TNT to Air Network Premiere of Marvel Studios’ ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

WarnerMedia’s TNT will air the network television premiere of Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War on June 27. There will be an encore presentation on June 28 as a part of TNT’s “Big Ticket Movies” content promotion.

To further “eventize” the broadcasts, TNT is promoting a sweepstakes where 20 winners will receive a copy of the Avengers: Infinity War soundtrack on vinyl and a Crosley record player to be provided by Disney Music Emporium and Crosley Brands.

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In Infinity War, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet — the evil Thanos. On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment.

The 2018 release generated more than $2 billion at the global box office, including $679 million domestically.

TNT, TBS, and truTV Airing ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Just Mercy’ Special Combo Event to Promote Social Justice

In an affort to continue dialog on social justice, WarnerMedia’s TNT, TBS, and truTV June 19 are partnering for a special one-night-only on-air broadcast of critically acclaimed movies, Disney/Marvel Studios’ Black Panther and Warner Bros. Pictures’ Just Mercy, along with reflections from distinguished guests about the personal impact these films had on their lives and the culture.

With limited commercial interruption, Black Panther, which won three Oscars in 2019, will air at 7 p.m., followed by Just Mercy.

Host Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) will be joined by guests, including Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative (whom Just Mercy is based on), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and CNN’s W. Kamau Bell. Additionally, Andra Day will perform her Grammy-nominated song “Rise Up.”

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Reginald Hudlin, who wrote for the “Black Panther” graphic novel series, serves as executive producer of the special content, along with executive producer Phil Gurin and co-executive producer Byron Phillips.

In Black Panther, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns home to the hidden high-tech African nation of Wakanda to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king, following the death of his father. But when a man named Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) appears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and Black Panther — is tested when he’s drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Pitted against his own family, the king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and embrace his future as an Avenger.

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Just Mercy is based on the thought-provoking true story of young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the main testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings, as well as overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds — and the system — stacked against them.

Entertainment One Inks Deal With Former Marvel Exec Jeremy Latcham

Entertainment One has entered into a first-look agreement with producer and former Marvel Studios executive Jeremy Latcham.

Hasbro recently acquired eOne.

The first project announced under the deal is a film for “Dungeons & Dragons,” which is managed by Wizards of the Coast, a Hasbro subsidiary that also manages “Magic: The Gathering.” Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley are attached to write and direct the film, which is co-produced by eOne, Hasbro’s global entertainment studio, and Paramount. This film marks the first project for eOne with Paramount since eOne’s acquisition by Hasbro.

“Jeremy is a massively talented producer with a track record of creating true-to-brand films with size and scope that resonate with audiences and excel on a global scale,” Nick Meyer, eOne president of film, said in a statement. “In our exciting new era with Hasbro, we’re thrilled to begin this new partnership and look forward to sharing the amazing projects that are to come.”

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“Nick and the entire eOne team have welcomed me into the fold with open arms,” Latcham said in a statement. “Hasbro’s incredibly rich library of beloved brands in addition to the opportunity to develop original material makes for a very exciting next step for me as a creative producer. My passion for telling stories steeped in heart, humor and spectacle aligns with D&D’s decades of immersive, adventure-driven storytelling, and I am beyond excited to help John and Jonathan, eOne, Paramount, and Wizards of the Coast bring this rich world to filmgoing audiences.”

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Latcham most recently produced 2018’s Bad Times at the El Royale. Previously, Latcham spent 13 years at Marvel Studios, where he executive produced Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers. Latcham was the associate producer on Iron Man and co-producer on Iron Man 2.

Hasbro’s additional film properties include the “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” film franchises.

Disney+ Bows YouTube Clip Showcasing 2020 Content

SVOD service Disney+ Jan. 1 launched a social media blitz offering a sneak peak into coming content in 2020.

“New year, new stories — and some familiar ones!,” the service tweeted. From Toy Story 4 and Aladdin to “Lizzie McGuire” and Marvel Studios’ WandaVision, here’s a look at the blockbusters and originals coming to #DisneyPlus in 2020.

