Film Movement Sets Home Release Dates for British Post-War Comedies

Arthouse distributor Film Movement Plus has set Dec. 31 home release dates for two critically hailed British comedies, 1953’s The Titfield Thunderbolt by Charles Crichton and 1949’s Passport to Pimlico by Henry Cornelius.

The Titfield Thunderbolt tells the story of the inhabitants of a tiny village called Titfield, who struggle to prove that a single-track railway that passes through their town is a vital form of transportation — after the British Railways announce its closure. Backed by a wealthy member of the community, a group of local residents make a bid to run it themselves. This places them in direct competition with the owners of a bus line, who had been wanting to introduce a brand-new single-decker bus to Titfield.

The film will be available on Blu-ray Disc and digital on demand at a suggested retail price of $39.95, and will include bonus features such as the featurettes “Making the Titfield thunderbolt,” “The Lion Locomotive,” and “Locations.” Also included will be home movie footage from cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, an audio interview with Slocombe on Charles Crichton audio interview, the original trailer, and an archival stills gallery.

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Passport to Pimlico takes place in the sleepy district of Pimlico, when London’s last unexploded World War II-era bomb goes off. When investigating a crater caused by the explosion, Arthur and his daughter Shirley unearth a buried cellar containing riches and an unknown 15th century royal charter from King Edward IV. The charter declares Pimlico to be recognized as Burgundian soil, and having never been rescinded, the land is now no longer subject to British law — which includes postwar rationing and pub closure hours.

The post-war comedy will be available on Blu-ray Disc and digital on demand at a suggested retail price of $39.95. Bonus features include an interview with BFI curator Mark Duguid, a “locations” featurette with film historian Richard Dacre, a restoration comparison, and a stills gallery.

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Sony Pictures Sets Home Release Dates for ‘Zombieland: Double Tap’

Sony Pictures has set home release dates for Zombieland: Double Tap, the zombie comedy sequel that hit the big screen earlier this year — 10 years after the original Zombieland.

The film, which grossed an estimated $72.2 million in North American movie theaters, will be released on digital Dec. 24 and on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Jan. 21, 2020.

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Bonus materials for the home edition include audio commentary by director Ruben Fleischer, a blooper reel, nine alternate and extended scenes, and several behind-the-scenes featurettes about the making of the film.

Returning cast members include Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin  and Emma Stone. They are joined by newcomers Rosario Dawson (TV’s “The Defenders”), Zoey Deutch (TV’s “The Politician”), Luke Wilson (Old School), Avan Jogia (Shaft), and Thomas Middleditch (TV’s “Silicon Valley”).

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Set one decade after the events of the first film, Zombieland: Double Tap finds Tallahassee (Harrelson), Columbus (Eisenberg), Little Rock (Breslin), and Wichita (Stone) working together to kill zombies from their new home in the now-vacant White House.

A full list of bonus materials:

  • Extended bloopers and outtakes
  • Alternate and extended scenes
      • “The Beast is Gone”: Tragedy falls upon Tallahassee.
      • “Van Rides”: A vehicle says a lot about a person.
      • “Would Have Never Met”: Wichita and Columbus discuss what their lives would have been like if not for the zombie apocalypse.
      • “In Bed”: Tallahassee gets randy
      • “Breakfast at Babylon”: Cruelty-free breakfast and conversation.
      • “Car Ride”: Road trips were made for family bonding.
      • “Melting Gun”: Tallahassee says goodbye to another friend.
      • “There’s a Party Tonight”: Hanging out with a bunch of hippies.
      • “Alternate Proposal”: Love is the perfect mix of cool and uncool.
  • “The Doppelgangers”: From stunts to special effects, this in-depth piece breaks down doppelgangers Flagstaff and Albuquerque through interviews, demonstrations, and multiple cameras.
  • “The Rides of Zombieland”: From the Beast to Big Fat Death (and a hated Pontiac Trans Sport in between) this short focuses on the cars the zombie killers use to get around.
  • “Rules of Making a Zombie Film”: A documentary on the rules of making a zombie film.
  • “Making Babylon”: Explore the climactic third act location in the film. known in Zombieland as Babylon.  Part fortress, part freshman dormitory, Babylon is the safe-place for a generation of misguided peace-loving retro-hippies.
  • “New Blood”: Profiles on new cast members Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, and Avan Jogia.
  • “Single Take Doppelganger Fight”: Director Fleischer shares the camera monitor during the Doppelganger fight sequence.
  • Commentary with Fleischer.
  • “Zombieland Ad Council”

‘Slaughterhouse-Five,’ ‘Jake Speed’ and Jarmusch’s ‘Limits of Control’ Coming to Blu-ray From MVD in December

Three Arrow Video titles are making their North American Blu-ray debuts from MVD Entertainment Group in December: Slaughterhouse-Five, Jake Speed and Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control.

