‘Black Panther’ Reigns Over Home Video Sales for Third Week

Marvel’s Black Panther, distributed by Walt Disney Studios, topped the national home video sales charts the week ended June 2, marking its third consecutive week as the country’s top-selling DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

The sci-fi horror film Annihilation, a theatrical underperformer from Paramount Pictures, debuted at No. 2 on both the NPD VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart. According to VideoScan, the film, which earned just over $32 million in U.S. theaters, sold 38% as many units its first week in stores as Black Panther did in the latter film’s third week of availability.

Annihilation stars Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh as members of a group of military scientists who enter “The Shimmer,” a quarantined zone of mutating landscapes and  creatures.

The spy thriller Red Sparrow, from 20th Century Fox, slipped a spot on both charts to No. 3 after debuting in the second spot the prior week. The film, with a $47 million domestic gross, stars Jennifer Lawrence as a Russian ballerina who becomes a seductive secret agent after an injury cuts short her dancing career.

Another 20th Century Fox film, The Greatest Showman, rose a spot to No. 4 on both charts in its eighth week on disc.

Rounding out the top five on the overall disc sales chart was Warner’s Game Night, down from No. 3 the prior week. The Jason Bateman-starring comedy finished the week at No. 7 on the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, where Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi moved back up a notch to finish the week at No. 5.

Annihilation generated 69% of its first-week sales from Blu-ray Disc; 11% of its total were in the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format, which is exclusively available at Best Buy until Oct. 29.

For the third week of Black Panther, Blu-ray contributed 64% to its total copies sold, with 11% from UHD Blu-ray.

On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended June 3, Game Night was No. 1 for the second consecutive week, with Red Sparrow shooting up to No. 2 now that its week-long holdback from Redbox is over.

Black Panther slipped a spot to No. 3, with Annihilation bowing at No. 4 and Warner’s The 15:17 to Paris moving up to No. 5 now that its seven-day holdback from Redbox has ended.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 06-02-18
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 06-03-18
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 06-02-18
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 06-02-18
Sales Report for Week Ended 06-02-18
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 06-04-18

‘Black Panther’ Maintains Top Spot on Home Video Sales Charts

Marvel’s Black Panther, distributed by Walt Disney Studios, held back a pair of newcomers to handily top the home video sales charts for a second consecutive week.

The top new release on NPD VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart the week ended May 26 was 20th Century Fox’s spy thriller Red Sparrow, which debuted at No. 2 selling 22% as many discs as the returning superhero actioner.

Sparrow stars Jennifer Lawrence as a Russian ballerina who is forced into becoming a seductive secret agent after her dancing career is cut short due to injury. It earned $46.9 million at the domestic box office.

No. 3 on both charts was Warner’s Game Night, a comedy about a group of friends who are caught up in a life-and-death caper that they believe is an elaborate role-playing game. It took in $68.9 million at U.S. theaters.

Rounding out the top five on both charts were Universal Pictures’ Fifty Shades Freed at No. 4 and Fox’s The Greatest Showman at No. 5.

Three other new releases managed to crack the top 20, led by Warner’s The 15:17 to Paris, which bowed at No. 6 overall and No. 8 on the Blu-ray chart. The Clint Eastwood directed docudrama, which earned $36.3 million domestically, tells the story of the three American servicemen (playing themselves) who foiled a terrorist attack on a European train in 2015.

Debuting at No. 11 (No. 14 on the Blu-ray chart) was the RLJE Films fantasy I Kill Giants, followed by Lionsgate’s Early Man, a stop-motion animated film from the creators of “Wallace and Gromit,” at No. 12 (No. 13 on the Blu-ray chart).

Universal’s re-release of the four “Jurassic Park” films in a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray boxed set pushed the Jurassic Park Collection back onto the charts at No. 15 overall and No. 11 on the Blu-ray charts. The new 4K edition accounted for 73% of total unit sales of the four-movie set. A fifth film, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, is slated for theaters June 22.

Among the new releases, Red Sparrow saw 62% of its total copies sold in the Blu-ray format, with 12% of the total being in the UHD format. Blu-ray accounted for 48% of Game Night and I Kill Giants sales, 45% for 15:17 to Paris, and 50% for Early Man.