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The service launched on Nov. 12 reportedly has more than 15 million registered users — many of whom using third-party promotions such as 12 months free service to any Verizon subscriber.

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Disney+ includes content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.

The promotion for new programming comes as the service hopes to retain subscribers following the end of the first season of “The Mandalorian.” Several “Star Wars” fans took to Twitter the final week of the year vowing to cancel their service until the second season debuts in the fall.

Disney’s Record $10B Global Box Office Suggests Rosy Home Entertainment Future

Walt Disney Studios set a record $10 billion in worldwide box office ticket sales through Dec. 8 with current theatrical hit Frozen II — a notable milestone achieved without a “Star Wars” movie or breakout 20th Century Fox title.

Disney in July broke its previous $7.6 billion box office haul. Fox Studios’ theatrical titles topped $2 billion at the box office.

For home entertainment, Disney’s fiscal largess is a gift that keeps on giving despite ongoing consumer migration toward over-the-top video distribution.

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Disney titles have historically performed well in sales of DVD and Blu-ray Disc, and more recently in digital sellthrough as well. Despite launching a branded SVOD platform featuring original movies, Disney will continue to stream new releases after their retail window.

And that’s a no brainer when looking at recent movie sales.

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Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame is the top-selling disc in 2019, according to VideoScan. Captain Marvel, Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox), Toy Story 4 and Aladdin all rank among the top 10 this year.

It’s a trend Disney Home Entertainment has driven the past four years.

In 2016, Disney led all studios at retail disc sales with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, supported by Pixar’s Finding Dory, Zootopia and Captain America: Civil War.

The next year Disney again topped retail disc sales with Moana and Beauty and the Beast.

In 2018, Disney home entertainment outdid itself, spearheaded by Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Coco and Thor: Ragnarok.

Last November, CEO Bob Iger Iger gave a shout out to home entertainment — his first in years — which he said continued to deliver strong retail results in the face of OTT.  At the time Iger suggested there was ongoing internal strategy about putting theatrical content into retail channels sooner.

“The home video window continues to be quite important to us,” he said. “You’ll likely see us protect that as well, although there’s going to be discussion around whether there’s an opportunity to move product into that window maybe a little sooner.”

To date, Disney’s 90-day theatrical window remains largely intact.

 

 

 

Merchandising: Mixed Reviews for Best Buy’s ‘Infinity Saga’ Set

Best Buy Nov. 15 released its exclusive The Infinity Saga collection of the first 23 Marvel Cinematic Universe films, from Iron Man to Avengers: Endgame. The pricey set included the films in both Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, plus digital codes for each, in collectible display packaging and an exclusive bonus disc with never-before-seen deleted scenes from several of the Marvel films.

Limited to about 4,000 units available at $549.99 each, the collector’s set quickly sold out, with copies showing up on secondary markets such as eBay commanding asking prices well above $1,000. Some online reviews of the set, however, indicated poor quality control both in the assembly of the set and the shipping of it, with reports of damaged boxes and missing movies. The discs themselves come in paper sleeves, with some reviewers reporting glue from the packaging seeping onto the discs.

It should also be noted that the set does not include the 3D versions of any movies that had been released on disc in 3D, and extra bonus discs from the earlier movies also were not included.

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Dec. 3 Best Buy had a piece of another massive collector’s set, that being Fox’s The Simpsons: The Complete Seasons 1-20 Limited Edition. The 79-DVD set (no Blu-ray, even though some of the seasons were released in the HD format) was reportedly limited to a run of just 1,000 units, with copies available through Best Buy, Amazon and Walmart. Each retailer’s website had the boxed set listed for a $499.99 sale price the day prior to its official street date.