Coming out Dec. 3 is George Roy Hill’s science-fiction classic Slaughterhouse-Five. The story about WWII soldier Billy Pilgrim and how he was abducted by aliens took home the Jury Prize at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival. Author Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote the novel the book is based on, famously claimed, “I drool and cackle every time I watch that film.” Special features include a new audio commentary by author and critic Troy Howarth; new video appreciation with author and critic Kim Newman; Pilgrim’s Progress: Playing Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with actor Perry King; Only on Earth: Presenting Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with Rocky Lang, son of executive producer Jennings Lang, about the film’s distribution; Unstuck in Time: Documenting Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with behind-the-scenes filmmaker-producer Robert Crawford Jr.; Eternally Connected: Composing Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with film music historian Daniel Schweiger; the theatrical trailer; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Corey Brickley.

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Also due Dec. 3 is Jake Speed, Andrew Lane’s action-adventure film in which all pulp heroes are real and Jake Speed (Wayne Crawford) is the best of the bunch. When Margaret (Karen Kopins) is captured by an evil slaver, Jake steps in to save the day. The campy 1980s adventure includes bonus features such as Paperback Wishes, a new interview with director Lane; The Hard Way Reads Better, a new interview with producer William Fay; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys.

Finally, due Dec. 10 is Jim Jarmusch’s 2009 crime drama The Limits of Control. Isaach de Bankolé stars as a mysterious loner on a mission to complete a hit and along the way he runs into a slew of interesting characters including Paz de la Huerta, Tilda Swinton, Gael Garcia Bernal, John Hurt and Bill Murray. Special features include An American in Europe, a new video interview with Geoff Andrew, author of Stranger Than Paradise: Maverick Film-Makers in Recent American Cinema; The Rituals of Control, a new video essay on the film by author and critic Amy Simmons; Behind Jim Jarmusch, an archival documentary on the making of the film; Untitled Landscapes, an archival featurette showcasing the film’s locations; the theatrical trailer; and a reversible sleeve featuring two choices of artwork.

‘Shutter Island’ Heads to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Feb. 11 for 10th Anniversary

Martin Scorsese’s atmospheric thriller Shutter Island will arrive for the first time on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Feb. 11 from Paramount Home Entertainment for its 10th anniversary.

The 4K Ultra HD release will be available in a limited collector’s edition steelbook.

Based on the best-selling novel by Dennis Lehane, Shutter Island follows U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) as he navigates what appears to be a routine investigation that quickly turns sinister. The film also stars Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max von Syndow and Michelle Williams.

Special features include the previously released featurettes “Behind the Shutters” and “Into the Lighthouse” on the Blu-ray.

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‘The Lighthouse’ Comes Ashore on Digital Dec. 20, Disc Jan. 7

The Lighthouse arrives on digital Dec. 20  and on demand, Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD Jan. 7 from Lionsgate.

Directed by Robert Eggers (The Witch), The Lighthouse stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson in a hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s. As an approaching storm threatens to sweep them from the rock and strange apparitions emerge from the fog, each man begins to suspect that the other has become dangerously unmoored.

The film made $10.2 million in domestic theaters.

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Special features include an audio commentary with the co-writer and director Eggers, a making-of featurette, and deleted scenes.

‘Return of Ultraman’ and ‘Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga’ Flying to Blu-ray in February From Mill Creek

The Japanese series “Return of Ultraman” and “Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga” are coming to Blu-ray in February from Mill Creek Entertainment.

“Return of Ultraman,” the fourth entry in the “Ultra Series” that premiered in April 1971, comes out in both steelbook ($49.98) and standard ($39.98) packaging Feb. 25. After years of relative peace, mankind is once again under attack by giant monsters and alien invaders. A new Ultra Hero, Ultraman Jack, arrives from Nebula M78 to combat this threat alongside the Earth defense unit known as MAT (Monster Attack Team). The series features guest appearances from the original Ultraman and Ultraseven, presenting the very first team-up of the Ultra Heroes. It also brings back some classic foes from previous shows while also introducing dozens of new aliens and monsters. The releases include all 51 half-hour episodes with DTS-HD Master Audio of the original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles. Digital redemption will also be available via Mill Creek Entertainment’s streaming service movieSpree.

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The complete 12-episode “Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga” debuts Feb. 11 at $19.98 with the bonus special Ultra Fight Orb, which picks up from the events of the theatrical feature film Ultraman Orb: The Movie — Let Me Borrow the Power of Bonds. Both properties have never been broadcast on TV or available on any home entertainment format in North America. “Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga” is a prequel to the 50th anniversary series “Ultraman Orb” (now available on Blu-ray and digital). Debuting in Japan on Amazon Prime Video in December 2016, the show reveals how Gai Kurenai became the hero Ultraman Orb, and why his friend Jugglus Juggler turned into his arch enemy. Ultraman Orb joins Ultraman Zero and Ultraseven in Ultra Fight Orb to stop a mysterious villain who has revived an army of ghost monsters. Digital redemption on movieSpree is also included.

