Feb. 8 Titles Arriving on Disc Include ‘Encanto,’ ‘King Richard,’ ‘Resident Evil,’ ‘Catwoman’

Feb. 8 sees the Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases of big titles such as Disney’s Encanto, Warner’s King Richard and Sony Pictures’ Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, while Universal Pictures’ Oscar hopeful Belfast is now available for digital purchase.

The 60th animated feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Encanto, arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 8. With songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Encanto tells the tale of the Madrigals, an extraordinary family living in a magical house in the mountains of Colombia. But when Mirabel, the only ordinary Madrigal, discovers the magic surrounding their home is in danger, she may be her family’s last hope.

The biopic King Richard, starring Will Smith, arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 8 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Based on the true story, the film follows the uplifting journey of a family whose unwavering resolve and unconditional belief ultimately delivers two of the world’s greatest sports legends. Armed with a clear vision and a 78-page plan, Richard Williams (Smith) is determined to write his daughters, Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton), into history. Training in Compton, Calif., on abandoned tennis courts — rain or shine — the girls are shaped by their father’s unyielding commitment and their mother’s (Aunjanue Ellis) balanced perspective and keen intuition, defying the seemingly insurmountable odds and prevailing expectations laid before them.

The sci-fi horror film Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City will be released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 8 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. In the film, Raccoon City, which was once a booming home of pharmaceutical giant Umbrella Corporation, is now a dying Midwestern town. The company’s exodus left the city a wasteland — with great evil brewing below the surface. When that evil is unleashed, a group of survivors must work together to uncover the truth behind Umbrella and make it through the night.  A limited-edition 4K Steelbook includes five collectible poster cards featuring original artwork from winners of a worldwide fan art contest.

 

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Feb. 8 releases the animated movie Catwoman: Hunted for digital purchase and on Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD. The ‘PG-13’ film finds Catwoman (Elizabeth Gillies) attempting to steal a priceless jewel, putting her squarely in the crosshairs of both a powerful consortium of villains and the ever-resourceful Interpol, not to mention Batwoman (Stephanie Beatriz). The voice cast also includes Jonathan Banks as Black Mask, Steve Blum as Solomon Grundy, Lauren Cohan as Julia Pennyworth, Keith David as Tobias Whale, Zehra Fazal as Talia al Ghul and Nosferata, Jonathan Frakes as King Faraday and Boss Moxie, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Barbara Minerva/Cheetah, Kelly Hu as Cheshire, Andrew Kishino as Mr. Yakuza and Domino 6, Eric Lopez as Domino 1, Jacqueline Obradors as La Dama, and Ron Yuan as Doctor Tzin.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment also releases Stargirl: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Feb. 8. The release includes all 13 episodes from the second season plus a featurette and gag reel. The Blu-ray includes a digital copy. Stargirl: The Complete Second Season is also available to own digitally. Based on DC Comics characters, “Stargirl” follows high school sophomore Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) and her stepfather Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson) as she leads an unlikely group of young heroes to take on the legacy of DC’s very first superhero team, the Justice Society of America. In the second season, Courtney and her friends take on one of the most frightening adversaries in DC’s mythology — the dark entity of corruption known as Eclipso (Nick Tarabay). “Stargirl” also stars Yvette Monreal (Rambo: Last Blood, Faking It), Anjelika Washington (Tall Girl, Young Sheldon), Cameron Gellman (Heathers, 20th Century Women), Trae Romano (Robbie, 555), Hunter Sansone (Safety), Meg DeLacy (The Fosters), Nick Tarabay (Spartacus) and Amy Smart (Just Friends, The Butterfly Effect). Jonathan Cake (Chuck) has a recurring role as Richard Swift aka The Shade.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Feb. 8 releases Belfast, the critically hailed drama from director Kenneth Branagh. Belfast revolves around one boy’s childhood amid the music and social tumult of the late 1960s. Buddy’s family lives in a largely Protestant district with a few Catholic families, but one day his community and everything he thought he understood about life is suddenly turned upside down. Buddy’s family gets caught in the mayhem and must decide to stay or leave the only place they have ever called home. Through it all, his passionate parents (BAFTA Award winner Caitríona and Jamie Dornan) and quick-witted grandparents (Judi Dench and CiaránHinds) keep the joy alive through music and the magic of movies in a story that reminds us that no matter how far you go, you never forget where you came from. Belfast also stars Colin Morgan and Jude Hill in his feature film debut. Winner of more audience awards than any film this year, Belfast has been nominated for over 195 awards, including 11 Critic’s Choice Awards and a total of 13 Best Picture nominations as well as PGA and DGA Awards nominations for Branagh. Belfast arrives on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and VOD March 1.