The 19th season, which aired in 2007 and 2008, also arrived on DVD for the first time Dec. 3, completing the run of the first 20 seasons. The show is currently in its 31st. Fox in 2015 announced it wasn’t releasing any more “Simpsons” DVDs, at a point when it had released discs of just seasons one through 17 and season 20. Season 18 was released on DVD in 2017 following fan demand for more discs.

Based on the producers’ statements in 2015, and rumors swirling that Disney may end the series (which it purchased as part of its acquisition of the 20th Century Fox studio and catalog) after 32 or 33 seasons, the next DVD or Blu-ray release of the series could possibly be a complete-series set a few years from now, if such a disc release is even contemplated at all. The first 30 seasons of the series are available for streaming on the new Disney+ service.

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The biggest disc release of Dec. 3, however, was HBO’s “Game of Thrones” eighth-season and complete-series releases.

For exclusives on the eighth season set, however, HBO committed one of the biggest pet peeves among collectors — splitting exclusive featurettes among different retailers — as opposed to offering a variety of packaging options or pack-on collectibles, with any bonus content consolidated with one retailer so fans who just care about having all the available content aren’t tempted to buy the same release twice just for a few extra minutes of bonus material that isn’t offered anywhere else.

Best Buy “Game of Thrones” season eight exclusive sigil box art

For Game of Thrones: The Complete Eighth Season, Target offered the Blu-ray at $39.99 with an add-on “How the Storm Was Born” featurette, taking a look at the making of the penultimate episode and the razing of King’s Landing.

The featurette was included on a separate disc packed onto the standard season eight case.

Walmart’s exclusive bonus disc with the Blu-ray offered the featurette “From Renderings to Reality: The Visual Effects of Season 8.” The chain had it at $37.96 with the same packaging as Target, a separate thin Blu-ray case packed with the regular season eight Blu-ray, but availability was spotty from store-to-store, with some locations not even bothering to put any of the week’s new titles on shelves even into the evening of Dec. 3.

Interestingly, the VFX featurettes for the first seven seasons are included on the bonus disc with the Game of Thrones: The Complete Series Blu-ray. So fans who buy the complete series and want that final VFX featurette will have to buy a second copy of season eight separately.

Best Buy offered the season-eight Blu-ray with exclusive three-eyed-raven sigil box art for $44.99.

 

Bob Iger: ‘If Steve (Jobs) Were Alive,’ (Disney, Apple) Would be Combined Companies

Pending retirement and 20/20 hindsight can do wonders for the printed page.

With his departure from The Walt Disney Co. set for 2021, CEO Bob Iger has already authored a memoir on his long-running stint heading the world famous brand.

The book, “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company,” is available everywhere Sept. 23, including Amazon.

In excerpts disclosed on Vanity Fair’s website, Iger delves into his relationship with late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and how he was stunned to find out 10 minutes before announcing Disney’s $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar in 2006 that Jobs’ cancer had returned.

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Iger suggests that had Jobs lived (he died in 2011), he believes — surprisingly — that the two would have facilitated a merger of sorts between Disney and Apple.

It’s an interesting revelation, if not unrealistic considering who Jobs was.

The mercurial executive was a majority shareholder of Pixar and a member of Disney’s board. He was also notoriously self-centered in his vision for Apple and the world revolving around it — not the other way around.

While fighting a return of terminal cancer (despite being one of the richest people on Earth) would cloud anyone’s judgment, when it comes to streaming video and content IP, Jobs’ insolence toward the emerging distribution model and owning content was glaring.

Despite pioneering music, TV show and movie distribution through iTunes, Jobs infamously dismissed Apple TV as a “little hobby,” to be re-evaluated in the distant future.

That attitude contributed to Apple (with more than $200 billion in cash) sitting on the sidelines as Iger-led Disney swooped in to buy Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm (Star Wars) — the latter two properties for a combined $8 billion.

Disney has made more than $18 billion on its Marvel investment. The first four Star Wars movies produced by Disney-owned Lucasfilm have already paid for that acquisition. And Pixar’s Toy Story 4 is the fourth film from that studio to top $1 billion at the global box office.

