‘Demon Slayer,’ ‘Nobody’ Top Vudu, FandangoNow Charts

Demon Slayer: Mugen Train took over the top spot of the Vudu chart the week ended June 27, while the Bob Odenkirk actioner Nobody grabbed No. 1 on the FandangoNow chart.

Both Vudu and FandangoNow are transactional VOD services owned by Fandango.

Funimation’s Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, which became available for digital purchase June 22, is set after the events of the “Demon Slayer” television series and sees Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu, and Inosuke embark on a new mission. Together with one of the most powerful swordsmen of the Demon Slayer Corps, Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku, they investigate the mysterious disappearance of over 40 people aboard the Mugen Train. The film earned $455 million at the global box office. It was No. 5 on the FandangoNow chart.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Nobody, which was No. 2 on the Vudu chart, stars Bob Odenkirk as a family man repressing a dangerous past that resurfaces after he interrupts burglars robbing his home. When he learns his daughter’s kitty bracelet is missing, he snaps and sets off on a mission of revenge looking to vent his deep-seated rage. Read a review here.

Disney’s Cruella, which became available for digital purchase June 25, was No. 2 on the FandangoNow chart and No. 3 on the Vudu chart. The prequel tells the story of the rise of the 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella de Vil.

The previous week’s top Vudu title, Warner’s Godzilla vs. Kong, dropped to No. 4 on that chart and No. 6 on the FandangoNow chart. The film from Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, stars Alexander Skarsgård and Millie Bobby Brown. In this installment in the Monsterverse, Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe.

The No. 3 FandangoNow title and No. 5 on the Vudu chart was DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed, from Universal Pictures. The next chapter in the “Spirit” franchise begins as a young girl finds a connection to her mother’s legacy as a trick rider and forms a bond with a wild Mustang named Spirit. The film was released in theaters June 4 and is now available via on demand digital rental.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Warner’s Wrath of Man, the previous week’s top FandangoNow title, dropped to No. 4 on that chart and No. 7 on the Vudu chart. Based on the 2004 French film Cash Truck and available as a premium VOD rental, the actioner pairs director Guy Ritchie with Jason Statham as a mysterious new security guard for a cash truck who surprises his co-workers when he unleashes precision skills during a heist, and the crew is left wondering who he is and where he came from.

Also new to the Vudu chart, at No. 6, was Warner’s Batman: The Long Halloween — Part One, an animated adaptation of a popular 1990s comic book storyline in which Batman battles mob violence in Gotham City.

The FandangoNow chart at No. 8 saw the debut of Vertical Entertainment’s Lansky, starring Harvey Keitel as aging mobster Meyer Lansky, who recounts his life during one last Federal investigation.

Follow us on Instagram

Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended June 27, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train
  2. Nobody
  3. Cruella
  4. Godzilla vs. Kong
  5. Spirit Untamed
  6. Batman: The Long Halloween — Part One
  7. Wrath of Man
  8. Mortal Kombat
  9. The Unholy
  10. Spiral: From the Book of Saw

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended June 27, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Nobody
  2. Cruella
  3. Spirit Untamed
  4. Wrath of Man
  5. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train
  6. Godzilla vs. Kong
  7. Spiral: From the Book of Saw
  8. Lansky
  9. The Misfits
  10. Mortal Kombat

DEG Panel: Transactional Business Still Hardy — and Poised for Takeoff

Despite being squeezed by the pandemic, the transactional business is still sturdy and is poised to take off once new releases in the pipeline grow from a trickle to a steady stream.

That’s according to Galen Smith, CEO of Redbox, and Eddie Cunningham, the former Universal Pictures Home Entertainment president who now runs Studio Distribution Services, the Universal-Warner Bros. disc distribution joint venture. The two executives spoke on a virtual DEG Expo panel March 24 moderated by Media Play News publisher and editorial director Thomas K. Arnold.

As industry pundits have observed, content in the transactional arena, which includes physical disc and digital purchases and rentals, dwarfs what consumers can find via subscription or other streaming services. That content has helped the transactional business survive recent jolts, the executives said.

