‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

Disney’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness topped the chart of the 10 most popular films on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu the week ended June 26.

The Marvel Comics-based sequel stars Benedict Cumberbatch, who returns as Doctor Stephen Strange, master of the mystic arts. Strange meets America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a teenage girl from a parallel world who has the power to travel between the multiverses. She is being pursued by an entity who seeks to control her power, leading Strange to vow to protect her. The film also stars Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams, and was directed by Sam Raimi.

Rising from No. 3 to No. 2 on the chart was DreamWorks Animation’s caper comedy The Bad Guys, newly available for regular digital purchase (It was previously available at a premium price.). Distributed by Universal, the animated adventure follows reformed but misunderstood criminal animals who attempt to become good.

Sony Pictures’ Morbius, available for digital purchase and rental, fell from the top spot to No. 3 on the chart. The Marvel Comics-based film stars Jared Leto as the enigmatic superhero Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others from suffering the same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a cure that unleashes a darkness inside him.

Rising to No. 4 from No. 10 on the chart was Sonic the Hedgehog 2, on sale for digital rental and purchase. The sequel follows Sonic (voice of Ben Schwartz), who after settling in Green Hills is eager to prove he has what it takes to be a true hero. His test comes when Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) returns, this time with new partner Knuckles (Idris Elba), in search of an emerald that has the power to destroy civilizations.

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The Nicolas Cage comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, newly available for digital rental (It’s been available for digital purchase.), rose from No. 8 to No. 5 on the chart. Cage stars as himself in the film. Creatively unfulfilled and facing financial ruin, the fictionalized version of Cage accepts a million-dollar offer to attend the birthday of a dangerous superfan (Pedro Pascal). Things take an unexpected turn when Cage is recruited by a CIA operative (Tiffany Haddish) and he must use his legendary acting skills, channeling his most iconic and beloved characters to become a real-life action hero.

The Doctor Strange Two-Movie Collection, comprised of the first Doctor Strange and Multiverse of Madness for $29.99, is the top-selling movie bundle on Vudu. The top-selling TV bundle on Vudu is Game of Thrones: The Complete Series, with the full franchise available in 4K Ultra HD and on sale for $59.99 through June 27.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended June 26, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  2. The Bad Guys
  3. Morbius
  4. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  5. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
  6. Uncharted
  7. Downton Abbey: A New Era
  8. Memory
  9. The Lost City
  10. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Marvel’s ‘Morbius’ Tops the Weekly Vudu Chart

The Marvel Comics-based Morbius topped the chart of the 10 most-popular titles on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu the week ended May 22.

The film, newly available for digital purchase May 17 and distributed by Sony Pictures, stars Jared Leto as the enigmatic superhero Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others from suffering the same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a cure that unleashes a darkness inside him.

Remaining at No. 2 was DreamWorks Animation’s caper comedy The Bad Guys, available for premium digital purchase and rental. Distributed by Universal, the animated adventure follows reformed but misunderstood criminal animals who attempt to become good.

Staying at No. 3 was Focus Features’ The Northman, an action epic that follows a young Viking prince on his quest to avenge his father’s murder. Starring Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman and Anya Taylor-Joy, the film is available for premium digital purchase and rental.

Remaining at No. 4 was Sony Pictures’ Uncharted, available for digital purchase and rental. The action adventure follows street-smart thief Nathan Drake (Tom Holland), who is recruited by seasoned treasure hunger Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) to recover a fortune lost by Ferdinand Magellan 500 years ago.

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Dropping from the top spot to No. 5 was the action-adventure The Lost City, which became available for digital purchase May 10. The film, starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum, follows a reclusive romance novelist on a book tour with her cover model who gets swept up in a kidnapping attempt that lands them both in a cutthroat jungle adventure.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended May 22, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Morbius
  2. The Bad Guys
  3. The Northman
  4. Uncharted
  5. The Lost City
  6. Dog
  7. Ambulance
  8. Memory
  9. Spider-Man: No Way Home
  10. Moonfall

‘Morbius’ Headed to Digital May 17, Disc June 14

The Marvel Comics-based action film Morbius will be released on digital May 17 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD June 14 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the film, Oscar winner Jared Leto plays the enigmatic antihero Michael Morbius, who is dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder. Determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed.

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Extras on digital, 4K and Blu-ray include outtakes and bloopers, five featurettes, and nocturnal Easter Eggs. Extras on DVD include two featurettes.

Sony Pictures’ ‘Morbius’ Generates $39 Million North American Opening Weekend Box Office

Sony Pictures’ new Marvel antihero movie Morbius generated an estimated $39 million in revenue across more than 4,200 North American screens through April 3. The vampire-themed Jared Leto-starrer saw $84 million in projected global ticket sales.

