Merchandising: ‘F9,’ ‘Cruella’ Among Slew of Exclusives

The new Sept. 21 home video releases saw several exclusive editions arrive at retail.

For Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s F9: The Fast Saga, Best Buy offered its typical Steelbook edition with the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc combo pack for $34.99.

Best Buy’s ‘F9’ 4K Steelbook

 

Target’s exclusive for F9 was a Blu-ray combo pack with 10 collectible character art cards for $26.99.

Target’s ‘F9’ Blu-ray with character cards

Walmart didn’t have an exclusive for F9 on its own, but did release an exclusive nine-movie “Fast & Furious” DVD collection, for $44.96.

Walmart’s ‘Fast & Furious’ 9-Movie DVD collection

For Disney’s Cruella, Best Buy offered a Steelbook of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack for $34.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Cruella’ Steelbook

Target’s Cruella exclusive was a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack with two limited-edition foil-edged prints, for $34.99.

Target’s ‘Cruella’ 4K combo pack with art cards

Walmart offered the Cruella 4K combo pack with exclusive box art and a code for a Disney Classic Stories: Cruella eBook for $29.96.

Walmart’s ‘Cruella’ 4K box art

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Best Buy also had exclusive 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook combo packs for Disney’s Unbreakable, at $28.99, and Warner’s A Clockwork Orange, at $33.99.

Best Buy’ ‘Unbreakable’ 4K Steelbook
Best Buy’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’ 4K Steelbook

Follow us on Instagram!

Target held a promotion offering 30% off select Halloween-themed books and movies. Target also had the DVD of The Nightmare Before Christmas: 25th Anniversary Edition discounted to $6.

‘F9,’ ‘Cruella’ Top List of New Disc Releases Sept. 21

Universal Pictures’ F9: The Fast Saga and Disney’s Cruella lead the slate of new Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases Sept.21. New digital releases include Paw Patrol: The Movie.

F9: The Fast Saga, the latest installment in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, comes out with a new director’s cut on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 21 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has generated more than $716 million worldwide. The release features the original theatrical version, the director’s cut and more than an hour of exclusive bonus content, including a behind-the-scenes look at the stunts and cars and a gag reel. In the film, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) thought he’d left his outlaw life in the rear-view mirror, but not even he can outrun the past. When his forsaken brother Jakob (John Cena, Bumblebee) unexpectedly resurfaces as an elite assassin, the crew comes back together to help Dom confront the sins of his own past and stop a world-shattering plot. Franchise veteran Justin Lin, who helmed the third, fourth, fifth and sixth installments of the series, returns to the director’s seat. F9 also stars returning franchise cast members Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster and Sung Kang, with Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron.

Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution Sept. 21 releases Cruella on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD. The film, a prequel to 101 Dalmatians, follows the early years of the villainous Cruella de Vil (Emma Stone), when she was a young grifter named Estella during the punk rock revolution in 1970s London. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson), setting off a chain of events that leads Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella. The cast also includes Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, Emily Beecham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Mark Strong. The film earned $86.1 million at the domestic box office.

 

Lionsgate releases the comedy Lady of the Manor on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Sept. 21. Written and directed by actor Justin Long and his brother Christian, the supernatural buddy comedy stars Melanie Lynskey as a stoner-slacker hired to portray Lady Wadsworth (Judy Greer), a Southern belle who died in 1875, in a tour at Wadsworth Manor. Hannah, a hot mess, figures she can fake it — until the ghost of Lady Wadsworth appears and tells her it’s time to change her wild ways — and she’ll haunt her until she does. The cast also includes Justin Long, Luis Guzmán and Ryan Phillippe. The film is rated ‘R’ for language throughout, sexual material and drug use.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases Batwoman: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Sept. 21. The second season of the CW series introduces a new Batwoman, Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie), who discovers the bat-suit in the wreckage of Kate Kane’s plane. As the Bat-team tries to piece together what happened to Kate, the new Batwoman confronts a new enemy to Gotham City: the Black Mask. Meanwhile, the villainous Alice (Rachel Skarsten) confronts her past, and the leader of a cult of women who live on a mysterious island and may have been involved causing Kate to disappear. The cast also includes Dougray Scott, Meagan Tandy, Nicole Kang, Camrus Johnson and Elizabeth Anweis. “Batwoman” is part of the “Arrowverse,” a shared universe of CW shows that also includes “The Flash,” “Supergirl” and “Legends of Tomorrow,” among others.

