HBO Max Renews Mark Wahlberg Docuseries ‘Wahl Street’

HBO Max has ordered a second season of the Max Original and Critics Choice Real TV Awards Best Business show nominee “Wahl Street” from actor Mark Wahlberg. The 10-episode order is produced by Wahlberg’s Unrealistic Ideas.

As the pandemic world adjusts to a new version of normal, Wahlberg, like many, is facing a multitude of new challenges, both personally and professionally. With 2021 fraught with plenty of obstacles and potential failure, Wahlberg and his team juggle the demands of their business portfolio, with notable brands such as Municipal, F45 and Wahlburgers, among others.

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In addition, Wahlberg celebrates major milestones — from turning 50 to working alongside his wife and business partner, Rhea, who, serving as a creative consultant for Municipal, launches the first women’s collection for the brand.

“Last season, fans gravitated to Mark’s unwavering resilience, commitment to self-reflection, and his unique ability to innovate his business strategies to weather this global and unprecedented pandemic,” Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of nonfiction and live-action family programming at Max, said in a statement. “I’m eager to see what’s on the horizon for Mark, his family and his team.”

Wahlberg says the show reveals a behind-the-scenes look at his “busy” life with few filters.

“The daily grind looks different for everyone, but we all have to work hard to provide a future for our families,” he said. “Hopefully, the series will keep inspiring people to achieve their own dreams too.”

Peacock Orders Original Series Based on ‘Ted’ ‘R’-Rated Comedies

NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service June 10 announced a straight-to-series order for “Ted,” from Universal Content Productions (UCP), a division of Universal Studio Group, and MRC Television.

The series is based on the Universal Pictures/MRC movie Ted, starring Mark Wahlberg and the highest-grossing original ‘R’-rated comedy of all time. Collectively Ted and Ted 2 grossed more than $765 million worldwide.

Creator Seth MacFarlane is in negotiations to reprise the voice of the lovable foul-mouthed teddy bear Ted. The live-action series will be executive produced by MacFarlane and Erica Huggins for Fuzzy Door.

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This is the second series order since MacFarlane and Fuzzy Door signed an overall development deal with UCP in 2020. Earlier this year, Peacock announced a series order of “The End is Nye,” hosted by Bill Nye. The series is produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio and UCP, divisions of Universal Studio Group, and Fuzzy Door.

UCP is responsible for series such as Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Mr. Robot,” “The Act,” “Monk,” “Homecoming,” “The Sinner,” “Suits,” “Dirty John” and “Psych.”  Upcoming titles include “Dr. Death,” starring Joshua Jackson, Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater; and “Gaslit” starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn.

MRC’s series have been nominated for 94 Emmy Awards and 18 Golden Globe Awards. The current slate includes “Ozark,” from Chris Mundy and starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and Julia Garner, on Netflix; “The Great,” from Tony McNamara, starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, on Hulu; “The Shrink Next Door,” starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd and from director Michael Showalter and writer Georgia Pritchett for Apple TV+; “The Terminal List,” for which Chris Pratt stars and executive produces alongside director Antoine Fuqua and writer David DiGilio, with Amazon Studios; “Shining Girls,” starring Elisabeth Moss and produced with Appian Way and Love & Squalor Pictures  for Apple TV+; the Rian Johnson series “Poker Face,” with T-Street and starring Natasha Lyonne for Peacock; and “Hello Tomorrrow!” starring Billy Crudup, from creators Amit Bhalla and Lucas Jansen and director Jonathan Entwistle for Apple TV+.

MRC’s previous series included Netflix’s “House of Cards” and “Counterpart,” among others.

Paramount+ to Debut New Mark Wahlberg Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Infinite’

Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access) in June will exclusively debut the new science-fiction thriller Infinite, starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Antoine Fuqua, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said on the May 6 first-quarter (ended March 31) fiscal call.

The movie will skip theaters, Bakish said. It was originally slated to launch in theaters on Sept. 24 — then subsequently got pushed up to Memorial Day, according to Box Office Mojo.

The move mirrors WarnerMedia’s strategy to release the entire 2021 Warner Bros. theatrical slate concurrently on its streaming service HBO Max and in theaters — a strategy corporate parent AT&T has attributed to ongoing Max sub growth.

