Best Animated Film Oscar Nominee ‘Mirai’ Coming to Disc and Digital April 9 From Universal

The Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Film, Mirai, is coming out on Blu-ray combo pack, DVD, digital (including Movies Anywhere) and on demand April 9 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The Japanese film follows a young boy who embarks on a fantastical journey when his new baby sister is born and learns the importance of family. The voice cast includes John Cho, (Star Trek, Searching), Rebecca Hall (The TownChristine), and Daniel Dae Kim (“LOST,” “Hawaii Five-0”).

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Mirai is the first animated feature from Japan to garner a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature and is the 2019 Annie Award winner for Best Animated Feature — Independent.

Bonus features on Blu-ray and digital include Japanese cast interviews, in which the cast of the original language version of Mirai is interviewed by host Hiroyuki Amano; “Mirai at Cannes Film Festival,” in which director Mamoru Hosoda and Moka Kamishiraishi (voice of Kun) attend the Cannes Film Festival for the world premiere of Mirai; “The New World of Mamoru Hosoda,” a behind-the-scenes look at Studio Chizu with Hosoda as he builds a new world for Mirai; “Mirai in Japan,” in which the  the director and cast of Mirai greet audiences across Japan following the release of the film; “Mamoru Hosoda Visits Toyoma Prefecture,” in which Gen Hoshino (voice of Father) gets a special tour of Studio Chizu guided by the director; and a message from the director and Japanese cast of Mirai to their future selves.

Bonus features on Blu-ray, digital and DVD include an interview with the director; “Visiting Studio Chizu,” in which Gen Hoshino (voice of Father) gets a special tour of the studio guided by the director; trailers and TV spots.

‘The Wife’ Taps Into the Times, Say Filmmakers

Watching Glenn Close in The Wife is like waiting for a long-simmering teapot to explode.

The film is available now on digital, DVD and Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Close — who plays the wife of an acclaimed author who’s had more influence on his success than anyone knows — has cleaned up during awards season, garnering Screen Actors Guild, Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe awards, among other plaudits.

It’s a performance that also happens to capture the zeitgeist.

“We just happen to have gotten the movie made right on the cusp of the Times Up movement, so finally, the magical slot where pissed off women are the new black,” noted screenwriter Jane Anderson, who adapted the novel by Meg Wolitzer.

The story follows Joan and Joe Castleman, married for nearly 40 years, as they experience the pinnacle of Joe’s success as a novelist when he wins the Nobel Prize. Through flashbacks with a young Joe and Joan, the audience is privy to just how much of that success is attributable to Joan, who makes a pact with the man she loves to achieve their respective desires.

Close’s daughter Annie Starke plays the young Joan, a part she wasn’t initially keen on playing.

“Honestly, when I was first approached about it, I was like no, no, no, no, no,” Starke said.

But as a fan of Anderson’s and after reading the book, her two grandmothers came to mind.

“They were both married quite young, and they took a back seat to my grandfathers,” she said. “My dad’s mom in particular had an extraordinary career. She was a chemist in the 1940s. She actually worked on the Manhattan Project and when she got pregnant, she got fired, and she also worked for GE and was part of the team that literally invented fluorescent lighting.”

Her other grandmother, her mother’s mom, had regrets.

“She never went to college,” Starke said. “She was truly one of the most brilliant women that I’ve ever had the honor of knowing.

“When she was older and unfortunately about to pass she told my mom, she told me, ‘I haven’t done anything with my life.’ And still to this day I get heart pangs when I think about it. And so honestly it was a project that made me think about the incredible women that I have the honor of saying that I am related to and for this to be, at least for me, an homage to who they were. I think I would have been an absolute idiot to have passed that up, and I’m so glad that I didn’t.”

Close and her daughter collaborated on the character.

“We had hours of conversations,” Starke said, including “a lot of deep conversations about who Joan is, what makes her tick.”

Playing the younger version of a woman played by your actual mother involved seeing her parent in a new way, Starke added.

“I would just straight up observe my mom,” Starke said. “I tried to get her mannerisms a little bit, like her way of walking. We kind of sized each other up in ways we never sized each other up before.”