 

God of War II, a follow-up the 2017 Chinese martial arts actioner God of War, lands on digital, Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 21 from Well Go USA Entertainment.Charles Lin (The Outsiders) and Yuxi Liu (Legend of the Phoenix) star in the story of Lü Bu. Years after escaping, Lü Bu has no memory of his hellish early life as a test subject for a ruthless imperial sorceress. Now, he is feared across the land as the conquering general under warlord Dong Zhuo, for whom he has blazed a trail of victories on the battlefield. But when a woman arrives at the palace claiming to be his long-lost love, the facade begins to fade, and he begins to realize that his closest allies may yet be his most dangerous foes.

RLJE Films, a unit of AMC Networks, releases the horror film Violation for digital purchase and on Blu-ray Sept. 21. The film, from AMC’s Shudder streaming service, marks the feature screenwriting and directorial debut of Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli. Sims-Fewer also stars as Miriam who returns to her hometown to seek solace in the comfort of her younger sister and brother-in-law when her marriage begins to implode. But one evening, a tiny slip in judgement leads to a catastrophic betrayal, leaving Miriam shocked, reeling, and furious. Believing her only recourse is to exact revenge, Miriam takes extreme action, but the price of retribution is high, and she is not prepared for the toll it takes as she begins to emotionally and psychologically unravel. The cast also includes Anna Maguire, Jesse LaVercombe and Obi Abili.

IFC Films Sept. 21 releases Last Call on DVD. The comedy-drama stars Jeremy Piven as Mick, a local success story and real estate developer who returns home to his offbeat blue-collar Irish neighborhood in the shadows of Philadelphia for a funeral and is obligated to stay to ensure his parents’ ailing family business gets back on course. Amid all of this, he grows closer to his childhood crush (Taryn Manning), who is also back in town, while enduring the constant ridicule of his old hometown crew. As Mick begins to reconnect with the neighborhood he grew up in, he finds himself at a crossroads when forced to either raze or resurrect the family bar.

The drama I Carry You With Me comes out on digital, Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 21 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Based on a true story, the film follows a decades-spanning romance between an aspiring chef and a teacher and their treacherous journey from Mexico to New York with dreams, hopes and memories in tow. Directed by Heidi Ewing and written by Heidi Ewing and Alan Page Arriaga, the film stars Armando Espitia, Christian Vázquez, Michelle Rodríguez, Ángeles Cruz, Arcella Ramírez and Michelle González.

Lionsgate releases the eight-part A&E Network documentary series “Biography: WWE Legends” in two volumes on DVD Sept. 21. Helmed by some of the industry’s top directors and storytellers, the docuseries gives fans the ultimate ringside seat to the real-life stories behind the showbiz acrobatics, smack talk and larger-than-life alter-egos of several legends of professional wrestling. These collections pull back the curtain on the twists, turns and triumphs on the paths to fame and icon status for these WWE Legends. Biography: WWE Legends Vol. 1 focuses on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “Macho Man” Randy Savage and “Booker T.” Biography: WWE Legends Vol. 2 presents profiles of Shawn Michaels, Ultimate Warrior, Mick Foley, and Bret “Hitman” Hart. The separate DVD sets are listed with an SRP of $19.98 each.

CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment release The Equalizer: Season One on DVD Sept. 21. The reimagining of the 1985-89 TV series “The Equalizer” stars Queen Latifah as Robyn McCall, an enigmatic woman with a mysterious background who uses her extensive skills as a former CIA operative to help those with nowhere else to turn. McCall presents to most as an average single mom who is quietly raising her teenage daughter. But to a trusted few, she is The Equalizer — an anonymous guardian angel and defender of the downtrodden, who’s also dogged in her pursuit of personal redemption.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The animated family film Paw Patrol: The Movie, from Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies and Spin Master Entertainment, is available for digital purchase Sept. 21. In the film, which earned $103 million at the global box office, when their rival, Humdinger, becomes Mayor of nearby Adventure City and starts wreaking havoc, Ryder and the heroic pups kick into high gear to face the most challenging mission of their Paw Patrol careers. Along the way, the team finds help from a new ally, the savvy dachshund Liberty, and together the Paw Patrol fights to save the citizens of Adventure City. The digital release features exclusive bonus content, including a look at the team; additional news reports with reporter Marty Muckraker (Jimmy Kimmel); a sing-along with a reimagined Paw Patrol theme song lyric video; bonus television episodes from the Nickelodeon series (produced by Spin Master Entertainment), including one never-before-seen episode; and a never-before-seen episode of “Blaze and the Monster Machines.” The film will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 2.

The action thriller The Protégé arrives for digital purchase Sept. 21 from Lionsgate. The story of a deadly assassin out for vengeance stars Michael Keaton, Maggie Q, Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Patrick. In the film, rescued as a child and raised by legendary assassin Moody (Jackson), Anna (Maggie Q) was trained to become the world’s most skilled contract killer. When Anna learns that Moody has been brutally killed, she vows revenge. On the murderer’s trail, Anna is entangled with an enigmatic hit man (Keaton) and, as their confrontation turns deadly, the loose ends of a life spent killing weave themselves ever tighter. It arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and on demand Oct. 19.

Also new for digital purchase Sept. 21 is Sony Pictures’ Escape Room: Tournament of Champions. In the sequel to the 2019 psychological thriller Escape Room, six people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive and discovering they’ve all played the game before. It arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 5.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release Night of the Animated Dead through digital retailers Sept. 21. An animated reimagining of George A. Romero’s 1968 horror classic Night of the Living Dead, Animated Dead includes exclusive scenes not included in the original film. The voice cast includes Josh Duhamel, Dulé Hill, Katharine Isabelle, James Roday Rodriguez, Katee Sackhoff, Will Sasso, Jimmi Simpson and Nancy Travis. The story involves a group of strangers in Pennsylvania taking refuge in an abandoned farmhouse during a zombie attack. Together, the group must fight to stay alive against the oncoming horde of zombies while also confronting their own fears and prejudices. It arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Oct. 5.

The “Crocodile Dundee” trilogy arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital) Sept. 21 from Paramount Home Entertainment for its 35th anniversary. Originally released on Sept. 26, 1986, Crocodile Dundee, featuring Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee (Paul Hogan), the eccentric Australian crocodile hunter, earned more than $328 million worldwide and spawned two sequels: Crocodile Dundee II and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. 

The 1997 Kurt Russell thriller Breakdown will travel to Blu-ray as part of the “Paramount Presents” line on Sept. 21 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Featuring a director-approved remaster from a new 4K film scan, the film is presented in a limited-edition Blu-ray Disc with collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments. In Breakdown, Russell is Jeff Taylor, headed toward a new life in California with his wife Amy (Kathleen Quinlan). When their car dies on a remote highway, a seemingly helpful trucker (J.T. Walsh) offers Amy a ride to the local diner while Jeff waits with the car. Then Jeff discovers his vehicle was deliberately tampered with, and by the time he gets to the next town, his worst fears are about to come true.

