Vudu Offering Exclusive Clips, Gift Cards, Game Discount for ‘Rise of Gru’ Debut

Vudu is offering fans exclusive behind-the-scenes clips of Steve Carell at Vudu and Fandango.com as Universal and Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru debuts on the transactional digital service. 

The title is available for premium digital purchase and rental.

Vudu is also providing a guide to activities, games and crafts, including activity sheets that feature instructions for making a Minions pet rock and how to create an origami ninja star, minions badges and minion popsicle stick puppets, as well as access to coloring sheets and a banana split recipe.

Vudu is also offering seven Minions: The Rise of Gru-themed gift cards.

In addition, for a limited time, consumers purchasing Minions: The Rise of Gru on Vudu will get a discount code good for 50% off the new Exploding Minions family game, the Minions-themed version of the popular Exploding Kittens, featuring new cards and illustrations. Here’s how to play the game and see here for details on the offer.

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‘Sing 2’ Hits High Note on Weekly Vudu Chart

Universal Pictures’ animated sequel Sing 2 again topped the chart of the 10 most-popular titles on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu the week ended Jan. 23.

The Illumination film, which became available for premium digital rental Jan. 7, follows the animal singers as they plan a new show and try to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star, Clay Callaway (voiced by Bono), to join them. It also features the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Taron Egerton.

Repeating at No. 2 was Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which became available for digital purchase Jan. 4. The franchise relaunch from director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman is a sequel to the two 1980s “Ghostbusters” movies. It follows a single mom and her two kids who arrive in a small town and begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather, an original Ghostbuster, left behind.

Landing at No. 3 was Sony Pictures’ Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, which became available for digital purchase Jan. 18. In the sci-fi horror film, Raccoon City, which was once a booming home of pharmaceutical giant Umbrella Corporation, is now a dying Midwestern town — with great evil brewing below the surface.

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Dropping from No. 3 to No. 4 was Disney’s Marvel Comics-based Eternals, which became available for digital purchase Jan. 12, and falling from No. 4 to No. 5 was the sci-fi film Dune, available for non-premium digital purchase Jan. 11.

Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Jan. 23, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Sing 2
  2. Ghostbusters: Afterlife
  3. Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
  4. Eternals
  5. Dune
  6. Venom: Let There Be Carnage
  7. Clifford the Big Red Dog
  8. No Time to Die
  9. Halloween Kills – Extended Cut
  10. The French Dispatch

Voice Cast, Release Date Disclosed for ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Animated Theatrical Movie

Animation studio Illumination (Minions) and Nintendo announced that their new movie based on the video game world of Super Mario Bros. will be released worldwide during the 2022 holiday season. Universal Pictures will release the title in North America on Dec. 21, 2022, with the release schedule for additional countries and regions to be announced at a future date. The film will be co-financed by Universal Pictures and Nintendo.

Voice actors include Chris Pratt (Mario), Anya Taylor-Joy (Princess Peach), Charlie Day (Luigi ), Jack Black (Bowser), Keegan-Michael Key (Toad), Seth Rogen (Donkey Kong), Fred Armisen (Cranky Kong), Kevin Michael Richardson (Kamek) and Sebastian Maniscalco (Spike).

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The screenplay will be written by Matthew Fogel, whose writing credits include The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part and the upcoming Illumination film Minions: The Rise of Gru.

Shigeru Miyamoto, co-creator of Super Mario Bros., and fellow of Nintendo, said production on the movie has been “constructive and going very well,” with representatives from Illumination and Nintendo “learning a lot from each other.”

“We humbly ask that fans wait just a little longer for the premiere, and we hope they look forward to seeing the unique characters from Super Mario Bros. on the big screen,” Miyamoto said in a statement.

Super Mario Bros. is considered one of greatest-selling video game franchises since launching in 1985 as a successor to the Mario Bros. arcade game.