While the numbers exceed Sony’s cautious $33 million projection, the ongoing box office potential for Morbius remains uncertain due to the film’s weak ratings (17% positive Rotten Tomatoes score) and upcoming strong April theatrical release slate featuring Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Universal Pictures’ crime actioner Ambulance, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, and Lionsgate’s action comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.

Regardless, the numbers for Morbius are uncharacteristically low for a Marvel movie.

The opening weekend tally also failed to match Sony’s previous antihero comic book movie Venom, which opened to $80 million in pre-pandemic 2018 starring Tom Hardy. The 2021 sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, generated a $90 million box office opening weekend.

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Meanwhile, the Sandra Bullock/Channing Tatum romantic comedy, The Lost City (Paramount) added $14.8 million in second-weekend ticket sales to bring the movie’s 10-day North American box office tally above $54 million ($62 million globally).

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Headed to Digital March 15, Disc April 12

The Marvel Studios film Spider-Man: No Way Home will head to digital March 15, and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc April 12 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

As the film begins, the friendly neighborhood hero’s identity is revealed, bringing his superhero responsibilities into conflict with his normal life and putting those he cares about most at risk, including MJ (Zendaya). When he enlists Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) help to restore his secret, the spell tears a hole in the world, releasing the most powerful villains who’ve ever fought a Spider-Man in any universe. Peter (Tom Holland) will have to overcome his greatest challenge yet, which will not only forever alter his own future but the future of the Multiverse. 

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Bonus materials on the Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD and digital editions include a bloopers and gag reel; alternate reality Easter eggs; seven behind-the-scenes featurettes; and two panels. DVD bonus features include two behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Slugfest: DC vs. Marvel

STREAMING REVIEW: 

Roku;
Documentary;
Not rated.
Narrated by Kevin Smith. Featuring Lance Henriksen, Patrick Warburton, Brandon Routh, Sean Gunn, Martin Starr, Tim Blake Nelson, Laura Benanti, Peter Facinelli, Jon Barinholtz, James Wolk, Clark Gregg, Helen Slater, Ray Wise.

This documentary series executive produced by the Russo Brothers focuses on the decades-long rivalry between comic book publishers Marvel and DC.

The series was originally intended for Quibi, which is why the 10 episodes are each only about seven minutes give or take. It eventually ended up as a Roku Channel original, where it was kept in its episodic form rather than stitched together as a longer, single feature.

The documentary covers many of the key moments in the rivalry, mostly involving the creation of key characters. The retrospective involves a mix of interviews with actors and creators either involved with the companies now or starring in movies based on the comics. Key events are presented as re-enactments using some very well-known actors.

The series kicks off during World War II and the creation of Captain America. Other episodes examine how the two publishing companies tried to outdo each other with marketing efforts and big storylines, such as the “Death of Superman” in the 1990s from DC, which then led to Marvel’s “Spider-Man” clone storyline that spiraled out of control when sales were so good the writers weren’t allowed to end it when they planned.

Several shows also deal with attempts by the companies to do crossovers, be it either surreptitiously through subtle references to common events, or an epic team-up between Superman and Spider-Man. In the 2000s, Marvel legend Stan Lee did a line of books for DC in which he reimagines DC heroes as if he had made them (though, more likely, Lee lent his name to the promotion and gave general ideas that were fleshed out by DC’s regular writers).

The historical vignettes are fun, and fans of these characters will delight in the discussions of aspects of the rivalry, some of which they are familiar, and some they might not have been aware of.

However, the short running times mean a lot of potential topics for presentation aren’t covered, especially with regards to the characters being translated into films and TV shows and the rivalry extending into those mediums, which the documentary barely alludes to otherwise.

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Venom: Let There Be Carnage

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 12/14/21;
Sony Pictures;
Action;
Box Office $212.5 million;
$30.99 DVD, $38.99, Blu-ray, $45.99 UH BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for intense sequences of violence and action, some strong language, disturbing material and suggestive references.
Stars Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Reid Scott, Stephen Graham, Peggy Lu.

The follow-up to 2018’s Venom is even more bizarre than its predecessor.

The sequel finds journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) continuing to co-exist with Venom, the alien symbiote from Marvel Comics that has bonded with him and occasionally takes over his body. Brock is asked to interview death-row inmate Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), who was introduced at the end of the last film, and with Venom’s help is able to uncover where Kasady hid the bodies of his murder victims.

During one meeting, Venom is provoked into attacking Kasady, who bites Brock’s hand and absorbs some of the symbiote, which evolves into a new being named Carnage.

During Kasady’s lethal injection, Carnage emerges and helps him escape from prison. Kasady then seeks out his long-lost love Frances (Naomie Harris), who was separated from him when they were kids because she can scream destructive sonic blasts, earning her the nickname Shriek.

