Live-Action and Animated ‘Mulan’ Headed for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Release Nov. 10

The Walt Disney Co. is going all out for the Nov. 10 disc debut of the live-action Mulan. The film will be released on Blu-ray Disc, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, and DVD, and its arrival in stores will be accompanied by the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray debut of the original animated Mulan from 1998.

The two films also will be available together in a Blu-ray Disc and DVD combo pack that also includes digital editions.

Additionally, the live-action Mulan will be available as a collectible Steelbook at Best Buy and packaged with a limited-edition gallery book at Target, while the animated Mulan will also be available as a Best Buy-exclusive Steelbook.

The live-action Mulan, from filmmaker Niki Caro, made headlines over the Labor Day weekend when it bypassed theatrical distribution for in-home premium VOD, at a price of $29.99 that allowed Disney+ subscribers to unlock the movie on the service. It later became available through digital retailers such as FandangoNow and Vudu. AtlasVPN later reported that the remake had become the most in-demand streamed movie in the world in October.

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Mulan is about a fearless young woman who risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known. When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner strength and embrace her true potential.

The live-action Mulan 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and regular Blu-ray Disc includes a wealth of bonus features, including:

  • “Updating A Classic” — A look at how filmmakers honored the original animated classic.
  • “Mulan by Another Name” — A conversation with actor Yifei Liu, tracing her journey to becoming Mulan, from audition screen test to on-screen warrior.
  • “Being Bad” — See actors Jason Scott Lee and Li Gong transform into the film’s evil duo through training and costumes.
  • “Reflections of Mulan” — Hear what inspired the film’s music and sound, and then listen as Yifei Liu records Mulan’s most iconic song.
  • “The Original Mulan” — Ming-Na Wen, who voiced Mulan in the original animated classic, reflects on that experience and her cameo in the live-action remake.
  • Deleted scenes (some with commentary by director Niki Caro).
  • Music videos, including four different versions of “Reflection” and “Loyal Brave True.”

 

The animated Mulan also comes with several extras, including:

  • Deleted scenes.
  • Various music videos.
  • “Songs of Mulan” — Producer Pam Coats, composer Matthew Wilder and lyricist David Zippel share the process of creating the music for Mulan.
  • Mulan’s International Journey” — Disney filmmakers explain the process by which Disney animated films are translated into as many as 35 different languages.
  • “Multilanguage Presentation” — Mulan was translated into many languages for audiences around the world. In this featurette viewers can hear some of these languages in the musical sequence “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” including French, Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Swedish and more.
  • Audio commentary by producer Pam Coats and directors Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook.

 

‘Hocus Pocus,’ ‘Back to the Future’ Dominate National Disc Sales Charts

A pair of perennial catalog favorites dominated the national DVD and Blu-ray sales charts the week ended Oct. 24.

Disney’s Hocus Pocus, a frequent Halloween-season top seller, returned to the top spot on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales. It was the 1993 film’s third time in the top spot in the past four weeks.

On the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, a collection of the three “Back to the Future” movies took over the top spot, boosted by a new 4K Ultra HD edition of the trilogy released to mark the 35th anniversary of the 1985 original. Back to the Future: The Ultimate Trilogy was the No. 2 overall disc seller, with 80% of its total unit sales coming from the 4K Ultra HD version (another 16% came from the regular Blu-ray edition).

The No. 3 overall disc seller, and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart, was Universal’s Tremors: Shrieker Island, the direct-to-video seventh entry in the comedic horror monster franchise. A seven-movie “Tremors” collection released only on DVD was No. 50.

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Another catalog title, Disney’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, landed at No. 4 overall and No. 5 on the Blu-ray Disc chart.

The No. 5 overall seller was Warner’s A Charlie Brown Christmas, the 1965 animated special that has been trending lately after the news that it and other “Peanuts” specials would be available exclusively on the Apple TV+ streaming service, ending annual traditions of broadcasting them on network television.

Similarly, 1966’s It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was No. 7 (No. 14 on the Blu-ray chart), and 1973’s A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving was No. 13. The boxed set of all three specials, The Peanuts Holiday Collection, was No. 38 overall and No. 26 on the Blu-ray chart.

Maintaining the No. 2 spot on the Blu-ray sellers chart was Warner’s Batman: Death in the Family, a collection of animated shorts based on DC Comics characters, featuring an interactive Batman story that allows viewers to guide the plot. A Blu-ray-only release, it dropped two spots to No. 9 on the overall disc chart.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Oct. 25, the thriller The Vanished, from Paramount, debuted at No. 1.