The sports drama Hardball, starring Keanu Reeves and Diane Lane, arrives on Blu-ray for the first time Sept. 21 from Paramount Home Entertainment for its 20th anniversary. Directed by Brian Robbins, the film follows Conor O’Neill (Reeves), a down-on-his-luck gambler in debt to dangerous loan sharks. Desperate for cash, Conor reluctantly takes a job coaching a youth baseball team, a ragtag group of tough-talking kids from Chicago’s inner city. Secretly, Conor plans to desert the team after he wins a big bet. The kids need someone to believe in, and as Conor wrestles with his past, they start to teach him some lessons that will forever change his future — that responsibility and trust must be earned and hope can appear in the most unlikely places.

The 2000 sci-fi drama Unbreakable arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc and digital for the first time Sept. 21 from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. The Ultimate Collector’s Edition will also be released as a limited-edition Steelbook available only at Best Buy stores. In the film, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, after David Dunn (Bruce Willis) emerges from a horrific train crash as the sole survivor — and without a single scratch on him — he meets a mysterious, unsettling stranger (Samuel L. Jackson) who believes comic book heroes walk the earth, and whose sinister, single-minded obsession will impact David’s life forever.

Due Sept. 21 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc is 1970’s Skullduggery, starring Burt Reynolds, Susan Clark, Roger C. Carmel, Edward Fox, Alexander Knox and Wilfrid Hyde-White. An expedition into the interior of Papua New Guinea comes across a tribe of ape-like people, the Tropis, who may or may not be ancestors of early man. However, the influence of modern man is to have devastating effects upon these forgotten people. When one of the Tropis is allegedly murdered, the following murder trial centers around the question of whether the Tropis are human or animal. Includes a new 2K master, and a new commentary by film historians Howard S. Berger, C. Courtney Joyner and Sergio Mims.

Also due Sept. 21 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc is the 1970 Western Macho Callahan, starring David Janssen, Jean Seberg, Lee J. Cobb, David Carradine, Bo Hopkins and James Booth. Diego “Macho” Callahan (Janssen), a man tricked into enlisting in the Confederate army, is later thrown into a hellish stockade on desertion charges. He eventually breaks out of the prison camp and sets out to kill Duffy (Cobb), the man in yellow boots who bamboozled him into signing enlistment papers. However, after accidentally killing a Confederate officer (Carradine), he finds himself pursued by a gang of vicious bounty hunters intent on collecting the reward put up by the dead officer’s widow (Seberg). Includes a new 4K restoration from the original camera negative, plus a new audio commentary by filmmaker Alex Cox.

Another Sept. 21 release on Blu-ray is 1974’s Golden Needles, starring Joe Don Baker, Jim Kelly, Elizabeth Ashley, Burgess Meredith, Ann Sothern and Roy Chiao. From director Robert Clouse comes this suspense story of a priceless ancient Chinese statue that is pursued halfway across the world. The legend of the golden statue (which contains seven youth-restoring acupuncture needles) promises the owner health and incredible vigor, but can also deliver a painful death. Includes a new 2K master, a new commentary by film historians Howard S. Berger and Chris Poggiali, newly commissioned art by Vince Evans, radio spots, a TV Spot, theatrical trailer and an image gallery.

Another Sept. 21 release on Blu-ray is 1982’s Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, starring Steve Martin, Rachel Ward, Carl Reiner, Reni Santoni, George Gaynes and Francis X McCartney.

Martin re-teams with director Carl Reiner, following The Jerk and The Man with Two Brains, for this black-and-white comedy noir. As the private eye of private eyes, Martin is Rigby Reardon. He’s tough, rough and ready to take on anything when Juliet Forrest (Ward) appears on the scene with a case: her father, a noted scientist, philanthropist and cheesemaker, has died mysteriously. Reardon immediately smells a rat and follows a complex maze of clues that lead him to the “Carlotta Lists.” By weaving the plot and production design around memorable movie clips, Martin and Reiner summon some familiar friends to assist Reardon: Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner, Cary Grant, Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Burt Lancaster, Charles Laughton, Fred MacMurray, Ray Milland, Vincent Price, Barbara Stanwyck and Lana Turner — just to name a few. Extras include a new audio commentary by filmmaker Allan Arkush and film historian/filmmaker Daniel Kremer, four radio spots, three TV spots, the theatrical trailer and a “Buttometer” teaser trailer.