Even the Blu-ray Disc and DVD business, which has been steadily declining for the last decade, remains a viable business, Cunningham said.

“In 2020 despite a pandemic and despite all the pressure of retail closures around the world … and pretty much no new releases after the first couple of months of the year — there’s still a $7 billion retail market, globally,” Cunningham said of the disc business.

“Obviously the last few months, there haven’t been that many new releases. But as that starts to come back in the second half of this year I think you’re going to see a real resurgence,” Smith added, noting that Redbox, with kiosk rentals driven by new releases, is looking forward to a more consistent flow of new content.

Cunningham said he’s been getting a similar message from the big retailers.

“Everybody’s incredibly excited about the new releases starting to come back into this business,” he said. “And I think we feel good about the fact that the big retailers … seem very, very committed to this category. We’ve got new titles every single week. We spend marketing money. We drive people into stores. We introduce fun. We introduce theater into the stores. … So a lot of them are pretty excited about us getting back into the new-release business. … Maybe we could even find a way of sort of growing this [physical] business or certainly hugely flattening the decline over the next year or two after the numbers we made during the pandemic.”

In the meantime, Cunningham said catalog has been picking up the slack, with such series as “Harry Potter,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Office” and even children’s stalwart “Curious George” selling well despite streaming availability.

“If content is available on subscription services, you can still sell a lot of content physically on those same franchises,” Cunningham noted.

“Then there’s a huge amount, about 40% of consumers, who’ve never ever until this day ever transacted digitally, so they’re a huge target for us,” he said, adding “I think physical’s going to be around for a long time to come.”

The disc rental business, which Redbox dominates with thousands of kiosks in the United States, is here to stay as well, added Smith.

“We obviously have a view that it’s going to be sustainable for the long term,” he said. “It’s a great value to consumers. It’s incredibly convenient. … The fact that we’ve got 41,000 kiosks around the U.S. really helps with that. I think what we’ve been able to do is augment that experience. We’ve got this massive loyalty program with over 37 million people in it, and so we’re rewarding them for behavior and then rewarding them with things like free content and so it gives up a great opportunity for us to reinforce that value ecosystem.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Redbox marketing makes sure to let consumers know when new releases are available and doesn’t discriminate between the different ways a consumer might access content. The company offers consumers both physical and digital transaction options, letting them choose.

“We’re communicating with them on a regular basis in terms of what are those [new release] movies, and again, however you want to watch it, physically or digitally, we can be there to serve you with that,” he said.

Even though the company is offering a digital alternative, physical transactions aren’t suffering, Smith noted.

“Even when our customers started to transact digitally, it didn’t mean they stopped transacting physically,” he said. “They actually started transacting physically more. It reminded them again of all these great new movies that are available.”

As head of the disc distribution joint venture, Cunningham said he’s tasked with creating efficiencies and providing a focus on the physical business. The joint venture’s mantra is “two plus two equals five,” to make a bigger whole from the combined parts, he said.

Follow us on Instagram

“The coming together of Universal and Warner and other third-party distribution partners is going to enable us to do things like share boxes coming out of Technicolor, which in turn saves a lot of in-store labor, transport costs and so on,” he said. “I think we’re in a position to start maybe talking a bit more again about some front-of-store displays in some of these big retailers where we’ve lost that.”

Two plus two equals five also means finding ways to leverage the studios’ combined content.

“Over the next year or 18 months you’re going to see some amazing things coming out of [the joint venture],” Cunningham said. “There’s going to be huge opportunities on Middle Earth, DC, Bond, classic monsters. It’s actually the 90th anniversary of Dracula coming up, so we’ve got an opportunity around anniversaries. ‘Fast and Furious,’ ‘Jurassic,’ ‘Dune,’ ‘Halloween,’ there are huge opportunities to draft off these kinds of things.”

He also envisioned boxed sets of titles from different studios as an added bonus for consumers.

