Sub Drama ‘The Command’ Coming to Digital and Disc Aug. 6 From Lionsgate

The Command arrives on Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD and digital Aug. 6 from Lionsgate.

The film is currently available on demand.

Starring Matthias Schoenaerts, Léa Seydoux, and Academy Award winner Colin Firth (2010, Best Actor, The King’s Speech), The Command is based on Robert Moore’s book A Time to Die. It follows the true story of the 2000 nuclear submarine disaster in which the K-141 Kursk sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea. As 23 sailors fought for survival aboard the disabled sub, their families desperately battled bureaucratic obstacles and impossible odds to find answers and save them.

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Special features include the “Human Costs: Making The Command” featurette.

‘Jesus: His Life’ Miniseries Coming to DVD Aug. 6 From Lionsgate

The miniseries Jesus: His Life arrives on DVD Aug. 6 from Lionsgate.

Executive produced by Joel Osteen, this story of Jesus Christ combines scripted drama with interviews from prominent religious and historical experts.

Starring Greg Barnett as Jesus, Cassie Bradley as Mary Magdalene, Abhin Galeya as Judas, Ramin Karimloo as Joseph, and Houda Echouafni as Mary, the miniseries explores the story of Jesus Christ through the people in his life who were closest to him. Each of the eight chapters is told from the perspective of different biblical figures, all of whom played a pivotal role in Jesus’ life, including Joseph, John the Baptist, Mary Mother of Jesus, Caiaphas, Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate, Mary Magdalene and Peter.

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Lionsgate Bringing ‘Long Shot’ Home in July

Lionsgate will release the comedy Long Shot digitally July 16, and on Blu-ray and DVD July 30.

The film stars Seth Rogen as a hard-partying journalist who has a fling with a presidential candidate (Charlize Theron) who hires him as a speechwriter. The cast also includes O’Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Lisa Kudrow and Alexander Skarsgård.

Long Shot earned $30.3 million at the domestic box office.

The home video edition will include several behind-the-scenes featurettes.

The Blu-ray features Dolby Atmos audio.

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‘Madea Family Funeral’ Debuts Atop Disc Sales Chart

Lionsgate’s A Madea Family Funeral debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, the week ended June 8.

The latest film directed by Tyler Perry, the 11th and reportedly final installment in the franchise featuring him playing Madea, earned $73.3 million at the domestic box office.

On the Blu-ray Disc sales chart, however, Madea landed at No. 3, as just 26% of sales of the film were of the Blu-ray Disc format.

The week’s top Blu-ray Disc seller for a third consecutive week was DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, distributed by Universal Pictures. The third “Dragon” film dropped to No. 2 for the week after two weeks in the top spot, selling about 60% as many copies as the debuting Madea.

The week’s No. 3 overall seller and No. 2 Blu-ray was another newcomer, the animated direct-to-video superhero adventure Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a crossover featuring the popular characters that was distributed by Warner Bros. and produced with the assistance of TMNT rights holders Nickelodeon. Blu-ray Disc comprised 82% of its first-week sales.

No. 4 on both charts was Warner’s The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part in its fourth week on shelves.

Another Warner title, Aquaman, was No. 5 on both charts in its 11th week of disc availability.

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The 2016 animated movie The Secret Life of Pets, from Universal, jumped back into the top 20 at No. 18 overall, boosted by the June 7 theatrical release of its sequel.

The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended June 9 also had Madea Family Funeral debut in the top spot.

Universal’s The Upside slipped a spot to No. 2 after two weeks in the top spot.

Dragon slipped to No. 3, while Warner’s Isn’t It Romantic dropped to No. 4 and Lionsgate’s Drunk Parents held at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 6-8-19
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 6-9-19
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 6-8-19
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 6-8-19
Sales Report for Week Ended 6-8-19
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 6-10-19

Redbox and Lionsgate Announce New Multiyear Deal

Redbox and Lionsgate on June 12 announced a new multiyear agreement continuing to make Lionsgate disc and digital content available at Redbox kiosks and Redbox On Demand.

Lionsgate DVDs and Blu-ray Discs will continue to be available for rent at Redbox nationwide fleet of kiosks, while Lionsgate digital content will be available for sale or rental through the Redbox On Demand service.

“This new deal allows Redbox to lean further into Lionsgate content in a more impactful way across our physical and digital offerings,” said Redbox CEO Galen Smith.  “We’re thankful for the continued partnership that allows us to offer consumers more choice when planning a meaningful movie night with friends and family.”

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“We greatly value our long-term partnership with Redbox and are happy to be extending our relationship,” said Ron Schwartz, Lionsgate’s president of worldwide home entertainment. “We remain committed to making our portfolio of premium content available to consumers at the Redbox kiosks and on their digital platform.”

Redbox has more than 41,500 kiosks nationwide offering DVD, Blu-ray and video game rentals and purchases and streaming On Demand available across leading devices.