Paramount, which generated a record low $1 million in revenue during the 90-day fiscal period due to shuttered theaters, had previously announced shortened theatrical windows for  A Quiet Place Part II and Mission: Impossible 7 in an effort to expedite access on Paramount+. New “Paranormal Activity” and “Pet Sematary” releases will now also forgo theatrical distribution for the streamer.

Paramount previously licensed Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 and the comedy The Lovebirds to Netflix. The studio also licensed rights to Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, starring Michael B. Jordan, and Eddie Murphy sequel Coming 2 America to Amazon Prime Video. Oscar winner The United States vs. Billie Holiday was licensed to Hulu.

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Paramount+ will add 1,000 movies in June as part of a “Mountain of Movies” marketing campaign designed to upgrade the platform’s title count to 2,500.

“All of this is a preview to a substantial ramping up of original movies next year, when we expect to begin averaging an original movie a week in 2022,” Bakish said.

‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Casts Spell on Redbox Charts

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald worked some magic the week ended March 17, levitating to the top spot on both Redbox charts.

“Harry Potter” writer J.K. Rowling’s followup to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them took the No. 1 spot on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming. The Warner release was new-to-disc for the week, streeting March 12.

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Two other new disc releases, both from Universal, entered the chart for the week. Best Picture Oscar winner Green Book nabbed the No. 2 spot. The film also picked up Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali. Mortal Engines, a post-apocalyptic actioner backed by Peter Jackson, came in at No. 4, just behind the previous week’s top title, Paramount’s Instant Family, a comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne.

Warner’s fight drama Creed II landed at No. 5 on the disc chart, falling from No. 2 the previous week.

On the digital side, coming in at No. 2 for the week was Instant Family, sliding from No. 1. Green Book entered at No. 3, followed at No. 4 by another Oscar-lauded film, Warner’s A Star Is Born, which picked up an Academy Award for Best Original Song and earned eight nominations, including acting nods for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Mortal Engines rounded out the top five on the digital chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 17:

  1. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (New) — Warner
  2. Green Book (New) — Universal
  3. Instant Family — Paramount
  4. Mortal Engines (New) — Universal
  5. Creed II — Warner
  6. Ralph Breaks the Internet — Disney
  7. A Star Is Born (2018)— Warner
  8. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  9. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  10. The Grinch — Universal

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 17:

  1. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — Warner
  2. Instant Family — Paramount
  3. Green Book — Universal
  4. A Star Is Born (2018)— Warner
  5. Mortal Engines — Universal
  6. Creed II — Warner
  7. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  8. Nobody’s Fool (2018) — Paramount
  9. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  10. The Possession of Hannah Grace — Sony

‘Instant Family’ Tops Redbox Charts

Paramount’s Instant Family fostered a win on both Redbox charts the week ended March 10.

The family comedy, starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne, took the No. 1 spot on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming. It was new-to-disc for the week, streeting March 5.

Warner’s boxing drama Creed II, also released on disc March 5, took the No. 2 spot on both charts.

Oscar-lauded films made several appearances on the Redbox charts. Disney’s sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet, which was nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar, remained at No. 3 on the disc chart, the same spot it held the previous week. The music drama A Star Is Born — which garnered an Academy Award for Best Original Song and picked up eight nominations, including nods for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga — dropped from No. 1 to No. 4 on the disc chart, and from No. 1 to No. 3 on the digital side. Bohemian Rhapsody slipped from No. 2 to No. 5 on the disc chart, and from No. 2 to No. 4 on the digital chart. The film, about the life of Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, won Academy Awards for Best Actor for Rami Malek, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

Three other new disc releases entered the top 10. In the eighth spot was Lionsgate’s Ben Is Back, starring Julia Roberts as a desperate mother with a troubled son. At No. 9 was Fox’s The Favourite, which earned a surprise Best Actress Oscar for Olivia Colman. And landing at No. 10 was the Lionsgate thriller The Vanishing, starring Gerard Butler.

Ben Is Back (No. 8) and The Favourite (No. 7) also placed on the digital chart.

Lionsgate’s Robin Hood held strong on both charts, placing No. 6 (from No. 4 the previous week) on the disc chart and No. 6 (from No. 3) on the digital chart.

Meanwhile, Universal’s Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch settled at No. 7 (from No. 5) on the disc chart.