“We’re going to work incredibly hard to see how we can put the two studios’ content promotions together and make something bigger,” he said.

Redbox, too, is looking to combine the advantages of different businesses. In addition to its digital and physical transactional offerings, the company also has ad-supported streaming and even a content acquisition and production arm.

“In terms of Redbox Entertainment, we have a ton of data obviously about what actors work, what genres work, and so what we want to do is say, ‘OK, we’re seeing a little less product from the studios, let’s go ahead and buy it, acquire it, produce it ourselves,’” Smith said. “We’re basically making sure that we program to our consumers what we know they are going to want. And we’re agnostic so we’re releasing it across all the digital retailers and then we’re actually selling it to streamers as well on the backend. We just want to make sure there’s good content made for consumers.”

2020 U.K. Home Entertainment Revenue Jumped 26%; Warner’s ‘Joker’ Top-Selling Title

Following a 2020 that saw the coronavirus pandemic upend the global entertainment industry, home entertainment in the United Kingdom blossomed, with revenue up 26% to £3.3 billion ($4.5 billion) compared with £2.6 billion ($3.5 billion) in 2019, according to new data from the British Association for Screen Entertainment, the Official Charts Company, Futuresource Consulting and Kantar.

Top-selling title in 2020: Warner Home Video’s Joker, with the Oscar-winning drama tallying 1.4 million units across digital and physical formats. The four best-selling titles all topped one million transactions across disc, EST and TVOD, and the balance of the Top 10 all exceeded 500,000 transactions. In short, it was a banner year for U.S. studios.

“2020 saw digital home video reach new heights, with digital sell-through and rental growth accelerating despite pandemic enforced movie delays,” David Sidebottom, principal analyst, entertainment, Futuresource Consulting, said in a statement. “The strength of library content has been truly impressive and sustained throughout the year, even more notable given the continued proliferation of wider video streaming services.”

Like much of the world, the No. 2 home entertainment market saw consumers staying home in the face of the threat from coronavirus, with digital formats making huge gains; taking advantage of the instant access and range of content choice. Total electronic sellthrough (or digital purchase) sales across both film and TV content delivered 14.5% growth year-on-year after a record period of growth during the March lockdown.

Spend on TVOD (transactional video-on-demand), supported by shoppers new to the category, saw almost 24% growth. Kantar reported that the total number of customers buying and renting across the video category grew by 14% between March and November to 12.9 million as audiences sought flexible access to content across transactional methods.

At the same time, SVOD continued its meteoric growth, up an astounding 42% in 2020. Streaming services now account for 74% of the total market value, with new services joining the market in 2020 such as Disney+, and an expansion in the uptake of existing services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video during the first lockdown period. Kantar also revealed that 23% of British households signed up to a subscription service during the first quarter — around the time Disney+ launched with a further 7% and 3.5% of households, respectively, doing so in the following two quarters of the year.

Driven by catalog titles, re-releases and select new titles, 30% of consumers bought packaged media (DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray), up from 25% in 2019.

“The shift to digital doesn’t diminish the resilience of physical formats, though, as evidenced by the performance of TV and catalog content on disc, and by the strength of premium formats like Blu-ray and 4K UHD, both underlining that many viewers are still driven by collection and the access to the best possible home viewing experience that disc provides,” said Liz Bales, CEO of BASE.

Electronic Sellthrough

Electronic sellthrough ended 2020 with 27% growth in volume and 16% in value, with digital formats accounting for more than 43% of the transactional market. During the first 12-week lockdown period, the share of spend for digital film was 45% of the total £138.6 million retail disc and EST spend, up from 26% across the same period in 2019. This huge growth was largely retained after lockdown, with EST ending the year with 36% of spend, up from 26% in 2019.

Due in part to shifts in the new release slate, catalog content has grown its share of all film EST transactions from 49% to 56% in 2020, the catalog share is up 42% year on year, with positive growth every week since the first lockdown period.

