‘Let Him Go’ Available for Digital Purchase Jan. 19, Disc Feb. 2

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release the drama Let Him Go for digital sellthrough Jan. 19, and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Feb. 2.

Based on the novel of the same name by Larry Watson, the film stars Diane Lane and Kevin Costner (who previously co-starred together as Superman’s human parents in Man of Steel) as a husband and wife who, following the death of their son, leave their Montana ranch to trek through North Dakota to rescue their young grandson from the clutches of a ruthless family.

Written and directed by Thomas Bezucha, Let Him Go earned $9.36 million at the domestic box office. The cast also includes Lesley Manville, Jeffrey Donovan, Kayli Carter, Booboo Stewart and Will Brittain.

Extras include the featurettes “The Making of Let Him Go,” “The Blackledges: Kevin Costner & Diane Lane” and “Lighting the Way: Thomas Bezucha.”

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4K Ultra HD Release Sends ‘Game of Thrones’ Season Set Soaring Up ‘Watched at Home’ Chart

After We Collided, a romantic drama from Open Road Films, remained No. 1 on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart for the third consecutive week.

But the film received a strong challenge during the week ended Nov. 7 from two new releases.

The availability of the complete “Game of Thrones” series on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Warner Bros. sent the hefty five-pound boxed set, previously issued on DVD and regular Blu-ray Disc,  soaring back up the chart to No. 2.

Debuting at No. 3 was Lionsgate’s Antebellum, a time-shifting horror drama with Janelle Monáe as a successful modern-day writer trapped during America’s slavery era. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, as well as through digital retailers, on Nov. 3.

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The political documentary Trump Card (No. 4, down from the No. 3 the previous week) and season one of the TV series “Yellowstone” (No. 5, up from No. 12) rounded out the top five on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart, which tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc) compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Trump Card, from conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, examines the policy positions held by Democrats in public office. It became available through digital retailers back in early October, but picked up more viewers as the Nov. 3 presidential election approached.

“Yellowstone” is a contemporary Western drama starring Kevin Costner that is centered on the conflicts between a cattle ranch, an Indian reservation and land developers, all of whom share common borders.

Other new releases debuting on the “Watched at Home” chart include the original Borat (No. 14), drafting off the sequel’s digital bow on Amazon; the holiday favorite Home Alone (No. 11); and V for Vendetta (No. 12). Demand for the latter was spurred by its Nov. 3 release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray by Warner Bros.

  1. After We Collided (Open Road)
  2. Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (Warner)
  3. Antebellum (Lionsgate)
  4. Trump Card (D’Souza Media)
  5. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  6. Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  7. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  8. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  9. My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Funimation)
  10. Ava (Vertical)
  11. Home Alone (20th Century)
  12. V for Vendetta (Warner)
  13. The Wolf of Snow Hollow (MGM)
  14. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (20th Century)
  15. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Warner)
  16. Trolls World Tour (Universal)
  17. Alone (Magnolia)
  18. Beetlejuice (Warner)
  19. The Phenomenon (1091)
  20. Spell (Paramount)

 

Source: DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Includes U.S. digital sales, digital rentals, and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD sales for the week ended Nov. 7.

 

Season 3 of ‘Yellowstone’ on Disc Dec. 8

Paramount Home Entertainment will release Yellowstone: Season 3 on Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 8 (order date Oct. 27).

Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan, the popular Paramount Network series stars Kevin Costner and follows the story of a multi-generational family that controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States.  In the third season, the Dutton family is threatened by new foes and lucrative business deals, forcing John (Costner), Kayce (Luke Grimes), Beth (Kelly Reilly) and Jamie (Wes Bentley) to utilize unexpected alliances and risky measures to safeguard their legacy. New cast members for the third season include Josh Holloway (“Lost”). The also includes Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Brecken Merrill, Jefferson White, Danny Huston and Gil Birmingham. New cast members for the third season include Josh Holloway (“Lost”).

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The third-season finale of “Yellowstone” was the most-watched cable telecast of the year, and the top cable telecast since the “Game of Thrones” finale in May 2019. The three seasons of the series are consistently among the top titles in the weekly Watched at Home chart of digital and DVD/Blu-ray transactions compiled by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. The show has been renewed for a fourth season on Paramount Network.

The three-disc Blu-ray and four-disc DVD sets of the third season offer all 10 hourlong episodes, plus more than four hours of extras, including a never-before-seen featurette detailing the making of the season with inside looks from Costner and Sheridan; an exploration of the series with director Stephen Kay; and an interview with special effects supervisor Garry Elmendorf about his team’s work on the show.

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A limited-edition DVD gift set of the first three seasons will also be available Dec. 8, featuring 12 discs, collectible packaging, and a set of four themed drink coasters.