Sony’s Venom, which debuted on digital late last year, made an appearance on the digital chart at No. 5 — perhaps boosted by anticipation for the latest superhero movie hitting theaters, Captain Marvel.

 

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 10:

  1. Instant Family (New) — Paramount
  2. Creed II (New) — Warner
  3. Ralph Breaks the Internet — Disney
  4. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  5. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  6. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  7. Seuss’ The Grinch — Universal
  8. Ben Is Back (New) — Lionsgate
  9. The Favourite (New) — Fox
  10. The Vanishing (2019) (New)— Lionsgate

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 10:

  1. Instant Family — Paramount
  2. Creed II — Warner
  3. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  4. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  5. Venom (2018) — Sony
  6. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  7. The Favourite — Fox
  8. Ben Is Back — Lionsgate
  9. Nobody’s Fool (2018) — Paramount
  10. The Possession of Hannah Grace — Sony

‘Aquaman’ Floats Atop FandangoNow Chart

Warner’s DC Comics movie Aquaman swam to No. 1 on FandangoNow’s chart of top movies for digital rental and purchase for the week ended March 10.

FandangoNow is movie site Fandango’s transactional VOD service.

The swimming superhero story, which debuted digitally March 5, edged out the studio’s Oscar-lauded A Star Is Born, which fell to No. 2 on the chart.

Warner also took the third spot with the boxing sequel Creed II, which fought its way up the rankings from No. 10 the previous week.

Paramount’s Instant Family, starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne, rose to the fourth spot on the chart from No. 7 the previous week, edging out Sony’s Best Animated Feature Oscar winner Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which fell from No. 2 to No. 5.

Boosted by the surprise Best Actress Oscar win for Olivia Colman, The Favourite landed on the chart for the week at No. 9.

The top films to purchase and/or rent on FandangoNow for the week ended March 10 were:

  1. Aquaman — Warner
  2. A Star is Born (2018) — Warner
  3. Creed II — Warner
  4. Instant Family — Paramount
  5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — Sony
  6. Ralph Breaks the Internet — Disney
  7. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  8. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — Warner
  9. The Favourite — Fox
  10. Green Book — Universal

Paramount Releasing ‘Instant Family’ Digitally Feb. 19, on Disc March 5

Paramount Home Media Distribution will release the family comedy Instant Family through digital retailers Feb. 19, and on Blu-ray and DVD March 5.

The film stars Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne as foster parents to a teenage girl (Isabela Moner) who unexpectedly comes along with two younger siblings. The cast also includes Margo Martindale, Julie Hagerty and Octavia Spencer.

Instant Family earned $66.7 million at the domestic box office.

The Blu-ray combo pack includes a digital copy of the film plus an introduction by director/co-writer Sean Anders and co-writer John Morris.

Additional extras include a commentary with Anders and Morris; deleted and extended scenes; a gag reel; a music video for Moner’s “I’ll Stay”; and several behind-the-scenes featurettes, including a profile of the real-life Anders family, who inspired the film.

Paramount Releasing Movie Star DVD Collections

Paramount Home Media Distribution Feb. 5 will release Audrey Hepburn 7-Movie DVD Collection, Paul Newman 6-Movie DVD Collection and Mark Wahlberg 5-Film DVD Collection.

The Audrey Hepburn collection includes Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Fair Lady, Funny Face, Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Paris When It Sizzles and War and Peace.

The Paul Newman collection includes Hud, Road to Perdition, Fat Man and Little Boy, Nobody’s Fool, A New Kind of Love and Twilight.

The Mark Wahlberg collection includes Shooter, Pain & Gain, The Fighter, The Italian Job and The Gambler.

The collections are priced around $23 each.

Universal Sets Home Release Dates for ‘Mile 22’ Actioner

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has set home release dates for Mile 22, a modern thriller from the director of Lone Survivor starring Mark Wahlberg.

The film, which earned $35.5 million in U.S. theaters, will arrive on digital Oct. 30 and as a Blu-ray Disc combo pack, DVD and On Demand on Nov. 13.

Mile 22, from STXfilms, stars Wahlberg as James Silva, an operative of the CIA’s most highly-prized and little-known unit. Aided by a top-secret tactical command team, Silva must transport an asset (Iko Uwais) who has vital information to an airfield for extraction before the enemy closes in.

