‘Monster Hunter’ Again Tops Vudu, FandangoNow Charts

For a second consecutive week, Sony Pictures’ action-adventure Monster Hunter led the Vudu and FandangoNow charts for the week ended Feb. 28.

Both are transactional VOD services owned by Fandango.

Available for early digital purchase Feb. 16, Monster Hunter, based on the video game franchise, stars Milla Jovovich as Capt. Artemis, whose unit is caught in a sandstorm that transports them to a world ruled by dangerous and powerful monsters. As they fight to survive, they encounter the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures.

The Universal/DreamWorks animated sequel The Croods: A New Age, newly available to own Feb. 9, again took the silver on the Vudu chart and the bronze on the FandangoNow chart. It’s a followup to 2013’s The Croods that finds the prehistoric family facing a new challenge when they encounter a walled-in paradise created by the sophisticated Betterman family. As they try to coexist, the differences between the two families escalate into a full-blown feud, until a new threat forces them to work together. The voice cast includes Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie Tran and Leslie Mann.

Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984, which was released Feb. 12 as a 48-hour PVOD rental after debuting on WarnerMedia’s SVOD service HBO Max, again took the No. 2 spot on the FandangoNow chart (No. 4 on Vudu). A sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman, the follow-up reunites director Patty Jenkins with star Gal Gadot and moves the setting from World War I to 1980s America, where the DC Comics heroine confronts the challenges of the Cold War.

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New to the charts was Lionsgate’s horror reboot Wrong Turn, available for digital purchase Feb. 23. The film, which was No. 3 on the Vudu chart and No. 4 on the FandangoNow chart, follows a group of friends who set out to hike the Appalachian Trail. Despite warnings to stick to the trail, the hikers stray off course — and cross into land inhabited by The Foundation, a hidden community of mountain dwellers who use deadly means to protect their way of life.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Feb. 28, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Monster Hunter
  2. The Croods: A New Age
  3. Wrong Turn
  4. Wonder Woman 1984
  5. Greenland
  6. Shadow in the Cloud
  7. Willy’s Wonderland
  8. Minari
  9. Freaky
  10. News of the World

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended Feb. 28, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Monster Hunter
  2. Wonder Woman 1984
  3. The Croods: A New Age
  4. Wrong Turn
  5. Greenland
  6. Minari
  7. Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar
  8. News of the World
  9. Willy’s Wonderland
  10. Pinocchio

Doc ‘Buster Williams Bass to Infinity’ Due on Digital March 16

The documentary Buster Williams Bass to Infinity will come out on digital March 16 from Virgil Films.

Jazz musician Buster Williams has played with everyone, from Sarah Vaughan to Miles Davis, Nancy Wilson, Art Blakey, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and others. In this documentary, viewers join Williams as he tells stories about his life and the lives of other great jazz musicians, and is joined by, and plays with, some of the greatest living contributors to this music — Benny Golson, Herbie Hancock, Rufus Reid, Christian McBride, Larry Willis, Carmen Lundy, Kenny Barron and Lenny White.

Buster Williams Bass to Infinity is a film about a great contributor to America’s greatest art form, and many other greats — those mentioned above, as well as Monk, Trane and Paul Chambers.

The trailer is here.

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‘Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar’ Traveling to Digital March 26, Disc April 6 From Lionsgate

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar, from co-stars and co-writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids), will come out on digital March 26 and on Blu-ray combo pack and DVD April 6 from Lionsgate.

The film debuted on PVOD Feb. 12.

The comedy follows lifelong friends Barb and Star, who embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they decide to leave their small Midwestern town for the first time ever. The trip includes romance, friendship and a villain’s evil plot. The film also stars Jamie Dornan, Damon Wayans Jr., Fortune Feimster, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Rose Abdoo, Vanessa Bayer, Phyllis Smith and Kwame Patterson.

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Special features include audio commentary with director Josh Greenbaum, Mumolo and Wiig; the “Barb & Star: Making Life a Little Brighter” featurette; the “Barb & Star: Casting in Paradise” featurette; bloopers; deleted scenes; and the “Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar Fashion Show” piece.