Fans can also purchase “Yellowstone” merchandise inspired by the Dutton Ranch and iconic western landscape. T-shirts are now available on Walmart.com and in select Walmart stores, and at amazon.com/paramountnetwork.

‘Yellowstone’ Fever, ‘Trolls’ Mania Grip Home Viewers

Homebound consumers were enthralled with the TV series “Yellowstone” the week ended June 27, with all three seasons of the contemporary Western drama landing in the top five of the weekly “Watched at Home” chart.

Meanwhile, the digital sellthrough release of Trolls World Tour gave the animated family film, from DreamWorks Animation, a No. 2 debut on the chart, which tracks transactional video activity compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Trolls World Tour was the first big feature film to premier digitally instead of in theaters since the COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of movie theaters. The film was released April 10 on premium video-on-demand (PVOD) at a 48-hour rental price of $19.99.

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After slightly more than two weeks, distributor Universal Pictures announced the film, a sequel to 2016’s Trolls, had generated $100 million in revenue from its PVOD release. Appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” analyst Richard Greenfield a day before the film’s debut said, “It’s a pretty monumental day in the film industry where a mainstream consumer movie … is going to skip the theaters…. I’m certainly rooting for them to do well because I think this is an important model for the industry.”

Trolls World Tour will be issued on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD on July 7.

The third season of “Yellowstone” debuted at No. 1 on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart. The season debuted on linear TV June 21, but season passes are currently on sale through digital retailers like Amazon Prime Video and FandangoNow at $19.99 HD and $14.99 SD, even though episodes will only become available a day after they are broadcast. As of this week, the first two episodes in season 3 can be purchased individually for $2.99 HD and $1.99 SD.

The two earlier seasons are both available for digital and physical purchase. Yellowstone Season 1, initially released in December 2018, rose to No. 3 on the chart after shooting up to No. 4 the prior week in the wake of the third season’s linear debut.

Yellowstone: Season 2, released on DVD in November 2019, rose to No. 4 after debuting in the top 20 the prior week at No. 10.

According to Deadline, the Season 3 debut of “Yellowstone” on June 21 across four networks – three Paramount Network telecasts and three simulcasts on CMT, TV Land and Pop – attracted 6.6 million total viewers, making it the top cable premiere so far this year.

Featuring a cast headed by Kevin Costner, “Yellowstone” is centered around the conflicts between a cattle ranch, an Indian reservation and land developers, all of whom share common borders.

Rounding out the top five is Universal Pictures’ acclaimed The Invisible Man remake, which slipped to No. 5 after topping the chart the prior week.

  1. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  2. Trolls World Tour (DreamWorks/Universal)
  3. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount
  4. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  5. The Invisible Man (Universal)
  6. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)
  7. The Hunt (Universal)
  8. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony)
  9. Bad Boys for Life (Sony)
  10. Birds of Prey (Warner)
  11. 1917 (Universal)
  12. The Call of the Wild (Disney)
  13. Bloodshot (Sony, 2020)
  14. The Gentlemen (STX/Universal, 2019)
  15. Spies in Disguise (Fox)
  16. Onward (Disney)
  17. Fantasy Island (Sony, 2020)
  18. Dolittle (Universal)
  19. Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  20. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)

 

Source: DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Includes U.S. digital sales, digital rentals, and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD sales for the week ended June 27

Tin Cup

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Available via Warner Archive;
Warner;
Comedy;
$21.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for language and brief nudity.
Stars Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson.

A kind of shaggy dog or shaggy bogey or shaggy something golf backdropped romantic comedy directed and co-written by Ron Shelton, 1996’s Tin Cup was about as popular at the box office as the filmmaker’s breakthrough Bull Durham, yet it isn’t talked about as much these days — perhaps due to Durham’s extraordinarily sustained shelf life as a movie that really caught on in the home market. It’s long and a little lumpy, but it’s my favorite golf film out of a limited pool, despite my decades of boundless affection for Martin & Lewis in The Caddy, which is the picture from which I caught the movie bug in 1953.

For one thing, it has one of the greatest premises for a romantic comedy that I’ve ever seen, as a practitioner of the No. 1 head game in sports (Kevin Costner) falls for a clinical psychologist (Rene Russo). I see that one of those cretins you sometimes see posting on IMDb.com said he didn’t like the picture because Russo didn’t act anything like real people in the profession do, but one of the key points here is that the latter has knocked around in sales and other professions before getting her certification and is hardly to the profession born. What’s more, if she weren’t in her own way as flakey as Costner, their relationship could never get past the opening tee shot, which it barely does, anyway.

