The horror-thriller Dreamkatcher will debut on DVD and digital April 28 from Lionsgate.
In the film, Gail (Radha Mitchell, Silent Hill) is forced to come to terms with Josh, her new stepson, at a remote country home. After stealing an evil talisman from a mysterious neighbor, Josh has sinister dreams of his dead mother — who commands Josh to murder Gail. When Josh’s dad (Henry Thomas, TV’s “The Haunting of Hill House,” Doctor Sleep) returns, he and Gail suspect that their son has been possessed by an ancient, bloodthirsty spirit.
The film also stars horror icon Lin Shaye (Insidious franchise, Ouija franchise).
Director-producer Roland Emmerich is known for epic science-fiction battles between humans, aliens and monsters, but it was the film of an actual battle in World War II that he waited two decades to make.
While collaborating with Emmerich on another project, screenwriter Wes Tooke asked the director, “What’s the one that got away?”
Emmerich told him it was the story of the battle of Midway, the 1942 clash between the American fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy that marked a pivotal turning point in the Pacific Theater. He’d tried to make it while at Sony 20 years earlier, but the budget and subject weren’t right for the studio. Thus, with Tooke as screenwriter, Emmerich got together a production team to film Midway, based on the real-life events of this heroic feat, telling the story of the leaders and sailors in the battle.
Midway is available on digital, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Lionsgate.
“I wanted to make this movie for 20 years, and I’m glad I finally made it,” said Emmerich in the disc commentary.
“Roland insisted that we make every effort to make all aspects of the film as accurate as possible,” Tooke said. “Everything that happens onscreen, in terms of historical events, is factual and in chronological order. It begins in December 1941 with Pearl Harbor and ends in June with the Battle of Midway. It is the most dramatic six months in the history of warfare.”
The cast includes Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Darren Criss, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid and Woody Harrelson.
Quaid plays Admiral William “Bull” Halsey.
“Midway is an amazing story, and it has never been told right,” he noted in the extras.
Harrelson is legendary Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who is given the position of Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas, famously termed “the most difficult job in the world,” after the attack at Pearl Harbor.
“Everybody was very conscientious about trying to make it real, and I think they got it right,” said Harrelson in the extras.
One hard-to-believe fact about the Midway battle is the harrowing way the dive-bombers attacked the Japanese ships. It was one of the aspects of the battle that got Emmerich interested in telling the story. In the film, viewers travel along with the pilots as they plummet precipitously toward the target, drop the bomb and pull up at the last minute.
“I wanted to show how incredibly dangerous these dives were,” Emmerich said in the extras. “What these people did — they were pretty much missiles, what we do today with missiles. They were manned missiles, these planes. The later you deployed a bomb, the more chance you had to hit a target.”
The authenticity didn’t stop there. Filmmakers were scrupulous in recreating the era and the weapons of World War II, building replicas of both the torpedo- and bomb-dropping planes, as well as other equipment right down to the screws, nuts and bolts that aren’t used anymore. They were also able to shoot at historic locations.
“When you’re looking at a building that has bullet holes on the side of it from the attack in 1941, you know, ‘OK, we’re going to tell this story as truthfully as we can,”’ said Wilson, in the extras.
Wilson plays Edwin Layton, a U.S. Navy intelligence officer, just one of the actual participants in the battle who are memorialized in the film. Nick Jonas, who was offered many parts, chose to play radioman Bruno Gaido, known for heroically shooting down a Japanese plane before it hit his carrier. He was later lost in the battle. “I wanted to do justice to Bruno because he was a real American hero,” he said. Skrein is Dick Best, the unsung hero pilot of Midway who destroys Japanese ships, but never flies again due to injury.
Emmerich was also careful to acknowledge the bravery of the Japanese, casting several renowned Japanese actors.
“When you make a war movie and you show one side as the bad guys and the other side as the good guys, I think you don’t do war justice because I think you have to understand what was the Japanese side,” he said in the extras. “It enlightens people. It shows that they are also human. They’re also brave.”
The director hopes the film is able to stand as a testament to the Greatest Generation.
