The horror mystery Infinity Pool will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc April 11 from Decal/Neon Films and Distribution Solutions.
In the film, while staying at an isolated island resort, James (Alexander Skarsgard) and Em (Cleopatra Coleman) are enjoying a perfect vacation of pristine beaches, exceptional staff, and soaking up the sun. But guided by the seductive and mysterious Gabi (Mia Goth), they venture outside the resort grounds and find themselves in a culture filled with violence, hedonism, and untold horror. A tragic accident leaves them facing a zero-tolerance policy for crime: either you’ll be executed, or, if you’re rich enough to afford it, you can watch yourself die instead.
Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut Creed III, from Metro-Goldwyn Mayer, will be released on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD May 23 from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment.
Directed by Jordan, from a screenplay by Keegan Coogler and Zach Baylin, the film recently set a franchise record and scored the biggest domestic box office opening for a sports film in history, according to the studio.
The film earned nearly $250 million at the global box office.
Creed III stars Michael B. Jordan (Just Mercy, Black Panther), Tessa Thompson (Thor: Love and Thunder, TV’s “Westworld”), Jonathan Majors (Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Devotion), Wood Harris (TV’s “Winning Time”), Mila Davis-Kent, Florian Munteanu and Phylicia Rashad.
In the third installment in the franchise, after dominating the boxing world, Adonis Creed (Jordan) has been thriving in both his career and family life. When a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy, Damian (Majors), resurfaces after serving a long sentence in prison, he is eager to prove that he deserves his shot in the ring. The face off between former friends is more than just a fight. To settle the score, Adonis must put his future on the line to battle Damian — a fighter who has nothing to lose.
A three-film collection featuring Creed, Creed II and Creed III will also be available on Blu-ray and DVD May 23.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, owner operator of Redbox kiosks and branded live TV streaming service, among other over-the-top video properties, remains bullish on legacy packaged media rental.
Speaking March 31 on the fiscal call, CEO Bill Rouhana said the revitalized theatrical market in 2023 includes 55 “major event” releases throughout the year, translating into a strong rebound for DVD and Blu-ray Disc movie movie rentals across the company’s 32,000 Redbox kiosks nationwide.
The Feb. 7 release of Disney/Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has quickly emerged as the top-renting kiosk title in the current first quarter. Other popular rentals include Top Gun: Maverick and Black Adam.
Rouhana expects kiosk rental revenue in 2023 to reach 30% of pre-pandemic levels in 2019 as major theatrical releases upgrade from sporadic (three major releases in the past seven months) to weekly. That would result in a revenue run rate of $500 million and $150 million in pre-tax revenue, according to Rouhana.
The executive has high rental hopes for the future DVD rentals of Creed III, Scream VI, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Transformers: The Rise of Beasts, and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, among other titles.
“The frequency of major movie releases is finally here,” he said. “After waiting for years, big movies are back in theaters every week. The flood gates have opened, and the studios are rushing to release as many films as possible on available weekends.”
Rouhana said the average weekly kiosk rentals in March were nearly twice the frequency seen in February. Rentals-per-kiosk-day are up to 40% of 2019 levels.
“And we expect that [frequency] to grow,” he said, alluding to the current theatrical boom impacting kiosks in the second quarter, ending June 30. Rouhana said increased theatrical studio marketing translates into an enhanced disc rental, transactional VOD, and electronic sellthrough (digital purchase).
“We stand to benefit from consumer awareness as the films leave the theatrical window and enter the home entertainment window,” Rouhana said.
The executive said that as studios seek to maximize financial opportunities across original movies, the legacy home entertainment market cannot be ignored.
“As [the studios] realize this, we stand to benefit because we are an important participant in the window, both in physical DVDs and TVOD,” Rouhana said.
Separately, Chicken Soup announced the pricing of a previously disclosed $10.8 million Class A common stock equity offering, including $3.8 million from Chicken Soup for the Soul Holdings. The stock offering is expected to close on or about April 3. The company plans to use the funds for general expenses.
In addition, Chicken Soup announced the rollout of Crackle Connects, an in-house media company selling proprietary and third-party content advertising. The company includes 20 sales rep partners and is being headed by chief revenue officer Philippe Guelton.