The previous week’s top rental, Lionsgate’s The Doorman, dropped to No. 2.

Newcomer The Owners, a horror movie from RLJE Films, debuted at No. 3.

Rounding out the top five were Redbox’s Ava at No. 4 and RLJ’s The Tax Collector, at No. 5, each down two spots from the previous week.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 10-24-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 10-25-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 10-24-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 10-24-20
Sales Report for Week Ended 10-24-20
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 10-26-20

‘Harry Potter’ Collection Leads U.S. Disc Sales

With the coronavirus pandemic having the duel effect of both limiting the depth of new home video releases and leading to fewer disc sales in general, TV DVD and catalog content have had a much easier time of late reaching the top spots on the national sales charts. The week ended Oct. 17 saw a “Harry Potter” boxed set take a turn in the top spot.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection, first released in 2011, was No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined Blu-ray Disc and DVD unit sales in the United States, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart. It had been No. 24 overall a week earlier.

In fact, almost the entire top 20 overall disc sales chart consisted of catalog and TV content, and the two new releases that did find a spot on it were reworkings of previously released material.

The No. 2 overall disc seller, and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart, was Disney’s Hocus Pocus, the perennial Halloween-season seller that had topped the charts the previous two weeks.

Another Disney Halloween favorite, the 1993 animated movie The Nightmare Before Christmas, came in at No. 3 overall and No. 8 on the Blu-ray chart.

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The week’s top debut was Shout! Factory’s new deluxe-edition boxed set of the 12 “Friday the 13th” movies, featuring new bonus materials and restorations of some of the films. It came in at No. 4 overall and No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart. A boxed set of all the films was previously released in 2013 by Warner (which controls the most-recent four films in the franchise that were made by New Line Cinema; Paramount made the first seven).

The No. 5 overall disc seller was Universal’s The Office: The Complete Series, a DVD set that has been re-released several times since 2014.

The No. 2 Blu-ray Disc seller, and No. 7 overall, was another newcomer, Warner’s Batman: Death in the Family, a collection of DC Showcase animated shorts. The centerpiece of the new disc, Batman: Death in the Family, is an interactive feature that allows viewers to choose whether Robin is killed by the Joker, and to see which different paths the story could take after that. In many respects, however, the short is a reworking of the 2010 movie Batman: Under the Red Hood, with some new footage to provide a prequel to the movie and some alternate story possibilities.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Oct. 18, Lionsgate’s The Doorman, an actioner with Ruby Rose, debuted at No. 1 (for perspective, it was No. 55 its first week on the sales chart).

The Redbox-exclusive disc of Ava, which had been the top rental the previous two weeks, dropped back to No. 2, where it debuted a month earlier.

RLJE Films’ The Tax Collector was No. 3, followed by two titles from Lionsgate: The Silencing at No. 4 and The Secret: Dare to Dream.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 10-17-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 10-18-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 10-17-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 10-17-20
Sales Report for Week Ended 10-17-20
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 10-19-20

‘Hocus Pocus’ Tops September Disc Sales; ‘Frozen II’ Still Top Seller of 2020

Disney’s Hocus Pocus was No. 1 on the domestic top 10 list of combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales for September 2020 according to the NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service.

The 1993 film about three Salem witches transported to modern times frequently finishes in the weekly top five in the weeks leading up to Halloween, but this year received a boost from a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition. It was the No. 2 seller in each of the last two weeks of September before moving into the top spot the first two weekly charts of October. It had been No. 171 on the monthly chart for August.

No. 2 for the month, moving up from No. 91, was Warner’s Beetlejuice, the spooky 1988 comedy from director Tim Burton, which also was recently re-released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

Similarly, Disney’s The Nightmare Before Christmas moved up to No. 8.

The month’s top new release was Sony Pictures’ Outlander: Season Five, which debuted at No. 3. It was the top-selling title the week ended Oct. 19.

The top-selling title of August, Warner’s Scoob! slipped to No. 4 for the month of September.

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The No. 5 September seller was the animated movie Superman: Man of Tomorrow, from Warner.

The only other new release in the top 10 was Warner’s Rick and Morty: Season 4, which debuted at No. 6.

The year’s top 10 selling titles remained unchanged from the previous month, led by Disney’s Frozen II, which has been the year’s best seller since February.