Sept. 21 also sees the Blu-ray release of 1988’s Masquerade, starring Rob Lowe, Meg Tilly, Kim Cattrall, Dana Delany, John Glover and Doug Savant. In this sexually charged mystery about a wealthy woman who falls for the wrong man, Olivia (Tilly) seems to have it all. But behind the serene facade of her Easthampton seaside estate, something is missing: passion. Enter Tim (Lowe), the sexy sailing instructor and playboy who’s not ashamed of sleeping with his boss’ insatiable wife (Cattrall) or social climbing for sport. And when he sets his sights on Olivia, she falls under the seductive spell of this handsome stranger, unaware that he has his eye on more than just her beauty. Includes a new audio commentary by director Bob Swaim.

Also due on Blu-ray Disc Sept. 21 is 1990’s Bird on a Wire, starring Mel Gibson, Goldie Hawn, David Carradine, Bill Duke, Joan Severance and Stephen Tobolowsky. From director John Badham, the action-packed comedy stars Gibson as Rick Jarmin, a man hiding under the FBI Witness Protection Program who gets nervous when old flame Marianne Graves (Hawn) recognizes him. But before he can assume a new identity, the man he put in jail (Carradine) is released and comes to pay his respects. Rick and Marianne find themselves thrown together on an exhilarating cross-country scramble, barely evading the gangsters, police and an amorous veterinarian (Joan Severance). Includes a new 2K master; a new audio commentary from Badham, producer/second unit director Rob Cohen and film historian/filmmaker Daniel Kremer; and the theatrical trailer.

Code Red Sept. 21 releases on Blu-ray the 1970 family movie Pufnstuf from “Land of the Lost” producers Sid & Marty Krofft, starring Jack Wild, Martha Raye, Cass Elliott, Billie Hayes, Billy Barty and Felix Silla. After a bad day at school, Jimmy (Wild) runs to the shore to play his flute, but he can’t believe his eyes when his ordinary flute comes to life. When a magical talking boat appears, he boards the ship only to discover that it has been sent by an evil witch named Witchiepoo to keep him prisoner and take his flute. It’s up to the fantastic dragon H.R. Pufnstuf and his comical companions, Cling and Clang, to come to the rescue in an adventure beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.

Gravitas Ventures releases the sci-fi thriller Tethered on demand Sept. 21. In the film from writer-director Gregg Furuoka, what starts as a “John Doe” case for Detective Samantha Morris (Caroline Harris, American Gigolo) and her partner will put her personal world into upheaval. No one understands what happened to her and her partner out in the forest — not even her. In this sci-fi mystery, Sam searches for a murderer, a missing partner, and her own sanity. The puzzle consumes her and if she is to take back her life, she must redefine her own reality. In order to discover the truth of what really happened, she will have to suffer even greater consequences.

Gravitas Ventures Sept. 21 also releases the documentary The Center: Gibbons and Guardians across all TVOD/digital platforms and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in North America on Sept. 21. Directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Alex M. Azmi (To Climb a Gold Mountain and the upcoming Man and Machine), the documentary is a winner of five festivals from an international film festival run of more than a dozen festivals. It tells the story of The Gibbon Conservation Center in Santa Clarita, Calif., at which a determined group of people dedicate their lives to the care of endangered apes and in the process, find courage, laughter and even romance. The film follows the unexpected dramas at this remote nonprofit wildlife center in the California desert, weaving together the lives of endangered gibbons alongside those who care for them. It features interviews with a number of the leading women who tirelessly champion apes globally, including Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and U.N. messenger of peace, and The Gibbon Conservation Center’s director Gabriella Skollar.

