Italian Film ‘The First King’ Coming to DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 24 From Well Go

The Italian film The First King will be released on DVD and Blu-ray (plus DVD) combo pack and digital Sept. 24 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

The historical drama follows Romulus and Remus, two shepherds and loyal brothers who are destined to found the greatest empire the world has ever seen‚ but only one can rule. The journey to greatness is paved with blood, and the fate of the chosen one lies in the hands of a brother.

The film is directed by Matteo Rovere (Drifters) and stars Alessandro Borghi, Alessio Lapice, Fabrizio Rongione, Massimiliano Rossi and Tania Garribba.

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The release features a new English dub. Bonus materials include a making-of featurette.

Nickelodeon ‘Paw Patrol’ DVD Released as Walmart Exclusive

Paw Patrol: Ready, Race, Rescue, a feature-length episode of the Nickelodeon series, will be released Sept. 2 exclusively at Walmart on DVD along with other series merchandise.

The DVD will be bundled with a digital copy of the 44-minute episode at $14.96.

The preschool series “PAW Patrol” is produced by Spin Master Entertainment. Ready, Race, Rescue follows the 2018 direct-to-video release Paw Patrol: Mighty Pups. In the new adventure, the pups take to the track for the Adventure Bay 500 and need to speed into action when legendary race car driver, The Whoosh, can’t compete.

The Ready, Race, Rescue product assortment will include toys, apparel, accessories, footwear, home, and health and beauty items. Walmart and Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products are also partnering on events in 800 stores nationwide the weekend of Sept. 7.

VNCP is also planning race-themed marketing initiatives to celebrate the exclusive collection, starting with a NASCAR sponsorship with partner Spin Master Entertainment. A Ready, Race, Rescue-themed Kids Zone, “Paw Patrol” costumed character appearances and activations will be featured at NASCAR’s event in Richmond, Va., Sept. 21. In the lead up to the event, seven influencers across the country will “Race Across America” and post from various states before “arriving” in Richmond.

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In its sixth season, “Paw Patrol” follows a pack of rescue pups — Chase, Marshall, Rubble, Skye, Rocky, Zuma, Everest and Tracker — who are led by a tech-savvy boy named Ryder. The series features a curriculum that focuses on citizenship, social skills and problem-solving. Nickelodeon recently renewed the series for a seventh season of 26 half-hour episodes.

‘Toy Story 4,’ From Disney, Pixar, Gets Home Release Dates

Toy Story 4, the year’s No. 4 movie at the box office, will become available for home viewing in October, the Walt Disney Co. announced Aug. 22.

The animated film, with a domestic gross of $425 million, will arrive on digital Oct. 1, with a Blu-ray Disc, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD release following on Oct. 8.

The fourth film in the “Toy Story” franchise is a sequel to 2010’s Toy Story 3, which took in $415 million in North American movie theaters. The franchise was launched in 1995 with Pixar’s original Toy Story, the world’s first fully computer-animated feature film. Disney purchased Pixar in 2006.

Toy Story 4 features an all-star voice cast that includes Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves and Joan Cusack.

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The home editions of Toy Story 4 contain more than an hour of bonus features celebrating Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the franchise’s other iconic characters. Extras includes deleted scenes such as an alternate ending; a new featurette that chronicles Woody and Buzz’s friendship through the years; studio stories shared by members of the Pixar team; a nostalgic look back at the creation and first storyboard screening of Toy Story with filmmakers; and a documentary on the pioneering efforts of Pixar artists who created the sets, characters, look and feel of the original film.

In Toy Story 4, Woody (Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So, when Bonnie’s new craft-project-turned-toy Forky (voiced by Tony Hale) calls himself “trash,” Woody decides to teach Forky how to embrace being a toy. But a road-trip adventure, including an unexpected reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voiced by Annie Potts), shows Woody how big the world can be for a toy. New additions to the cast of animated characters include carnival prizes Ducky (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (Peele) bring a new level of fun to the film.

The fourth installment in the “Toy Story” series will be packaged several ways for home consumption. Toy Story 4 arrives home a week early on digital 4K Ultra HD, HD and SD with two exclusive extras, including a deleted scene, “Bonnie’s Playtime.”

A week later, fans will be able to buy physical copies of the film on disc, also in various incarnations: as a 4K Ultra HD combo pack (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and digital code), a Blu-ray combo pack (Blu-ray, DVD and digital code) and a single DVD.

