Doc ‘Ring of Faith’ Due on DVD, VOD and EST July 23 From Virgil

The boxing documentary Ring of Faith, exploring faith’s role in boxing, is coming to DVD, VOD and EST July 23 from Virgil Films.

Featuring interviews with professional boxers (Paulie Malignaggi and two-time Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter), religious leaders (including Vatican officials) and influencers in sports, Ring of Faith gives an in depth look at the impact that boxing has made on communities while looking at the way faith and religion have played roles in the sport and lives of the boxers.

Ring of Faith, which features actor/entertainment journalist Mario Lopez and boxing trainer/analyst Teddy Atlas, was recently nominated for a New York Emmy Award.

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FandangoNow Celebrates 15th Anniversary of ‘The Notebook’ With Sale

In honor of this week’s 15th anniversary of the theatrical release of The Notebook, FandangoNow is offering the romance for purchase at $7.99 in SD or HD through July 1.

FandangoNow is movie site Fandango’s transactional VOD service.

Fans of the 2004 love story can also find a collection of other movies featuring the film’s stars, Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling, as part of the FandangoNow Flashback anniversary collection at https://www.fandangonow.com/list/flashbacks.

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Also, as part of the celebration, Rotten Tomatoes’ 21 Most Memorable Movie Moments series is featuring a special video devoted to the iconic “Kiss in the Rain” scene in “The Notebook,” narrated by director Nick Cassavetes.

Doc ‘Unforgotten: A Hero’s Story of War’ Coming to DVD and Digital July 16 From Virgil

Unforgotten: A Hero’s Story of War, unveiling the memories of a Korean War veteran, will be released on DVD, EST and VOD July 16 from Virgil Films.

In the documentary, filmmaker Darrin Dick goes on a quest to uncover the story of his Korean War veteran grandfather, Harold Bauer — a story of bravery, loss and faith. During an interview with his grandson and trip to the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C., Harold opens up about his faith, family and memories from the Korean War.

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Spiritual Films ‘The Answer’ and ‘Noah’ Coming to DVD, Digital in June From Virgil

Virgil Films will release two spiritual films, The Answer and Noah, on DVD, EST and VOD in June.

Noah, coming June 11, is a Sight & Sound Theatres stage production projected to more than 800 movie theaters in April. More than 2 million people have attended the live show, which follows the Bible story of Noah as he fulfills God’s command to build an ark and fill it with animals. Sets towered four stories above the stage.

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Due June 18 is The Answer, which chronicles the life of American James Donald Walters, later known as Swami Kriyananda. It portrays his youthful quest for truth which took him from his birthplace in Romania to Hollywood, where he meets and is accepted as a disciple of Indian Master Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the bestseller Autobiography of a Yogi, first published in 1946.

Redbox Charts See ‘The Upside’ at No. 1

Universal’s The Upside topped both the Redbox disc rental and digital charts for the week ended May 26.

The comedy, starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart, debuted in the No. 1 spot on the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, as well as the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital transactions, including both electronic sellthrough and streaming rentals. The film, about an out-of-work ex-con and a wealthy quadriplegic who unexpectedly come together and help each other bring back their zest for life, earned $108.3 million at the box office.

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Two other new disc releases, Universal’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Warner’s Isn’t It Romantic, landed at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, on the disc chart. The two titles switched places, with Dragon at No. 3 and Romantic No. 2 on the digital chart for the week. The third installment in the series about a boy and his dragon made $160.6 million theatrically, while the romantic comedy sendup starring Rebel Wilson earned $48.8 million.

The previous week’s top title, Lionsgate’s Liam Neeson actioner Cold Pursuit, fell to No. 4 on both charts, while the wrestling story Fighting With My Family, No. 2 on both charts the previous week, landed at No. 5 on the disc chart (No. 7 on digital).

Again boosted by the theatrical release of the latest installment in the Keanu Reeves series, John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, Lionsgate’s catalog actioner John Wick dropped one spot to No. 5, hanging in on the digital chart.

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Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended May 26:

  1. The Upside (New) — Universal
  2. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (New) — Universal
  3. Isn’t It Romantic (New) — Warner
  4. Cold Pursuit — Lionsgate
  5. Fighting With My Family — Universal
  6. What Men Want— Paramount
  7. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part — Warner
  8. Glass— Universal
  9. Happy Death Day 2U — Universal
  10. Serenity (2019) —Universal

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended May 26:

  1. The Upside — STX
  2. Isn’t It Romantic — Warner
  3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World — Universal
  4. Cold Pursuit — Lionsgate
  5. John Wick — Lionsgate
  6. What Men Want — Paramount
  7. Fighting With My Family — MGM
  8. Glass — Universal
  9. The Mule — Warner
  10. Green Book — Universal

Comedy ‘What Men Want’ Tops FandangoNow Chart

The comedy What Men Want was the top film purchased and/or rented on FandangoNow for the week ended May 12.