Universal to Bow Five Multi-Disc Collections Sept. 29

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing five multiple-title disc collections Sept. 29.

The “Focus Features: 10-Movie Spotlight Collection,” coming on Blu-ray, features films that earned seven Academy Awards and 11 Golden Globes. The set includes Lost in Translation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Pride & Prejudice, Brokeback Mountain, Atonement, Burn After Reading, Moonrise Kingdom, The Theory of Everything, On the Basis of Sex and Harriet.

The “Blumhouse of Horrors: 10-Movie Collection,” coming on Blu-ray and DVD, includes Get Out, The Purge, Ouija, Split, The Visit, Unfriended, Truth or Dare, The Boy Next Door, Happy Death Day and Ma.

The “Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection,” on 4K Ultra HD combo pack, features four iconic films from the acclaimed director, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho and The Birds, and comes in Discbook packaging.

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The “DreamWorks 10-Movie Collection,” due on Blu-ray and DVD, includes Shrek, Madagascar, Home, Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron, How to Train your Dragon, The Croods, Kung Fu Panda, Boss Baby, Abominable and Trolls.

Finally, the “Illumination Presents 10-Movie Collection,” coming on Blu-ray and DVD, features all three Despicable Me films, The Secret life of Pets 1 and 2, Hop, Minions, Sing, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch.

‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ Coming to Digital Aug. 13, Disc Aug. 27 From Universal

The family film The Secret Life of Pets 2 will debut on digital Aug. 13 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Aug. 27 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

From the studio Illumination (Despicable Me, Minions, Sing), the animated sequel features the pets and their growing families in a new chapter that explores the deep bond between them and the humans that love them. Again, the film answers the question: What are your pets really doing when you’re not at home? Terrier Max (voice of Patton Oswalt) is coping with major life changes after Katie’s marriage and the arrival of a toddler, Liam. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip. And Snowball (Kevin Hart) believes, despite the other pets’ teasing, that he’s a superhero after his owner starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission, he has to summon the courage to become the hero he’s been pretending to be.

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Other voice talent includes Eric Stonestreet, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan and Harrison Ford in his first ever role in an animated film as new farm dog, Rooster.

Bonus features on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital include two mini-movies — Super Gidget, featuring the film’s Pomeranian Gidget and her best friend Max, and Minion Scouts, starring the Minions. Also included are deleted scenes, making-of featurettes and drawing tutorials. An interactive Captain Snowball motion comic allowing viewers to direct the bunny hero on his next move is exclusive to the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray versions.

‘The Grinch’ Sliding to Digital Jan. 22, Disc Feb. 5 From Universal

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch is coming to digital (including Movies Anywhere) Jan. 22 and 4K Ultra HD combo pack, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Feb. 5 from Illumination and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $267.4 million in North American theaters, making it the year’s No. 6 movie, according to Box Office Mojo.

Based on the Dr. Seuss tale, the animated film follows a cynical grouch who goes on a mission to steal Christmas from others only to feel his own heart grow three sizes larger through unexpected friendships. Narrated by Pharrell Williams, The Grinch stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Strange, “Sherlock”) as the Grinch, who lives a solitary life inside a cave on Mt. Crumpit with his loyal dog, Max, for company. The voice cast also includes Rashida Jones (“Parks and Recreation,” The Muppets) as Donna Who, Kenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”) as Bricklebaum, Cameron Seely (The Greatest Showman) as Cindy-Lou Who and Angela Lansbury (AnastasiaBeauty and the Beast) as the mayor of Whoville.

The home entertainment edition contains more than 60 minutes of bonus content, including three mini-movies: “Dog Days of Winter” starring the Grinch and his heroically loyal dog Max; and “Yellow is the New Black” and “Santa’s Little Helpers,” both starring the Minions. It also includes featurettes and a how-to-draw tutorial.

Bonus features exclusive to disc include the interactive map “Who’s Who in Who-ville” and the “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” lyric video.