VOD

The year saw title-level data on transactional video-on-demand activity become available for the first time from the Official Charts Company and based on data from digital retailers, delivering a view of consumer engagement with VOD services. VOD activity saw a period of rapid growth during the COVID-19 March lockdown, with an average of 600,000 rentals per week before lockdown rising to more than 1 million rentals a week after lockdown was implemented.

Digital rental’s popularity is now evident, with more than 30.8 million rental transactions made through October (Q4 data will be available in Q1 2021), a significant portion of the total 75 million pieces of content that have either been purchased or rented across disc, film EST and VOD.

The year also saw distributors adopt a test and trial approach to bring content to consumers with the likes of premium EST and premium VOD (PVOD). Kantar reports that 1.1 million shoppers have rented a PVOD title since March (with the ‘Premium’ element being classified as a rental price above £10), accounting for 6% of all digital rentals and 20% of total rental spend.

Proving the value in these high-definition disc formats, 2020 saw an increase in average selling price across the Blu-ray format, up 7.1% year-on-year to £15.94 ($21.75). Echoing its performance on other formats, catalog content has thrived on Blu-ray, remaining in positive growth and ending the year with a value of over £73 million ($99.5 million).

Consumers continued to show strong engagement with 4K Ultra High Definition, with sales up 20% year-on-year, and accounting for 23% of total Blu-ray sales. High value re-releases of catalog content thrived in 2020, with a vast array of classic content given the 4K UHD treatment. Total consumer spend topped £19.2 million ($26.2 million), which accounted for 73% of total 4K UHD spend.

Consumers have proven in 2020 that there is continuing demand to own classic catalog titles on premium disc formats, and with a huge treasure trove of content yet to receive re-releases, the 564 titles currently available on the 4K UHD format seems likely to keep rising entering 2021.

Television Content

TV content proved to be robust in the disc market, with 28% consumer spending, up from 23% in 2019. During the second and third quarter of 2020, with the flow of new-release movies impacted by national lockdown measures, TV content showed a growth of 5.4% to a 26% of consumer spend in this period.

Catalog TV content soared, with growth of 5.7% year-on-year surpassing £80 million ($109 million), with the category accounting for three of the top four best-selling TV titles of the year. Top-selling titles included Game of Thrones S8 (Warner Bros.), Chernobyl (Acorn Video by RLJ Entertainment), BBC Studios’ Doctor Who Classic Series Blu-ray Collections; Outlander S5 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment); Downton Abbey the Complete Collection (Universal), and Gangs of London (Dazzler Media).

New releases such as The Crown S3 (Sony) and Gavin & Stacey: A Christmas Special (BBC Studios) also excelled, ending the year in third and seventh place, respectively, in the TV chart. BBC Studios’ newly commissioned animations of lost “Doctor Who” episodes, “The Faceless Ones” and “Fury from the Deep,” also performed well, contributing to combined sales across all content came at £4.9 million ($6.7 million), a 15% year-on-year growth from 2019.

Market Share

Disney ended the year as the leading distributor across combined disc and digital volume sales, with a 19.1% share, with Frozen 2 leading the way with 1.3 million units sold. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment continued its reign as the largest distributor across disc sales for both volume and value, remaining a full percentage point above the second-place distributor.

2021 Slate

Looking ahead to 2021, as the U.K. public cautiously anticipates the return to normality in a vaccinated post-pandemic world, so does home entertainment. With Tenet (Warner) performing strongly across digital and premium disc formats in the final weeks of 2020, and as the first major new release title to launch since the spring, consumer demand is clearly high, with a plethora of titles ready to perform across a diverse 2021 slate.

Pending releases include Minions: The Rise of Gru (Universal), Luca (Disney), Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (Sony), and Tom and Jerry (Warner). Other releases include James Corden’s musical take on Cinderella (Sony), and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Disney); superhero spinoffs and sequels with Disney’s Eternals and Black Widow, as well as Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) and Warner’s Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman 1984; Antlers (Disney); Spiral (Lionsgate distributed by Elevation Sales) and Last Night in Soho (Universal).