FandangoNow is movie site Fandango’s transactional VOD service.

The Paramount film, starring Taraji P. Henson and Tracy Morgan, earned $54.6 million in theaters.

Universal’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the series about a boy and his dragon, dropped one spot to No. 2. It made $160 million at the box office. Meanwhile, the “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy flew up one spot to No. 8, showing continued strong interest in the franchise for the week.

Warner’s animated sequel The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, which earned $105.8 million in theaters, debuted in the third spot on the chart.

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Jumping up one spot from No. 5 in the previous week to No. 4 was Lionsgate’s Cold Pursuit, starring Liam Neeson as a grieving snowplow driver who seeks revenge against the drug dealers who killed his son. The film earned $32 million at the box office.

Warner’s DC superhero flick Aquaman floated up from No. 9 to No. 5.

Boosted by the impending May 17 theatrical debut of the third installment in the Lionsgate series, the double feature of John Wick and John Wick 2, starring Keanu Reeves as a hitman out for revenge, landed at No. 10 on the week’s chart.

The top 10 films purchased and/or rented on FandangoNow for the week ended May 12 were:

  1. What Men Want*
  2. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World*
  3. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part *
  4. Cold Pursuit*
  5. Aquaman *
  6. Glass*
  7. Isn’t It Romantic*
  8. “How to Train Your Dragon” Trilogy*
  9. The Mule*
  10. John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2 (Double Feature) *

*Available in 4K

DEG: Q1 2019 Consumer Spending on Home Entertainment Up 6.4%

Fueled by digital — subscription streaming as well as transactional  — home entertainment spending in the first quarter of 2019 rose 6.4% from the first quarter of the previous year, to $6.04 billion, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Subscription streaming, led by Netflix, rose 21% in the quarter to an estimated $3.6 billion, DEG said, citing IHS Markit estimates.

The increase shows that with the reliance by streamers on original and TV content, the at-home sector is becoming increasingly impervious to the whims of the box office.

The theatrical value of films that came to the home market in the first quarter, according to DEG, was down nearly 20%.

Take streaming out of the equation and consumer spending on home entertainment was down 9.3%.

Consumer spending on digital transactional video, both purchase (electronic sellthrough, or EST) and limited-time viewing, came in at nearly $1.23 billion, up 4.6% from just under $1.18 billion in the first quarter of 2018.

EST sales rose 6.7% to $665.5 million, up from $623.7 million, while limited-time VOD, the digital equivalent of rental, generated an estimated $564.1 million in consumer spending, up 2.3% from $551.6 million.

Disc sales continued to decline, falling below the $1 billion mark in the first quarter of 2019 to an estimated $822.25 million, a drop of 23% from $1.06 billion in the first quarter of 2018 — pretty much in line with the decline in the collective box office earnings of movies that were released to the home market in the same time frame, to $2.89 billion from $3.59 billion in the year-ago quarter.

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The disc rental market fared better, with consumers spending just under $400 million to rent DVDs and Blu-ray Discs from Redbox kiosks, freestanding video rental stores and Netflix’s disc-by-mail rental option. That’s down 14.6% from the prior year’s first quarter.

Citing CTA numbers, DEG noted “there is continued significant growth among 4K Ultra HD hardware products,” with Ultra HD TVs now in about 53.4 million households, an increase of 55% from a year ago. The number of households with at least one 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray playback machine rose 63% to 14 million.

The top-selling disc release of the first quarter, according to NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service, was 20th Century Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

The top 10 DVD and Blu-ray Disc sellers of 2019, through March 31:

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox)
  2. Aquaman (Warner)
  3. Ralph Breaks the Internet (Disney)
  4. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner)
  5. A Star Is Born (2018) (Warner)
  6. The Grinch (Universal)
  7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)
  8. Mary Poppins Returns (Disney)
  9. Halloween (2018) (Universal)
  10. Creed II (Warner)

Source: NPD Group

Documentary ‘The Uncondemned’ Coming to Digital and DVD April 9 From Virgil

The documentary The Uncondemned is coming to EST, VOD and DVD April 9 from Virgil Films.

It follows an underdog group of young lawyers and activists who defied the odds to do what had never been done: prosecute rape as an international war crime.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was understaffed, underfunded and overwhelmed as they attempted to prosecute their first case of genocide in 1997. Then, three heroic Rwandan women overcame their fears and feelings of shame to come forward and speak for all those who could not.

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The film captures the remarkable story — involving secret memos, witness assassinations and other setbacks and barriers — that changed the course of international judicial history.

‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ Swings to Top of Both Redbox Charts

Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swung to the top of both Redbox charts for the week ended March 24.

The animated superhero film, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, took the No. 1 spot on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming. The Sony release was new-to-disc for the week, streeting March 19.