The setting is a West Texas driving rage that Costner operates and lives in sub-meagerly. I won’t say it’s out in the middle of nowhere, but you somehow know it isn’t a good sign when the logo on his establishment’s sign is an armadillo. Once a promising college golfer at the University of Houston, Costner has gone to professional seed over his habit of playing recklessly and his congenital refusal to follow the advice even of his caddy and all but live-in friend (Cheech Marin, in the best screen role he’s ever had aside from maybe parts in the earliest Cheech & Chong vehicles). Meanwhile, Costner’s chief college rival (a never-better Don Johnson) has become a name pro on the circuit. Those two are not dissimilar physical types, but I can’t tell if Shelton is trying to construct an alter ego thing or not.

Russo, who has a history of “following boyfriends” to wherever they are geographically, shows up at the range for golf lessons — and though this isn’t divulged right away, her current squeeze is a golfer who happens to be … well, guess. She can barely hit the ball when teeing off, so Costner has a lot of work to do, including polishing his faltering romantic patter. His familiar formulas aren’t working, partly because Russo sees right through him. She’s also too slow in picking up on the fact, which Costner fully knows from their long history, that super-slick Johnson is about as sincere as, say, Jim Bakker.

This is all an entertaining setup for what happens when Costner elects to attempt entry to the U.S. Open, which literally is “open” to any golfer who can qualify for entry — which, among other things, means not playing like a highly talented madman. This would encompass not intentionally snapping clubs like wishbones, using a 7-iron when it’s an eccentric choice for the shot and insulting your longtime caddy to the point where he walks off the course. Still, aside from the caddy part, Costner makes it work for him up to a point, though his behavior keeps adding strokes to a score and blowing what ought to be a cushion after he’s hit a hot streak.

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The wide open settings of the movie’s second half are a photogenic contrast to the first, which spends a lot of time in and around the mold culture where Costner lives, works and has even had surprising success with women in the past, though none of them with Russo’s at least relative polish. There are at least a couple standout set pieces, the first being an incredible bet that Costner sets up in a bar on the tour, which involves a long drive through a narrow doorway and over a body of water to attempt an odds-defying feat.

The other one is simply terrific — a scene I’ve never forgotten and one I was highly anxious to see again. It involves Costner’s death-wish attempt to reach the green over (again) a body of water, and it isn’t pretty, yet ultimately, it’s jammed with grandeur — the kind sports fans will talk about for decades when the actual winner of the tournament will be a fuzzy memory except for those who qualify as the hard core.

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All four leads really deliver in form-fitting roles, and though he wasn’t awarded top spot, Costner was one of three more to win a citation as best actor for 1996 from the New York Film Critics circle. He apparently had to be coached heavily to look like a competitive golfer, but he is such a good athlete in general (and a heavily skilled baseball player) that to my eye, at least, he looks convincing.

Mike’s Picks: ‘Tin Cup’ and ‘The General Died at Dawn’

‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ Speeding to Home Video

The Art of Racing in the Rain will be available through digital retailers Oct. 29, and on Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 5, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Based on the bestselling novel by Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a heart-warming tale narrated by a witty and philosophical dog named Enzo (voiced by Kevin Costner). Through his unique insight into the human condition, Enzo helps his owners — racecar driver Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia), his wife Eve (Amanda Seyfried) and daughter Zoe (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) — navigate life with a refreshing perspective on friendship, family and unconditional love.

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The film earned $26.4 million at the domestic box office.

Extras include audio commentary by director Simon Curtis, and the featurettes “A Journey to Screen,” “Directing the Art,” “Enzo Cam,” “Behind the Wheel,” “The Dog Stays in the Picture” and “Enzo’s First Ride.”

 

Did Netflix’s ‘El Camino’ Run Out of Gas?

Netflix’s big-budget “Breaking Bad” movie sequel (El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie) from creator Vince Gilligan offers a lengthy tale of morality and redemption through the gritty eyes of Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) — the meth-cooking partner-in-crime to high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston), whose character perished in the 2013 series finale.

El Camino — name of the 1978 Chevrolet Pinkman made his escape in the series conclusion — premiered on Netflix Oct. 11, reportedly generated 8.2 million viewers in the United States opening weekend, including an average of 6.5 million per minute, and 2.6 million per minute opening day, according Nielsen.

The viewership was on par with the “Breaking Bad” series run, with opening day streaming of El Camino topping the 1.5 million average household views for “Breaking Bad” episodes.

Some media reports say the data portended a strong theatrical weekend if Netflix bothered to distribute original movies via industry norms.

The data made news largely based on the “Breaking Bad” legacy and the fact Netflix remains secretive about ratings data of original programming.

Netflix has downplayed Nielsen data in the past contending it is limited to TV households and excludes portable devices and international viewership.