Universal’s F9; Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony); A Quiet Place Part II (Paramount Pictures), Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount), Space Jam: A New Legacy (Warner), and No Time to Die (Universal).

“Amongst the many seismic changes in consumption habits that 2020 has seen, the most encouraging for home entertainment was the indication that subscription services and transactional formats can not only co-exist, but grow in tandem,” said Craig Armer, strategic insight director, Worldpanel Entertainment. “For the first time in at least 8 years, the number of buyers and renters of transactional formats grew, helped by a complete resurgence in the popularity of VOD. Encouraging levels of return for a second purchase amongst new consumers suggests habits being formed that should continue into 2021.”

DEG: Home Entertainment Spending Surges 18% in Q3 of 2020

Fueled by the coronavirus pandemic, consumers spent nearly 18% more on home entertainment in the third quarter of this year than in the comparable period of 2019, according to numbers released Nov. 11 by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

DEG numbers do not include money spent on premium video-on-demand (PVOD), which would have taken the home entertainment spending total significantly higher. With theaters shuttered due to the pandemic, studios chose to release several high-profile films digitally, at a premium price.

Even without PVOD, spending rose to an estimated $7.3 billion from $6.2 billion in the third quarter of 2019, DEG says, maintaining that “when new [theatrical] releases slowed as a result of production halts and theater closures … consumers seamlessly shifted their viewing to a broad variety of content, including catalog movies and TV shows.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

As expected, consumer spending on subscription streaming surged during the three-month period that ended Sept. 30, rising nearly 39% to an estimated $5.5 billion, or 75% of total consumer spending.

With no fresh theatrical product, spending on home entertainment purchases slipped 24.4% during the third quarter, to an estimated $1.1 billion. Packaged media was hit particularly hard due to widespread store closures due to regional bans on “non-essential” retail, with consumer spending on DVD and Blu-ray Discs down 34.3% in the quarter, to an estimated $483.3 million. Spending on digital content, or “electronic sellthrough” (EST), was off just 13.9%, to an estimated $600.8 million.

Consumer spending on transactional video-on-demand, or electronic rental, ticked up slightly to an estimated $459 million from $447.6 million in the third quarter of 2019.

DVD and Blu-ray Disc rental spending was off 34.4% as stay-at-home orders limited foot traffic to video stores and Redbox kiosks.

In the first nine months of the year, overall U.S. consumer spending across digital and physical home entertainment formats came in at an estimated $22.2 billion, a 23% spike from the $18 billion consumers spent in the same period a year earlier.

Electronic sellthrough spending was up 15.8% to an estimated $2.2 billion, while electronic rental was up nearly 24% to an estimated $1.8 billion.

Spending on subscription streaming for the first nine months of 2020 is pegged by DEG at $15.6 billion, a 38.7% gain from the first nine months of 2019.

DEG says that among the top titles purchased and rented in the third quarter of 2020 were all three seasons of the TV series “Yellowstone,” from Paramount; the DreamWorks movie Trolls World Tour, distributed by Universal; RLJ Entertainment’s The Tax Collector; MGM/Orion’s Bill & Ted Face the Music, distributed by Warner Bros.; The King of Staten Island (Universal); Force of Nature (Lionsgate); Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount); Schitt’s Creek: Season 6 (CBS), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Warner Bros.) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Warner Bros.).

Doc ‘Miniature Wargaming: The Movie’ Due on Digital and VOD Dec. 1 From Virgil

The documentary Miniature Wargaming: The Movie will come out via digital sellthrough and VOD Dec. 1 from Virgil Films.

The film dives into the heart of the miniature wargaming industry and reveals the impact it has on people’s lives. The film follows four individuals as they unveil how wargaming affects their lives in different ways: Andy Bryant, a British war veteran who turns to wargaming as an escape; Chris Nicholls, owner of a small business fighting to secure his family’s future; and two young gamers, Matt and Adam, who travel across Europe in a bid to fulfill their dream of competing in an international tournament. Finally, uncover the true story behind this incredible hobby with best-selling author Henry Hyde who reveals how this hobby came to pass.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The documentary includes never-before-seen footage with Sir Peter Jackson (director of the “Lord of The Rings” series) and interviews with Rick Priestley (creator of miniature games Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000), sculptors Alan and Michael Perry, and Warlord Games co-founders Paul Sawyer and John Stallard.

