Eddie Murphy Holiday Comedy ‘Candy Cane Lane’ No. 1 Movie Worldwide on Prime Video

In its first three days of release, Candy Cane Lane was the No. 1 movie worldwide on Prime Video, also becoming the most-watched Amazon MGM Studios-produced movie debut ever in the United States, according to the service.

The holiday comedy is among the top 10 worldwide film debuts ever on the service, according to Prime Video.

Additionally, according to tracking by Screen Engine/ASI, Candy Cane Lane debuted with the highest reported viewership among streaming movie releases for the weekend ending Dec. 3, Prime Video noted.

Candy Cane Lane is directed by Reginald Hudlin, written by Kelly Younger, produced by Brian Grazer, Eddie Murphy, Karen Lunder, Charisse Hewitt-Webster, and stars Eddie Murphy, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Jillian Bell, among others.

Murphy plays Chris Carver, a man on a mission to win his neighborhood’s annual Christmas home decoration contest. After Chris inadvertently makes a deal with a mischievous elf named Pepper (Jillian Bell) to better his chances of winning, she casts a magic spell that brings the 12 Days of Christmas to life — and wreaks havoc on the whole town.

“The sensational debut of Eddie Murphy’s first-ever Christmas movie, Candy Cane Lane, is a true demonstration of how joyful, family-oriented stories can touch the hearts of viewers around the world,” Courtenay Valenti, head of film, streaming and theatrical at Amazon MGM Studios, said in a statement. “We are so proud of our wonderful director Reginald Hudlin, along with the dynamic Eddie Murphy and Tracee Ellis Ross, our partners at Imagine Entertainment, and the rest of the all-star cast and team of creatives that brought this original and festive IP to life.”

Counting down to Candy Cane Lane’s Dec. 1 premiere on Prime Video, Amazon MGM Studios mounted activations such as the “12 Days of Candy Cane Lane,” which brought festive surprises and special moments to fans including Giving Tuesday’s Red Cross Blood Drive; a new song, “Miracle,” from Raphael Saadiq featuring Kelli-Leigh, available exclusively on Amazon Music; and an immersive Kringle’s Virtual Holiday Shop. Marketers also hosted a community pop-up event in Baldwin Hills, Calif., for families, organizations and business owners, presenting a $50,000.00 check to Destination Crenshaw. Additionally, “The Candy Cane Lane Traveling Truck Tour” has been traveling around the United States offering treats and free items on behalf of the film.

Amazon MGM Studios also collaborated with Grubhub with the contest “Christmas Delivered by Candy Cane Lane.” On Nov. 20, Grubhub customers in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York entered to win a holiday home transformation with holiday decorations donated by Balsam Hill and smart light products by Govee.

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Additionally, the studio collaborated with Habitat for Humanity International. From Nov. 15 to Dec. 27, Prime Video is donating $25,000 to Habitat for Humanity International and $55,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA), while Amazon employees are participating in build days across the United States. In Los Angeles, they decorated a newly built Habitat LA community and welcomed new homeowners with holiday gift baskets and 55-inch Omni QLED Series Fire TVs.

Additionally, pop-R&B singer and songwriter Chloe Bailey (known as Chlöe) released an exclusive Amazon Music Original track “Merry Christmas Baby,” her own version of Otis Redding’s famous Christmas hit, in conjunction with the film’s release. The track is featured in the opening credits of Candy Cane Lane and is available now to stream only on Amazon Music.

Eddie Murphy Christmas Movie ‘Candy Cane Lane’ Bows Dec. 1 on Prime Video

Candy Cane Lane, a new Christmas movie starring Eddie Murphy, launches Dec. 1 on Prime Video.

The film reunites Murphy with director Reginald Hudlin and producer Brian Grazer for the first time since their 1992 hit, Boomerang.

The screenplay comes from Kelly Younger, inspired by his own holiday experiences on Candy Cane Lane in El Segundo, Calif.

Murphy stars as Chris Carver, a man on a mission to win his neighborhood’s annual Christmas home decoration contest. After Chris inadvertently makes a deal with a mischievous elf named Pepper (Jillian Bell) to better his chances of winning, she casts a magic spell that brings the 12 Days of Christmas to life — and wreaks havoc on the whole town.

