Netflix Generated $200 Million in 2021 Disc Rental Revenue, Unchanged From 2020

Netflix’s legacy by-mail DVD/Blu-ray Disc movies rental service continues to generate incremental revenue for the SVOD behemoth. The streamer reported revenue of $200 million for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2021 — unchanged from $200 million in revenue in 2020.

Netflix doesn’t include packaged-media rental revenue or subscriber data in its financials, categorizing disc rental as separate revenue. The company reported $400 million in disc revenue in 2018 — underscoring the ongoing decline of its packaged-media business. It last reported about two million disc-rental subscribers in 2019.

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Regardless, with Family Video calling it quits, Netflix and Redbox remain the only packaged-media rental services operating nationwide.

1936 Musical ‘Dancing Pirate’ Due on DVD and Blu-ray Feb. 22 From Film Detective

The 1936 musical Dancing Pirate will be released on special-edition Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 22 from Cinedigm and The Film Detective.

Billed as the first ever 100% Technicolor dancing musical, Dancing Pirate stars Charles Collins as a dance teacher from Boston who is tricked into joining a band of pirates, leading him to be fitted for a noose in California. He catches a break when the mayor’s daughter demands the hanging be postponed until he teaches her to waltz.

Dancing Pirate earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Dance Direction. The film features many familiar faces from Hollywood’s Golden Age, including Frank Morgan (The Wizard of Oz) as the mayor, Steffi Duna (Waterloo Bridge) as his dancing daughter and Rita Hayworth (Gilda) in an early performance as a specialty dancer.

The special-edition release features a new restoration from original, 35mm archival material with a new 4K scan.

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“We are delighted to release our first Blu-ray from the recent acquisition of the late Alexander Kogan’s Film’s Around the World Library,” said Phil Hopkins, president of The Film Detective, in a statement. “This particular title was his prized possession, obtained from the famous film collector Wade Williams more than a decade ago. This important piece of film history is finally getting the proper attention it deserves.”

Bonus features include audio commentary and an original insert essay from author Jennifer Churchill; “Glorious Pioneers: The Birth of Technicolor,” an interview with author/historian David Pierce; and “Ambushed by Mediocrity: Remembering the Dancing Pirate,” an interview with film producer/historian Michael Schlesinger.

Russian Thriller ‘The Pilot’ Due on Digital and Disc March 1 From Well Go

The Russian action thriller The Pilot will be released on digital, Blu-ray and DVD March 1 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Based on the true story of a World War II pilot whose fighter plane was shot down over the German-occupied Novgorod Region, the film follows the tale of Russian Aleksey Maresyev, who faces a relentless test of physical and mental endurance, battling hunger, extreme cold, and wild animals, all while evading Nazi soldiers — as he attempts to return home. 

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Directed by Renat Davletyarov (The Dawns Here Are Quiet), the film stars Pyotr Fyodorov (Sputnik, The Icebreaker, The Duelist), Anna Peskova (Good Boy), Pavel Osadchy, Maksim Emelyanov (The Blackout, The Search) and Nikoloz Paikridze.

Bonus features include an English dub.

 

Season Four of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Due on DVD April 5

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release season four of the dystopian drama series “The Handmaid’s Tale” on DVD April 5.

The Handmaid’s Tale: The Complete Fourth Season includes all 10 episodes of the fourth season. Starring Emmy Award-winning actress Elisabeth Moss (“Top of the Lake,” “Mad Men”), “The Handmaid’s Tale” tells the story of June Osborn (Moss), a handmaid who is one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as an attempt to repopulate a devastated world. In season four, June strikes back against Gilead as a fierce rebel leader but the risks she takes bring dangerous new challenges and her quest for justice and revenge threatens to consume her.

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The series also stars Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bledel, Madeline Brewer, Amanda Brugel, Ann Dowd, O-T Fagbenle, Max Minghella, Samira Wiley, Bradley Whitford and Sam Jaeger.

‘American Underdog’ Available on Digital Feb. 4, Disc Feb. 22 From Lionsgate

The sports biopic American Underdog arrives on digital Feb. 4 and on 4K Ultra HD combo pack (plus Blu-ray and digital), Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD and on demand Feb. 22 from Lionsgate.

Based on the true story of two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, the film comes from the Erwin Brothers (I Still Believe, I Can Only Imagine) and screenwriters Jon Erwin (I Still Believe, I Can Only Imagine), David Aaron Cohen (Friday Night Lights) and Jon Gunn (I Still Believe).

It stars Zachary Levi (Shazam!, Thor: The Dark World, Tangled), Academy Award winner Anna Paquin (Best Supporting Actress, The Piano, 1993; “X-Men” franchise; The Irishman), Ser’Darius Blain (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jumanji: The Next Level, “Charmed”), and Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow, Far From Heaven, In Good Company).

Based on the book All Things Possible by Warner and Michael Silver, American Underdog tells the true story of a football player who went from a stockboy at a grocery store to a two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl champion and Hall of Fame quarterback. The film centers on Warner’s unique story and years of challenges and setbacks that could have derailed his aspirations to become an NFL player. With the support of his wife Brenda (Anna Paquin) and the encouragement of his family, coaches, and teammates, Warner perseveres.