Novelist Wolitzer noticed the way the actors and filmmakers changed things to translate the book to film.

“The quiet in the film was so amazing to me because the book, if you read the book, is not a quiet book. It’s kind of loud. She’s kind of letting loose. She’s letting it rip for the first time, and you’re present for it,” Wolitzer said. “It was so interesting how so much was in this quiet space.”

She said she found herself searching over the actors’ faces because the “actors really kind of convey [the emotions in the book] through the face.”

Close, in particular, added her own touch to the screenplay.

“I rewrote that final scene about three times,” Anderson said, incorporating notes from Close about how a long-married couple might shift from intimacy to anger.

“Writing for Glenn is a really exciting process, because she doesn’t give up,” Anderson said.

“As the writer of a novel, to have your book made into a film by such major talent in every major part is a true honor,” Wolitzer said.

Amazon Ups Q4 Online Sales 13% to $39.8 Billion

Amazon Jan. 31 said it increased fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2018) online sales 13% to $39.8 billion from $35.3 billion during the previous-year period. Online sales include media products sold in physical (DVD/Blu-ray Disc) and digital formats, including books, games, videos and software.

Subscription revenue, which includes Prime (and Prime Video) memberships, audiobooks, e-books, digital music and other non-Amazon Web Services revenue, increased 25% to $3.95 billion, compared to $3.17 billion last year.

Other home entertainment highlights in the quarter included the launch of IMDb Freedive, an ad-supported VOD channel available in the U.S. on the IMDb website via laptop or personal computer and on all Fire TV devices.

Prime Video became available on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 in the U.S., giving Prime members with Xfinity access to thousands of additional premium shows and movies online. Additionally, Amazon launched NBA League Pass and PGA Tour Live on Prime Video Channels.

Prime members can now stream out-of-market NBA games live or on-demand with a subscription to NBA League Pass for $28.99/month or $169.99 for a Season Pass. Prime members in the U.S. can also subscribe to PGA Tour Live to watch live coverage across 28 PGA tournaments per year for $9.99/month or $64.99 per season.

Amazon Studios’ Cold War was recognized for three Academy Award nominations – Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director for Pawel Pawlikowski, and Best Cinematography for Lukasz Zal.

Amazon Studios was recognized with 10 Golden Globe Awards nominations and two wins: Rachel Brosnahan won Best Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical for her performance in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” for the second year in a row and Ben Whishaw won Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television for his role in “A Very English Scandal.”

Prime Video Original Series, “Inside Edge” became the first Indian show from a video streaming service to be nominated for the International Emmy Awards.

Prime Video introduced localized Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu language user interfaces in India. Prime members can now stream movies titles and original series with a Hindi, Tamil, or Telugu user interface, including search, navigation, browse, and customer support.

 

FandangoNow Offering ‘A Star is Born’ Streaming Discount

FandangoNow, the transactional video-on-demand service owned by NBC Universal, is offering a $3 discount for streaming access to Golden Globes winning movie A Star is Born, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.

Using promo code, “STARISBORN” users can get $3 off the $19.99 purchase price. The offer ends Jan. 31. The movie is not yet available for rent.

Additionally, all previous domestic adaptations of A Star is Born — starring Barbra Streisand (1976), Judy Garland (1954) and Janet Gaynor (1937) — are available to rent for 99 cents or $7.99 to own. The catalog promotion runs from Jan. 18 to Jan. 24.

 

SVOD Contenders Score Big at 2019 Golden Globes

TV shows and movies from subscription streaming services made a big showing at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Jan. 6.

Programming available through SVOD services won a total of seven trophies, with two each coming from Netflix’s Roma and “The Kominsky Method.”

Roma won for Best Foreign-Language Film (representing Mexico) and Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón. Netflix has been pushing the film’s awards chances through a limited theatrical release in addition to its availability through the service.

Meanwhile, Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method” won Best TV Series — Musical or Comedy and Best Actor in a TV Series — Musical or Comedy for Michael Douglas.

BBC’s “Bodyguard,” available through Netflix in the United States, won Best Actor in a Television Series — Drama for Richard Madden.

Amazon Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won Best Actress in a TV Series — Musical or Comedy for Rachel Brosnahan. And the BBC’s A Very English Scandal, available through Amazon in America, won Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film for Ben Whishaw.