Doc ‘Ruth — Justice Ginsburg in Her Own Words’ Due on DVD and Digital March 9 From Virgil

The documentary Ruth — Justice Ginsburg in Her Own Words will come out on DVD and digital March 9 from Virgil Films.

The 2019 film tells the improbable story of how Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who couldn’t get a job despite graduating first in her law school class in a tie and making Law Review at Harvard and Columbia Law Schools, became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. It also reveals both the public and private sides of a resilient, resourceful woman who survived the hostility of the profoundly male universe of government and law to become a revered justice and icon for gender equality and women’s rights.

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The documentary dramatizes a confluence of factors — personal, psychological, social and political — that impacted the course of her work and life. The film is designed as an immersive experience through the direct words of Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a professor, advocate, judge and justice from the 1970s onwards through the use of animation and illustrations to visualize complex constitutional cases, by the insights of colleagues who have directly worked with or have been impacted by her 40 years as a legal icon, and with an original score by a Grammy winning composer.

Ruth – Justice Ginsburg In Her Own Words (OFFICIAL TRAILER) from Virgil Films on Vimeo.

 

Doc ‘7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story’ Coming to DVD and Digital Feb. 23 From Virgil

The documentary 7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story will come out on DVD and digital Feb. 23 from Virgil Films.

7 Yards is a feature-length film that explores the resilience and perspective of Chris Norton. In October 2010 at age 18, Chris suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury during a college football game. Doctors gave him just a 3% chance to ever move again, but he defied that diagnosis.

After years of physical therapy and training, Norton’s story went viral in 2015 when he successfully walked across the college graduation stage with the help of his fiancée Emily. Video of Norton walking to get his diploma touched the world, and it received more than 300 million views. Soon after, Chris and Emily set an ambitious new goal: walk seven yards side-by-side down the wedding aisle.

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The film features interviews, reenactments and real footage from the couple’s 2018 wedding. It’s the inspirational comeback story of Chris and his journey from college athlete to medical miracle to viral inspiration and now adoptive father.

‘Horizon Line’ Due on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 16

The thriller Horizon Line will come out on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 16 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

It is available now on digital.

In the film, former couple Sara (Allison Williams, Get Out, “A Series of Unfortunate Events”) and Jackson (Alexander Dreymon, “The Last Kingdom,” “American Horror Story”) board a single-engine plane for a routine and casual flight to their friend’s tropical island wedding. However, within minutes of takeoff, their pilot suffers a fatal heart attack, leaving them with no idea where they are, and no clue how to land the plane. With nothing but miles of ocean and sky in every direction, and a terrifying storm that’s about to envelop them, Sara and Jackson have only one shot — and there’s no going back.

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Extras include deleted scenes.

Universal Celebrates ‘Croods’ Release With Virtual Museum Events

La Brea Tar Pits, part of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History have partnered with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on educational virtual “Camp Croods,” based on the DreamWorks Animation family film The Croods: A New Age.

The Croods: A New Age will be available to own on digital Feb. 9 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 23, 2021, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The two separate interactive programs will feature hands-on activities and scientific investigation to explore the Ice Age, human origins and the fate of saber-toothed cats. Families will have the chance to meet real-life paleontologists and archaeologists, participate in DIY art projects, explore virtual tar pits (La Brea Tar Pits camp), take a virtual tour of the Human Origins exhibition (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History camp) and experience drawing demonstrations that bring the prehistoric Croods characters to life.

“Bringing the world of The Croods to life with the help of these two distinguished museums within an exclusive setting is a truly unique opportunity that we are pleased to share virtually with families and kids,” said Hilary Hoffman, EVP of global marketing for Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. “As time-honored brands for research, discovery and exhibition, La Brea Tar Pits and the Smithsonian continue to develop entertaining and engaging programs for kids making them the ideal partners to celebrate the home entertainment release of The Croods: A New Age, the must-own family movie of the year.”

The La Brea Tar Pits camp takes place Feb. 11 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. PT and Feb. 13 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. PT. (Free. Registration required. RSVP at tarpits.org/campcroods).