“I’m thrilled that we had the opportunity to tell this story because young people today don’t always know the stories about those who fought for their freedom,” Emmerich said. “I think that without the generation who fought in WWII, our world would be very different.”
4K ULTRA HD / BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
Audio Commentary by Roland Emmerich
“Getting It Right: The Making of Midway” Featurette
“The Men of Midway” Featurette
“Roland Emmerich: Man on a Mission” Featurette
“Turning Point: The Legacy of Midway” Featurette
“Joe Rochefort: Breaking the Japanese Code” Featurette
“We Met at Midway: Two Survivors Remember” Featurette
DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES
Audio Commentary by Roland Emmerich
“Getting It Right: The Making of Midway” Featurette
The Elijah Wood thriller Come to Daddy arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD March 24 from Lionsgate.
The film is available now on digital and on demand.
Norval Greenwood (Wood), a privileged man-child, arrives at the beautiful and remote coastal cabin of his estranged father, who he hasn’t seen in 30 years. He quickly discovers that not only is his dad a disapproving jerk, but he also has a shady past that is rushing to catch up with him. Hundreds of miles from his cushy comfort zone, Norval must battle with demons both real and perceived in order to reconnect with a father he barely knows.
StarzPlay, the Lionsgate-owned subscription streaming service operating outside the United States, has signed a distribution deal with Fremantle, a British television content and production/distribution subsidiary of Bertelsmann’s RTL Group.
The pact includes Fremantle’s crime series “Baghdad Central,” based on the novel by Elliott Colla; and “The Luminaries,” a drama series starring Eva Green and Eve Hewson, and based on the novel by Eleanor Catton.
The deal also includes psychological thriller “Dublin Murders,” adapted from Tana French’s first two novels in the crime series.
Starz Play Arabia launched in 2015 in 17 countries. It now operates as Star Play with more than 8 million subscribers.
“Since we first launched, we have always retained a focus on the provision of in-demand, watchable content for our subscribers and this latest partnership is testament to that commitment,” CEO Maaz Sheikh said in a statement.
Anahita Kheder, SVP for the Middle East, Africa and South Eastern Europe, International, at Fremantle, said StarzPlay has become one of top platforms in the MENA region for showcasing in-demand programming.
“We are very much aligned with Starz Play’s goals, making them the perfect home for these high-end titles,” Kheder said. “Their audiences will soon be able to enjoy the compelling characters and powerful storylines that these series offer.”
Adding to Lionsgate’s strong studio fiscal showing, home entertainment revenue surged almost 30% in the third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2019.
Sales of Lionsgate digital, DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies resonated during the winter holidays — notably Keanu Reeves’ lastest antihero franchise installment John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum.
The title finished 2019 as the ninth best-selling combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc release with more than 2 million units sold.
Home entertainment revenue almost reached $191 million, which was up 27.5% from revenue of $150 million during the previous-year period. Through nine months of the fiscal year, revenue tops $509 million, up 10.1% from $462 million through the previous-year period.
Packaged-media revenue from movies increased 10.8% to $75.4 million, from $68 million a year ago. Digital revenue skyrocketed 41.3% to $115.5 million, from $81.7 million.
Home entertainment revenue from television content dropped 21% to $10.6 million, from $13.4 million. Through nine months, revenue is down 17% to $50 million, from $60 million in 2018.
Lionsgate reported the quarter included “significant” digital media revenue, and to a lesser extent, packaged-media revenue from Angel Has Fallen and Rambo: Last Blood, in addition to John Wick. Home entertainment revenue from other titles increased $8.1 million driven by current quarter home entertainment revenue from The Peanut Butter Falcon and Judy.
CFO Jimmy Barge attributed the strong home entertainment quarter to “over-converting” Lionsgate’s box office action titles at retail. He said consumers are format agnostic when it comes to consuming Rambo, Angel Has Fallen and John Wick at the box office, packaged media and digital.
“What I would say is it’s not only a really strong strategy, it’s one that is fairly unique to us and we’re winning at it, and we’re going to continue to do that,” Barge said on the Feb. 6 fiscal call.
StarzPlay, the Lionsgate-owned international subscription streaming video service, Feb. 6 announced a theatrical output deal with corporate parent Lionsgate for split first pay streaming rights in the United Kingdom to the studio’s recently released and upcoming feature films.