Gintama The Very Final, the third and final chapter in anime legend Hideaki Sorachi’s original “Gintama” manga series, will be released in a Blu-ray Disc and DVD combo pack on Feb. 8. From Eleven Arts and Shout! Factory, the new feature film makes its North American home entertainment debut following a theatrical release this past fall. The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack includes two versions of the film — English voice cast and the original Japanese audio with English subtitles) — and an exclusive 16-page booklet packed with character art and storyboards. Consumers who  order Gintama The Very Final Blu-ray/DVD combo pack from Shout! Factory will receive an exclusive poster, while supplies last. Directed by Chizuru Miyawaki, Gintama The Very Final adapts some of the final moments of the original manga with new elements specifically crafted for the film. The lead roles of the Odd Jobs members are reprised by the team of voice talent from the third season of the “Gintama” series, including  Michael Daingerfield as Gintoki Sakata, Cole Howard as Shinpachi Shumura, and Jocelyne Loewen as Kagura. Kyle Colby Jones, who voiced the character Shinsuke Takasugi, and the ADR writer and director for Gintama: The Movie, reprises his roles for Gintama The Very Final.

The documentary Summer of Soul will be released through digital retailers and on DVD Feb. 8 from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. Summer of Soul premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. The documentary also won the AFI Special Award, six awards at the Critics Choice Awards, and Best Documentary awards with NBR and LAFCA. The film is also nominated for the PGA and Spirit Awards. It is streaming on Hulu in conjunction with Disney General Entertainment’s Onyx Collective; Searchlight Pictures released it theatrically.

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Lionsgate on Feb. 8 will release Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop on DVD and for digital purchase. Orphaned at a young age, Elizabeth Willoughby (Cox) inherited her impressive family estate and was raised by a retired U.S. Marine, Robert (Grammer), who also runs the family business. Under his watchful guidance, her childhood was spent studying strategy, history and literature, all the while mastering the ancient arts of combat. Now an Ancient Civilization professor at University, Willoughby receives a call from family friends Helen and Oliver Deakins, who have been experiencing a series of hauntings at their antique bookshop. With nobody else to turn to, and knowing Willoughby’s insatiable appetite for investigation, Helen asks Willoughby to get to the bottom of this paranormal mystery.

The 1945 World War II film A Walk in the Sun will be released on Blu-ray Disc Feb. 8 from Kit Parker Films and MVD Entertainment Group. The film is also available on DVD. The release features a 4K Master from the UCLA Film and Television Archive’s 35mm photochemical restoration. Lewis Milestone, Academy Award Best Director winner for All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), directs the drama of American soldiers in combat during the Allied invasion of Italy in September 1943. Dana Andrews, Richard Conte, John Ireland, Lloyd Bridges and Norman Lloyd head an ensemble cast comprising the lead platoon of the Texas Division of the U.S. Fifth Army. The eclectic group of citizen-soldiers are thrust into a life-or-death mission to blow up an enemy bridge while attempting to capture a strategic farmhouse heavily garrisoned by German troops. The dilemma of the common soldier trudging to an unknown fate under a blazing Italian sun is captured by the different thoughts and personalities of a disparate group of men under stress. Robert Rossen’s script dramatizes the narrative from the perspective of the infantryman whose mundane routine of service-related ennui is interspersed with heart-pulsing action amid the ever-present specter of sudden death. Camerawork by six-time Academy Award nominee Russell Harlan is supported by the title ballad written by Millard Lampell and Earl Robinson and performed by renowned African-American operatic singer Kenneth Spencer.

The killer clown horror flick Beware of the Klowns will be released on DVD Feb. 8 by SRS Cinema and MVD Entertainment Group. In the film, there’s a dark past causing a law against clowns in Santa Mira. Now, after years of peace, a murder reveals a new threat. The only one who can stop it is the brave sheriff, who is forced to protect the town and his twins, Joy and Lisa, from the terror that is the Klown King and his cult, the Klowns.