Also available is a digital bundle of all four films.

Fox Fetes ‘Mayans M.C.’ Season One DVD

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment celebrated the DVD release of FX’s Mayans M.C.: The Complete First Season with a party Aug. 18 at Heroes Motors in Los Angeles. “Mayans M.C.” is the next chapter in Kurt Sutter’s “Sons of Anarchy” saga. The show takes place in the same fictional universe, and deals with the Sons’ rivals-turned-allies, the Mayans Motorcycle Club. (Photos by Dan Steinberg)

Horror Film ‘Midsommar’ Due on Digital Sept. 24 From A24, Disc Oct. 8 From Lionsgate

The sun-soaked horror film Midsommar, from director Ari Aster (Hereditary), is coming on digital and on demand Sept. 24 from A24, and on Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital) and DVD Oct. 8 from Lionsgate.

The film stars Florence Pugh as a young woman who, after a family tragedy, reluctantly joins her boyfriend on a summer trip to a remote Swedish village for a midsummer festival, which becomes more and more sinister as the days pass. What begins as a carefree summer holiday takes a turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that grow increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing.

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The film, which made $25.9 million at the domestic box office, also stars Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper and Will Poulter.

Disc special features include a making-of featurette, offering insight into Aster’s vision.

‘Horror Movie: A Low Budget Nightmare’ Coming to DVD and Digital Sept. 10 From Random Media

The docu-film Horror Movie: A Low Budget Nightmare will come out on DVD, on demand and digital Sept. 10 from Random Media.

Directed by Gary Doust, the film is a comic fly-on-the-wall-style documentary that follows a filmmaker’s attempt to live out a childhood dream by making a super-low-budget horror feature, about an aborted fetus that seeks revenge on its family. Tired of playing roles like the diabetes patient or the weird friend on Australian TV, actor/filmmaker Craig Anderson sets his sights on a career upgrade. With his and his brother’s life savings on the line, he manages to sign up Hollywood “scream queen” Dee Wallace (E.T., Cujo) to star in the film, but it is not long before things go wildly off the rails and his dream turns into a nightmare. With the budget spiraling out of control, union issues and even a circumcision to overcome, viewers follow the moviemaking rollercoaster journey from pre-production to the very end.

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Filmed in Australia, Horror Movie: A Low Budget Nightmare aired on ABC TV (Australia) and was listed in The Guardian as one of their top 10 Australian TV programs of the year (2017). The docu-film went on to win Best Feature Film at the 2018 Hollywood Horror Fest and was nominated Best Documentary at the Adelaide Film Festival.

DEG: Home Entertainment Spending Posts 7% Gain in First Half of 2019

Consumers spent nearly $6 billion on home entertainment in the second quarter of 2019, a 7% gain from the same period last year.

The gain came despite a nearly 10% year-over-year decline in the box office value of movies that became available for in-home viewing during the quarter, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Granted, the rising reliance of subscription streaming services like Netflix on original content, mostly digital TV series, has made comparisons between home entertainment spending and the box office earnings of movies a bit less relevant.

But the disparity still suggests a growing number of consumers prefer to enjoy their entertainment at home.

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For the first six months of the year, consumer spending on home entertainment came in at just over $12 billion, a 6.7% uptick from the first half of 2018.

The box office value of films released to the home during that same period, meanwhile, fell more than 15.5% to just over $5 billion.

As expected, increases in consumer spending on streaming were largely responsible for the gains in overall home entertainment spending.

DEG estimates consumers spent nearly $7.5 billion on subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services in the first half of this year, a 22% increase from the first half of 2018. Spending in the second quarter, which ended June 30, rose more than 23% to $3.89 billion.

The only other category to post an increase in consumer spending during the first half of 2019 was electronic sellthrough (EST), or the digital purchase of movies and other content, which generated an estimated $1.2 billion in consumer spending, up 3.3% from the first six months of 2018.

Breaking the numbers apart, DEG says first-half spending on theatrical EST was up nearly 8%, while spending on video on demand for theatrical movies rose more than 9%. Total transactional VOD spending in the first half of the year came in at just over $1 billion, a decline of nearly 4% from the prior year’s first half.

Combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales for the first half of 2019 amounted to an estimated $1.5 billion, down about 21% from the first six months of 2018. In the second quarter, disc sales generated $716 million in revenue, down 19.3% from the second quarter of 2018.

