‘Dune,’ ‘Halloween Kills’ Debut Atop Disc Sales Charts

The new adaptation of Dune from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Jan. 15.

Identified onscreen as Dune: Part One, the film is directed by Denis Villeneuve and covers roughly the first half of the 1965 Frank Herbert novel upon which it is based. Dune tells the story of factions in a galactic empire in the far future warring over a desert planet that houses valuable resources. It earned $107.4 million at the domestic box office.

The No. 2 seller on both charts was another newcomer, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Halloween Kills, the sequel to 2018’s Halloween, which itself was a sequel to the 1978 film of the same name and rebooted the franchise by ignoring all previous sequels. It earned $92 million at the domestic box office and sold about 57% as many copies as Dune.

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The top seller the previous three weeks, MGM’s No Time to Die, slipped to No. 3 on both charts. The latest James Bond actioner is distributed on disc by Universal Pictures.

The Marvel-inspired sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage from Sony Pictures slipped to No. 4 on both charts in its fifth week on Blu-ray and DVD.

No. 5 on both charts was Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the 25th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.

Other newcomers to debut in the top 20 include, at No. 6, Sony Pictures’ Cobra Kai: Season 3, a disc release of the third season of the Netflix series continuation of the “Karate Kid” franchise. No. 14 on the overall disc sales chart (No. 11 on the Blu-ray chart) was Decal’s Spencer, a drama depicting a fictionalized account of Princess Diana’s 1991 Christmas visit to the royal family that spurred her to seek a separation from them, starring Kristen Stewart as Di.

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Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 81% of first-week Dune unit sales, with 39% from the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, 2% from a 3D Blu-ray edition, and 40% from the regular Blu-ray. For Halloween Kills, Blu-ray accounted for 67% of its tally, 40% from regular Blu-ray and 27% from 4K. Spencer had 51% of its sales come from the HD format (it was not released on 4K disc).

The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Jan. 16 also had Dune in the top spot and Halloween Kills at No. 2.

The previous week’s top rental, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, slipped to No. 3, followed by No Time to Die at No. 4.

Disney-owned Searchlight Pictures’ horror film Antlers entered the rental chart at No. 5 after being delayed a week at Redbox rental kiosks.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 1-15-22
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 1-16-22
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 1-15-22
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 1-15-22
Sales Report for Week Ended 1-15-22
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 1-17-22

‘Dune,’ ‘Halloween Kills’ Top List of Jan. 11 Home Video Releases

The week of Jan. 11 sees Dune and Halloween Kills make their way to Blu-ray and DVD, while Marvel’s Eternals becomes available for home viewing via digital channels.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ Dune: Part One arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD  Jan. 11. Dune, which has garnered more than $397 million at the global box office, was directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049) from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth, based on the novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert. The film stars Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name, Little Women), Rebecca Ferguson (Doctor Sleep, Mission: Impossible — Fallout), Oscar Isaac (the “Star Wars” franchise), Josh Brolin (Milk, Avengers: Infinity War), Stellan Skarsgård (TV’s “Chernobyl,” Avengers: Age of Ultron), Dave Bautista (the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, Avengers: Endgame), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences, Lady Bird), Zendaya (Spider-Man: Homecoming, TV’s “Euphoria”), Chang Chen (Mr. Long, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), David Dastmalchian (Blade Runner 2049, The Dark Knight), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, TV’s “Sex Education”), with Charlotte Rampling (45 Years, Assassin’s Creed), with Jason Momoa (Aquaman, “Game of Thrones”), and Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Skyfall). Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides (Chalamet), a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence — a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential — only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Halloween Kills is being released on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Jan. 11. The latest installment in the “Halloween” franchise, earned a domestic gross of nearly $92 million. The Halloween Kills home video release includes the original theatrical release, an extended cut with an alternate ending, and exclusive bonus content. Picking up where the 2018 film ended, Halloween Kills stars Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, who continues to fend off serial killer Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney). The cast also includes Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Anthony Michael Hall and Thomas Mann.

Spencer, starring Kristin Stewart, is being released on DVD and Blu-ray Jan. 11 from Distribution Solutions, Neon and Decal. In the film based on the life of Princess Diana, the marriage of Diana and Prince Charles has long since grown cold. Though rumors of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. The film is an imagining of what might have happened during those few fateful days. In addition to Stewart (“The Twilight Saga,” Charlie’s Angels, Snow White and the Huntsman), the drama also stars Timothy Spall (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and 2, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), Jack Farthing (“Poldark”) and Sean Harris (Mission Impossible, The Green Knight). Spencer is directed by Pablo Larrain (Jackie). Read a review here.