Miniature Wargaming: The Movie from Virgil Films on Vimeo.

 

‘The Craft: Legacy’ Coming to PVOD, Digital Sellthrough Oct. 28

The Craft: Legacy will be available in time for Halloween Oct. 28 on PVOD for a 48-hour rental period at $19.99 and for digital purchase at $24.99 from Blumhouse Productions, Red Wagon Entertainment and Columbia Pictures.

An international theatrical release is anticipated in several territories, with details to be solidified in the weeks ahead, according to the producers.

A continuation of the 1996 film The Craft, in which aspiring teenage witches get more than they bargained for as they lean into their newfound powers, the film is written and directed by Zoe Lister-Jones and stars Cailee Spaeny (Bad Times at the El Royale, On the Basis of Sex), Gideon Adlon (The Society, Blockers, The Mustang), Lovie Simone (Selah & the Spades, Greenleaf), Zoey Luna (Pose, Boundless) and Nicholas Galitzine (Cinderella), with Michelle Monaghan and David Duchovny.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“I’m thrilled to be able to share The Craft: Legacy with audiences all over the world this Halloween,” Lister-Jones said in a statement. “It’s been a true privilege to take on such an iconic title. I can’t wait for the world to meet the incredible young women who make up our new coven.”

“Zoe Lister-Jones has put a bewitching twist on continuing The Craft franchise, and October is the perfect season for it,” producer Jason Blum said in a statement. “We’re thrilled that our partners at Sony Pictures are looking at the landscape opportunistically this Halloween, for audiences to watch at home in the U.S.”

Movies Anywhere Officially Bows Screen Pass Feature

Digital movie library Movies Anywhere has officially launched its Screen Pass feature. The feature allows users to share up to three movies monthly with friends and family for free.

Screen Pass has been available in beta since March. Key findings from the beta period include:

  • 45% of senders sent a Screen Pass because someone else sent them a Screen Pass, and 30% of those who accepted a Screen Pass are new to Movies Anywhere;
  • users are split on how to send a Screen Pass with 53% choosing the movie for their recipient and 47% letting their recipient choose;
  • a significant number of accepted Screen Passes have helped drive digital movie purchases; and
  • top Screen Pass-driven purchases, representing 9% of total Screen Pass-driven purchases, were Ready Player One, The Prestige, Tombstone, The Mule, Bad Times at the El Royale and Jaws.

 

Screen Pass gives a friend or family member (who must be a Movies Anywhere member) seven days to accept the invitation, and another 14 days to watch the title. Once started, the user has 72 hours to finish watching the movie. A title can be shared unlimited times.

All Movies Anywhere studios are participating in the program, with each studio deciding on Screen Pass eligible titles. Eligible films appear in a scroll on the Movies Anywhere app. Users can send a text or email to share an eligible title. The service notifies recipients if the title is already in their library and they can decline the offer. Movies Anywhere also indicates to sharers how many of the three allowed movies per month they have shared.

More than 500 additional Screen Pass-eligible movies have been added to Movies Anywhere over the past month, according to the service. Newly added titles include Who Framed Roger Rabbit, A Star Is Born Encore, The Muppets and National Treasure. With these additions, more than 80% of the Movies Anywhere library is now Screen Pass-eligible.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Movies Anywhere brings together more than 7,900 movies from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment), The Walt Disney Studios (including Disney, Pixar, Twentieth Century Film, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), and Warner Bros. Participating digital retailers that connect with the service include iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu/Walmart, Comcast Xfinity, DirecTV, Google Play/YouTube, Microsoft Movies & TV, FandangoNow and Verizon Fios TV.