At the risk of ruining the holidays for his family, Chris, his wife Carol (Tracee Ellis Ross), and their three children must race against the clock to break Pepper’s spell, battle deviously magical characters, and save Christmas for everyone.

Eddie Murphy Film ‘Boomerang’ Hits Blu-ray for First Time June 28

The Eddie Murphy comedy Boomerang arrives for the first time ever on Blu-ray June 28 from Paramount Home Entertainment for its 30th anniversary.

The film, first released in theaters on July 1, 1992, follows hotshot advertising executive Marcus Graham (Murphy) who may be a success in his industry, but he’s also an insatiable womanizer who’s completely unprepared for his new boss, Jacqueline (Robin Givens), a female version of Marcus in terms of all things romantic. 

The cast also includes Halle Berry, David Alan Grier, Martin Lawrence, Grace Jones, Geoffrey Holder, Eartha Kitt, Chris Rock, John Witherspoon, Tisha Campbell and Melvin Van Peebles. The movie’s hit soundtrack features Babyface, Toni Braxton and Boyz II Men and topped the Billboard charts and earned triple platinum status.

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The Blu-ray includes access to a digital copy of the film, as well as the following legacy bonus content: commentary by director Reginald Hudlin; extended and deleted scenes with director’s commentary; “Thanksgiving at Marcus’ Place”; “Strangé’s Arrival at the Dinner”; “Bony T Asks Marcus About Sex with Jackie”; “First Dinner Between Jackie & Marcus”; and “Dinner Between Gerard & Angela.”

‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ Headed to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray May 17

The Eddie Murphy action-comedy Beverly Hills Cop II will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray May 17 from Paramount Home Entertainment for its 35th anniversary.

Directed by Tony Scott, who followed up Top Gun with this sequel, Beverly Hills Cop II was originally released on May 20, 1987. Produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, it was a box office success, earning more than $153 million domestically and becoming the No. 1 film of 1987. The movie also earned Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Song for “Shakedown.”

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In the film, Axel Foley (Murphy) is back where he doesn’t belong, this time going “deep, deep, deep undercover” to stop a gang of international munitions smugglers. Also returning are Judge Reinhold and John Ashton as Murphy’s crime-busting sidekicks.

The release includes Dolby Vision and HDR-10 and Dolby 5.1 DTS Master Audio.

Coming 2 America

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 3/8/22;
Paramount;

Comedy;
$14.99 DVD, $19.99 Blu-ray;

Rated ‘PG-13’ for crude and sexual content, language and drug content;
Stars Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Kiki Layne, Shari Headley, Wesley Snipes, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Teyana Taylor, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Paul Bates, Nomzamo Mbatha.

The long-anticipated sequel to 1988’s Coming to America is mostly successful in replicating the fun of the original film, if not necessarily the freshness of it.

Picking up more than three decades after the events of the first film, Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) of the small African nation of Zamunda is now happily married to Lisa (Shari Headley, also reprising her role from the original), and they have three daughters. However, as King Jaffe (James Earl Jones) reiterates while on his deathbed, that the throne of Zamunda by law can only pass to a male heir. And without a son to secure his legacy, Akeem after his coronation can expect to be swiftly executed by agents working for Gen. Izzi (Wesley Snipes), the dictator of the neighboring country and older brother to the woman Akeem spurned in the first film to marry Lisa. Jaffe’s shaman, however, has a vision of a long-lost son of Akeem living in America, who can become the heir the country needs once Akeem is king.

Soon enough, Jaffe dies, and his funeral sets off a string of fun cameos that pop up throughout the film. This also being technically the third film of the Trading Places cinematic universe, viewers can rest assured that Coming 2 America, like its predecessor, makes appropriate nods to the Duke family from that 1983 comedy.

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For as lighthearted as it wants to be, though, Coming 2 America is almost derailed by an ill-conceived plot development that threatens to completely undercut whatever nostalgic good will carries over from the first film. That comes in the form of a flashback to events of the first film, in which it is revealed that Akeem at one point was inadvertently drugged, leading to an unintended sexual encounter with the woman (Leslie Jones), who would provide his only son. Even where this scene is supposed to have happened doesn’t seem to fit the timeline of the first film, but it does enough to move the plot forward.