Meanwhile, Venom and Brock have a fight because Venom needs to eat human brains and Eddie won’t let him chow down on bad guys, so Venom detaches from Eddie and starts exploring the world with other hosts, though they aren’t as compatible with him as Eddie was and burn out quickly.

As Brock helps the police track own Kasady, Carnage and Kasady vow to destroy Brock and Venom, setting up a brutal final showdown.

Let There Be Carnage doubles down on all the quirks of the first film, particularly Hardy’s offbeat performance.

Directing duties for the sequel were taken over by Andy Serkis, and the process of making the film is covered in the seven-minute “Let There Be … Action” featurette on both the DVD and Blu-ray editions of the movie.

The Blu-ray also includes several additional interesting featurettes, such as the 10-minute “Eddie & Venom: The Odd Couple,” the five-and-a-half-minute “Sick and Twisted Cletus Kasady,” and the four-and-a-half-minute “Concept to Carnage,” about designing the new villain. Also included is the five-minute “A Fine Romance: Cletus & Shriek,” and the four-and-a-half-minute “Tangled Web: Easter Eggs,” which tracks the films’ references to the comic book source material.

The Blu-ray also includes a three-minute blooper reel, eight-and-a-half-minutes of select scene pre-vis sequences, and six deleted scenes that run a total of nine-and-a-half minutes, mostly including alternate and extended versions of scenes, and an alternate ending.

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‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ Due on Digital Nov. 23, 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 14

The Marvel Comics superhero film Venom: Let There Be Carnage will be released on digital Nov. 23 and on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 14 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $442 million at the global box office.

Tom Hardy returns as the lethal protector Venom. In search of his next big story, journalist Eddie Brock (Hardy) lands an exclusive interview with convicted murderer and death row inmate Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), who discovers Eddie’s secret and becomes the host for Carnage, a menacing and terrifying symbiote. Eddie and Venom must get past their contentious relationship to defeat him.

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Directed by Andy Serkis (Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle) with a story by Tom Hardy and Kelly Marcel and screenplay by Kelly Marcel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage also stars Michelle Williams and Naomie Harris as Shriek.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and digital include bloopers and outtakes, deleted scenes, and several making of featurettes. The DVD includes one featurette.

Vudu Offering Gift Cards, Preorder Deal on ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’

Vudu has a deal for customers who preorder Venom: Let There Be Carnage, arriving Nov. 23 for digital purchase at $19.99.

Those who preorder the movie on the service by Nov. 22 get a $3 Vudu promo code to use toward additional movies. Details are here. 

Vudu is also offering a line of “Venom”-themed gift cards to gift the movie to friends and family.

The Marvel Comics-based superhero film, available in SD, HDX and 4K Ultra HD on Vudu, stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris and Woody Harrelson. In the film, Eddie Brock (Hardy) interviews serial killer Cletus Kasady (Harrelson), who becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage.

Vudu’s YouTube channel features an exclusive clip of Hardy’s Eddie Brock and his alien symbiote Venom talking about their unique friendship on the beach.

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‘Secrets of the Rise of Ultraman Collection’ Coming July 10 From Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment July 10 will release Secrets of the Rise of Ultraman Collection, a Blu-ray set containing nine exclusive episodes of the original “Ultraman” series featuring English dubs, collectible artwork, and a bonus feature from Marvel Comics and Starlight Runner Productions.

The $25.99 set will be exclusively sold (preorder here) on DeepDiscount.com as part of the launch of a dedicated “Ultraman” storefront that will offer all of Mill Creek Entertainment’s current Blu-ray/Steelbook releases in addition to other “Ultraman” related merchandise and products.

In the set, Ultraman and the Science Patrol will fight for peace against Kemular, Goldon, Seabozu, Skydon and more. Featuring art created by Arthur Adams on the cover from a collaboration of Marvel Comics and Tsuburaya Productions, the collection includes: episode three, “Science Patrol, Move Out”; episode 21, “Breach the Wall of Smoke”; episode 28, “Human Specimens 5 & 6”; episode 29, “Challenge to the Underground”; episode 30, “Phantom of the Snow Mountains”; episode 31, “Who Goes There?”; episode 34, “A Gift From the Sky”; episode 35, “The Monster Graveyard”; and episode 38, “Spaceship Rescue Command.”

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The set features the original broadcast edits fully remastered in HD and available for the first time ever with English dubs in DTS-HD Master Audio. Included in the exclusive Blu-ray release is a 12-page collectible booklet and episode guide. Also included is a new five-part bonus feature, “Secrets of the Rise of Ultraman,” made in collaboration with Marvel Comics and Starlight Runner Productions. The video series takes place within the multiverse of the “Ultraman” series that explores the connections between the various television series and movies and the all-new storyline of the comics.

Mill Creek Entertainment has licensed the “Ultraman” back-catalog from Tsuburaya Productions through international distribution partner Indigo Entertainment.