Cobra Kai: Season 3 arrives on DVD Jan. 11 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. “Cobra Kai” takes place over 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament with the continuation of the inescapable conflict between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). Season three finds everyone reeling in the aftermath of the violent high school brawl between their dojos, which has left Miguel in a precarious condition. While Daniel searches for answers in his past and Johnny seeks redemption, Kreese further manipulates his vulnerable students with his own vision of dominance.

CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment release Billions: Season Five on DVD Jan. 11. In season five of “Billions,” billionaire Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) and politician Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) see their vicious rivalry reignited, while new enemies rise and take aim. Social impact pioneer Mike Prince (Corey Stoll) poses a true threat to Axe’s dominance, and Chuck feuds with a formidable district attorney (Roma Maffia). Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff) reevaluates her loyalties and forges surprising new alliances that put her at odds with both Chuck and Axe. Meanwhile, Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon) is forced back to Axe Capital. The 12-episode season originally aired on Showtime in two batches — seven episodes from May to June 2020, and five more from September to October 2021. The sixth season will premiere on Showtime Jan. 23.

The action-horror thriller Amityville Uprising will be released on demand, for digital purchase and on DVD Jan. 11 from Lionsgate. A chemical blast at a military base sets off a supernatural disaster in the action-horror thriller. As Sgt. Dash tries to keep the peace at the local police station, the explosion unleashes a toxic acid rain that dissolves the flesh of anyone trapped in it. Even worse, it causes the dead to rise again and attack the living. Dash and fellow officer Nina Rossi must figure out who is friend and foe, fend off the attacks, and defend their colleagues until the savage cataclysm subsides.

Shout! Studios Jan. 11 releases through digital channels “Diary of the Grizzly Man,” a miniseries about Timothy Treadwell, who spent 13 years in the Alaskan wilderness, studying the park’s grizzly bears, before one of those bears killed him. The three-hour miniseries is crafted from Treadwell’s vast film archive. Treadwell arrived in Alaska’s Katmai National Park in 1990 and stayed there until October 2003, when one of the bears he was studying killed him.  Treadwell left behind photographic and written diaries of his life with the bears and foxes. Directed by Timothy Treadwell, “Diary of the Grizzly Man” was produced by Erik Nelson and Jewel Palovak, the producers of Werner Herzog’s acclaimed documentary Grizzly Man. The new miniseries contains never-before-seen footage and still photographs of Treadwell’s interactions with very wild nature — dangerous interactions that would ultimately lead to the death of Treadwell and his girlfriend, Amie Hugarnard. Along with this footage, Treadwell’s personal diaries are read by his close friend, actor Warren Queeny. The original score for this series is written and performed by the renowned guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson.

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The 1992 film Juice, starring Omar Epps and Tupac Shakur, is being released on 4K Ultra HD for the first time Jan. 11 from Paramount Home Entertainment, marking its 30th anniversary. A Steelbook edition of the 4K Blu-ray also will be available. The gritty film, which continues to be celebrated for its realistic portrayal of Harlem life and the early New York hip hop scene, follows Q, Raheem, Bishop and Steel, who spend their days hanging out and looking for a way to get the power and respect they call Juice. Q hopes to earn respect by becoming a scratch ‘n’ mix DJ.  Bishop has a deadlier plan — take it through an armed robbery with his crew. Juice is the feature directorial debut of cinematographer Ernest R. Dickerson, whose collaborations with Spike Lee include Do the Right Thing and Malcom X. It features a soundtrack that includes Eric B. & Rakim, Naughty by Nature, Big Daddy Kane and Salt N’ Pepa.

Kino Lorber Jan. 11 releases the 1966 heist comedy Gambit, starring Michael Caine and Shirley Maclaine. The film, from director Ronald Neame, is being released under the independent supplier’s Studio Classics banner. Gambit takes off in Hong Kong, where a dapper English cat burglar (Caine) enlists the aid of a Eurasian dancer (Maclaine) to help him in an elaborate scheme to grab an age-old artifact from the heavily secured palace of a powerful Middle Eastern tycoon (Herbert Lom, The Pink Panther Strikes Again). Unfortunately, the foolproof scheme begins to backfire shortly after it starts and the duo must pull out all the stops if they hope to come out on top.  The film features music by Maurice Jarre (Lawrence of Arabia) and Technicolor cinematography by Clifford Stine (Bedtime Story).