Paramount and Lionsgate films are not part of the service.

Follow us on Instagram

Disney Offering Themed Digital Movie Sales

The Walt Disney Studios is offering select films for sale starting at $4.99 for a limited time on digital platforms in the United States. The movies are organized into themed collections, with the selection changing each week through May.

The selection includes films both made by Disney and its subsidiaries, and those acquired in the Fox purchase a year ago.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Through April 20, Disney is offering a “Feel Good Movies” lineup that includes:

  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • The Greatest Showman
  • Napoleon Dynamite
  • The Devil Wears Prada
  • There’s Something About Mary
  • Never Been Kissed
  • Pretty Woman
  • The Proposal (2009)
  • The Sound of Music
  • Under the Tuscan Sun
  • 27 Dresses
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • The Joy Luck Club
  • An Affair to Remember
  • Beaches

 

April 21-27 — “Earth Day With Disneynature”

  • African Cats
  • Bears
  • Born in China
  • Chimpanzee
  • Earth
  • Expedition China
  • Ghost of the Mountains
  • Monkey Kingdom
  • Oceans
  • Wings of Life

 

April 21-27 — “Family Fun Flicks”

  • Ferdinand
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • The Book of Life
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Night at the Museum
  • Ice Age
  • Mrs. Doubtfire
  • The Peanuts Movie
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins
  • Thumbelina
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)
  • Robots
  • Marley & Me
  • Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!
  • Epic

 

April 28-May 4 — “May the 4th”

  • Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
  • Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
  • Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker
  • Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Bundle

 

May 5-11 — “Game Changers”

  • Battle of the Sexes
  • Bend It Like Beckham
  • Goal! The Dream Begins
  • Dodgeball
  • Stick It
  • Eddie the Eagle
  • Rookie of the Year
  • The Sandlot
  • The Sandlot 2
  • Free Solo
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain
  • Whip It
  • Just Wright
  • Drumline
  • Fever Pitch
  • Ford v Ferrari
  • Remember the Titans
  • Invincible
  • Glory Road
  • The Mighty Ducks
  • D2: The Mighty Ducks
  • D3: The Mighty Ducks
  • McFarland USA
  • Miracle (2004)
  • The Rookie
  • The Greatest Game Ever Played

 

May 12-18 — “Action Movies”

  • Armageddon
  • The A-Team
  • Con Air
  • Die Hard
  • Enemy of the State
  • Fight Club
  • Gone in 60 Seconds
  • Speed
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service
  • Man on Fire
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Real Steel
  • Red Sparrow
  • Tombstone

 

May 19-25 — “Princess Collection”

  • Aladdin (1992)
  • The Beauty and the Beast (1991)
  • Brave
  • Cinderella (1950)
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Moana
  • Pocahontas
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Tangled

 

Follow us on Instagram

Bob Iger: Home Entertainment Key to Pixar Acquisition, Movies to Netflix, Disney+ Launch

With Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger in the final years at the helm of the global media brand, the executive has been making the media rounds peddling his memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime.

In an interview with BBC Studios, Iger recounts many aspects of his life and career, including discussions with the late Steve Jobs about acquiring Pixar Animation, which counted the Apple co-founder as its majority stakeholder at the time.

But before that $7.4 billion transaction could be approached, Iger said he had to develop a relationship with the often mercurial Jobs. According to Iger, it was his willingness to put select Disney and ABC TV shows on the upstart Apple iTunes platform, which had just started selling videos, including an iPod capable of playing video in addition to music, that paved the way toward the 2006 Pixar acquisition.

“Steve was immediately impressed with my knowledge of  [iTunes], or my interest in it, my willingness to disrupt using technology current business models, [and] my ability to do a deal very quickly without too much bureaucracy,” Iger said.

The iTunes pact helped migrate the home video industry from purely packaged media distribution to transactional video-on-demand and electronic sellthrough.

As of January 2017, iTunes offered more than 35 million to 40 million songs, 2.2 million apps, 25,000 TV shows and 65,000 films.

