Lionsgate Heroes Get Dads Into Action for Father’s Day

Lionsgate has an army of heroes ready to ramp up the action for dads on Father’s Day, June 21. The studio’s catalog is filled with classics that feature iconic characters, including Rambo, John Wick and the Highlander; the genre’s top directors, including James Cameron, Paul Verhoeven and Roland Emmerich; and the genre’s biggest stars, including Sylvester Stallone, Keanu Reeves, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis and many more.

All five installments in the saga of Sylvester Stallone’s John Rambo are available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from Lionsgate. In First Blood (1982), Stallone originates the role of the war hero, an ex-Green Beret haunted by memories of Vietnam. In Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), with a screenplay by Stallone and James Cameron (Titanic), Rambo’s survival skills are tested on a top-secret mission that takes him back to the jungles of Vietnam in search of American POWs. In Rambo III (1988), the veteran has finally begun to find inner peace inside a monastery — until his friend and men-tor Col. Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna) shows up to ask for his help on a top-secret mission in Afghanistan. Rambo (2008) finds the hero leading a group of battle-scarred, combat-hardened mercenaries on a mission to rescue aid workers in war-torn Burma. Finally, Rambo: Last Blood, billed as the last chapter of Rambo’s story, finds Stallone’s tortured warrior in a brief moment of relative peace before he must unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission.

Lionsgate’s catalog also includes the saga of another hero driven by vengeance, John Wick. Keanu Reeves stars as Wick in three chapters available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital. In John Wick (2014), the ex-hitman comes out of retirement to hunt down the gangsters that killed his dog and took everything from him. The sequel John Wick: Chapter 2 finds Wick returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt with a large bounty on his life. In John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, Wick has a $14 million price tag on his head after killing a member of the High Table, the shadowy international assassins’ guild.

No action catalog is complete without Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Lionsgate has two of his iconic movies, Terminator 2, available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, and Total Recall, available on Blu-ray plus Digital HD, DVD and Digital. In the science-fiction classic Total Recall (1990), directed by Paul Verhoeven, Schwarzenegger plays a mild-mannered construction worker who takes a virtual vacation and finds himself embroiled in espionage on Mars unable to determine if the experiences are real. Director James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) has the action star in another sci-fi classic, reprising his role as a robotic killing machine — this time on the side of humans Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her son John (Edward Furlong).

Another classic 1990s action film, Universal Soldier, is available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from Lionsgate. The Roland Emmerich-directed science-fiction actioner (1992) pits Jean-Claude Van Damme against Dolph Lundgren in a story of military experiments gone wrong.

Lionsgate has two star-studded ensembles in 2010’s RED and The Expendables. RED, on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, stars Bruce Willis as a former black-ops agent who reassembles his old team to battle an assassin. It also stars Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and Mary-Louise Parker. Boasting a who’s who of action stars, The Expendables features Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren and many more in the story of a CIA operative who hires a team of mercenaries to eliminate a Latin dictator and a renegade CIA agent. It features an appearance by Schwarzenegger and is also available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital.

Government intrigue also figures into Sicario, about an idealistic FBI agent enlisted by a task force to aid in a drug war at the border. Available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, the 2015 dramatic action film stars Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro.

Finally, Lionsgate’s catalog features action-filled adventures Cutthroat Island (1995) and Highlander (1986). Directed by Renny Harlin, Cutthroat Island, available on Blu-ray and DVD, stars Geena Davis as a pirate racing against rivals to find a hidden island harboring treasure. Highlander, also available on Blu-ray and DVD, stars Christopher Lambert as an immortal Scottish swordsman battling through time.

Merchandising: Amid Softer Slates, Stores Push Sales for Father’s Day

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on theatrical shutdowns is starting to be felt at retail as the lineup of major new releases is beginning to dwindle week after week. June 9, the only title of note to make it to shelves was Universal’s controversial The Hunt.

But retailers didn’t offer anything special for the title, instead using their weekly promotional space to list sales on catalog titles and some recent releases in advance of the June 21 Father’s Day holiday.

Target, for example, promoted 20% off a selection of 4K movies.