The 1987 Troma Entertainment film Surf Nazis Must Die will be released on Blu-ray Feb. 8 from MVD Entertainment Group. In the cult classic, when an earthquake leaves the California coastline in ruins and reduces the beaches to a state of chaos, a group of neo-Nazis led by Adolf (Barry Brenner), the self-proclaimed “Führer of the new beach,” takes advantage of the resulting chaos by fighting off several rival surfer gangs to seize control of the beaches. Meanwhile, an African American oil well worker named Leroy (Robert Harden) is killed by the Surf Nazis while jogging on the beach. Leroy’s mother, “Mama” Washington (Gail Neely), devastated by the loss of her son, vows revenge. After arming herself with a handgun and grenades, she breaks out of her retirement home and exacts vengeance on the Surf Nazis.

The 1987  horror film Ghost Riders will be released on DVD and Blu-ray for the first time ever Feb. 8 from MVD Entertainment Group and Verdugo Entertainment. In the film, on a dark and haunting night, the local preacher and townspeople gather on a lonesome prairie as the lawless career of desperado Frank Clements is about to end. Just as the hangman’s noose tightens around his neck, the most feared outlaw of 1888 shouts a curse of revenge on the town preacher — a curse which will haunt the preacher’s family through generations. The town is prospering 100 years later, but Clements and his gang return from hell to seek revenge against the preacher’s grandson and his family. From the producers and writing team of the cult classic Action U.S.A., the film stars stuntman Bill Shaw (The Dirt Bike Kid), Jim Peters (Challenger), Mike Ammons (Action U.S.A.) and Arland Bishop (Black Snow).

Lionsgate will release the Oscar-lauded La La Land Feb. 8 on 4K Ultra HD Steelbook exclusively at Best Buy featuring all-new artwork from Jack Hughes. Winner of six Academy Awards including Best Director for writer-director Damien Chazelle, and winner of seven Golden Globe Awards including Best Picture — Musical or Comedy, La La Land stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as Mia and Sebastian, an actress and a jazz musician pursuing their Hollywood dreams — and finding each other.

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

Samba TV: Netflix’s ‘Tiger King 2’ Debut Tracked 1.3 Million U.S. Households

The premiere of the second season of Netflix’s “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” showcasing the dysfunctional world of big cat collectors, generated more than 1.3 million U.S. households following its Nov. 17 debut, according to new data from Samba TV.

The data firm, which tracks more than 46 million opted-in televisions globally, including 28 million in the United States, said the episode topped the launch of Warner Bros. Pictures’ King Richard, the Will Smith-starring biopic about the father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams.

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The movie tracked 707,000 U.S. households on HBO Max while simultaneously screening in theaters, where it sold $5.4 million worth of tickets domestically, $7.8 million worldwide.

Samba said the U.S. “Tiger King 2” audience skewed slightly female (+2%), younger (44 years and younger), and white (+9%). The King Richard audience skewed female (+7%) and black (+54%).

Finally, 116,000 U.S. households streamed the first episode of “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip” on Peacock, with 102,000 households streaming episode two. The third episode was streamed by 92,000 homes, with 100,000 households streaming episode four. The audiences skewed female and white.

‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Busts Box Office Projections With $44 Million Haul

Sony Pictures Entertainment’s bet delaying tentpole theatrical releases until the pandemic waned continues to pay off. The studio’s family sci-fi comedy movie Ghostbusters: Afterlife generated more than $44 million in projected opening weekend ticket sales across more than 4,000 North American screens the weekend of Nov. 19-21. Sony had projected around $30 million in ticket sales. Media reports suggest 3.5 million went to see the movie.

The fourth film in the “Ghostbusters” franchise saw director Jason Reitman continue the storyline of the original 1984 film with a return to a family-themed fantasy starring Paul Rudd and a young ensemble cast (making it the third film in that arc, after 1989’s Ghostbusters II).

The box office tally is slightly below the 2016 remake Ghostbusters: Answer the Call ($46 million), which didn’t have a COVID cloud hanging over it. With Afterlife heading into the Thanksgiving week/weekend, the movie is projected to have strong legs with children out of school for the holiday.

