Redbox Inks Free Streaming Deal With Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Comedy Brand

Redbox and Laugh Out Loud (LOL), the global multi-platform comedy brand founded by Kevin Hart, have announced a content deal to bring more than 100 hours of stand-up specials and television shows to Redbox’s free AVOD streaming service.

The titles will be available through the Redbox streaming app via the LOL! Network, which is available on a wide range of devices, including Roku, Vizio, Samsung, LG, Xbox, iOS and Android.

The lineup includes comedy series, stand-up specials and television shows from LOL, including “All-Star Comedy Jam: I’m Still Laughing,” “All-Star Comedy Jam: Orlando,” “Gary Own: True Story,” “Kevin Hart: What Now? All Access,” “DeRay Davis: Power Play” and “Shaq and Cedric the Entertainer Present All-Star Comedy Jam.”

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Kevin Hart’s LOL! Network free streaming channel is also available to watch 24 hours a day via the Redbox app.

“Laugh Out Loud has an amazing collection of comedy specials and movies that will entertain our viewers for hours and hours on end,” Chris Yates, GM of Redbox On Demand, said in a statement. “Kevin has created a media powerhouse and we’re excited to add Laugh Out Loud’s amazing and hilarious content to Redbox On Demand.”

“Our goal at Laugh Out Loud has always been to be where the audience is. We are comedy in color wherever, and whenever, our audience wants or needs a laugh,” Laugh Out Loud CEO Jeff Clanagan said in a statement. “Redbox has been a dominant force in home entertainment for years, and we’re excited to partner with Redbox to bring our catalog of original series, stand up specials, and movies to millions of households throughout the country.”

Roku Renews First Original Series ‘Die Hart’

Roku June 8 announced that Kevin Hart’s comedy action series “Die Hart” will return to the Roku Channel for a second season titled “Die Harter.” The series is one of several shows Roku acquired from the shuttered Quibi streaming service. The second season, however, marks Roku’s first greenlight of an original new season from Hart’s production company Laugh Out Loud.

Following the series premiere on May 20, Roku reported “Die Hart” had a “spectacular” weekend debut, with a record number of households streaming the series. The first season also starred John Travolta.

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“[The show] exploded out of the gate and has quickly become one of the most watched Roku Originals,” Colin Davis, head of original scripted programming, said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited to bring an equally hilarious, action-packed second season to the record number of viewers who have watched in recent days.”

“Die Harter” will be produced by LOL Studios’ in-house production division. In addition to returning to his starring role, Hart will also executive produce the second season; Laugh Out Loud CEO and Hart’s longtime business partner Jeff Clanagan will serve as producer on the project. Tripper Clancy, Candice Wilson, Bryan Smiley, and Thai Randolph also serve as executive producers. Eric Appel will return to direct the second season. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

“The return of ‘Die Hart’ marks a pivotal moment in the continued growth and expansion of LOL Studios,” Clanagan said in a statement. “We’re excited for the opportunity to team up with Roku and be the first Roku Original to get a second season.”

The Roku Channel has seen record growth in 2021, reaching U.S. households with an estimated 70 million people in the first quarter (ended March 31). Launched in 2017, the Roku Channel is the home of free and premium entertainment on the Roku platform. It features a diverse lineup of more than 40,000 free movies and programs and 190+ free live linear television channels. The channel licenses and distributes content from more than 175 partners.

In addition to Roku devices, the Roku Channel is available on Web, iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire TV and select Samsung TVs and can be accessed in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Netflix Licenses Rights to Sony’s Kevin Hart Feature ‘Fatherhood’

Netflix has licensed the worldwide (except for China) rights to Fatherhood from Sony Pictures for a June 18 release on the service.

The film stars Kevin Hart (Jumanji: The Next LevelThe Upside), Alfre Woodard (Juanita, Clemency), Lil Rel Howery (Bad TripGet Out), DeWanda Wise (Someone Great, Jurassic World: Dominion), Anthony Carrigan (“Barry,” “Gotham”), Melody Hurd (Them) and Paul Reiser (“Mad About You,” “The Kominsky Method”).

Based on the book Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love by Matthew Logelin, the drama features Hart taking on the toughest job in the world — fatherhood.

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Earlier this year, Hart and his HartBeat Productions inked an exclusive partnership with Netflix for feature films as well as a first-look production deal. (Fatherhood was independently licensed and not part of this overall deal.)