Jan. 12 sees the arrival of Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Eternals for sale via digital platforms, as well as for streaming on Disney+. Eternals, which has generated $164.8 million at the North American box office, and $401.8 million globally, follows a group of ancient heroes from beyond the stars who have protected Earth since the dawn of man. When monstrous creatures called Deviants, long thought lost to history, mysteriously return, the superheroes are forced to reunite in order to defend humanity once again. The ensemble cast includes Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie. It arrives on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Feb. 15.

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

Universal Pictures Sets Home Release Dates for ‘Halloween Kills’

Halloween Kills, the big theatrical horror hit of this year’s Halloween season, will be released through digital retailers on Dec. 14, and on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray Disc and DVD a month later, on Jan. 11, 2022.

The Universal Pictures film, the 12th installment in the “Halloween” franchise, earned a domestic gross of nearly $92 million. 

The Universal Pictures Home Entertainment release of Halloween Kills features the original theatrical release, an extended cut with an alternate ending, and exclusive bonus content that includes extended and deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes look at creating the film, a gag reel and several short documentaries.

These include “Haddonfield’s Open Wounds,” which takes a look at some of the returning characters and why their past traumatic encounters made them natural candidates to defend their town against Michael; “Strode Family Values,” in which filmmakers discuss the three generations of Strode women who have been terrorized by The Shape; and “1978 Transformations,” about how the filmmakers shot new footage that matches the iconic 1978 original.
 

Jeff Shell Upbeat on Concurrent Peacock, Theater Movie Release Strategy

When Universal Pictures released Halloween Kills on the Peacock subscription streaming platform the same time as the sequel’s box office debut on Oct. 15, the move marked NBCUniversal’s ongoing proactive steps to rejigger movie distribution in the streaming ecosystem.

Speaking on the Oct. 28 Comcast quarterly earnings call, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said the decision to offer $9.99 monthly Peacock subscribers (not $4.99 free ad-supported subs) early access to Jaime Lee Curtis’ return as Laurie Strode and her cursed lifelong battle against Michael Myers, paid off.

“We added a few million more subscribers,” Shell said, adding that the move, coupled with the Tokyo Summer Olympics on Peacock, energized the platform. NBCUniversal gave no updates on Peacock subscriber data, which topped 54 million sign-ups and 20 million paid subs through June 30.

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Kills, which generated $49.4 million to lead all weekend new releases, was the second movie after The Boss Baby: Family Business on July 1 to have a concurrent streaming bow. The latter, a sequel to 2017’s The Boss Baby, also topped its opening weekend box office with $16 million in ticket sales.

Shell said the results underscore the reality that streaming and box office can co-exist without cannibalizing revenue streams. The executive was instrumental in Universal taking a hatchet to the 90-day theatrical window — now releasing some titles on premium VOD just 17 days after their exhibitor debut.

“We’ve seen across all streaming platforms that movies move the dial,” Shell said. “It shows that you can play in two different markets.”

In addition to releasing select titles on Peacock and in theaters at the same time, the SVOD service in 2022 will have exclusive access to all Universal titles four months after their box office debut as part of the studio’s new Pay 1 window distribution strategy.

Shell said he remained “really excited” about the status of Peacock going forward.

“We’ve been in business for just over a year, and we’re already more than a third of where Hulu is now, which is a service that’s been more than decades in the making,” he said.

Notably, Kelly Campbell, former president of Hulu, was hired by Shell to the same position at Peacock earlier this month.

‘Halloween Kills’ Domestic Box Office With $50.4 Million Debut

Universal Pictures’ sequel Halloween Kills didn’t disappoint, generating an estimated $50.4 million in opening weekend box office revenue across more than 3,700 North American screens.

The sequel to the 2018 reboot from Blumhouse, with Jamie Lee Curtis again reprising her original teen (now grandmother) role as Laurie Strode, intent on ending the murderous reign of Michael Myers, is the highest-grossing theatrical bow for a movie concurrently available on streaming at no extra cost to Peacock subscribers.

Halloween Kills‘ opening did not match the $76 million opening for 2018’s Halloween, which heavily marketed the return of Curtis to the role that launched her career. Kills is expected to resonate strongly at the box office through Oct. 31, before it will be made available on premium VOD.

Jamie Lee Curtis as grandmother Laurie Strode in Halloween Kills

MGM/United Artists Releasing’s James Bond title No Time to Die was the week’s runner-up with more than $24.3 million, reaching nearly $100 million at North American screens ($447 million globally) in Daniel Craig’s last run as Agent 007.

Another hyped new release, Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel (20th Century Studios), failed to match its $7 million to $10 million box office estimates, with less than $5 million in ticket sales. The result is disappointing for a film that reportedly cost $100 million to make — and features Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Jodie Comer.