For the second week of Black Panther, Blu-ray contributed 68% to its total copies sold, with 11% from UHD Blu-ray.

On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended May 27, Game Night debuted at No. 1, with Black Panther slipping a spot to No. 2.

Warner’s 12 Strong dropped to No. 3, while Sony Pictures’ Peter Rabbit and Universal’s Den of Thieves held onto No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.

Early Man entered the rental chart at No. 10.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 05-26-18
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 05-27-18
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 05-26-18
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 05-26-18
Sales Report for Week Ended 05-26-18
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 05-28-18

‘Black Panther’ Claws Way to Top of Home Video Charts

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s mega-blockbuster Black Panther easily debuted at the top of the home video sales and rental charts for the week ended May 19.

The latest superhero actioner from Marvel Studios has grossed nearly $700 million at the domestic box office and outsold the No. 2 title, Universal Pictures’ Fifty Shades Freed, by a 10-to-1 margin on the NPD VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales.

On the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, the disparity was even more pronounced, with Fifty Shades Freed in its second week selling just 8% as many units as Black Panther. The sexually charged drama had been the top seller on both charts a week earlier.

No. 3 on both charts, in its sixth week on disc, was 20th Century Fox’s hit musical The Greatest Showman.

Rounding out the top five overall were Sony Pictures’ Peter Rabbit at No. 4 and Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi at No. 5. The result was flipped on the Blu-ray chart, which had Last Jedi at No. 4 and Peter Rabbit at No. 5.

Blu-ray Disc accounted for 70% of Black Panther‘s total unit sales, with the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition of the film comprising 13% of its total.

Following Black Panther on the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended May 20, Warner’s 12 Strong held onto the No. 2 spot for a second week.

The previous week’s top rental, Fifty Shades Freed, slipped to No. 3, followed by Peter Rabbit at No. 4 and Lionsgate’s Den of Thieves at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 05-19-18
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 05-20-18
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 05-19-18
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 05-19-18
Sales Report for Week Ended 05-19-18
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 05-21-18

Black Panther

BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Street 5/15/18;
Disney/Marvel;
Action;
Box Office $694 million;
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, 39.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for prolonged sequences of action violence, and a brief rude gesture.
Stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis.

Black Panther is a prime example of the effectiveness the superhero genre can have in drawing upon the mythological aspects of comic book storytelling to provide a thought-provoking allegory for modern times that is both powerful and entertaining.

Director Ryan Coogler’s entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the 18th film to enter the canon) is one of those films that presents a distinct point of view yet is also likely to be differently interpreted based on the mindset of the viewer, to the degree that deciphering its true message should spark a wide array of debates for some time to come. But, at its core, as a character-driven superhero action blockbuster, the film ranks among the most memorable and well-crafted in the genre, with the most pressing factor of its ultimate ranking on any best-of lists likely to be predominately determined by one’s own personal connection to the characters and story.

Not unlike the “Thor” movies, but more compelling and grounded, the story is driven by Shakespearean family drama, in this case centered on the character of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), who was introduced in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.

Picking up from the events of that film, T’Challa must return to his home country of Wakanda to assume the mantle of king.

As the centerpiece of one of the film’s primary motifs of things hiding in plain sight, the tiny African nation presents itself as a poor third-world nation, but in actuality is a technologically advanced civilization fueled by a magical element that crashed into Earth long ago.

T’Challa’s reign is soon threatened by a long-lost cousin (Michael B. Jordan) who grew up in America after a devastating fallout between T’Challa’s father and uncle, and resents that Wakanda never sought to help the global plight of the descendants of Africa.

Black Panther does a good job incorporating traditional African tribal culture and the natural beauty of the continent into a strong “what if” scenario involving a mighty African kingdom that had control of its own resources and avoided the imperialism of the past few centuries.

The film invites comparisons to The Lion King for its rich visual and musical representation of Africa. Yet Coogler is also adept at presenting the sci-fi elements of the story, from Wakanda’s technical marvels and vast cityscapes, to an energizing action setpiece in South Korea.