A Madea Legacy

It’s been a long, strange and hilarious trip for an iconic character taking her final bow.

A Madea Family Funeral, available now digitally and on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand from Lionsgate, is the 11th and final big-screen appearance of writer/director/star Tyler Perry’s Madea character, whose film debut was 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman.

Over the years, the gray-haired senior citizen Mabel “Madea” Simmons has made audience’s laugh and think, from her beginning in live theater in 1999 with Perry’s play I Can Do Bad All By Myself to her box office blockbusters in the movie theater over the following two decades. Madea last month also exited the stage, finishing her farewell tour in Atlanta where she began — but her unique presence has left a mark.

“She’s quick-witted, gun-toting, purse-slinging, funny as can be, and she might be carrying some of that little goodness in her purse — all the while giving us wise words of advice with her comedic delivery,” said Ciera Payton, who plays Sylvia in the final Madea film. “Over the years, she has celebrated with us Halloween, Christmas, a family reunion, a funeral, and she’s even been to jail — several times.”

“She gives damn good advice that’s gonna stick with you,” added Courtney Burrell, who stars as A.J. in the film. “I mean, she’s like a family member.”

And Lionsgate has been there all the way, releasing the Madea films in theaters as well as the movies and plays on home entertainment formats.

“We are so, so, so grateful to Lionsgate for giving Madea a home for so many years,” Payton added.

“It’s kudos to Lionsgate for getting behind [the franchise],” said Rome Flynn who stars as Jesse in A Madea Family Funeral. “They’ve been there.”

Despite her last film’s title, it’s not Madea’s funeral. Madea heads out to a family reunion, only for the trip to suddenly turn into a funeral threatening to reveal uncomfortable family secrets. Her longtime companions, brother Joe and his son Brian (both played by Perry), as well as Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis) and Hattie (Patrice Lovely) are along for the ride, all invited by Madea’s older brother Heathrow (also Perry) in his franchise debut.

“The message that Tyler’s delivering with this movie is karma will come back and bite you,” said Burrell, whose character constantly demeans his wife Carol (K.J. Smith), to the dismay of Madea. Carol, while not being physically abused, is nonetheless suffering.

“I think Carol was important to portray on film because she really has to take a stand,” Smith said. “She has been putting up with it enough, and I think a lot of women are dealing with that whatever it is, putting up with it, and enough is enough.”

Smith said it’s apparent Perry was raised around women because “his voice for women is so on point. You don’t have to change a word.”

Madea is famously based on Perry’s late mother and his aunt.

“[My mother] loved Madea,” Perry told CNN. “She told me whatever you do, don’t stop playing this character.”

Still, Perry said he finally had to hang up the wig.

“It’s been a wonderful run. I’m so grateful, but I’m not gonna miss that dress, not gonna miss that wig, not gonna miss how hot it is. I’m not gonna miss shaving. I’m not gonna miss any of that stuff,” he said in an extra on the disc. “As far as Madea, it’s time for her to go.”

As in all her films, Madea has a message to deliver with her final scene:

“Ya’ll gotta figure it out for yourself!”

Extras on A Madea Family Funeral include deleted scenes, outtakes and three featurettes: “Madea’s Tips for Attending a Funeral,” “Making A Madea Family Funeral: An Affair to Remember” and “Hellllur: Looking Back on Madea.”

Madea in Film

Ten other films have featured the eccentric Madea (available from Lionsgate):

Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005): Madea makes her first appearance when, after 18 years of marriage to lawyer Charles, her granddaughter Helen finds him ending their marriage and shacking up with another. Helen retreats to the house of Madea, who helps her get revenge.

Madea’s Family Reunion (2006): While planning her family reunion, pistol-packing Madea has drama on her plate, including a runaway under her care and her love-crossed nieces.

Meet the Browns (2008): Madea has a cameo in the romantic comedy starring Angela Bassett and Rick Fox.

Madea Goes to Jail (2009): The mischievous grandma lands in jail, where she encounters a variety of crazy characters.

I Can Do Bad All By Myself (2009): Madea catches 16-year-old Jennifer and her two younger brothers looting her home and decides to take matters into her own hands.

Madea’s Big Happy Family (2011): Madea tries to get her fighting family together for dinner to discuss the health of her niece Shirley.

Madea’s Witness Protection (2012): Mild-mannered Wall Street banker George Needleman (Eugene Levy) learns he’s been framed in a mob-backed Ponzi scheme. Placed under federal protection, George and his family are shipped to Madea’s house, where she whips them all into shape.

A Madea Christmas (2013): Madea accompanies her niece, Eileen, to the small town of Buck Tussel to pay a surprise visit to Eileen’s daughter, Lacey, who has refused to come home for Christmas. The real reason Lacey is avoiding her mother is that she has secretly married Connor, a white classmate from college.

Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016): Trying to win the approval of her friends, 17-year-old Tiffany sneaks out of the house to go to a Halloween bash at a fraternity, which Madea crashes. The partygoers decide to scare Madea with a series of ghoulish pranks.

Boo 2: A Madea Halloween (2017): Tiffany travels to Derrick Lake to celebrate her 18th birthday at a Halloween frat party in the middle of the woods. Madea, Aunt Bam and Hattie hop in the car to save her from the same terrible fate that befell a group of teens there years earlier.

Madea on Stage

Several plays featuring Madea also are available from Lionsgate:

  • I Can Do Bad All By Myself
  • Diary of a Mad Black Woman
  • Madea’s Big happy Family
  • Madea’s Class Reunion
  • Madea’s Family Reunion
  • Madea on the Run
  • Madea’s Neighbors From Hell
  • A Madea Christmans
  • Madea Goes to Jail
  • Madea Gets a Job

Hulu, FX Getting Lionsgate Movies

Disney-owned Hulu and FX reportedly are getting pay-TV access to select Lionsgate movies beginning in 2020.

Epix, the pay-TV channel owned by MGM Studios, currently has the rights to Lionsgate movies, which include Oscar winner La La LandThe Hunger Games and Saw franchises, among others.

The John Wicks franchise starring Keanu Reeves is licensed separately to HBO through 2021. Twentieth Century Fox, which Disney recently acquired, also has a deal with HBO through 2022.

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Lionsgate co-owned Epix with Viacom and MGM, until selling its stake to the venerable studio in 2017.

The two-year deal, first reported by The Information, enables Santa Monica-based Lionsgate to migrate its movies to Starz Play, the subscription streaming service launched in 2016.

Lionsgate acquired Starz in 2016 for $4.4 billion.

Notably, it was Starz that started licensing studio movies to OTT services through an exclusive deal with Netflix in 2008 that gave the SVOD pioneer access to 2,500 movies for pennies on the dollar from Disney, Sony Pictures and others.

Six years later, then-CEO Chris Albrecht would call the Netflix agreement “terrible,” as it helped the streaming service generate subscribers looking for cheaper access to Hollywood movies.

“For a very low price [Netflix] got access to all our stuff and it devalued our wholesale and resale prices,” Albrecht told an investor group. He left Starz earlier this year.

‘Hellboy’ Reboot Blazing to Home Video in July

Lionsgate will release the Hellboy reboot digitally July 9, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc July 23.

Based on the Dark Horse comic book created by Mike Mignola, the film finds the half-demon superhero Hellboy (David Harbour) called to the English countryside to battle a trio of rampaging giants and finds himself confronting an ancient sorceress (Milla Jovovich). The film also stars Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim and Thomas Haden Church.

The film earned $21.9 million at the domestic box office.

The home video editions will include deleted scenes and previsualizations. The Blu-ray and digital versions will also include the three-part making-of documentary “Tales of the Wild Hunt: Hellboy Reborn.”

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray will include Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.

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Sci-fi Thriller ‘Project Ithaca’ Due on Disc and Digital Aug. 6 From Lionsgate

The sci-fi thriller Project Ithaca arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital), DVD and digital Aug. 6 from Lionsgate.

The film is currently available on demand.

In Project Ithaca, a blend of science fiction and horror, a malevolent alien species has been abducting humans for decades, possibly centuries. Their endgame: to harvest enough human emotional energy to open a wormhole through which their spacecrafts can pass and conquer our world. To end this threat, the U.S. military initiates Project Ithaca, a top-secret plan to teleport a human-alien hybrid, SERA, aboard the “mother ship” to destroy it. SERA awakes inside the alien craft along with five others. Divided, they will die; only together can they defeat the aliens and find a way home.

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Project Ithaca stars James Gallanders, Deragh Campbell and Daniel Fathers.

De Palma’s ‘Domino’ Falls to Digital and Disc July 30 From Lionsgate

Brian De Palma’s action-thriller Domino is coming to Blu-ray Disc (plus digital), DVD and digital July 30 from Lionsgate.

The film is currently available on demand.

Featuring international sets from Scandinavia to Spain, the film stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”), Carice van Houten and Guy Pearce.

In the film, a Copenhagen police officer, Christian (Coster-Wealdau), seeks justice for his partner’s murder by ISIS member Imran. Determined to hunt Imran down, Christian and Alex (van Houten), a fellow cop and his late partner’s mistress, are unwittingly caught in a deadly cat-and-mouse chase with a duplicitous CIA agent (Pearce) who is using Imran as a pawn to trap other ISIS members. Their quest for revenge becomes a race against time to save their own lives.

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Domino was released domestically on May 31, 2019, by Saban Films, skipping theaters and premiering on demand over the Internet. It is De Palma’s first film since 2012’s Passion.