Lionsgate will release the crime thriller Crank as a Best Buy exclusive 4K Ultra HD (plus Blu-ray and digital) Steelbook on May 23.
In the actioner, hit man Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) needs to raise his adrenaline to stay alive. He has one hour to settle the score and say goodbye to his girl and go out with a little style.
The film also stars Amy Smart (Rat Race, The Butterfly Effect, The Single Moms Club), Jose Pablo Cantillo (Disturbia, Elysium, Ambulance), Efren Ramirez (Mad Families, Casa de mi Padre, Napoleon Dynamite) and Dwight Yoakam (Sling Blade, Wedding Crashers, Bandidas).
Paramount Home Entertainment will release season one of the comedy series “Tulsa King,” starring Sylvester Stallone, on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and a limited-edition Steelbook June 6.
The season will also be available to buy on digital April 10.
The series is currently streaming on Paramount+.
Created by Academy Award nominee Taylor Sheridan, who also serves as executive producer alongside Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Terence Winter, the series stars Stallone as Dwight “The General” Manfredi, a mafia capo who has just been released from prison after 25 years and is unceremoniously exiled by his boss to set up shop in Tulsa, Okla. Realizing that his mob family may not have his best interests in mind, Dwight slowly builds a crew from a group of unlikely characters to help him establish a new criminal empire in a place that to him might as well be another planet.
In addition to Stallone, the first season stars Andrea Savage (“I’m Sorry”), Martin Starr (“Silicon Valley”), Jay Will (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Max Casella (The Tender Bar), Domenick Lombardozzi (The Irishman), Vincent Piazza (“Boardwalk Empire”), A.C. Peterson (“Superman & Lois”) with Garrett Hedlund (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) and Dana Delany (“Body of Proof”).
In addition to all nine episodes, the released includes more than 90 minutes of bonus content, in which the cast and crew discuss the different dynamics of the show’s plot and setting and working with Sylvester Stallone. The extras also take a closer look at how costume design enhances the characters, look into the planning of the action-packed and safe stunts, and explore the differences between shooting in Brooklyn and Tulsa.
On the heels of Lionsgate’s explosive box office success for action thriller John Wick: Chapter 4, consumer appeal for home entertainment access to the movie franchise — starring Keanu Reeves as a former hitman who returns to the trade after his pet dog is murdered — is on overdrive.
NBCUniversal-owned Vudu platform cited the original 2014 John Wick, John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) and 2019’s John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum among the platform’s top-selling/renting weekly titles. The movies are priced from $3.99 for digital rental.
Redbox offers all three titles for rent on DVD for $2.25, in addition to the aforementioned digital rental fees. The platform is also offering a “John Wick Triple Feature” transactional VOD bundle featuring all three movies for $19.99.
The original John Wick ranked No. 10 on Reelgood’s weekly streaming chart through March 16. The chart tracks real-time data from 5 million platform users living in the United States across SVOD and AVOD services for original and acquired streaming programs and movies.
The three movies are also available to stream on NBCUniversal’s Peacock platform, Sling TV and Fubo, which all require a subscription.
Retailers, meanwhile, are offering various exclusive “John Wick” movie sets featuring extras such as player cards and discounts on a ticket to John Wick 4.
The box office success of John Wick 4 suggests the home entertainment window of the franchise won’t close anytime soon.
“When you make a fourth in an action franchise, you have to expect it to go down. That is the nature of these franchises,” Joe Drake, chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, told the Washington Post. “But we kept seeing signals, and it was wonderful to see the movie they delivered. We saw the audience wanting more.”
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release the drama The Son on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and digital March 28.
The film stars Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby, Zen McGrath and Anthony Hopkins.
The drama follows a family as it struggles to reunite after falling apart. It centers on Peter (Jackman), whose hectic life with his infant and new partner Beth (Kirby) is upended when his ex-wife Kate (Dern) appears with their son Nicholas (McGrath), who is now a teenager. The young man has been missing from school for months and is troubled, distant and angry. Peter strives to take care of Nicholas as he would have liked his own father to have taken care of him while juggling work, his and Beth’s new son, and the offer of his dream position in Washington. However, by reaching for the past to correct its mistakes, he loses sight of how to hold onto the Nicholas in the present.