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Special features include audio commentary with directors Andrew and Jon Erwin and producer Kevin Downes; the “Inspired” featurette; the “Making the Cut” featurette; the “A Coach’s Faith” featurette (on 4K and Blu-ray only); a “New to the Scene: Hayden Zaller” featurette; a “Meet the Champion” featurette; a “Behind the Game” featurette; an “American Underdog: Behind the Story” featurette; deleted scenes with optional audio commentary by Andrew Erwin; and the theatrical trailer (on 4K and Blu-ray only).

 

Doc ‘Julia’ Heading to Digital Feb. 1, DVD Feb. 15 From Sony

The documentary Julia, about cookbook author and television star Julia Child, will be released through digital retailers Feb. 1, and on DVD Feb. 15 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Using never-before-seen archival footage, personal photos, first-person narratives and cutting-edge food cinematography, the documentary traces Child’s 12-year struggle to create and publish the revolutionary Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961), which has sold more than 2.5 million copies to date, and her rapid ascent to become the country’s most unlikely television star. It’s the empowering story of a woman who found her purpose — and her fame — at 50, and took America along on the whole delicious journey.

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The film was an official selection at the Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, AFI Fest, among other film festivals. It was nominated at the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards for Best Historical or Biographical Documentary and Best Score.

Decal’s Thriller ‘Titane’ and Western ‘The Last Son’ Due on DVD Jan. 18 From Distribution Solutions

The thriller Titane and the Western The Last Son are being released on DVD Jan. 18 from Decal and Distribution Solutions.

In Titane, with a titanium plate surgically fused to her skull following a car crash as a child, car model Alexia embarks on a wild and ultimately unpredictable journey that questions our assumptions about family, identity, and love.

In The Last Son, a murderous outlaw learns he is cursed by a terrible prophecy: that he will be killed by one of his children. The film stars Sam Worthington, Machine Gun Kelly and Thomas Jane.

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Doc ‘Summer of Soul’ Available Digitally and on DVD Feb. 8

The documentary Summer of Soul will be released through digital retailers and on DVD Feb. 8 from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

Summer of Soul premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. The documentary also won the AFI Special Award, six awards at the Critics Choice Awards, and Best Documentary awards with NBR and LAFCA. The film is also nominated for the PGA and Spirit Awards.

It is streaming on Hulu in conjunction with Disney General Entertainment’s Onyx Collective; Searchlight Pictures released it theatrically.

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Director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a documentary that is part music film, part historical record created around an event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just 100 miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was largely forgotten until now. The feature includes concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more.

Bonus features include audio commentary with Thompson, a making-of featurette, and “Harlem: Then & Now,” in which viewers revisit Mount Morris Park, location of the Harlem Cultural Festival.

Complete Series of ‘American Gods’ Due March 1 From Lionsgate

American Gods — Seasons 1–3: The Complete Series is being released on DVD March 1 from Lionsgate.

Set in a hidden world where magic is real and gods exist on earth, “American Gods” chronicles the brewing war between Old Gods and New Gods, as the traditional gods of mythology are steadily losing believers to a burgeoning pantheon of modern gods focused on technology and money. The story across three seasons centers around ex-convict Shadow Moon, bodyguard for the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, an Old God trying to rebuild the power and influence the Old Gods once had. As events unfold and Shadow struggles with his identity and place in the world, the series examines humanity’s conflicted relationship with faith and the unknown.

The series is based on the best-selling novel by Neil Gaiman and created by Bryan Fuller (“Star Trek: Discovery,” “Hannibal,” “Dead Like Me”) and Michael Green (“Heroes,” Logan, Blade Runner 2049). Stars include Ian McShane, Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Orlando Jones, Pablo Schreiber and Crispin Glover.  

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Special features include “The Road to ‘American Gods'”; “Title Gods”; “God Squad Video Commentary”; “American Gods” origins; “Old Gods”; “New Gods”; “What Is ‘American Gods’?”; “Book vs. Show”; “Explore the Crocodile Bar in 360 Degrees” with commentary by cast and crew, including with Bryan Fuller, Ian McShane, Ricky Whittle and Pablo Schreiber; audio commentaries with cast and crew; “The House on the Rock: Setting the Stage”; “The Second Coming,”Neil Gaiman on season two; “Gods and Ends: Random Musings from the Cast”; “Meet the New Gods of Season Three”; “Road to Epiphany: The Season Three Journey”; and “Five Questions for the Cast.”

Lifetime Movie ‘Highway to Heaven’ Arrives on DVD March 1

Highway to Heaven, a new original movie reboot inspired by Michael Landon’s iconic 1980s television drama, arrives March 1 on DVD from Lionsgate. 

The Lifetime movie reboot stars Jill Scott (TV’s “First Wives Club,” Flint, Why Did I Get Married?), Barry Watson (TV’s “The Loudest Voice,” TV’s “Naomi”) and Ben Daon (TV’s “The Mysterious Benedict Society,”TV’s “The Astronauts,” Broken Diamonds).

It follows Angela Stewart (Scott), an angel sent back to Earth in order to help people in need. The story finds a junior high student struggling with the tragic loss of his mother as he and his dad drift apart. Angela takes a temporary job as a school counselor working alongside principal Bruce Banks (Watson) to bring the broken family back together.

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