Higher Ground Productions, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, will present the film, alongside Netflix and Sony.

Jumanji: The Next Level

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Sony Pictures;
Adventure Comedy;
Box Office $316.83 million;
$30.99 DVD, $38.99 Blu-ray, $45.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for adventure action, suggestive content and some language.
Stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Awkwafina, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Danny Glover, Danny DeVito, Colin Hanks, Rhys Darby, Rory McCann.

The creative team behind 2017’s surprise blockbuster Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle returns to deliver a worthy sequel that is just as entertaining as its predecessor.

The new story provides a mostly familiar setting with enough new elements to freshen up the formula a bit without straying too far from what audiences came to love about the previous film.

In the new film, the teenagers who beat the game before have drifted apart a bit as they head off to college, where Spencer (AlexWolff) begins to feel out of place in the world. When he returns home for the holidays to find his grandfather (Danny DeVito) staying in his old room, he yearns to once again become the hero of the video game, which, it turns out, he salvaged from the garbage heap the group left it in at the end of the previous movie.

When his friends come looking for him and discover he re-entered the game, they follow him in to help bring him out, thinking it should be too hard considering they already beat the game and will know what to expect. This time, though, they inadvertently bring bystanders into the game, resulting in many of the players not having the same avatars they had the last time, giving the actors plenty of chances to play each other. As an added complication, the game’s story has changed, with the characters’ abilities shifting to match.

As a result, the audience knows just enough about the rules of the game to have fun anticipating what will come next, while the particulars are just different enough to keep viewers guessing. Like before, a huge part of the film’s charm is the way it spoofs both video games and Indiana Jones-type adventure serials, only this time around the audience’s pre-existing affection for the characters makes watching them take advantage of their experience of having played before all the more satisfying.

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The film also smartly takes the adventure out of the jungle for the most part, changing the scenery to deserts and frozen mountains, which at least gives the film a new visual flair to play with. And there’s also a nice little lesson about friendship and teamwork.

In pushing out two movies, though, the filmmakers have probably milked as much from the concept as they can, which is why the film sets up another sequel that promises to mix things up a bit and take the franchise back to the roots of the original 1995 film.

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The home video editions of the film come with a ton of extras that play on the winning chemistry of the cast. Many of these come in the form of promotional videos, such as the minute-long “Grow Up,” in which Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart learn how to impersonate Dannys DeVito and Glover. “Trick or Treat” features Hart arriving at Johnson’s house at Halloween dressed in The Rock’s sweater and fanny pack from an infamous 1990s photo. Other videos put the cast in a telenovela and tease Awkwafina’s thieving skills. But the most intriguing might be the three-minute “NPC Confessions: Jurgen the Brutal,” an in-depth analysis with candid insights of the film’s new villain, played by Rory McCann of “Game of Thrones” fame.

These are accompanied by a five-and-a-half-minute gag reel.

In a throwback to the extras of the previous movie, “Rhys Darby Wants to Jingle” is a two-and-a-half-minute video in which Darby, who plays the game’s narrator and guide, wants to do his own music video to match the one the cast, sans him, did for the previous film.

Three behind-the-scenes featurettes total about 23 minutes and cover the basics from the story creation to the cast dynamics and the visual effects. The Blu-ray and digital editions also include lengthy breakdowns of the ostrich chase and monkey attack sequences, plus VFX pre-vis reels of the zeppelin battle and ostrich chase compared with the final versions of the scenes. These are about five minutes each.

The Blu-ray includes a fold-out map of Jumanji with an interactive AR game.

Digital versions on Vudu also include a “Get in the Game Mode,” which uses on-screen graphics that pop up as the movie plays to offer such information as trivia, statistics and character power levels during fights. This provides an added bit of fun to the video game spoof aspect of the film.

‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ Ready to Play on Digital March 3, Disc Including 4K March 17

The actioner Jumanji: The Next Level will come out on digital March 3 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD March 17 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

It has earned $768.5 million at the global box office.

Stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillanreturn for another game-based adventure, along with Jumanji newcomers Awkwafina, Rory McCann, Danny Glover and Danny DeVito.