It also suggests the possibility El Camino hasn’t generated as much traction with subscribers as might be expected compared with other high-profile Netflix movies. Or perhaps Nielsen disclosed incomplete data.

Regardless, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CCO Ted Sarandos made no mention of the movie during the service’s Oct. 16 fiscal webcast — which was noteworthy.

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The service last year said a lot early about Bird Box, Sandra Bullock’s dystopian thriller that attracted 45 million households during its first week of release.

Kevin Costner’s Bonnie & Clyde thriller, The Highwaymen, generated 40-million first-month views, and Ben Affleck auctioneer Triple Frontier attracted 52 million households in 30 days.

The Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston original comedy Murder Mystery set an all-time weekend Netflix streaming record with 30.87 million views. Another 20 million streamed The Christmas Chronicles, starring Kurt Russell as Santa Claus.

On the Oct. 16 webcast, however, Sarandos just talked about pending movie releases 6 Underground, The Irishman, Marriage Story and The Two Popes, among others.

“It’s our first time we’ve seen the scale and this volume of films in one quarter, so we’re really excited about it,” Sarandos said.

So where’s the El Camino excitement?

Season Two of ‘Yellowstone’ on Disc Nov. 5

Paramount Home Entertainment will release Yellowstone: Season Two on Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 5.

From writer-director Taylor Sheridan, ”Yellowstone” is a family drama about a multi-generational family that controls the largest contiguous ranch in the U.S. In Season two, John (Kevin Costner), Kayce (Luke Grimes) and the rest of the clan battle constant encroachment from ruthless enemies on all sides.

The three-disc Blu-ray and four-disc DVD sets include all 10 hour-long episodes from the second season, plus more than three hours of additional content.

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Extras include deleted scenes, a “Behind the Story” featurette for each episode, “Stories From the Bunkhouse” for each episode, and featurettes “Inside Yellowstone: Season 2,” “Costner on Yellowstone: Season 2,” “Working the Yellowstone: Fight Choreography,” “Only Devils Left — Making Yellowstone: Season 2” and “Yellowstone Tintype Photography Behind the Scenes.”

The show has been renewed for a third season on Paramount Network. The season two finale airs Aug. 28.

Imax Open to Screening Netflix Movies if Streamer Expands Theatrical Window

Movie exhibitor Imax is open to screening Netflix movies provided the subscription streaming video pioneer agrees to a longer theatrical window, according to CEO Rich Gelfond.

Speaking earlier this month on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” Gelfond said Imax had joined other exhibitors bypassing Netflix original movies made available on the service day-and-date with theatrical release.

He said Imax’s stance would change if Netflix was willing to compromise.

“Directors themselves really want theatrical releases,” Gelfond said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see if [Netflix has] windows for that. Now, whether the windows are good enough where the theaters want to play them, that remains to be seen.”

Exhibitors want Netflix to abide the industry-standard 12-week window, while Netflix has agreed to 14-day windows for select films such as Oscar winner Roma and Bird Box– both earmarked for industry awards.

Netflix made new release The Highwaymen, starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson, available theatrically on March 15 – two weeks ahead of its global streaming debut March 29.

Imax would like to screen Netflix’s next awards-caliber movie, The Irishman, from director Martin Scorsese, which debuts later this year.

 

 

Report: Netflix Movies Skipping Cannes Film Festival

Netflix reportedly won’t have any film entries in the 2019 Cannes Film Festival May 14-25 in Cannes, France, despite efforts by the subscription streaming video pioneer and event organizers to hammer out a truce in their ongoing theatrical window feud.

Netflix executives Ted Sarandos and Scott Stuber apparently found no compromise after recently meeting with Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux in Los Angeles regarding the SVOD service’s insistence on streaming its original movies day-and-date with any theatrical release, according to Variety — which cited a source familiar with the situation.

The standoff last year resulted in Netflix bypassing Cannes and submitting original movie Roma to the Venice Film Festival where it won the top Golden Lion award.

While industry politics generate the headlines, Variety reports that Netflix didn’t have a movie ready for the March 11 deadline for official feature length film submissions to the 72nd Cannes Festival.

Fremaux apparently had hopes for Netflix mob movie,The Irishman, from director Martin Scorsese, being submitted to the competition. Regardless, Netflix reps will be at Cannes scouting out indie content to acquire.

Separately, actor Kevin Costner, whose next film, The Highwaymen, begins streaming on Netflix March 29, believes movies should have a theatrical release if possible.

“I think movies are for theaters, and as long as they can stay in them,” Costner said at last week’s SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

The actor said over-the-top video represents a new way for people to consume movies and distribution channel for the industry to fight over.

“The sand shifting, I haven’t thought about that as much as I’ve thought about the next movie I’m gonna do, or the next story I’m gonna write,” Costner said.