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History camp takes place Feb. 23 from 6 to 7 p.m. ET (Free. Registration required. RSVP at s.si.edu/croods ).

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“This collaboration is a great opportunity to showcase the ways in which art and science intersect, while at the same time introducing families to La Brea Tar Pits, the world’s only active paleontological research facility in a major urban area,” said Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, president and director of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County. “We are grateful to Universal and DreamWorks for helping us provide campers with a new way to see science in action and encourage them to keep exploring the world around them — be it through paleontology or animation.”

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“We are excited to join with Universal and DreamWorks to take visitors to Camp Croods on a journey back in time to explore the evidence scientists use to understand the lives of early humans,” said Dr. Kirk Johnson, sant director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. “Campers will embark on a virtual tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Human Origins which examines the lives and environments of our earliest ancestors and considers the notion of what it means to be human.”

Russian Sci-fi Thriller ‘Cosmoball’ Shooting to Digital and Disc March 23 From Well Go

The Russian sci-fi thriller Cosmoball will debut on digital, Blu-ray and DVD March 23 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

The post-apocalyptic “space opera” takes place after an intergalactic battle that destroys Earth’s moon and causes worldwide devastation, leaving the human race desolate and clinging to survival. The film follows four athletes with the rare ability to teleport, which makes them the only humans capable of playing “cosmoball,” a dangerous sport requiring unimaginable speed, reflexes and courage. While the rest of the world religiously scans the sky to catch the high-flying tournaments, no one suspects that with each match, they are actually witnessing four young humans fighting furiously to ensure the survival of humankind.

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From director Dzhanik Fayziev (The Turkish Gambit, August Eighth), Cosmoball stars Evgeniy Mironov (Spacewalk, The Lenin Factor, Space Dogs), Evgeniy Romantsov (Petropolis, Nu), Viktoriya Agalakova (The Bride, Mermaid: The Lake of the Dead, Rasputin), Maria Lisovaya (Guests) and newcomer Ivan Ivanovich.

‘Pinocchio’ Coming to Digital Feb. 23 From Lionsgate

The Italian film adaptation Pinocchio arrives on digital Feb. 23 from Lionsgate.

The film stars Academy Award winner Roberto Benigni (1998, Best Actor, Life Is Beautiful), Federico lelapi (Que vado?), Rocco Papaleo (Basilicata Coast to Coast, A small southern enterprise, Cecchi Gori Cecchi Gori?), Massimo Ceccherini (Tale of Tales, La mia vita a stelle e strisce), with the participation of Marine Vacth, and with Gigi Proietti.

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In the story, when a magical piece of wood falls into his hands, Geppetto (Benigni) carves from it his greatest creation, Pinocchio, a puppet wondrously bestowed with life. Pinocchio’s dreams of becoming a real boy are complicated by his misadventures among a host of otherworldly creatures — a fox-and-cat bandit duo, an asthmatic dogfish, a talking cricket, and others — until he meets a kind blue-haired fairy, whose only wish is to make his dreams come true.

‘Last Call’ Coming to Disc, Digital and VOD Feb. 23 From Mill Creek

The drama Last Call will debut on DVD, Blu-ray, digital and VOD Feb. 23 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

From director Gavin Michael Booth, the film tells the story of two strangers destined to intervene in each other’s lives after a misdial links them together forever. Beth (Sarah Booth) is a late-night janitor who accidentally answers a call from Scott (Daved Wilkins) who believes he has dialed a suicide prevention hotline. The film presents both ends of a harrowing phone call that has Beth navigating a life-changing conversation as she attempts to aide Scott within her limited means.

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A split screen real-time feature film, the entire movie is comprised of two single-take shots, merged together and without cuts as the film plays out with two camera crews in different parts of a city as we follow each character through their happenstance encounter. The score for the film was also composed and recorded in real-time by Adrian Ellis to add to the aesthetic.

Last Call has won awards in a variety of film festivals, including Best Actress for Sarah Booth in the CKF International Film Festival as well as the Hamilton Film Festival. Gavin Michael Booth won best director in the Satisfied Eye International Film Festival.