So, Akeem and his loyal aide Semmi (Arsenio Hall) return to New York to retrieve his son. While the film delights in fun callbacks to the original film, it’s not a full rehash of the plot. Once Akeem finds his son, Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler), it doesn’t take much convincing to get him to hop on a private plane back to Zamunda to begin training for his princely duties.

The attention on Lavelle, naturally, stirs tensions between Akeem and his daughters, who in the 21st century see no reason why women should not be able to inherit the throne.

Anyone looking for groundbreaking comedy isn’t likely to find it here. But fans of Coming to America should find plenty to enjoy in this continuation of the story of Zamunda and its zany royal family.

Arriving nearly a year after the film’s debut on Amazon Prime Video, the Blu-ray version includes a fun 25-minute “From Queens to Zamunda” behind-the-scenes featurette that also serves as a retrospective of the original film. There’s also an informative feature-length commentary by director Craig Brewer.

Originally published as a streaming review March 15, 2021.

Comedy ‘Coming 2 America’ Available on DVD and Blu-ray March 8

Coming 2 America, the follow-up to the classic Eddie Murphy comedy Coming to America, makes its Blu-ray and DVD debut March 8 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

In the sequel, newly crowned King Akeem (Murphy) and his trusted confidante Semmi (Arsenio Hall) traverse the globe from their great African nation of Zamunda to the borough of Queens, N.Y., when Akeem learns he has a long-lost son in the United States.

In addition to Murphy and Hall, the comedy also stars James Earl Jones, John Amos, Louie Anderson, Shari Headley, Wesley Snipes, Tracy Morgan and Leslie Jones.

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The Blu-ray includes commentary by director Craig Brewer (Dolemite Is My Name, “Empire”) and the featurette “From Queens to Zamunda.”

The film originally streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

Action Classics ’48 Hrs.’ and ‘Another 48 Hrs.’ Coming to Paramount Presents Blu-ray Line July 6

The action classics 48 Hrs. and Another 48 Hrs., starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte, will arrive on Blu-ray in the Paramount Presents line July 6 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Both films have been newly remastered from 4K film transfers and are presented with new bonus content featuring insight from director Walter Hill along with vintage behind-the-scenes footage.

In 48 Hrs., Nolte is Jack Cates, a rough-edged police inspector on the hunt for two vicious cop-killers. Unlikely ride-along con Reggie Hammond (Murphy) is given 48-hour leave from prison to help Cates on the case. Both men pursue two very different goals in a short amount of time.

This is the Blu-ray debut of Another 48 Hrs., which is set eight years after the first 48 hours of mayhem. Reggie is about to be released from the pen.  But, after the bus transporting him flips over, Cates enlists the ex-con for another seemingly impossible two-day task to nail an elusive drug lord with a price on Reggie’s head.

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The limited-edition Paramount Presents Blu-ray Discs come in collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of each film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments. The discs also include access to a digital copy of the film along with the theatrical trailer.

Special features on 48 Hrs. include “Filmmaker Focus: Director Walter Hill on 48 Hrs.”; the theatrical trailer; and “Space Kid,” the original 1966 animated short that makes an appearance in the film.

Special features on Another 48 Hrs. include “Filmmaker Focus: Director Walter Hill on Another 48 Hrs.” and the theatrical trailer.

Chart: ‘Coming 2 America’ Topped March 5-7 Weekend Movie Streaming

Amazon Prime Video’s launch of Coming 2 America was the most-watched movie from March 5-7 according to Reelgood, which scans myriad streaming services by 2 million users. Amazon heavily hyped acquiring the streaming rights to the Paramount Pictures’ sequel to Coming to America (1988) — both titles starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, among others.

Notably, Reelgood said the movie outperformed titles Warner Bros. Pictures’ Wonder Woman 1984, Disney/Pixar Animation’s Soul, and Amazon’s Golden Globes-winning Borat Subsequent Moviefilm in terms of streaming and engagement shares during their respective opening weekends. To be more specific, Coming 2 America opened to a 6% market share vs. Wonder Woman 1984’s 4% market share — the latter being the strongest opening weekend performance on any SVOD platform in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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Two IFC Films and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays of ‘Lord of the Rings,’ ‘Hobbit’ Top Slate of New Releases Available Dec. 1

Two films released theatrically and digitally by IFC Films over the summer, The Rental and Made in Italy, are coming to Blu-ray Disc and DVD Dec. 1, courtesy of independent home entertainment supplier Shout! Factory.