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

‘Black Widow’ Tops Vudu Chart, Bumping ‘F9: The Fast Saga’ to No. 2

Marvel Studios’ Black Widow, newly available to own in 4K UHD, debuted at No. 1 on the list of the 10 most popular movies on Fandango’s transactional VOD service Vudu the week ended Aug. 15.

The film, which with a domestic theatrical gross of more than $178 million is the year’s biggest box office hit, knocked Universal Pictures’ F9: The Fast Saga to No. 2 after two weeks in the top spot.

Black Widow was released to all major digital platforms Aug. 10 following a concurrent run in theaters and as a Disney+ Premier Access PVOD add-on. In the film, Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, and confronts her darker parts when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Hounded by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.

Along with Johansson, the cast includes Florence Pugh as Yelena, David Harbour as Alexei/The Red Guardian and Rachel Weisz as Melina.

Black Widow has also courted legal controversy, as Johansson is suing Disney over the film’s profits, claiming the box office take was diminished by the simultaneous PVOD strategy, thus lowering her potential earnings from the movie.

F9 is the ninth installment in the main “Fast & Furious” franchise. The film became available for premium rental July 30.

Lionsgate’s sequel Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard slipped to No. 3 from No. 2. The action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek debuted for digital purchase July 27.

The horror sequel A Quiet Place Part II, from Paramount Pictures, also slipped a notch to No. 4, while Warner’s Mortal Kombat finished the week at No. 5.

Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Aug. 15, in terms of revenue, are as follows:

  1. Black Widow
  2. F9: The Fast Saga
  3. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
  4. A Quiet Place Part II
  5. Mortal Kombat
  6. Joe Bell
  7. The Forever Purge
  8. Nobody
  9. Wrath of Man
  10. Pig

Disney/Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ Moves Atop 2021 Domestic Box Office

Entering the Aug. 8 weekend, Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow moved past Universal Pictures’ F9: The Fast Saga to become the top-grossing year-to-date domestic box office release with $171.5 million. F9 had $170.5 million, according to industry figures.

The movies have grossed $348 million and $644.3 million worldwide, respectively. The former has become a legal issue for Disney.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Despite its current No. 1 standing in the U.S., Black Widow is seen by some observers as having underperformed theatrically in the U.S. — most notably by lead star Scarlett Johansson. The actress last month filed a lawsuit against Disney alleging the studio deliberately co-released the movie on its Premier Access platform to Disney+ subscribers in an effort to reduce its compensation to her.

Disney said it generated $60 million in PVOD revenue on Widow’s opening weekend, followed by $30 million over the second weekend. It’s not known what, if any, Johansson’s contract included PVOD sales, though Disney attorney Daniel Petrocelli told Variety Aug. 6 that the studio did include the Premier Access release in Johansson’s bonus as if it were box office cash.

Exhibitor trade group National Association of Theatre Owners blasted Disney for its hybrid box office/streaming distribution strategy, arguing the move undercut the media giant’s long-term financial possibilities, including home entertainment.

Disney would argue the concurrent releases were due to the ongoing pandemic that has left theaters operating at reduced capacity, moviegoers wary of the Delta variant, the politics of vaccinations, a desire to grow Disney+ subscribers and take advantage of PVOD’s higher profit margins than theatrical.

Disney+ subs paid a $29.99 add-on for SVOD access to Black Widow. The movie is set to become available on transactional digital platforms Aug. 10 and  on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray and DVD on Sept. 14.

‘F9’ Now Available for On Demand Viewing

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on July 30 released F9: The Fast Saga for home viewing via video on demand digital rental at a premium price of $19.99.

The ninth film in the “Fast & Furious” series and 10th in the franchise (including Hobbs & Shaw), the film has earned $165 million at the domestic box office since its June 25 premiere. The movie’s total worldwide haul is $624.5 million, having opened as early as May 19 in some territories.