And Best Buy had another prominent Father’s Day-themed ad on its website, this time proclaiming “Dad’s a big action fan. Save on Dad’s favorite movies.” The sale included a a selection of $9.99 Blu-rays and $14.99 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays.

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While not touted as a Father’s Day promotion per se, Walmart now has a section of Warner titles at $5 for DVD and $7.50 for Blu-ray, with special slipcovers displaying a iconic item and quote from the film. Among the selection was Gone With the Wind, which was just pulled down from the HBO Max streaming service in a nod to racial sensitivity.

Walmart display of Warner catalog titles with collectible slipcovers

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Merchandising: A Bag for ‘Madea’

Among the new releases for June 4, Walmart offered Lionsgate’s A Madea Family Funeral on Blu-ray with an exclusive pack-in tote bag for $19.96.

Most retail promotions for the week, however, focused on sales of catalog titles, many with a Father’s Day theme.

Best Buy’s weekly ad showed a selection of DVDs and Blu-rays starting at $6.99 under the banner “These are dad favorites.” Titles included a John Wayne collection, Jaws and The Dark Knight Trilogy.

A Target in Tustin, Calif., wheeled out a DVD/Blu-ray kiosk with Father’s Day signage and such titles as Glass, Get Out, The Mule and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.

Target also had select 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc titles for as low as $15 each.

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Merchandising: Best Buy Bringing ‘Aladdin,’ ‘Cinderella’ Steelbooks

Best Buy is taking preorders for Steelbook editions of a couple of future Disney releases.

First is a Steelbook of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc combo pack of the live-action Aladdin, which just opened in theaters. It has no home release date yet but is listed at $34.99.

Next is a Steelbook of the Signature Collection Blu-ray Disc re-release of 1950’s Cinderella, arriving June 25 at $29.99. The same day Best Buy will also release a Steelbook of a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack of director Kenneth Branagh’s 2015 live-action version of Cinderella at $34.99.

Best Buy also has preorders for $34.99 Steelbooks of Fox’s 4K/3D Blu-ray combo pack of Alita: Battle Angel, due July 23, and the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of Paramount’s Pet Sematary remake, due July 9.

The Steelbook preorders were among a slew of promotions listed by Best Buy in its weekly ad for what otherwise was a light slate of new releases during the Memorial Day week. Instead of exclusives for any of the May 28 newcomers, Best Buy mostly pushed Blu-ray and DVD catalog titles for notable franchises such as “Star Wars,” (“Stock Up on the Saga”) and “X-Men” (with Dark Phoenix due in theaters June 7.

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Best Buy also touted a selection of action movies in a Father’s Day promotion, starting at $6.99 under the banner of “His Kind of Movies.”

Paramount Has Western, War, Classic and Action Titles for Father’s Day

Paramount Home Entertainment has announced gift ideas for Father’s Day, June 16.

For the Western fan, the studio has True Grit, starring John Wayne in his only Oscar-winning performance. The film, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, is available on digital. Also for the Western fan is the Ultimate Classic Western Collection, with nine classics, True Grit (1969), The Shootist, Shane, Hud, Chuka, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Will Penny, Johnny Reno and Posse, available on DVD.

For war buffs is Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, available on 4K Ultra HD, as well as 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, available on 4K Ultra HD June 11.

For the classic film lover is Best Picture Academy Award winner Forrest Gump, celebrating its 25 anniversary this year, available in a newly remastered two-disc Blu-ray and on 4K Ultra HD. Also, due on Blu-ray June 11 is The Godfather Trilogy: Corleone Legacy, a collection of director Francis Ford Coppola’s epic masterpieces packaged with new collectibles, including a Corleone family tree. Another classic collection available now on DVD is the Paul Newman 6-Movie Collection, with Road to Perdition, Fat Man and Little Boy, Nobody’s Fool, A New Kind of Love and Twilight.

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Available now on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray for action fans is the Mission: Impossible 6-Movie Collection. Also available now on Blu-ray in the action genre is the Bumblebee & Transformers Collection, a six-movie collection that includes all five “Transformers” films plus the latest entry in the franchise, Bumblebee. Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Season One, the first season in the new series that is a contemporary take on Clancy’s character, will be available on Blu-ray and DVD June 4.