Under the multiyear agreement, StarzPlay subs in the U.K. will be able to access Lionsgate original films Knives Out, Bombshell, which has earned three Academy Award nominations, and actioners Angel Has Fallen and Rambo: Last Blood along with Lionsgate UK’s The Personal History of David Copperfield and Military Wives. Lionsgate’s feature film slate grossed nearly $1.3 billion at the global box office in 2019.
“One of our top priorities is to supply StarzPlay with a deep roster of exciting Lionsgate content that complements their original programming and 3rd party acquisitions as they continue to launch their service around the world,” Jim Packer, president of worldwide television & digital distribution, said in a statement. “This agreement reflects a thoughtful and flexible approach to our windowing strategies, while building value through the continued combination of our IP creation and platform distribution capabilities.”
Starz EVP of International Digital Networks Superna Kalle said the agreement “only scratches the surface” what the two companies can achieve working together.
“Offering consumers great content is key to growing our subscriber base as we continue our international rollout,” Kalle said.
The deal was negotiated by Lionsgate President of International Television & Digital Distribution Agapy Kapouranis, SVP and Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa Television Sales Nicky Wood, and VP of U.K., Turkey & Greece Television Sales Nazneen Sethi.
The Lionsgate movies join StarzPlay TV series “The Act,” “Pennyworth,” “Castle Rock” and “The Spanish Princess.”
StarzPlay, launched in 2018, has expanded its streaming platform into 49 countries. It gives subscribers the opportunity to watch a highly curated portfolio of Starz premium content, films and television series from Lionsgate’s 17,000-title library, and an exciting line-up of third-party acquisitions, with future Starz Originals airing exclusively on StarzPlay day-and-date with the U.S.-based Starz OTT.
Liongate’s motion picture group, which includes home entertainment, Feb. 6 reported third-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2019) operating income of $49 million, which was up 12.5% from operating income of $43.5 million in the previous-year period.
Revenue increased 30% to $474 million from $362.6 million during the previous-year period. The studio attributed much of the gain to the box office success Knives Out, which is expected to top $300 million at the worldwide box office, as well as the continued outsized ancillary home entertainment performance of John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum.
Knives Out, which features an ensemble cast, has generated more than $294 million at the global box office since launching Nov. 27, 2019.
Separately, Keanu Reeves actioner, John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, finished 2019 as the ninth best-selling DVD/Blu-ray Disc release according to VideoScan tracking data.
“Our Motion Picture Group turned in a strong performance in the quarter,” CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement.
At the same time, Lionsgate continues to push over-the-top video distribution — specifically Starz and StarzPlay internationally. The streaming services ended the period with more than 8.6 million subscribers. The company has projected StarzPlay international subscriber growth from 15 million to 25 million over the next five years.
The legacy pay-TV businesses Starz, StarzPlay Arabia and Pantaya reached 28.5 million subs in the quarter. The overall global total reflected an increase of 2.1 million subscribers, up 8% year-over-year. Total domestic Starz subs declined 1.2 million year-over-year to 24.1 million.
Rollout of StarzPlay International and Starz OTT continue to balloon costs and negatively impact the bottom line. StarzPlay posted a segment operating loss of nearly $40 million, while streaming services lost $9.8 million. Both units lost a combined $5.8 million in the previous-year period.
Lifetime’s Love & Temptation: 3-Film Collection will come out on DVD March 24 from Lionsgate.
Lifetime’s first steamy book-to-screen series from New York Times best-selling author Jane Green includes the movies Tempting Fate, Family Pictures and To Have and to Hold, three tales of forbidden lust, shocking secrets and desperate love. In Tempting Fate, Gabby (Milano) meets Matt, jeopardizing her marriage to Elliot, as what begins as a business opportunity develops into an emotional affair. In Family Pictures, Sylvie and Maggie are strangers living on opposite coasts with husbands that travel for work a lot, but when they befriend each other on their daughters’ college tour, they discover a shocking secret. In To Have and to Hold, Alice allows her husband to mode her into his ideal socialite wife.