Paramount Home Entertainment will release a limited-edition Steelbook set featuring six “Transformers” movies on 4K Ultra HD May 30 in time for the June 9 theatrical release of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.
The “Transformers 6-Movie SteelBook Collection” includes Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Transformers: The Last Knight and Bumblebee. Each film is presented in a separate Steelbook with the feature on 4K Ultra HD Disc plus a Blu-ray Disc with legacy bonus content. All six Steelbooks are housed in a magnetic slipcase that also includes a collectible decal and access to digital copies of each film.
MVD Entertainment Group and Gotham Distribution Corp. have formed Old School Ventures, a new entity formed between the companies to run, service and administrate the music and film consumer
direct business, Oldies.com.
Old School Ventures will operate out of MVD’s headquarters in Pottstown, Pa., and will be headed up by industry veteran Joe Buesgen, who has been VP of marketing at Oldies.com since 2000.
“With the combined expertise and resources of MVD and Gotham, we are well-positioned to take Oldies.com to the next level and continue to innovate in the industry,” said Buesgen in a statement. “This partnership represents a great opportunity to leverage our strengths and provide our customers with the best possible experience.”
MVD, founded in 1986, is a full-service music and movie distribution firm, exclusively representing a catalog of audio and visual products for DVD, Blu-ray, CD, vinyl, and digital rights, worldwide. Ed Seaman and Eve Edwards are co-CEOs of MVD.
“MVD has been working with Gotham & Collectables closely for the last 20-plus years and we know them very well; this opportunity to be in business with the Greene family is an honor,” said Seaman in a statement. “We are very optimistic about the future of collectible physical media, and together we are going to make a great team.”
Founded in 1980 by Nina Greene, Jerry Greene and Melissa Greene-Anderson, Gotham Distributing Corp. is a music and movie distribution company based in West Conshohocken, Pa. Over the past two decades, their Oldies.com division has grown into one of the largest music and movie consumer-direct catalog and e-commerce companies in the United States. Gotham is also the home of Collectables Records, a reissue record label established in 1980, and Alpha Video, an entertainment company that specializes in the manufacturing and marketing of classic movies and TV shows on DVD.
“After the sale of our iconic warehouse along the Blue Route, we realized that it was time to explore other options and partnerships that could help us continue to grow and serve our customers,” said Jerry Greene in a statement. “The formation of Old School Ventures with MVD Entertainment Group is a perfect example of how we are leveraging our strengths and resources to take Oldies.com to new heights. We are excited about this new chapter in our company’s history and look forward to working closely with our partners to build a bright future for the music and movie consumer-direct business.”
Operations transfer to the new entity Old School Ventures on March 29.
On this week’s episode of the Media Play News podcast, hosts Charles Parkman and Charlie Showley open with an analysis of the current state of superhero movies. Shazam! Fury of the Gods premiered below projections and, coupled with the lackluster reception of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, calls into question how exhausted audiences are of this genre. Charlie and Charles take the contrarian opinion and call out how the “Shazam” sequel was in development before the James Gunn/Peter Safran DC leadership shakeup. They cover a few creative movies that have elevated the otherwise surface-level superhero genre such as the indie film Chronicle.
Netflix’s gaming offerings, having launched several dozen titles last year, are set to more than double in the coming year. Charlie is mortified that the No. 1 played game on Netflix is the tie-in game to its popular reality TV show “Too Hot to Handle,” but on closer inspection is intrigued by the variety of other games in its library. In spite of a reality TV-based game occupying the top spot, Netflix has ported multiple critically acclaimed indie games to its service, and holds exclusive rights to a mobile port of a recent, popular “Ninja Turtles” game. Last, given how the mobile gaming market absolutely dominates the total revenue from gaming and how just about everyone with a Netflix account also owns a smartphone, there is a lot more potential than one would expect for Netflix gaming to increase in popularity.
Finally, Rocky III has gotten a Steelbook release at Best Buy as part of a series of steelbook releases for all four Rocky films. The hosts talk about other special editions of movies they own and the fun that comes from collecting limited releases of physical media. DVDs and Blu-ray may have passed their peak in retail consumption but enthusiasts will always have an interest in premium versions of their favorite films.