It seems doubtful that had Jobs lived, Apple would have jumped into content ownership. Jobs’ successor Tim Cook has only now decided to push Apple TV into the SVOD ecosystem.

Indeed, Iger, in his book, said Jobs had grown frustrated dealing with the Disney culture and former CEO Michael Eisner.

“Among his many frustrations was a feeling that it was often too difficult to get anything done with Disney,” Iger wrote.

Yet, today Apple has ratcheted up original content, spending Netflix-like billions on programming featuring ‘A’-list talent such as Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

The move has generated headlines but comes as Disney, AT&T/WarnerMedia, Comcast and Viacom all bow separate and competing over-the-top video platforms.

Instead of being an innovator as it was with the PC, iTunes, smart phones and tablets, Apple is chasing the competition, a reality noted earlier this year by Netflix’s Ted Sarandos.

“We’ve been competing with 500 channels of cable and penetrated nearly every household in the world for a long time,” Sarandos told the media in March. “So, it’s the same stable of competitors [Apple, Disney, AT&T, Viacom]; just very late to the game.”

 

‘Avengers: Endgame’ Jumps to Top Seller of 2019 After Dominating August Sales

Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame, distributed by Disney, was No. 1 on the top 10 list of combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales for August 2019 according to the NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service.

The superhero movie was released to disc Aug. 13, and in just over two weeks sold enough copies to become the top-selling movie on disc for all of 2019 through the end of August.

No. 2 for August was Warner’s Pokémon Detective Pikachu, which was released in the first week of the month.

Another Warner release, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, was No. 3 for the month with just a few days of sales following its Aug. 27 release.

Likewise, Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets 2, another Aug. 27 release, was No. 4 for the month.

Disney’s Descendants 3, a DVD-only release of the Disney Channel TV movie, was No. 5 for the month after an Aug. 6 release.

The previous month’s top seller, Warner’s Shazam!, was No. 6 in August.

Another late-month release, Paramount’s Elton John biopic Rocketman, entered the monthly chart at No. 7.

Disney’s Captain Marvel was No. 8 for the month, while Fox’s Alita: Battle Angel dropped to No. 9, after debuting as the previous month’s second-best seller.

Warner’s direct-to-video animated movie Batman: Hush, released Aug. 6, was No. 10 for the month.

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With Avengers: Endgame taking over the top spot on the yearly chart, the year’s top titles each move down one spot from the previous month, except for Captain Marvel, which overtook Bohemian Rhapsody to stay No. 3 for the year, with the Queen biopic dropping two spots to No. 4.

Warner’s Aquaman, which had been the year’s top seller most of the year, slipped to No. 2.

According to NPD, the August 2019 top 10 by units sold were:

  1. Avengers: Endgame (Disney/Marvel)
  2. Pokémon Detective Pikachu (Warner)
  3. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Warner)
  4. The Secret Life of Pets 2 (Universal)
  5. Descendants 3 (Disney)
  6. Shazam! (Warner)
  7. Rocketman (Paramount)
  8. Captain Marvel (Disney/Marvel)
  9. Alita: Battle Angel (Fox)
  10. Batman: Hush (Warner)

 

Year-to-date Top 10 (through August 2019):

  1. Avengers: Endgame (Disney/Marvel)
  2. Aquaman (Warner)
  3. Captain Marvel (Disney/Marvel)
  4. Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox)
  5. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner)
  6. Ralph Breaks the Internet (Disney)
  7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)
  8. A Star Is Born (2018) (Warner)
  9. Bumblebee (Paramount)
  10. Mary Poppins Returns (Disney)

 

‘Shazam!’ Lights Up Disc Sales in July

‘Avengers: Endgame’ Remains at No. 1 on Home Video Charts

Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame held the top spot on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Aug. 24.

The Disney-distributed superhero blockbuster had debuted in the top spot on both charts a week earlier.