The films star Alyssa Milano (TV’s “Insatiable,” “Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later,” “Charmed”), Zane Holtz (Hunter Killer, TV’s “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series”), Erika Christensen (Traffic, TV’s “Ten Days in the Valley,” “Parenthood”), Antonio Cupo (TV’s “Blood & Treasure,” “Ice,” Beaches TV Movie), Andy Favreau (TV’s “Single Parents,” “Champions,” “Aquarius”), Justina Machado (TV’s “One Day at a Time,” “Queen of the South,” “Jane the Virgin”) and Elisabeth Rohm (TV’s “Jane the Virgin,” “The Oath,” “Flaked”).
The animated feature Norm of the North: Family Vacation arrives on digital, DVD, and on demand Feb. 25 from Lionsgate.
From writers Alec Sokolow (Toy Story, Cheaper by the Dozen, Garfield: The Movie), Elie Choufany (TV’s “Arabs in Space”), and director Anthony Bell (Alpha and Omega, The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania!), Norm of the North: Family Vacation stars Andy Toth, Brian Drummond, Cole Howard, James Higuchi, Jennifer Cameron, Jonathan Holmes, Lee Tockar, Lisa Durupt and Paul Dobson.
In this next installment in the series, overwhelmed by his kingly duties, Norm struggles to make time for both his kingdom and his family. When his crown is mysteriously stolen in the dead of the night, Norm must embark on an epic journey — disguised as a family vacation. Norm sets out to track down the thief and find his crown and learns the valuable lesson that by working together as a family, nothing is impossible.
It’s been more than 25 years since audiences first met Jay and Silent Bob in Kevin Smith’s Clerks, and they’ve remained the same carefree stoners despite their adventures in a slew of the director’s View Askewniverse films, including Chasing Amy, Mallrats and Dogma.
In Jay & Silent Bob Reboot — available on Blu-ray (plus digital), DVD, digital and on demand from Lionsgate — the duo confronts their past, as does the film’s director.
“Jay and Silent Bob have given me so much — 25 years of earning off the backs of Jay and Silent Bob in one way or another,” says Smith in the disc extras.
“I get to make a movie where Jay gets to grow up,” he says.
In Reboot, Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) confront old friends and foes as they discover that Hollywood is rebooting Bluntman and Chronic, a movie based on them. Thus, they embark on another cross-country mission to stop the madness. The journey includes all-star cameos and appearances from Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Chris Hemsworth, Rosario Dawson, Melissa Benoist, Joe Manganiello, Molly Shannon, Shannon Elizabeth, Jason Lee, Justin Long and more.
“We follow up on the story of Clerks and see where Dante is in his life,” Smith says in the extras. “We follow up on Mallrats and see where Brody is in his life. We follow up on Chasing Amy and see where Holden and Alissa are in their lives.”
“My character is the same character that I played in Chasing Amy many, many, many years ago,” Ben Affleck (Holden McNeil) says in the extras.
“This is like my little franchise, my Kevin Smith franchise. It’s just like being in another kind of franchise, except they don’t pay you any money,” he joked.
Matt Damon, who played Loki in Dogma, says in the extras the duo of Jay and Silent Bob “just struck a chord.”
“They’re funny,” he says. “You buy into their relationship. They’re two guys you want to go on an adventure with.”
For Smith, it’s now a family affair, with his daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, playing a central part in Reboot, and other family members making appearances.
“It just became more than I thought it was going to be, and now it’s just this weird statement film,” Smith said. “It turned into this testimony of my life, both personally and professionally. It’s filled with the people I’ve spent my life making pretend beside. It’s filled with my family. At one point, I’m behind my mother and she’s dressed like Silent Bob.”
JAY AND SILENT BOB IN THE VIEW ASKEWNIVERSE
(Titles available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from Lionsgate)
The laid-back stoners make their film debut as supporting characters in this story of a day in the life of convenience store employees Dante and Randal.
Chasing Amy (1997)
The supporting player stoners offer inspiration to comic book artist Holden, who falls for fellow comic artist Alyssa, a lesbian.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
The comic Bluntman and Chronic is based on Jay and Silent Bob, so when they get no profit from the film adaptation they try to wreck it.