion Picture — Foreign Language include Sony Pictures Classics’ Capernaum (Lebanon) and Never Look Away (Germany), Magnolia’s Shoplifters (Japan), and two movies from Netflix: Girl (Belgium)  and Roma (Mexico), the latest from director Alfonso Caurón.

On the TV side of things, nominees for Best Television Series — Drama, include FX’s “The Americans,” Netflix’s “Bodyguard,” Amazon’s “Homecoming,” BBC’s “Killing Eve” and FX’s “Pose.” Episodes of “The Americans” and “Killing Eve” are both available on disc.

Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy nominees include HBO’s “Barry” (season one on DVD), NBC’s “The Good Place” (on disc from Shout! Factory), Showtime’s “Kidding,” Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method” and Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Nominees for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television are TNT’s The Alienist, FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Showtime’s Escape at Dannemora, HBO’s Sharp Objects (recently released on DVD and Blu-ray) and Amazon’s A Very English Scandal.

A full list of nominees is available at GoldenGlobes.com.

Disney Expands Home Video Market Dominance in 2018

Despite generating four of the top-selling DVD/Blu-ray Disc titles in 2017 – including Top 3: Moana, Beauty and the Beast and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story –  Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment upped its game in 2018.

The studio is primed to end the year with six titles in the Top 10, including Black Panther, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Coco in the top three with combined disc sales of exceeding $243 million, according to The-Numbers.com.

The home entertainment studio ended the fiscal year (ended Sept. 29) with $1.75 billion in revenue – down 3% from revenue of almost $1.8 billion during the previous-year period.

Revenue reflected a 5% decrease from lower unit sales, partially offset by an increase of 3% from higher average net effective pricing. Lower unit sales were driven by the success of Moana and Finding Dory in the prior-year period compared to Coco and Cars 3 in the current year.

These decreases were partially offset by the release of three Marvel titles and two Lucasfilm titles (The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story) in the current year compared to two Marvel titles and one Lucasfilm title (Rogue One) in the prior year. The increase in average net effective pricing was due to higher rates and a higher sales mix of Blu-ray discs, partially offset by a lower mix of new release titles.

Through the end of the fiscal year, the studio had about 1,500 produced and acquired titles, including 1,100 live-action titles and 400 animated titles, in domestic retail channels, according to a Nov. 21 regulatory filing. Disney had approximately 1,600 produced and acquired titles, including 1,100 live-action titles and 500 animated titles, in the international marketplace.

 

 

 

 

 

Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Home Video Sales Spur Q4 Disney Studio Results

Home entertainment sales of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War (physical and digital) helped increase Walt Disney Studios’ fourth-quarter (ended Sept. 30) operating income 64.5% ($378 million) to $596 million from $218 million during the previous-year period. Revenue increased 50% to $2.15 billion from $1.43 billion last year.

Infinity War has sold $90.5 million via 2.7 million combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc units since its Aug. 14 retail debut, according to The-Numbers.com. The title is the sixth best-selling title of the year – but only the fifth best Disney title!

Other significant home entertainment titles included Solo: A Star Wars Story, released Sept. 25, while the prior-year quarter included Beauty and the Beast.

For the year, Black Panther, Stars Wars: The Last Jedi, Coco and Thor: Ragnarok rank among the top-five home entertainment releases in 2018.

“We’re very pleased with our financial performance in fiscal 2018, delivering record revenue, net income and earnings per share,” CEO Bob Igersaid in a statement. “We remain focused on the successful completion and integration of our 21st Century Fox acquisition and the further development of our direct-to-consumer business, including the highly anticipated launch of our Disney-branded streaming service late next year.”

Separately, Iger revealed the pending direct-to-consumer streaming service will be called Disney +, featuring original content from Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm.

 

 

Redbox Says It Will Still Sell Codes to Disney Movies — Just Not the New Ones

A federal judge on Aug. 30 granted the Walt Disney Co.’s request for a preliminary injunction against Redbox selling digital codes to Disney movies.

However, the ban only applies to newer “combo pack” releases with a revised disclaimer on the package. Redbox says this means it may continue selling digital codes to earlier Disney releases such as Frozen and “Star Wars” movies.