Finally, Sony Pictures’ Venom: Let There Be Carnage saw $16.5 million in ticket sales to bring its three-week total to $169.1 million, while MGM/United Releasing’s The Addams Family 2 realized $7.2 million in ticket sales ($42.3 million overall).

Box Office Forecast: Will It Be a Case of ‘Halloween Kills’ James Bond?

This weekend’s (through Oct. 17) box office battle finds James Bond being challenged by the murderous Michael Myers, who has been tormenting moviegoers since 1978 — 16 years after the first Bond movie. While both characters have survived being shot, blown up, stabbed, drowned, hacksawed and torched (Myers), the box office is a wholly different beast.

MGM/United Artists Releasing’s No Time to Die, featuring actor Daniel Craig in his supposed last performance as Agent 007, opened a week ago to a strong, yet unspectacular, $56 million North American box office. Myers’ return in Universal Pictures’ Halloween Kills marks the third release in the Blumhouse reboot that brought back original teen (now grandmother) Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).

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Unlike the previous release, which was a box office and critical success, Kills will be the first in the franchise to have concurrent availability on a streaming platform. Universal is making the movie available at no extra charge to Peacock subscribers — a marketing move that could undermine ticket sales similar to the impact of HBO Max on recent Warner Bros. Pictures’ releases.

As a result, Kills is tracking to generate more than $35 million domestically, according to Universal, far below the $76 million Halloween opening weekend in 2018 — but still ahead of the projected $25 million for No Time to Die in its sophomore weekend. Interestingly, women made up nearly 50% of Halloween moviegoers in 2018.

Meanwhile, Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel (20th Century Studios) makes its theatrical debut across more than 3,000 screens — featuring Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Jodie Comer. The period actioner is projected to generate more than $8 million in ticket sales.

Other returns include Sony Pictures’ Venom: Let There Be Carnage ($25 million), The Addams Family 2 ($7.3 million) from MGM/UA Releasing, and Disney/Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ($2.9 million).

Comcast CFO: Splitting Universal’s Pay 1 Window With Rival Streamers More Profitable

Universal Pictures’ decision to split the 18-month Pay 1 window between its sister Peacock streaming service, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video is generating more revenue than prior post-theatrical/retail home entertainment iterations, Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh told an investor group.

Speaking Sept. 14 at the virtual Banc of America Securities 2021 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference, Cavanagh said the decision to incorporate Peacock rivals in the Pay 1 window underscores NBCUniversal’s singular approach to movie distribution in the digital age.

Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh

“Our road to streaming is going to be our own road,” Cavanagh said. “We’ll do what makes sense to us.”

In addition to feeding the growing Peacock asset and mining incremental revenue through premium VOD with original studio movies on an accelerated timeline, Universal has revenue-sharing agreements with AMC Theatres and Regal that allow it to release titles into digital retail channels as early as 17 days after their box office debut, depending upon opening weekend ticket sales.

Universal earlier this month announced it would release horror movie Halloween Kills, the sequel to the 2018 reboot that re-introduced Jamie Lee Curtis to the franchise, in theaters and on the Peacock on Oct. 15.

“We are firm believers that theatrical is important, but innovation around windowing is going to be part of what makes us successful over time,” Cavanagh said.

After Peacock’s exclusive four-month Pay 1 window, Netflix and Amazon split separate four-month periods followed by a four-month return to Peacock.

“The monies we received from third parties for that 18-month window — despite the fact we are keeping the first four months of that window — is actually more than what it had been prior to this new deal that we did,” Cavanagh said.

He said the strategy enables Universal to better leverage its theatrical content through Peacock while enabling competitive channels to mine incremental fiscal benefits for the studio.

“We think it is a long-term opportunity for us to keep the asset in our own libraries, while also giving us optionality for down the road,” Cavanagh said. “I think we served a lot of our different strategic purposes in the new windowing we did.”

Universal Pictures Delays Additional Movies, Including Sequel ‘Halloween Kills’

Universal Pictures is delaying the theatrical release of additional movies due to upticks in coronavirus infections nationwide.

The studio July 8 announced Candyman will now hit screens on Oct. 16 from its original Sept. 25 debut. Separately, The Forever Purge has been moved to July 9, 2021, from July this year, while Halloween Kills — the fiscally successful sequel to the 2018 reboot that brought back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode — has now been moved to Oct. 15, 2021, from Oct. 16, 2020.

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The new delays come as COVID-19 infections topped a record 60,000 on July 7. Outbreaks continue to spread across a number of states in the South and West including Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.

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