Black Panther also presents strong representation for women, from the spunky intelligence of T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), who spearheads of the designs of Wakanda’s new technologies; to Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), T’Challa’s love interest and a savvy Wakandan spy; to the fierce Okoye (Danai Gurira), who commands a fighting force of female Wakandan warriors who would give Wonder Woman’s Amazons a run for their money.

The Blu-ray contains a number of good extras aimed at fans of both the film and the comic book Black Panther. Primary among these is a 20-minute roundtable discussion between Coogler, the film’s producers and some of the writers of the “Black Panther” comic book over the past few decades.

Coogler also offers an introduction to the film and an insightful commentary track that imparts some deeper meaning on some of the character dynamics.

The Blu-ray also includes four deleted scenes that expand a few aspects of the story.

In addition, the disc includes 25 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes and a two-minute gag reel. There’s also a nine-minute retrospective of the MCU’s 10-year history, plus a two-minute preview of the next film, Ant-Man and the Wasp, which hits theaters July 6.

The digital versions include exclusive Wakandan travel ads, plus a featurette about the fight training for the film’s stunts.

Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Coming to Home Video in May

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will release the box office phenomenon Black Panther through digital home entertainment retailers May 8, followed by a Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release May 15.

The Marvel Studios film is the top-earning solo superhero movie ever, having taken in more than $665 million in American theaters as of April 10 to become the No. 3 domestic release of all time, and $1.3 billion worldwide to place on the global top 10.

The 18th film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman as the title character, the new king and defender of the technologically advanced but hidden African nation of Wakanda, who faces a challenge to his throne in the form of Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). The film also stars Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke and Sterling K. Brown.

The Blu-ray includes an introduction and commentary by director Ryan Coogler. Other extras include deleted scenes, a gag reel and several featurettes: “From Page to Screen: A Roundtable Discussion”; “Crowning of a New King”; “The Warriors Within” about the female warriors of Wakanda and the actors who portray them; “The Hidden Kingdom Revealed”; and “Wakanda Revealed: Exploring the Technology.” The disc also includes an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming Ant-Man and The Wasp (in theaters July 6) and the featurette “Marvel Studios the First Ten Years: Connecting the Universe.”

Select bonus material may also be available with the digital versions depending on the retailer. Digital exclusives include in-world Wakanda tourism ads.

The Black Panther character made his screen debut in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and next appears in Avengers: Infinity War, which hits theaters April 27 and, according to the trailers, has significant portions of the action set in Wakanda.

Bob Iger Reiterates Disney’s OTT Future

When CEO Bob Iger announced Disney would cease distributing original movies through Netflix in 2019, he was laying the foundation for a proprietary direct-to-consumer ecosystem.

Speaking Feb. 26 at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom confab in San Francisco, Iger reiterated oft-discussed plans to launch standalone apps around ESPN (dubbed ESPN Plus and bowing in March at $4.99 monthly) and Disney (OTT in 2019) brands.

The CEO conceded technology and SVOD is disrupting the pay-TV ecosystem, with the aforementioned apps giving Disney an opportunity to “participate in the very business that is doing the disrupting.”

The ESPN service will also enable users to add out-of-market access to Major League Baseball games (MLB.tv) and National Hockey League (NHL.tv) matches for a premium.

“I imagine you’ll see that price rise for the augmented service. We have the opportunity to enable customers to buy seasons, teams, weekends,” Iger said.

But it is the Disney OTT service that is generating the most buzz and speculation. Calling the platform a long-term priority for Disney, the service will feature four-to-five original movies and TV series, in addition to theatrical fare, including Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar, according to Iger.

The executive expects to get a better picture of Disney’s OTT window after closing acquisition of 20th Century Fox Film Company.

“We’ll see how that goes and we’ll have a better sense of what kind of volume we can provide,” Iger said.

He said Disney currently has 11 billion-dollar movie franchises, with Black Panther slated to be the 12th – and exclusive to Netflix later this year.

“[We are] competing with ourselves,” Iger said.