‘Countdown’ Due on Digital Jan. 7, Disc Jan. 21 From Universal

The horror thriller Countdown hits digital Jan. 7 and Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Jan. 21 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

What if your phone could tell you when you’re going to die? Would you want to know? In Countdown, a killer new app claims to do just that. The film follows a young nurse (Elizabeth Lail, “You”), who downloads an app that purports to predict exactly when a person is going to die. With only three days left to live and death closing in, she must find a way to save her life before time runs out.

The film also stars Jordan Calloway (“ER”), Talitha Bateman (Love, Simon), Tichina Arnold (“Everybody Hates Chris”), P.J. Byrne (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Peter Facinelli (“The Twilight Saga” franchise).

The film made $24.5 million at the domestic box office.

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Complete Series Set of ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ Due on DVD and Blu-ray Feb. 4 From Mill Creek

The complete series set of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” will come out on DVD and Blu-ray Feb. 4 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

All 51 episodes from the show’s four-season run will be available for the first time together on DVD at $54.98 and Blu-ray at $74.98.

The series follows Kimmy Schmidt, rescued after 15 years in a cult, who decides to reclaim her life by venturing to New York, where she experiences everyday life with wide-eyed enthusiasm. On a whim, she rents a room from Titus, a gay wannabe Broadway actor and the unlikely pair find they’re well-suited to help each other out. Titus reintroduces Kimmy to modern life, and she provides him with the inspiration to follow his dreams.

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Created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (“30 Rock”), the comedy series earned 18 Primetime Emmy nominations including Outstanding Comedy Series for each of its seasons. The cast includes Ellie Kemper (“The Office”), Tituss Burgess (Dolemite Is My Name), Jane Krakowski (“30 Rock”) and Carol Kane (The Princess Bride) with guest appearances from Amy Sedaris, Jon Hamm, Josh Charles, Fred Armisen, David Cross and Tina Fey.

Netflix will be premiering an “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” interactive special in early 2020, the first interactive comedy event for the service.

SVOD Again Fuels Consumer Home Entertainment Spending in Q3 2019

Consumer spending on home entertainment rose 11% in the third quarter of 2019, according to the latest quarterly report from DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Spending on digital purchases and streaming was up 19%, the DEG reported, fueling total Q3 consumer spending on all forms of home entertainment to more than $6.3 billion.

Subscription streaming, according to the DEG, solidified its position as the dominant way consumers watch movies, TV shows and other filmed content on demand, with subscription streaming leading the way at $4.1 billion, up nearly 25% from the third quarter of 2018. Earlier, data from digital measurement firm Conviva found a 63% increase in third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) video viewing hours.

During the third quarter of 2019, DEG says, consumers spent just under $700 million on digital purchases, up 13.1% from the third quarter of last year. A la carte streaming, the digital equivalent of renting a disc, fell nearly 10% to an estimated $448 million.

Total spending on digital came in at nearly $5.3 billion.

On the physical side, consumer spending on purchased Blu-ray Discs, DVDs and 4K Ultra HD discs came in at an estimated $736 million, down 13% from the prior year’s Q3. Including electronic sellthrough, consumers spent more than $1.4 billion to own content, about 2% less than in the third quarter of 2018.

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Disc rentals at physical video stores suffered another big drop, coming in at just $56.2 million, down 21.5% from the prior year. Kiosk rentals, mostly Redbox, generated an estimated $214.4 million, down 21.4%, while subscription disc rental — carried mostly by Netflix’s legacy disc-by-mail rental business — was off 19% to $72.6 million.

The box office value of films that were released for home consumption in the third quarter was down 1.5%, the DEG reported.

Top disc sellers in the third quarter of 2019 included Disney’s Avengers: Endgame and live-action Aladdin remake, along with Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum and Warner’s Shazam!, according to NPD VideoScan data.

For the first nine months of 2019, consumers spent an estimated $18.34 billion on home entertainment, an 8.3% uptick from the first nine months of 2018. Subscription streaming accounted for more than 63% of total home entertainment dollars spent, or $11.6 billion. Total digital spending accounted for nearly 82% of total consumer spending, or just under $15 billion, while packaged-media sales and rentals trailed at 18.4%, or $3.4 billion.

Black Friday: Amazon Taking 50% Off New-Release Movies Through Dec. 5

Buried in the details of Amazon’s Black Friday (Nov. 29) deals is the e-commerce giant offering Prime members 50% off on all new-release movie purchases and rentals through Dec. 5.

Prime Video is also launching its first holiday-themed original content with the debut of “The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show” on Black Friday, which will be accompanied by an official country music soundtrack available on Amazon Music and other DSPs.

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