The week’s slate of new releases also includes the much-anticipated 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray debuts of two fantasy trilogies, “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit,” as well as the 1998 superhero film Blade, all from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment; the Tom Cruise classic Top Gun and the Eddie Murphy comedies Beverly Hills Cop and Coming to America, from Paramount Home Entertainment; and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the “Jumanji” trilogy, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The Rental, a horror film produced and directed by Dave Franco, follows two couples who rent a seaside home while on vacation, only to encounter an odd caretaker and suspect they are being spied on. The film was issued on video-on-demand and in select theaters in July by IFC.

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Made in Italy is a comedy-drama starring Liam Neeson as an artist who is restoring a villa with his estranged son (his real-life son, Micheál Richardson) after his wife dies in a terrible car crash. Made in Italy, too, was released on video-on-demand and in select theaters by IFC Films, in August.

“The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies were all huge box office hits. The “Lord of the Rings” trilogy — The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and its two sequels, The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003) — earned nearly $3 billion in worldwide theaters and nabbed 17 Academy Awards.

The three “Hobbit” movies — 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 2013’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and 2014’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies — also collected nearly $3 billion at the worldwide box office.

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Top Gun is being released in a limited-edition Steelbook 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack. The story of an elite group of pilots competing to earn the title of “Top Gun” ultimately earned a worldwide box office of more than $350 million.  Cruise plays a daring young flyer who’s out to become the best of the best. The film also stars Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards and Meg Ryan.

Beverly Hills Cop has been remastered in 4K with HDR and is available in a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack with digital copy. Murphy plays Axel Foley, a street-smart cop from Detroit. Tracking down his best friend’s killer in Beverly Hills, Axel smashes through the local barriers in a hilarious, high-speed pursuit of justice.

Also remastered in 4K with HDR — from a supervised restoration by director John Landis — Coming to America, too, is being issued as a limited-edition 4K Ultra HD Steelbook. Murphy stars as an African prince trying to find a princess. The mission leads him and his most loyal friend (Arsenio Hall) to Queens, New York.  In disguise as an impoverished immigrant, the pampered prince quickly finds himself a new job, new friends, new digs, new enemies and lots of trouble.

To accompany those two releases, Paramount on Dec. 1 also is re-releasing, on Blu-ray Disc, two other Murphy comedies, Trading Places and The Golden Child, as part of its “Paramount Presents” line.

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was initially released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in 2016, but is now back as a limited-edition Steelbook that includes the film on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray. The Steelbook also includes six deleted scenes presented in 4K Ultra HD with HDR, among other bonus features.

The “Jumanji” trilogy, previously available on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, also becomes available in a three-disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set on Dec. 1. The package includes all three films in the franchise, the original Jumanji (1995), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), and Jumanji: The Next Level (2019). The films follow the adventures of a bunch of characters thrust into danger while playing a video game.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

Amazon Prime Video Streaming Eddie Murphy Sequel ‘Coming 2 America’ on March 5, 2021

Amazon Prime Video on Nov. 20 disclosed that March 5, 2021, is the release date for Paramount Pictures’ erstwhile theatrical release Coming 2 America — with Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, among others, reprising their original roles from the 1988 box office hit Coming to America.

Amazon acquired the rights to the sequel for a reported $125 million after Paramount Pictures decided not to release the movie on its original Dec. 18 box office debut date.

Set 30 years later, Prince Akeem (Murphy), heir to the throne of the African nation of Zamunda, discovers he has a long-lost son who lives in Queens, New York. He returns to America to find his son and groom him as the new prince. In addition to Murphy and Hall, Coming 2 America returning cast members include James Earl Jones, Shari Headley, John Amos and Louie Anderson. Newcomers include Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Jermaine Fowler, Bella Murphy, Rotimi, KiKi Layne, Nomzamo Mbatha and Teyana Taylor.

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Coming to America was a cultural phenomenon that is one of the most loved and celebrated comedies of all time,” Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said in a statement. “Thanks to Eddie Murphy’s comedic genius along with the brilliant filmmakers, writers and fabulous cast, we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this new adventure. We know audiences around the world will fall in love with this hilarious, joyful movie that will surely become a timeless favorite.”