Judge Dean Pregerson ruled that Disney’s amended language accompanying packaged media combo retail releases (which include digital codes) sufficiently prohibits private parties from selling copyrighted content without permission.

“Because Redbox did not obtain an ownership right to any digital content when it purchased combo Packs, Disney has adequately shown that it is likely to succeed on its claim that Redbox encouraged Redbox customers to infringe Disney’s copyrights by redeeming codes in violation of the license terms set forth on the redemption sites,” Pregerson wrote.

In February, a federal court denied Disney a preliminary injunction against Redbox after the studio alleged the kiosk vendor committed copyright misuse on 19 of its most recent movies. Disney and subsidiaries Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios in April filed an amended complaint against Redbox, including changing user-guidelines on its packaged-media releases, beginning with Black Panther.

In a statement to Media Play News, Redbox said, “In a second attempt to obtain a broad injunction against Redbox regarding the sale of digital codes, Disney asked the court to retreat from its prior ruling that Disney abused its copyright on some 19 Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel titles. The court previously found that Disney’s copyrights for these titles were unenforceable against Redbox.

“Nothing disturbs that prior ruling in favor of Redbox. Redbox remains free to sell codes for those prior titles. This morning’s ruling is limited to digital codes for certain titles, like Black Panther, that contain new disclosures, but were distributed after the 19 titles listed in Disney’s complaint. Redbox has never attempted to sell, and had no plans to sell, digital codes for Black Panther. Disney, therefore, has not been damaged by Redbox’s business practices, and the ruling compels no change in Redbox’s business practices.

“The same isn’t true for Disney. In addition to having been forced to change misleading language on its packaging and its websites, Disney now must offer consumers the ability to return digital codes or combo packs for a refund if they disagree with digital license terms. In fact, the court’s order expires in 90 days unless Disney ‘clearly and prominently indicates’ that consumers can obtain a refund if they do not agree with Disney’s restrictions.

“The court’s decision once again maintains Redbox’s stance as an advocate for the consumer. We look forward to finalizing our victories in court.”

Disney is the only studio that won’t sell discs directly to Redbox, forcing the company to buy them at retail. Last year, Redbox also began offering for sale the digital codes that come with its purchased Disney discs, citing the First Sale Doctrine to federal copyright law, which provides that someone who lawfully acquires a copyrighted work is allowed to sell or dispose of it however they want. Video retailers in the early 1980s successfully argued that First Sale gave them the right to rent videocassettes they had legally purchased and pocket the rental fees.

Timing of Releases Lowers Q3 Disney Home Entertainment Results

Sometimes the Star Wars brand is only as good as its fiscal timing.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Aug. 7 said its lower third-quarter (ended June 30) revenue was due to a decrease in unit sales driven by the timing of the release of select Star Wars titles.

The DVD/Blu-ray Disc release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was in the second quarter of the current fiscal year whereas the packaged media release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story occurred in the prior-year third quarter. Other significant titles included Black Panther in the current quarter, while the prior-year quarter included Beauty and the Beast and Moana.

Indeed, The Last Jedi tops all packaged media releases in 2018 thus far with more than $86 million generated by sales of 3.8 million combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc units since its March 27 retail release. Other top-selling titles included Thor: Ragnarok ($67.5 million) and Black Panther ($62.8 million).

Overall studio revenue increased 20% to $2.9 billion and segment operating income increased 11% to $708 million. Operating income growth was due to increases in domestic theatrical and worldwide TV/SVOD distribution results, partially offset by film cost impairments related to animated films that will not be released.

The increase in domestic theatrical distribution was due to the success of Avengers: Infinity War and Incredibles 2 in the current quarter compared to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Cars 3 in the prior-year quarter, partially offset by higher pre-release marketing costs. Additionally, the current quarter included the continuing performance of Black Panther and the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, whereas the prior-year quarter included the continuing performance of Beauty and the Beast and the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Higher TV/SVOD distribution results were due to the timing of title availabilities at domestic pay and free television businesses, international growth and higher domestic pay television rates.