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The movie follows Sony’s successful Oct. 1 release of Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which ranks as the year’s No. 2 at the domestic box office with $204 million in revenue.

Separately, a competing new release, Warner Bros. Pictures’ King Richard, a biopic about tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams and their driven father Richard Williams, played by Will Smith, realized about $5.7 million in ticket sales across 3,300 screens. It’s no grand slam, but par for Warner’s $5 million to $10 million projection. The movie is concurrently streaming for no extra charge to subscribers of HBO Max — a release strategy some observers say has undermined Warner’s non-tentpole releases.

Richard was not able to fend off the third week of Disney/Marvel’s Eternals at $10.8 million ($135.8 million North American total) or the second week of  Paramount Pictures’ Clifford the Big Red Dog, ($8.1 million/$33.5 million total).

Weekend Box Office: Is There a ‘Ghostbusters’ Afterlife?

The 2016 theatrical release of Ghostbusters featured an all-female cast, mixed reviews and underwhelming box office.

For the pandemic delayed Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Sony Pictures Entertainment has gone back to the franchise’s roots with director Jason Reitman looking to emulate the family-friendly appeal of his father, Ivan Reitman’s 1984 original Ghostbusters, starring Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver.

While Afterlife reviews have also been mixed, including a 66% Rotten Tomatoes social media score, the movie headlines Paul Rudd, who was just named People magazine’s “Sexist Man Alive,” and a young supporting cast entering the pre-Thanksgiving week when family holiday get-togethers often include a trip to the cineplex.

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When combined with the nostalgia surrounding the franchise, Afterlife should push Disney/Marvel Studios’ Eternals from atop the weekend box office results. Sony, which has only recently returned select tentpole releases (Venom: Let There Be Carnage) to the COVID-era box office, is projecting upwards of $28 million in opening weekend sales.

The conservative estimate falls below the original’s $30 million opener, as well the last film’s $46 million debut, but underscores the ongoing reduced expectations and realities in the current exhibition marketplace.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ King Richard, the biopic about Richard Williams, the tenacious father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, has a strong social media score (92%), popular lead star (Will Smith) and strong crossover appeal beyond sports fans.

The movie is also concurrently streaming for no extra charge to subscribers of HBO Max as part of WarnerMedia’s soon-ending 2021 distribution strategy that some observers contend has undermined the box office of recent Warner releases The Many Saints of NewarkCry Macho and Reminiscent, among others. The movie is projected to open from $5 million to $10 million in ticket sales this weekend, which would put it behind projections for Eternals ($11 million) and Paramount Pictures’ Clifford the Big Red Dog ($9 million) — the latter also streaming for subscribers on Paramount+.

AT&T’s John Stankey Doesn’t Expect Movie Theaters to ‘Snap Back’

With Georgia becoming the first state to publicly announce it would allow movie theaters to re-open on April 27, theater chains such as AMC, Regal and Cinemark remain optimistic business can return to some degree of normalcy by July. AT&T COO John Stankey isn’t so sure.

Speaking April 22 on the telecom’s somber fiscal call, Stankey said WarnerMedia is “rethinking the theatrical model,” adding a return to normal for exhibitors won’t “snap back,” and instead could take extended time as consumers slowly regain confidence that sitting in a cineplex isn’t hazardous to their health.

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“I think that’s going to be something that we’re going to have to watch the formation of consumer confidence, not just about going to movies, just in general about being back out in public and understanding what’s occurring there,” Stankey said.

Will Smith as Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard, in biopic ‘King Richard’

Indeed, Warner Bros. has pushed back release of its highest-profile summer tentpole — Wonder Woman 1984 — to August. Other titles have been delayed to 2021 while animated feature Scoob! is headed to premium VOD on May 15.

King Richard, the Venus and Serena Williams’ biopic starring Will Smith as their father, has been delayed to November 2021. The Many Saints of Newark, a “Sopranos” prequel movie, has also been delayed to next year.

Among other superhero movies, The Batman has been moved to Oct. 1; The Flash has been moved up to June 2, 2022, from July 1; and Shazam! 2 has been pushed back to Nov. 4, 2022, from April 1.

“The theater business is an incredibly stressed business [right now] … it’s hard to generate revenue,” Stankey said.

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