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One other new release entered the disc chart for the week, Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, which floated in at No. 5. The reboot of the Disney classic, starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, earned $171.8 million in theaters.

On the digital side, coming in at No. 2 for the week was Warner’s superhero epic Aquaman, which earned $334.8 million at the box office.

Paramount’s Instant Family, a comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne, held strong on both charts, finishing in the same spot at No. 3 on the disc chart and dropping just one spot from No. 2 to No. 3 on the digital chart.

Emerging on the digital chart at No. 10 was A Simple Favor, a comedy starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, which was released late last year.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 24:

  1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (New) — Sony
  2. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — Warner
  3. Instant Family— Paramount
  4. Green Book— Universal
  5. Mary Poppins Returns (New) — Disney
  6. Mortal Engines— Universal
  7. Creed II — Warner
  8. Ralph Breaks the Internet— Disney
  9. A Star Is Born(2018)— Warner
  10. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 24:

  1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — Sony
  2. Aquaman— Warner
  3. Instant Family— Paramount
  4. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald— Warner
  5. Green Book— Universal
  6. A Star Is Born(2018)— Warner
  7. Mortal Engines— Universal
  8. Creed II — Warner
  9. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  10. A Simple Favor — Lionsgate

‘We Are Columbine’ Director Revisits Dark Day With Her Classmates in Virgil Films Doc

Decades after the cameras and the spotlight are gone, those touched by school shootings can continue to suffer as they try to process a day that changed their lives.

That’s the subject of Virgil Films’ documentary We Are Columbine, due on EST, VOD and DVD April 9 and directed by Laura Farber.

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Farber has a unique perspective on the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado; she was a freshman at the school when two students shot and killed 13 people (12 students and one teacher) nearly 20 years ago on April 20, 1999.

“I wanted something to be told by the people that experienced it,” Farber said. “And I felt like I could bridge that gap between outsiders and the people that were there. It’s a lot more difficult than anticipated because a lot of us don’t like talking about Columbine — still to this day.”

It took some convincing, but Farber was able to gather a collection of freshmen at the time of the shooting as well as teachers and administrators to revisit the event.

The director herself wasn’t immune to the effects of recalling such a terrible time when she went back to film at her high school.

“Everything was the same, so much so that the first day of filming —I didn’t know I needed more therapy until I went to film — that first day of filming, thank god, I had one of the producers with me,” Farber recalled. “She had to do that first walkthrough of the school with Gus [former student Gustavo D’Arthenay] because I was emotionally ill, physically ill the entire day because I think just coming back that first time was a lot — not anticipated for sure.”

The first interview subject she was able to convince to participate in the project was her friend Amy Staley.

“I’m doing this only because it’s you, only because of our friendship,” Staley says in the film. “I don’t like talking about it like this. I don’t think anybody likes us talking about it. I don’t like people exploiting our experiences, and I know that you won’t.”

During Staley’s interview, Farber learned just how close she had come to something awful. Bomb equipment had been under the lunch table at which they had sat on that fateful day, Staley recalled in the film.

“I was with Amy on that day, and I didn’t know that until we sat down together and talked about it,” Farber said. “I totally forgot.”

Columbine principal Frank DeAngelis had become wary of students asking to film at the high school, creating another potential obstacle.

“I had to get Frank’s permission, because he’s the principal, and once I told him what I wanted to do, which was not sensationalized, he trusted me to come in and film,” Farber said. “But at the time, there was an issue with a student from an Ohio high school that came to the school, did a tour, asked a bunch of questions, and he said he was doing research for a presentation, and then went and threatened his own school. So after that Frank was like, ‘Hey, I’m not letting anybody in unless they are students from Columbine.’ And that was kind of perfect timing for me.”

“You’re one of my kids; I trust ya,” DeAngelis says in the documentary.

The kids she knew from Columbine were loath to discuss the shooting, though teacher Kiki Leyba (also interviewed in the film) had them write down their thoughts 20 years ago.

In addition to D’Arthenay (a musician who provides some of the soundtrack for the film) and Staley, Farber interviewed two others who were freshmen at Columbine during the shooting.

“I think for our class, for those four years, we got to all be together,” Farber noted. “We were the youngest, and we were there the longest. It was a big part of our recovery being able to go back every day and be with each other.”

But it was different for everyone who experienced the shooting.

“Everyone has their own Columbine,” she said. “I’d love to find out what’s going on with the seniors that had to leave immediately after, and they were surrounded by no one and what that did to their recovery.”

Since the shooting at Columbine High School, which is recognizing a 20th anniversary this year — including a screening of Farber’s film in Colorado on the exact date of the anniversary, April 20 — many other school shootings have dominated the news and then receded.

Though Farber talked to Media Play News before the recent suicides of victims affected by shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in 2018 and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., in 2012, she stressed the need for victims to express their feelings.

“We’re going to carry this with us for the rest of our lives, but we can decide what that’s going to look like,” Farber said.