 

‘Black Panther’ Tops DVD and Blu-ray Sales for May

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther was the top title for the month of May in terms of combined Blu-ray Disc and DVD units sold according to the NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking.

Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Black Panther was released on disc May 15 and spent its first three weeks atop the weekly VideoScan sales charts.

Universal’s Fifty Shades Freed, released a week earlier on May 8, finished the month as the No. 2 seller. The top seller from April, 20th Century Fox’s The Greatest Showman, dropped to No. 3.

The strong debut of Black Panther gives Disney the top four spots on the year-to-date disc sales chart through the end of May, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi maintaining the lead it took the previous month.

Pixar’s Coco is No. 2, followed by Marvel’s Thor: Ragarnok at No. 3 and Black Panther at No. 4.

According to NPD, the May 2018 top 10 by units sold were:

  1. Black Panther (Disney)
  2. Fifty Shades Freed (Universal)
  3. The Greatest Showman (Fox)
  4. Peter Rabbit (Sony Pictures)
  5. Red Sparrow (Fox)
  6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Disney)
  7. 12 Strong (Warner)
  8. Thor: Ragnarok (Disney)
  9. Game Night (Warner)
  10. Batman Ninja (Warner)

 

Year-to-date Top 10 (through May 2018):

  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Disney)
  2. Coco (Disney)
  3. Thor: Ragnarok (Disney)
  4. Black Panther (Disney)
  5. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Sony Pictures)
  6. Justice League (Warner)
  7. The Greatest Showman (Fox)
  8. It (2017) (Warner)
  9. Ferdinand (Fox)
  10. Wonder (Lionsgate)

 

‘Last Jedi’ Takes Over Top Sellers for 2018; ‘Greatest Showman’ Leads April Disc Sales

‘Wrinkle in Time’ Bumps ‘Black Panther’ From Top of Disc Sales Charts

After three weeks in the top spot, Marvel’s Black Panther was overtaken on the national home video sales charts by another Walt Disney Studios release, A Wrinkle in Time, the week ended June 9.

A family fantasy based on the popular novel of the same name, A Wrinkle in Time 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, following an underwhelming domestic box office run that brought in $98 million.

Black Panther slipped to No. 2 on both charts, selling about two-thirds as many discs in its fourth week as Wrinkle sold in its first.

Debuting at No. 3 on both charts was director Eli Roth’s remake of Death Wish, with Bruce Willis starring as the man who seeks revenge on street crime after his family is brutalized during a robbery. The film earned $34 million at the domestic box office.

Landing at No. 4 on the overall chart, and No. 7 on the Blu-ray chart, was another newcomer, Lionsgate’s The Hurricane Heist, an action thriller about a group of thieves attempting a bank robbery during a category five hurricane. The film earned just over $6 million in U.S. theaters.

Rounding out the top five overall, in its ninth week on shelves, was 20th Century Fox’s The Greatest Showman, which was the No. 6 Blu-ray.

On the Blu-ray chart, No. 4 went to Disney’s new “Signature Collection” Blu-ray re-release of the 1953 animated classic Peter Pan, followed at No. 5 by Paramount’s Annihilation.

Anticipation for the theatrical release of its sequel drove Disney’s The Incredibles back into the top 20, aided by a newly released 4K UHD Blu-ray edition of the 2004 animated superhero film. It rose back to No. 12 overall and No. 11 on the Blu-ray chart, with 44% of its total sales attributed to the new UHD Blu-ray edition.

Blu-ray Disc accounted for 71% of Wrinkle in Time first-week unit sales, with 4% of its total coming from 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Death Wish saw 58% of its tally come from Blu-ray, while Hurricane Heist had 46% of its total come from Blu-ray and 7% from the 4K disc format.

On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended June 10, Death Wish took over the top spot, bumping Warner’s Game Night to No. 2.

Black Panther slipped to No. 3, with Fox’s Red Sparrow at No. 4 and Hurricane Heist debuting at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 06-09-18
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 06-10-18
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 06-09-18
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 06-09-18
Sales Report for Week Ended 06-09-18
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 06-11-18