Combined disc and digital ownership for the half-year was $2.75 billion, down 11.8% from the previous year. Content ownership in the quarter was $1.27 billion, down 12.1% from the same period a year ago.

Breaking Glass Sets Sept. 17 Home Release Date for ‘Tattoo of Revenge’

Breaking Glass Pictures has set a Sept. 17 home release date for Tattoo of Revenge, a female empowerment thriller that follows a young woman as she takes revenge on those who commit violence against women.

The film will be issued on DVD at $24.99 and also will be available on VOD.

Similar to The Girl with the Dragon TattooTattoo of Revenge, shot in both black-and-white and color, is the latest from prolific director Julián Hernández, the festival-favorite filmmaker behind A Thousand Clouds of Peace Fence the Sky, Love; Your Being Love Will Never End and Raging Sun, Raging Sky. The latter two both won the Berlin Film Festival’s Teddy Award.

Produced by Mexico’s Argos Cine with Cine Invencible Cine, Corazón Films, Expendables 435, Fidecine, and Mil Nubes Cine, the film premiered at Mexico’s Morelia International Film Festival.

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Set in chaotic 1990s Mexico City where criminals go unpunished, a heroine becomes the avenger of raped young women. Wearing different disguises, she seduces the rapists, puts them to sleep, and then brands them with tattoos. As her enemies encroach, her only salvation is the emancipation of another woman.

Walmart Posts Healthy Second-Quarter 2019 Financials

Walmart, the nation’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailer of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, on Aug. 15 reported gains in both second-quarter earnings and revenue, with same-store sales up a healthy 2.8% and e-commerce sales in U.S. stores up 37%.

The company also raised its outlook for the full year.

“Customers are responding to the improvements we’re making, the productivity loop is working, and we’re gaining market share,” CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement.

Walmart noted that on a two-year stacked basis, same-store sales were up 7.3%, the strongest growth in more than 10 years.

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Net income rose to $3.61 billion, or $1.26 per share, compared with a net loss of $861 million, or 29 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2018. Excluding one-time items, Walmart earned $1.27 a share, 5 cents more than expected.

Total revenue climbed 1.8% to $130.38 billion from $128.03 billion a year earlier, beating analyst expectations for sales of $130.11 billion.

In the United States, net sales grew 2.9% to $85.20 billion from $82.82 billion a year earlier.

Read or download Walmart’s financial presentation to management

The nation’s largest retailer continues to lead in DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales, devoting  significant retail space to the category, including point-of-purchase displays and ubiquitous dump bins.

“We still sell a lot of DVDs at Walmart,” Thomas Hughes, EVP of worldwide TV & digital distribution at Lionsgate, told attendees Dec. 11 at the Parks Associates’ “Future of Video” confab in Marina del Rey, Calif. “We’re on the coasts, so we don’t see it. But other people still buy DVDs.”

On an Aug. 15 earnings call with analysts to discuss the latest financial results, Greg Foran, Walmart US president and CEO, said, “We saw a strong growth in grocery … and general merchandise comps. They were up despite softness from some of weather-sensitive categories like lawn and garden and apparel. We’re really pleased with market share gains across grocery and general merchandise.” The general merchandise category includes DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.

Chuck Berry Tribute Concert Film Debuts on Blu-ray Disc

Shout! Factory Nov. 9 will release the classic rock ‘n’ roll film Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll on DVD and, for the first time ever, Blu-ray Disc.

The Blu-ray Disc edition is a two-disc collector’s edition with a suggested retail price of $24.97.

The DVD is a standard single disc at $19.99.

The discs will be released under the indie supplier’s Shout Select brand.

The landmark feature film captures a 1986 concert honoring rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Berry on his 60th birthday. The concert was assembled by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, who invited a roster of well-known musicians to honor Berry — including Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Linda Ronstadt, Etta James, and Julian Lennon.

The film also features archival footage of a duet by Berry and John Lennon.

Special features include:

  • Introduction by director Taylor Hackford
  • 54 minutes of rehearsal footage
  • The Reluctant Movie Star, a making-of documentary
  • The original theatrical trailer
  • Witnesses to History documentary Parts 1 & 2
  • “Chuckisms” – a collection of classic Chuck Berry remarks
  • “The Burnt Scrapbook” – Chuck Berry reminisces over his musical memories with The Band’s Robbie Robertson

 

A four-disc DVD was originally released in 2006 by Image Entertainment. Long out of print, copies are selling for as much as $200 on Amazon.