The story involves Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) leading his crew on another worldwide adventure to stop an evil scheme by his brother (John Cena).

F9: The Fast Saga was directed by Justin Lin from a screenplay by Daniel Casey and Lin.

The film’s digital and disc sellthrough dates have not been announced.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Q2 Revenue Tops $245 Million

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment July 29 reported second-quarter (ended June 30) revenue of $245 million, which was down about 18% from revenue of $299 million during the previous-year period. Through six months of the fiscal year, sales of physical, digital and related studio media topped $527 million, down about 8% from $573 million in the year-ago period.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Theatrical revenue increased $191 million to $198 million, from $7 million in the previous-year period — due largely to the box office success of F9: The Fast Saga. When combined with content licensing ($1.8 billion) and home entertainment, total studio revenue topped $2.2 billion, up 10% from $2 billion a year ago.

Universal Dominates July 4 Weekend Box Office, Led by ‘F9’ Topping $100 Million in Domestic Revenue

Universal Pictures is projected to rule the July 4 weekend domestic box office, led by F9: The Fast Saga, which is expected to end the holiday weekend with $32.9 million across more than 4,200 screens. The ninth installment in the action franchise has totaled about $126 million in the U.S., and more than $460 million in revenue worldwide.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

With Disney/Marvel Studio’s Black Widow launching next weekend, Universal expedited rolling out sequels The Boss Baby: Family Business and The Forever Purge over the July 4 weekend, with the former generating a projected $26 million across 3,644 screens, while The Forever Purge generated about $16 million. Both movies exceeded industry estimates — underscoring the strength of the franchises and the box office’s return to normalcy following the pandemic as more moviegoers in major markets get fully vaccinated.

Among the top five movies over the weekend, Paramount Pictures’ enduring post-apocalyptic sequel A Quiet Place Part II generated an estimated $5 million, while Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard added another $4 million.

Despite Universal’s impressive weekend, Warner Bros. Pictures tops the year-to-date domestic box office with a reported $328.4 in revenue, followed by Universal with $192.4 million, and Paramount with $141.1 million. Warner’s tally is all the more impressive considering its entire 2021 theatrical slate has streamed concurrently for free to HBO Max subscribers.

July 4 Weekend Box Office Projections Favor Universal Pictures

NEWS ANALYSIS — With Universal Pictures set to dominate a second-consecutive domestic weekend box office with F9: The Fast Saga, the studio is rolling out two additional sequel titles over the extended July 4 holiday weekend.

Universal will debut kid-themed animated fantasy The Boss Baby: Family Business and horror sci-fi thriller The Forever Purge. The former is a follow-up to the 2017 box office surprise that generated $528 million globally, including $175 million in the U.S. The studio is estimating holiday weekend ticket sales from $13 million to $23 million — a tally that could see the Alec Baldwin-led voice cast movie head to premium video-on-demand after 17 days if the movie generates less than $50 million at the domestic box office.

Universal has a revenue-sharing agreement with select theater chains aimed at expediting new releases into the higher-margin PVOD direct-to-consumer retail channel.

The Forever Purge, obviously, is targeting a different audience. The fourth installment in the nightmarish-themed concept of an annual 12-hour period of sanctioned lawlessness (to make society safe for the rest of the year) sees it extended indefinitely by a group of marauders.

Universal is betting $6 million to $11 million worth of tickets are sold for the Blumhouse Pictures release before heading to PVOD. That would be less than the $31 million the first two installments each generated over their extended opening weekends. The franchise has generated $285 million over the four previous movies.

Regardless, F9 looks to control the holiday weekend theatrical market, despite a projected 60% drop from its opening $70 million weekend through June 27. The Vin Diesel-led ensemble cast actioner has generated more than $88 million in U.S. theaters and more than $425 million worldwide — the latter since its early May release in China.