Universal’s Green Book led all winners with three trophies, including Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for Mahershala Ali, and Best Screenplay.

Bohemian Rhapsody won Best Motion Picture — Drama and Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama for Rami Malek. Fox releases the musical biopic digitally Jan. 22, followed by a Feb. 12 release on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

The Wife won Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama for Glenn Close. Sony Pictures releases the film digitally Jan. 22, and on Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 29.

Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won Best Animated Feature Film.

Warner’s A Star Is Born, due digitally Jan. 15, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Blu-ray Feb. 19, won Best Original Song for “Shallow.”

The Neil Armstrong biopic First Man won Best Original Score for Justin Hurwitz. The film is due on digital Jan. 8, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Jan. 22 from Universal Pictures.

Fox’s The Favourite won Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy for Olivia Colman, while Annapurna’s Vice won Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy for Christian Bale, and If Beal Street Could Talk won Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for Regina King.

In the TV categories, FX’s “The Americans” won Best Television Series — Drama. All six seasons are available on DVD from Fox.

FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story won Best Miniseries or Television Film and Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Film for Darren Criss. The miniseries will be available on Netflix starting Jan. 17.

The BBC’s “Killing Eve” won Best Actress in a Television Series — Drama for Sandra Oh. The first season is now available on DVD and Blu-ray; season two arrives April 7 on BBC America.

HBO’s Sharp Objects, available now on Blu-ray and DVD, won Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Film for Patricia Clarkson.

Showtime’s Escape at Dannemora won Best Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Film for Patricia Arquette.

Amazon Bows ‘Critically Acclaimed’ Page Showcasing Globally Nominated, Winning Movies and TV Shows

Amazon has developed a niche revenue stream endorsing third-party over-the-top video services through its Prime Channels platform. Now, the e-commerce behemoth has launched a page/link highlighting original and third-party movies and TV shows garnering the industry recognition worldwide.

Dubbed “Critically Acclaimed,” the page showcases movies and TV shows nominated for, and winners of the Golden Globes, Oscars, Emmys, Golden Lion (Italy), Filmfare (India), BAFTA (United Kingdom), Sundance, Golden Bear (Germany), Cannes (France), Golden Leopard (Switzerland), and European Film Academy recognition.

Separately, Amazon released its January slate of new series and movies available for rent, purchase and streaming on Prime Video.

Available for purchase:

Jan. 8

The Old Man & The Gun

Available for streaming:

Jan. 13

“True Detective, Season 3,” HBO

“Vera, Season 9,” Britbox

Jan. 14

“Victoria, Season 3,” PBS Masterpiece

Jan. 17

“Star Trek: Discovery, Season 2,” CBS All Access

January 20

“Crashing, Season 3,” HBO

“High Maintenance, Season 3,” HBO

“SMILF, Season 2,” Showtime

“Shameless, Season 9,” Showtime

“Black Monday, Season 1,” Showtime

Jan. 21

 “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition, Season 2,” CBS All Access

New series on Prime Video:

Jan. 1

 “The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle. Season 1b” (Prime Original series),

“Breaking Big, Season 1”

“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Seasons 1, 5-19”

“First Civilizations, Season 1”

“Frontline, Season 36”

“Nova Wonders, Season 1”

Movies:

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Alpha Dog (2006)

Brazil (1985)

GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II (2018)

Going to War (2018)

Jane Eyre (2011)

Reprisal (2018)

Rwanda: The Royal Tour (2018)

The Art of the Shine (2018)

The Jazz Ambassadors (2018)

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

 Jan. 3

Leave No Trace (2018)

Jan. 4

Beautiful Boy (Prime Original movie)

Sherlock Gnomes (2018)

Jan. 11

“Informer,Season 2” (Prime Original series)

Jan. 12

Final Score

Jan. 13

Eighth Grade (2018)

Jan. 16

The Debt (2010)

Jan. 18

 “The Grand Tour, Season 3” (Prime Original series)

Jan. 19

Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018)

Jan. 25

“Four More Shots Please! Season 1” (Prime Original series)

Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014)

Jan. 29

“Endeavour, Season 5”

 

‘Beautiful Boy’ to Stream on Amazon Prime Video Beginning Jan. 4

Beautiful Boy, which has earned Timothee Chalamet a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor, will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video starting Jan. 4.

Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.

The film also stars Steve Carell, Maura Tierney and Timothy Hutton.

It has earned $7.4 million in theaters since it opened in October.

‘Black Panther,’ ‘BlacKkKlansman’ Among Top Golden Globes Nominees Already on Home Video

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominees for the 76th annual Golden Globes Dec. 6. Winners will be announced Jan. 6 on NBC.

Nominees for Best Motion Picture — Drama include Disney’s Black Panther, Universal’s BlacKkKlansman, Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Annapurna’s If Beale Street Could Talk, and Warner’s A Star Is Born. Thus far, only BlacKkKlansman and Black Panther are available for home viewing, with both available on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and through digital retailers.

Movies up for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy include Warner’s Crazy Rich Asians, Fox’s The Favourite, Universal’s Green Book, Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns and Annapurna’s Vice. Of those, Crazy Rich Asians is the only one audiences can check out at home, on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and through digital retailers.

Best Motion Picture — Animated nominees include Incredibles 2 (on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K UHD BD and digital from Disney), Isle of Dogs (on Blu-ray, DVD and digital from Fox), GKIDS’ Mirai, Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet and Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Nominees for Best Motion Picture — Foreign Language include Sony Pictures Classics’ Capernaum (Lebanon) and Never Look Away (Germany), Magnolia’s Shoplifters (Japan), and two movies from Netflix: Girl (Belgium)  and Roma (Mexico), the latest from director Alfonso Caurón.

On the TV side of things, nominees for Best Television Series — Drama, include FX’s “The Americans,” Netflix’s “Bodyguard,” Amazon’s “Homecoming,” BBC’s “Killing Eve” and FX’s “Pose.” Episodes of “The Americans” and “Killing Eve” are both available on disc.

Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy nominees include HBO’s “Barry” (season one on DVD), NBC’s “The Good Place” (on disc from Shout! Factory), Showtime’s “Kidding,” Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method” and Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Nominees for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television are TNT’s The Alienist, FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Showtime’s Escape at Dannemora, HBO’s Sharp Objects (recently released on DVD and Blu-ray) and Amazon’s A Very English Scandal.

A full list of nominees is available at GoldenGlobes.com.

Musical Films ‘A Star Is Born,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘Mama Mia’ Top Fandango Fan Picks of Films That Should Get Golden Globes Noms

Musical performances were the top picks of Fandango fans in a survey if they were to choose the Golden Globe nominations, to be announced Dec. 6.

In a Fandango survey of more than 1,000 film fans, who chose their top choices for the actors and films to be nominated, respondents picked A Star Is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody and other musically focused films for their favorite Globe noms.

The actual nominations, picked by the roughly 90 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, will be announced at 5 a.m. PST Dec. 6.  The Golden Globe Awards will air on NBC on Jan. 6.

“Based on these results, it’s clear that moviegoers are loving those films fueled by their music, which is why we’re seeing a spike in popularity for titles like A Star Is Born, Crazy Rich Asians, Bohemian Rhapsody, Mary Poppins Returns and Mama Mia: Here We Go Again,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis in a statement. “Additionally, films like Black Panther and A Quiet Place were huge unexpected hits with general audiences, and are among those movies fans are hoping to see honored at one of Hollywood’s most engaging awards shows.”

The top fan picks for actors in a drama were the musical performances of Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) and Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), while the top fan picks for actors in a comedy or musical were Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns) and Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool 2).

FandangoNow, Fandango’s streaming service, will have all the nominated films available in the home entertainment window the morning of Dec. 6 at www.fandangonow.com. Fandango is offering its Awards Season gift cards for film fans to help them catch up with films they may have missed on the big screen, via the Fandango theatrical ticketing service, or at home, via Fandango’s digital delivery service, FandangoNow. Also, fans can stream the top nominees available on FandangoNOW for 50% off this weekend only using the promo code GLOBES19.