Through June 30, 2019, digital sales and rentals of movies and TV shows topped $2.2 billion, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Iger said the key is “owning and controlling content that is so valuable, so important, so loved by consumers that they’ll access it, buy it almost anyway they possibly can.”

Separately, Iger confirmed the pending Disney+ subscription streaming service would be launched in Western Europe within the next year. Calling over-the-top video distribution a “nascent market,” Iger said there remains plenty of room for other players besides Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to succeed.

“You have to launch [your OTT product] when the technology is right and when you have enough content. It takes time to get both of those right,” he said.

The executive reiterated that he does not consider Netflix to be a rival to Disney+, calling the SVOD pioneer a “volume play” service with a lot of quality in it.

“They created the market in the direct-to-consumer space in video — and brilliantly, by the way,” Iger said.

At the same time, he doesn’t regret licensing Disney movies exclusively to Netflix in 2012 — a landmark deal that helped broaden Netflix’s appeal on a global basis.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“It was an enormously profitable deal for us at a time when we had no ability to launch a Netflix-like service,” he said. “We didn’t have the technology and we didn’t have enough content. We’ve never second-guessed the decision.”

Iger said Disney+ will offer much less volume of content than Netflix, which he contends makes the service less of a direct competitor.

“There may be room for people to have more than one [SVOD] subscription,” Iger said. “I don’t think we know how large the global market is for these products yet.”

When asked about the proliferation of Marvel-themed movies released by Disney, Iger said the comic book brand is as popular as ever. He admitted that Disney has released too many “Star Wars” movies over a short period of time.

“I have not said that they were disappointing in any way. I’ve not said that I’m disappointed in their performance. I just think that there’s something so special about a ‘Star Wars’ film, and less is more,” he said.

Transactional Movie Marketing: How Big is Your Fan Base?

On Oct. 15, AMC Theatres — the world’s largest movie exhibitor — launched “AMC Theatres On Demand,” a transactional platform enabling its A-List members to purchase or rent studio (notably Paramount, Lionsgate) movies in the home on their retail release.

Key to AMC’s push into home entertainment is the exhibitor’s leverage of its 19-million Stubs A-List loyalty membership base in the same way Amazon Prime entices more than 100-million Prime members with access to movies, TV shows and third-party SVOD services via Prime Channels.

As the retail market embraces transactional VOD and electronic sell through in place of DVD and Blu-ray Disc, media companies are using pre-existing customer loyalty to jumpstart digital success.

When packaged-media kiosk operator Redbox launched Redbox Digital in 2017, its initial marketing thrust was to its 27 million Redbox Perks members.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Indeed, Redbox claims that nearly half (48% ) of all Americans find out what’s new in home entertainment from its kiosks. The company recently enhanced the Perks program to reward members for each rental night instead of per title.

“The updated loyalty program increases the value of each Redbox experience,” Ash Eldifrawi, chief marketing and customer experience officer at Redbox, said at the time.

Last spring, Fandango launched a loyalty-rewards program — Fandango VIP+ — offering monetary credits for every four movies tickets purchased on its platform. VIP members also have 21 days to use their credit to stream movies and TV shows on FandangoNow.

“We needed to seed the system … to give customers an array of options to redeem their points,” Fandango chief marketing officer Adam Rockmore said in an interview.

While Fandango has not released data on VIP+ signups, Michael Pachter, media analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, believes AMC has the upper hand.

“AMC may have a competitive advantage over Fandango and others delivering in-home entertainment given the reach of its rewards program, loyalty of millions [of] A-Listers and studio partnerships,” he wrote in a note. “We see little downside to AMC’s new on-demand offering, given its reach to loyal customers.”

Then again, FandangoNow is part of Movies Anywhere, the movie marketing platform (supported by Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Disney/Fox) directing its 8 million registered users to buy and rent titles from its retail partners, which include Apple iTunes, Prime Video, Walmart’s Vudu, Comcast’s Xfinity Store, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV — and just recently: Verizon.