The story catches up with Spencer (Alex Wolff), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Martha (Morgan Turner) and Bethany (Madison Iseman) three years after their first adventure in Jumanji’s mystical video game world. When Spencer goes missing inside the game ahead of the group’s planned reunion from college, his friends, along with his grandfather (DeVito) and his grandfather’s friend (Glover), once again inhabit the avatars of Dr. Bravestone (Johnson), “Mouse” Finbar (Hart), Professor Sheldon Oberon (Black) and Ruby Roundhouse (Gillan) to rescue him. As they return to Jumanji, the players have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape.

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Bonus materials include a gag reel, several behind-the-scenes featurettes, in-depth scene breakdowns and a new jingle. The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD also include an interactive collectible map that employs augmented reality to bring Jumanji to life via smart phone. The experience provides up to 10 minutes of game play and allows users to create their own 8-bit avatar, navigate a series of mini games and more.

Redbox Launches Content Acquisition and Production Arm

Redbox is revving up its efforts to provide original content to customers of its disc rental kiosks and Redbox on Demand transactional video-on-demand service.

The company on Oct. 25 announced the formation of Redbox Entertainment, a new label to acquire and produce content for Redbox’s 50 million U.S. customers.

“The Redbox brand is built on delivering the best selection of movies from the biggest blockbuster releases to films in genres and with actors that appeal to our loyal customers,” said Redbox CEO Galen Smith. “The formation of Redbox Entertainment leverages our deep insights to bring projects that we know appeal to our audience to deliver additional value and entertainment.”

Marc Danon has been tapped as senior advisor to head content acquisition for Redbox Entertainment. He reports directly to Smith.

Marc Danon

Danon previously was president of acquisitions and co-productions at Broad Green Pictures; prior to joining Broad Green in July 2015, he spent eight years at Lionsgate, most recently as SVP of acquisitions and business development. There, he worked on the acquisition of such films as Kevin Hart: Let Me ExplainJohn WickDear White PeopleA Most Wanted ManEverything Must Go and The Skeleton Twins.

Danon also built and managed third-party brands and partnerships with ABC, Codeblack, Comcast, ITV, Marvel, NBC, and Saban.

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Earlier in his career, Danon held various acquisitions positions at Netflix, Catch 23 Entertainment and Artisan Entertainment.

“Marc is a terrific fit to lead the growth of Redbox Entertainment,” Smith said. “He’s a talented creative with an impressive track record as a champion of films that catch fire with audiences; and a skilled executive adept at maximizing distribution opportunities and cultivating strategic partnerships.”

Redbox Entertainment is funding, developing and producing projects across genres, with a focus on action, comedy, and suspense/thrillers, the company said.

Projects are being sourced now — directly and through a number of distribution partners and channels. New projects will be announced soon.

Content acquired by Redbox Entertainment will be available physically at Redbox kiosks and digitally via Redbox On Demand, as well as in downstream windows post-Redbox release.

Redbox reaches 50 million consumers across the United States at more than 41,000 kiosks and an expanding On Demand offering. The company’s loyalty program, Redbox Perks, has 34 million members.

‘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.

‘Captain Marvel’ Soars on FandangoNow Chart

Disney’s superhero blockbuster Captain Marvel was the top film purchased and/or rented on FandangoNow for the week ended June 16.

FandangoNow is movie site Fandango’s transactional VOD service.

Captain Marvel, which earned $426.8 million in theaters, stars Brie Larson as the Marvel Comics character Carol Danvers.

Universal’s horror film Us landed at No. 2. Writer-director Jordan Peele’s followup to Get Out, the film stars Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss. It earned $175 million at the box office.

Another Universal title, The Upside, took the third spot. The comedy stars Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston as an out-of-work ex-con and a wealthy quadriplegic who unexpectedly come together and help each other bring back their zest for life. It earned $108.2 million in theaters.

In fourth place was Lionsgate’s romance Five Feet Apart, about two teens with cystic fibrosis who fall in love but are forced to stay apart because of their illness. It made $45.7 million in theaters.

Rounding out the top five was Paramount’s animated adventure Wonder Park. It’s the story of a young girl named June who makes an incredible discovery — the amusement park of her dreams has come to life filled with wild rides operated by fun-loving animals. It features the voices of Jennifer Garner, Mila Kunis, John Oliver, Kenan Thompson and Ken Jeong, among others, and made $45.2 million at the box office.