Survey results for potential Golden Globe nominations are:

Fan picks for Best Picture/Drama:

  1. A Star is Born
  2. Black Panther
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody
  4. A Quiet Place
  5. First Man

 

Fan picks for Best Actress/Drama:

  1. Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born)
  2. Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place)
  3. Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
  4. Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give)
  5. Glenn Close (The Wife)

 

Fan picks for Best Actor/Drama:

  1. Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
  2. Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)
  3. Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther)
  4. Hugh Jackman (The Front Runner)
  5. John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman)

 

Fan picks for Best Picture/Musical or Comedy:

  1. Crazy Rich Asians
  2. Mary Poppins Returns
  3. Green Book
  4. Mama Mia! Here We Go Again
  5. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

 

Fan picks for Best Actress/Musical or Comedy:

  1. Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns)
  2. Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians)
  3. Lily James (Mama Mia! Here We Go Again)
  4. Charlize Theron (Tully)
  5. Olivia Colman (The Favourite)

 

Fan picks for Best Actor/Musical or Comedy:

  1. Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool 2)
  2. Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)
  3. Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns)
  4. Steve Carell (Welcome to Marwen)
  5. Christian Bale (Vice)

 

Fan picks for Best Director:

  1. Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born)
  2. John Krasinski (A Quiet Place)
  3. Ryan Coogler (Black Panther)
  4. Peter Farrelly (Green Book)
  5. Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)

 

Fan picks for Best Supporting Actor:

  1. Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)
  2. Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born)
  3. Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
  4. Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)
  5. Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy)

 

Fan picks for Best Supporting Actress:

  1. Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians)
  2. Nicole Kidman (Boy Erased)
  3. Emma Stone (The Favourite)
  4. Claire Foy (First Man)
  5. Sissy Spacek (The Old Man and the Gun)

 

Fan picks for Best Animated Feature:

  1. Incredibles 2
  2. Ralph Breaks the Internet
  3. Isle of Dogs
  4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  5. Seuss’ The Grinch

 

Fan picks for Best Original Song:

  1. “Shallow”(A Star Is Born)
  2. “All the Stars”(Black Panther)
  3. “I’ll Never Love Again” (A Star Is Born)
  4. “Always Remember Us This Way” (A Star Is Born)
  5. “The Place Where Lost Things Go” (Mary Poppins Returns)

Amazon Prime Video Viewership Revealed

Amazon Prime Video reportedly generated 26 million initial viewers for original programs in early 2017, including 5 million viewers for top shows such as “The Man in the High Castle,” “Transparent,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” and ‘The Grand Tour.”

Subscription streaming video heavyweights Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have staunchly refused to reveal viewership (or ratings) for their ad-free original programs, citing lack of required advertiser justification. It’s a stance that irritates ad-supported TV broadcasters beholden to live-or-die ratings.

Now, internal documents obtained by Reuters reveal in part why original programing is driving Netflix and Amazon to spend $8 billion and $5 billion, respectively, on programing in 2018: New subscribers. It’s growth that drives revenue – and that’s what Wall Street loves.

With Prime Video a free component of Amazon’s $99 annual Prime free two-day shipping membership program, original episodic programs and movies drive subscriber growth, which in turn drives growth of other items on Amazon – including movies.

Unlike Netflix, which reveals (if not champions) subscriber data, Amazon refuses to disclose Prime membership data, which was estimated to top 54 million in the United States at the end of 2015, according to a Consumer Intelligence Research Partners survey.

In a separate 2016 survey from “CutCableToday” of 380 Prime members, 40% said they rented or bought movies not available on Prime Video from Amazon Instant Video on a monthly basis. The survey also found that 20% of Prime members don’t use Prime Video.

“When we win a Golden Globe, it helps us sell more shoes,” Amazon founder/CEO Jeff Bezos told a 2016 tech confab. It’s an outlook CFO Brian Olsavsky drones on monotonously in Amazon’s conference calls.

Reuters reported that “High Castle,” which is an adaption of Philip Dick’s 1962 alternate historical fiction showcasing Axis powers Germany, Japan and Italy having won World War II, cost $72 million in first season production and marketing.

It reportedly generated 1.15 million new Prime subscribers, or about $63 in subscriber acquisition costs – 36% below the annual Prime membership fee.