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According to NPD, the September 2020 top 10 by units sold were:

  1. Hocus Pocus (Disney)
  2. Beetlejuice (Warner)
  3. Outlander: Season Five (Sony Pictures)
  4. Scoob! (Warner)
  5. Superman: Man of Tomorrow (Warner)
  6. Rick and Morty: Season 4 (Warner)
  7. The Mule (Warner)
  8. The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney)
  9. Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  10. Trolls World Tour (Universal/DreamWorks)

 

Year-to-date Top 10 (through September 2020):

  1. Frozen II (Disney)
  2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney/Lucasfilm)
  3. Joker (Warner)
  4. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony Pictures)
  5. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Disney)
  6. Bad Boys for Life (Sony Pictures)
  7. Midway (2019) (Lionsgate)
  8. 1917 (Universal)
  9. Trolls World Tour (Universal/DreamWorks)
  10. Terminator: Dark Fate (Paramount)

 

‘Scoob!’ Tops August Disc Sales; ‘Frozen II’ Remains 2020’s Best-Seller

‘Hocus Pocus’ Conjures Up No. 1 Spot on Disc Sales Charts

Disney’s perennial Halloween best-seller Hocus Pocus jumped to the top of the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Oct. 3.

The 1993 film about three Salem witches transported to modern times frequently finishes in the top five during October, but this year received a boost from a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition. It had been the No. 2 overall seller the previous week. The new 4K disc accounted for 8% of the title’s total unit sales, while the regular Blu-ray made up 19%, meaning Blu-ray accounted for 27% of total Hocus Pocus sales.

A sequel for streaming service Disney+ is reportedly in development.

The previous week’s top seller, Warner’s Rick and Morty: Season Four, slipped to No. 2 on both charts.

Another catalog title with a recent 4K release, Warner’s Beetlejuice, was No. 3 on the overall chart and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart. The spooky comedy took its on turn in the top spot a few weeks ago.

Continuing the trend of Halloween catalog popping into the top 20, the No. 4 overall title was Disney’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, which was No. 20 on the Blu-ray chart.

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Other October favorites and frightfests making their way onto the chart included No. 5 It: Chapter Two, from Warner, Disney’s Halloweentown/Halloweentown II double feature at No. 7, the 1978 Halloween from Lionsate at No. 9, the 2018 Halloween from Universal at No. 10, Universal’s 2019 animated The Addams Family at No. 15, and Warner’s The Curse of La Llorona at No. 19.

Of note, the 1978 Halloween was No. 5 on the Blu-ray chart, while 45% of its overall units sales were of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Best Buy released an exclusive 4K Steelbook of the horror classic Sept. 29.

Rounding out the top five overall was Lionsgate’s The Secret: Dare to Dream, which was No. 7 on the Blu-ray chart.

The No. 3 Blu-ray seller was Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog, which was No. 11 overall.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Oct. 4, the Redbox-exclusive Ava moved up a spot to No. 1. Lionsgate’s The Silencing debuted at No. 2.

The previous week’s top rental, The Secret: Dare to Dream, dropped to No. 3.

Shout! Factory’s True Story of the Kelly Gang entered the rental chart at No. 4, while Universal’s Welcome to Sudden Death was No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 10-3-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 10-4-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 10-3-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 10-3-20
Sales Report for Week Ended 10-3-20
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 10-5-20

ESPN’s ‘Last Dance’ Available as Limited-Edition Blu-ray Nov. 10

Disney Media Networks and ESPN Films will release the award-winning documentary series The Last Dance as a Blu-ray Disc gift set Nov. 10.

Winner of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction series, the 10-part The Last Dance chronicles Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ efforts to win a sixth NBA championship during the 1997-98 season. The series originally aired on ESPN and is also available on Netflix.

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The Blu-ray gift set includes a 28-page gallery book with photos and episode recaps, a timeline poster, and more than four hours of additional material.

Extras include:

  • Exclusive never-before-seen The Last Dance bonus interviews;
  • “Game 6: The Movie”
  • A never -before-seen uncut version of Stuart Scott’s interview with Michael Jordan on “Sunday Conversation” from June 1998;
  • “In-the-Moment” archival material;
  • “SportsCenter” with Scott Van Pelt roundtables;
  • “The Jalen & Jacoby Aftershow” with Jason Hehir.

 

Warner’s ‘Tenet’ Leads Slumping Weekend Domestic Box Office With $3.4 Million in Ticket Sales

The U.S. box office continues to suffer under constrained openings due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Despite the release of three significant studio titles, exhibitor revenue remains down 75% from the previous-year period.

Warner Bros.’ Tenet, the international espionage thriller from Christopher Nolan, remained the top draw, generating $3.4 million in revenue from 2,800 screens through Sept. 26, or $41.2 million since it debuted in the U.S. four weeks ago. That was down 26% from $4.59 million generated during the previous-weekend three-day period, according to industry numbers.