From director  Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon), Mile 22 also features performances by Lauren Cohan (“The Walking Dead”), Ronda Rousey (Fast & Furious 7) and John Malkovich (Red).

Bonus features on the Blu-ray Disc combo back, DVD and digital:

  • Overwatch: Follow the “Overwatch,” the para-military division in Mile 22, and explore the background and inspiration as to why this type of team was chosen for the film.
  • Introducing Iko: A spotlight on action star Iko Uwais and his experience with combat fighting, stunt work and choreographing his own scenes in the film.
  • Iko Fight: Interview with Uwais discussing his intense fight scenes from the practice room to the final shot.
  • Bad Ass Women: A behind-the-scenes look with stars Lauren Cohan and Ronda Rousey along with writer Lea Carpenter, discussing stunts, intellectual smarts and the overall tenacity of the film’s female characters.
  • BTS Stunts: An in-depth take on the creation of the action-packed stunts of Mile 22 with commentary from Director Peter Berg and the film’s stars.
  • Modern Combat: Explore the concept of modern action cinema, where scenes are created and shot in real time with multiple cameras, mesmerizing cinematography and intense action stunts.
  • Colombia: Take a tour of Bogota, Colombia with the cast and filmmakers discussing key filming location points.
  • Trailers

Daddy’s Home 2

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street 2/20/18;
Paramount;
Comedy;
Box Office $103.89 million;
$25.99 DVD, $31.99 Blu-ray, $34.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for suggestive material and some language.
Stars Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, Alessandra Ambrosio, John Cena, John Lithgow, Mel Gibson.

The first Daddy’s Home in 2015 proved to be a pleasant surprise, with the simple premise of a stepdad struggling to escape the shadow of the kids’ real father elevated comedically by the winning duo of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.

By the end of that movie, Ferrell’s Brad and Wahlberg’s Dusty had largely reached an understanding of how to raise the kids, with Dusty having to deal with a stepfamily of his own. The sequel begins by taking that premise to the next level, touching on the confusion inherent in such criss-crossed families, where situations get repeated so all the parents can get a taste of their children growing up, with results that don’t always satisfy everyone.

In light of these potential tensions, Brad and Dusty decide that all the families should celebrate Christmas together. As if on cue, Brad and Dusty’s own parents show up to join in the holiday fun (which is basically the same premise the recent Bad Moms sequel did). Mel Gibson plays Dusty’s dad, while John Lithgow is Brad’s.

The grandpas inject their own flavor, and soon enough the merged families are off to a cabin in a wooded community where hijinx are free to ensue.

Throwing the elders into the mix is a fine idea in terms of the pairings, and on paper adds an extra layer to the story. But in practice it kind of gets in the way. The film ends up pursuing too many ideas that don’t really coalesce around the central theme, more often than not falling back on the same kinds of physical slapstick that fueled the first film and have been the bread and butter of these kids of comedies since Buster Keaton first allowed a building to fall down around him.

Beyond that, the movie has to get by on the chemistry of its cast and whatever charm they can muster from their performances, and luckily there’s plenty of that to go around. The film is at its most fun when all the comedic actors play off each other, and the premise doesn’t require the big players to stray much from their wheelhouses here: aww-shucks Ferrell, hothead Wahlberg, macho Mel and lovable Lithgow.

It plays for a time, until John Cena shows up for what is basically an extended version of his cameo in the first film, where he represents the threat to Dusty’s fatherhood in the way Dusty was a threat to Brad. That conflict is touched on briefly but kind of makes you wish the movie was more about that from the beginning, rather than the “everybody raising the kids together with the grandpas stirring the pot” thing they went for.

The female side of the equation gets its share of attention too, with a fun little subplot about Brad’s wife (Linda Cardellini) and stepdaughter idolizing Dusty’s new wife (Alessandra Ambrosio) and stepdaughter in different but illuminating ways.

But really, it all might be worth it just for a great riff on Liam Neeson action movies and Hollywood’s penchant for seasonal mayhem.

The Blu-ray includes a half-hour of behind-the-scenes featurettes, grouped by various topics: writing the sequel, reuniting the cast, the pairing of Ferrell and Wahlberg, bringing on Gibson and Lithgow, and some other surprises.

There’s also 11 minutes of deleted, extended and alternate scenes, and a four-minute gag reel.