Warner’s Pokémon Detective Pikachu held onto the No. 2 spot on both charts in its third week, selling about 16% as many copies as the top title.

The top newcomer of the week, at No. 3 on both charts, was Sony Pictures’ Brightburn, a superhero-themed horror movie. It earned $17.3 million at the domestic box office.

Universal Pictures’ A Dog’s Journey, the sequel to 2017’s A Dog’s Purpose, debuted at No. 4 on both charts. It earned $22.6 million at U.S. theaters.

No. 5 on the overall disc sales chart was the Universal comedy The Hustle, a female-centric remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels that earned $35.4 million at the domestic box office. It was No. 6 on the Blu-ray sales chart.

Disney’s Captain Marvel was the No. 5 Blu-ray seller.

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The only other new release in the top 10 was Lionsgate’s The Walking Dead: The Complete Ninth Season, which was No. 8 overall and No. 10 on the Blu-ray chart.

Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 75% of Brightburn sales, 42% of Dog’s Journey, 47% of The Hustle and 42% of Walking Dead.

On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Aug. 25, Avengers: Endgame took over the top spot after debuting at No. 2 a week earlier.

The Hustle debuted at No. 2, followed by A Dog’s Journey at No. 3. Detective Pikachu dropped to No. 4, while Brightburn debuted as the No. 5 rental.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 8-24-19
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 8-25-19
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 8-24-19
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 8-24-19
Sales Report for Week Ended 8-24-19
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 8-26-19

‘Avengers: Endgame’ Dominates Disc Sales

The disc debut of the all-time worldwide box office champ dominated the national home video sales charts, and it wasn’t even close.

Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame easily debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Aug. 17.

The Disney-distributed superhero film, the 22nd film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the culmination of several storylines developed throughout the franchise over the past 11 years, earned $858 million at the domestic box office and nearly $2.8 billion globally.

Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 80% of first-week Endgame sales, with a whopping 25% of its total unit sales coming from 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc.

At retail, Avengers: Endgame sold more copies than the combined total of the rest of the top 20 by a more-than 3-to-1 margin, and the top 50 by more than 2-to-1.

The previous week’s top seller, Warner’s Pokémon Detective Pikachu, slid to No. 2 on both the overall sellers and Blu-ray Disc charts, selling 7.6% as many total copies as Endgame.

No. 3 on both charts was Warner’s Shazam! in its fifth week, selling few than 3% as many copies as Endgame.

No. 4 on the overall sales chart was the DVD version of the Disney Channel TV movie Descendants 3.

Another Disney-owned superhero movie, Captain Marvel, landed at No. 5 overall and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart in its 10th week on disc.

Rounding out the top five Blu-rays was Warner’s animated Batman: Hush, which was No. 9 on the overall sales chart.

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The home video arrival of Endgame heralded a number of other MCU films climbing back up the charts, with last year’s Avengers: Infinity War jumping back up to No. 10.

Disney also released the three “Iron Man” movies and the first two “Thor” movies on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray to coincide with the disc release of Endgame. As a result, the 2008 original Iron Man was No. 17 for the week and No. 7 on the Blu-ray chart. And the No. 12 through No. 15 Blu-rays were, respectively, Thor, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World.

A boxed set of all four “Avengers” films, available as a Steelbook Blu-ray at Best Buy, was No. 17 on the Blu-ray chart.

On the Media Play News rental chart for the week, however, Detective Pikachu held onto the top spot for a second week, with Endgame debuting at No. 2. This reflects both Endgame‘s strong demand in the sales market, and the murky distribution of Disney titles at Redbox kiosks.

The Lionsgate political comedy Long Shot held onto the No. 3 rental spot, while Warner’s The Curse of La Llorona dropped two spots to No. 4. Sony Pictures’ The Intruder slipped a spot to No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 8-17-19
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 8-18-19
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 8-17-19
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 8-17-19
Sales Report for Week Ended 8-17-19
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 8-19-19