Notably, since F9 has already topped $50 million at the domestic box office, the movie is set to bow on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service by July 31 as part of the studio’s revenue-sharing agreement with exhibitors.

Meanwhile, weekend holdovers will be led by Paramount Pictures’ A Quiet Place Part II with $4.6 million in estimated ticket sales, Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard with $3.3 million, Sony Pictures’ Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway with $3.2 million, and Disney’s Cruella with $2.9 million — the latter also available through digital retailers.

AMC Theatres Posts Biggest Opening Weekend Since 2019

AMC Theatres, the largest theatrical exhibitor in the world, June 28 reported it attracted its most opening-weekend moviegoers since 2019, thanks to the U.S. debut of Universal Pictures’ F9: The Fast Saga, as well as other movies also currently playing at its theaters.

AMC said about 2 million people watched movies at domestic screens from June 24 to 27. These are the biggest numbers recorded by AMC in the U.S. since closing its theaters in March of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

F9 opened to an estimated $70 million in ticket sales, shattering the previous post-reopening record. In fact, the tally is the biggest opening weekend for any movie in the U.S. since late in 2019. The total global box office for F9 exceeds $400 million.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Six of the Top 10 busiest theaters in the U.S. across the whole movie theater industry were AMC’s. They were led by the AMC Burbank complex and Universal Cinema AMC at CityWalk Hollywood, which also were the top two movie theatre locations in the entire country.

More than 500,000 additional people visited AMC’s international theaters in Europe and the Middle East, also a post-reopening record, bringing the total global attendance at AMC’s theaters at home and abroad this past weekend to an encouraging 2.5 million.

“The big screen is back,” Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Theatres, said in a statement. “We salute our friends and partners at Universal Pictures following their post-reopening record-setting performance.”

Aron said the combination of widespread vaccinations and the release once again blockbuster movies is proving to be the “magic formula” for the return of moviegoing.

“We could not be more excited about this post-reopening record weekend, and the coming slate of what look to be more blockbuster movies being released this summer and beyond,” Aron said.

Universal’s ‘F9’ Shatters Pandemic-Era Opening Weekend U.S. Box Office at $70 Million

Universal Pictures’ oft-delayed summer blockbuster F9: The Fast Saga didn’t disappoint in its domestic weekend debut, generating a reported $70 million in estimated revenue across more than 4,100 screens through June 27.

The ninth installment in the “Fast & Furious” fast-car franchise was assisted by a strong Thursday “sneak” showing that brought in $7.1 million, followed by Friday haul that marked a pandemic-era record in large part due to many pandemic capacity restrictions being lifted recently across the U.S., with California rolling back its orders June 15. The movie also generated more than $5.5 million at Imax screens.

The opening weekend bested previous pandemic record holder A Quiet Place Part II, which earned $47.5 million before the latest round of restrictions eased. The Paramount Pictures sequel actually generated $10 million more ($57 million) in ticket sales in its second weekend.

The opening F9 domestic weekend still pales in comparison to the film’s China debut a month ago. F9 generated $59.1 million on its opening day in the Communist country, on its way to a $136 million opening May 21 weekend. Together with other foreign box office grosses, F9 has topped $405 million in ticket sales to date and more than $6 billion over the course of more than nine movies released in the franchise.

Overall, the weekend failed to edge out the four-day Memorial Day weekend with $97.8 million compared with $98.3 million over last month’s holiday period — the latter driven by Quiet Place 2.

The John Krasinski-helmed sequel again led supporting cast movies with $6.2 million in ticket sales, bringing its total to $248.4 million, including $136.3 million domestically. Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard’s Wife finished  third with $4.87 million, or $31.4 million ($25.8 million domestically). Sony Pictures’ Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway and Disney’s Cruella rounded out the Top 5 with $4.85 million and $3.7 million, respectively. Both former chart toppers have generated global revenue of $107.8 million ($28.8 million domestically) and $183.8 million ($71.3 million), respectively.