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The top 10 films purchased and/or rented on FandangoNow for the week ended June 16 were:

  1. Captain Marvel * (Disney)
  2. Us* (Universal)
  3. The Upside * (Universal)
  4. Five Feet Apart * (Lionsgate)
  5. Wonder Park * (Paramount)
  6. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral * (Lionsgate)
  7. Captive State * (Universal)
  8. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World * (Universal)
  9. The Mustang * (Universal)
  10. The Kid * (Lionsgate)

*Available in 4K

 

‘The Upside’ Again Tops Redbox Charts

Universal’s The Upside again climbed to the top of both the Redbox disc rental and digital charts for the week ended June 2.

The comedy, starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart, took the No. 1 spot on the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, as well as the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital transactions, including both electronic sellthrough and streaming rentals. The film follows an out-of-work ex-con and a wealthy quadriplegic who unexpectedly come together and help each other. It made $108.3 million at the box office.

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Universal’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Warner’s Isn’t It Romantic, also repeated at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, on the disc chart. Meanwhile, Romantic repeated at No. 2 and Dragon fell one spot to No. 4 on the digital chart for the week.

Lionsgate’s actioner Cold Pursuit, starring Liam Neeson as a snow plow driver who seeks revenge against the drug lords who killed his son, stayed in the fourth spot on the disc chart and climbed one spot to No. 3 on the digital chart.

Two new releases debuted on the disc chart for the week. Lionsgate/Quiver’s Drunk Parents, starring Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek, landed at No. 5, and Universal’s horror thriller Greta, starring Isabelle Huppert and Chloe Grace Moretz, came in at No. 8. It earned $10.5 million in theaters. Greta also landed at No. 10 on the digital chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended June 2:

  1. The Upside — Universal
  2. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World — Universal
  3. Isn’t It Romantic — Warner
  4. Cold Pursuit— Lionsgate
  5. Drunk Parents — Lionsgate/Quiver
  6. Fighting With My Family— Universal
  7. What Men Want— Paramount
  8. Greta — Universal
  9. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part — Warner
  10. Aquaman — Warner

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended June 2:

  1. The Upside — STX
  2. Isn’t It Romantic — Warner
  3. Cold Pursuit — Lionsgate
  4. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World— Universal
  5. What Men Want — Paramount
  6. Glass — Universal
  7. Aquaman — Warner
  8. The Mule — Warner
  9. John Wick — Lionsgate
  10. Greta — Universal

‘The Upside’ Climbs to Top of FandangoNow Chart

The comedy The Upside was the top film purchased and/or rented on FandangoNow for the week ended May 19.

FandangoNow is movie site Fandango’s transactional VOD service.

The Universal film stars Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston as an out-of-work ex-con and a wealthy quadriplegic who unexpectedly come together and help each other bring back their zest for life. It earned $108.2 million in theaters.

Lionsgate’s Cold Pursuit, starring Liam Neeson, jumped up two spots to No. 2. In the film, which earned $32 million at the box office, Neeson plays a grieving snowplow driver who seeks revenge against the drug dealers who killed his son.

Taking the third spot was Universal’s Fighting With My Family, a comedy about World Wrestling Entertainment star Paige featuring Dwayne Johnson. It made $23 million in theaters.

Another Universal title, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the series about a boy and his dragon, dropped two spots to No. 4. It made $160 million at the box office.

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Boosted by the May 17 theatrical debut of the third installment in the Lionsgate series, the double feature of John Wick and John Wick 2, starring Keanu Reeves as a hitman out for revenge, jumped five spots to No. 5 on the week’s chart.

Entering the chart at No. 10 was Universal’s horror sequel Happy Death Day 2U. The follow-up to 2017’s Happy Death Day earned $28 million at the box office.

The top 10 films purchased and/or rented on FandangoNow for the week ended May 19 were:

  1. The Upside (Universal)
  2. Cold Pursuit * (Lionsgate)
  3. Fighting With My Family (Universal)
  4. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World * (Universal)
  5. John Wickand John Wick: Chapter 2 (Double Feature) * (Lionsgate)
  6. What Men Want* (Paramount)
  7. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part* (Warner)
  8. Glass* (Universal)
  9. Aquaman * (Warner)
  10. Happy Death Day 2U* (Universal)

*Available in 4K