The movie has generated $283.2 million worldwide — leading some observers to wonder when Warner would release the movie on HBO Max or a third-party platform via PVOD or transactional VOD. The movie has generated 85% of its box office abroad.

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Notably, the top domestic screens for Tenet included largely drive-ins and Imax theaters such as Paramount Drive-In in Los Angeles; Capitol 6 Drive-In and Solano Twin Drive-In in San Francisco; Regal Irvine Spectrum Imax and AMC Block Orange with Imax (Orange County, Calif.); Cinemark Redwood 20 in San Francisco; Alamo Drafthouse in Ashburn, Va.; Cinemark Huntington Beach (Calif.) Bella Terra; and Sacramento (Calif.) Drive-In.

Meanwhile, Disney/20th Century’s The New Mutants finished second with exhibitors, generating $1.1 million in ticket sales, which was down 31% from $1.59 million during the previous weekend period. The movie has tallied $19.4 million over the the past five weeks.

Disney’s live-action Mulan, which has only been released in theaters outside the U.S., and on Premier Access via Disney+ domestically, generated $3.4 million, or $64 million globally since its Sept. 4 debut. Disney has not disclosed the movie’s PVOD revenue numbers.

Disney+ Bowing New ‘Frozen’ Short Oct. 23

A new animated short film based on the Olaf character from the “Frozen” movies will debut exclusively on Disney+ Oct. 23.

Once Upon a Snowman will explore the previously untold origins of Olaf, the snowman created by Queen Elsa in the original Frozen from 2013. What happened within the moments after Elsa created him as she was building her ice palace, and when Anna and Kristoff first meet him in the forest? And how did he learn to love Summer?

Actor Josh Gad once again returns to provide the voice of Olaf.

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The short from Walt Disney Animation Studios is co-directed by Trent Correy, animation supervisor of “Olaf” in 2019’s Frozen II, and Dan Abraham, the veteran story artist who boarded Olaf’s “When I Am Older” musical sequence in Frozen II.

“This is an idea that started to form when I was an animator on the first Frozen,” Correy said. “Dan Abraham and I are so grateful and excited to have had the opportunity to direct this short, working with our incredible colleagues at Walt Disney Animation Studios.”

International Box Office: ‘Mulan’ at $6 Million

No numbers are in for Mulan’s U.S. premium video-on-demand (PVOD) debut on Disney+, but Walt Disney Studios did release box office figures it says show “a strong opening … in just a handful of smaller international markets, representing only around 6% of normal international footprint.”

In those nine new markets — Croatia, Czech Rep, the Middle East, Slovakia, Turkey, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand — the live-action remake of the popular animated film earned a total of $5.9 million.

In the Middle East, Mulan opened at No. 1 in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia (with an estimated $800,000 in each market). In Asia, Mulan opened at No.1 in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand — markets where Disney estimates 90% of movie theaters are open, albeit at reduced capacities ranging from 30% to 50% of normal.

Next weekend, Mulan opens in China and Russia.

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Meanwhile, Fox’s The New Mutants in its second weekend earned an estimated $3.5 million in North American theaters, bringing its total take to an estimated $12.3 million. Disney estimates 68% of domestic screens are open, although major markets including Los Angeles and New York are still closed.

Internationally, The New Mutants expanded into 30 markets, including the U.K., Mexico, Australia, Russia and Italy, where it earned an estimated $4.2 million for the weekend.

‘Mulan’ to Stream for Free on Disney+ in December?

With Disney’s inaugural premium VOD launch of the live-action remake Mulan set for Sept. 4, the movie reportedly could be available for free to Disney+ subscribers three months later on Dec. 4.

The later release date was observed on a screen shot for the movie’s $29.99 Premium Access purchase price in the United States on the Disney+ app and first reported by ScreenRant. The December date has subsequently been removed from the purchase link. Scuttlebutt has long suggested Mulan would not be available for free (with a Disney+ subscription) until 2021.

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Disney earlier in August announced the controversial decision to forgo a theatrical debut for Mulan after repeated exhibitor re-opening delays prevented the $200 million budget movie from releasing. The title was initially slated to debut in theaters on March 27, then pushed back to July and again to this month before being removed from the release schedule. The movie will still have a theatrical presence in markets without Disney+ access.

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While studios such as Universal Pictures have embraced PVOD and transactional VOD in response to the pandemic, Disney has steadfastly supported the 90-day theatrical window  underscored by the studio’s global box dominance in recent years through Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm (Star Wars) and Pixar Animation titles.