Disney/Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Smashes Box Office Records, Moviegoer Stereotypes

Disney/Marvel Studios’ Black Panther continues to impress at the box office through its opening weekend.

The superhero action movie featuring an African-American director Ryan Coogler (Creed) and ensemble cast (including “Creed’s” Michael B. Jordan) is projected to generate $218 million through Presidents Day (Feb. 19) – topping the $152.2 million generated by 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool in 2016.

The film also generated $169 million internationally – reportedly No. 15 all-time – despite not yet opening in Russia, China and Japan – the latter No. 1 & 2 foreign theatrical markets.

The 18th movie in the Marvel franchise has injected life in the brand while shattering stereotypes as a culturally significant media event.

Ahead of its release, Panther was seen by some observers as a superhero movie for largely black audiences. Indeed, local media in Atlanta – the largest city in the South with 54% African-American racial makeup – appeared to confirm the projections talking with black moviegoers.

Respondents overwhelmingly said the motivating appeal of the movie was seeing a black action superhero instead of the usual gang member or thug.

“The hero’s black. That’s it,” one moviegoer told 11Alive in Atlanta.

Yet, box office receipts would suggest the success of Panther transcends race – by a wide margin.

African-Americans represented just 15% of moviegoers in 2016, compared to white (51%), Latino (23%) and Asian (11%), according to the Motion Picture Association of America.

Panther has been heavily marketed by Disney on NBC during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea – the quadrennial televised spectacle that generated 11% black viewers in 2010, according to Nielsen. Indeed, of the 2,952 athletes competing in the Games this year, a mere 43 (1.45%) are black.

More importantly, the movie has generated significant buzz among superhero fans across all demographics. The movie reportedly is the best-reviewed Disney/Marvel release, with a 97% “fresh” rating on content review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

“This film represents the winds of change. Hollywood has left money on the table for decades with a shortage of event-level films appealing to more diverse crowds,” Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at boxoffice.com, told CNBC. “This is the kind of shift audiences have waited a long time for.”

Comcast Xfinity Highlights Behind-the-Scenes Diversity of Superhero Stories

In celebration of Black History Month, Comcast Xfinity is offering the new short film Groundbreakers: Heroes Behind the Mask, which spotlights some of the contributors behind America’s favorite superhero stories, shows and movies.

“Comics, sci-fi and animation have long been popular genres within the African-American community,” said Keesha Boyd, executive director of multicultural consumer services at Comcast Corporation. “We hope viewers will be inspired by this content and learn more about the powerful contributions this community has made to the world of sci-fi entertainment.”

The 12-minute program includes interviews with:

  • Phillip Boutte Jr., costume illustrator for Marvel’s Black Panther, Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time and Warner’s Justice League;
  • Cheo Hodari Coker, showrunner of Netflix’s “Luke Cage”;
  • Dr. Sheena Howard, award-winning author of Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation;
  • Alitha E. Martinez, comic book illustrator best known for her work drawing Marvel’s “Iron Man” and contributed drawings to comic book series “World of Wakanda”;
  • Reginald Hudlin, film writer, director and producer with credits including Marshall” and the graphic novel Black Panther: The Complete Collection;
  • Floyd Norman, Disney’s first African-American animator with credits including Mulan and The Jungle Book, and subject of the documentary An Animated Life;
  • Phil LaMarr, voiceover actor for several characters in the DC Comics Animated Universe and Star Wars: Rebels;
  • Ciara Renee, actress who played Hawkgirl on the CW’s “Legends of Tomorrow.”

 

The short film is available at the “Black Film & TV” destination on Xfinity on Demand, online at xfinity.com/discovermore, on the Xfinity Stream app or by saying “black film and TV” into the Xfinity X1 Voice Remote.

In addition to Groundbreakers: Heroes Behind the Mask, Xfinity On Demand will offer several new films celebrating historical heroes this February, including Voices of the Civil Rights Movement, BET’s Madiba, TVOne’s Behind the Movement, Smithsonian Channel’s Malcolm X: The Lost Tapes, and The Africa Channel’s Fighting for King and Empire, along with special premiere clips for the upcoming Black Panther.