AMC Theatres, Imax Set Weekend Attendance, Box Office Records With Marvel Studios’ ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Who said the theatrical window is dead?

AMC Theatres, the world’s largest exhibitor chain, and Imax April 29 announced record-setting attendance and box office revenue for Marvel Studios’ superhero epic Avengers: Endgame, which wraps up storylines for several of the franchise’s characters.

 The Disney release rewrote global weekend box office records, generating $350 million in North America ticket sales and $1.2 billion worldwide.

Endgame reportedly accounted for more than 80% of all domestic movie tickets sold over the April 28 weekend.

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AMC said the movie fueled an all-time single-day attendance record on Saturday (April 27) with more than 2.6 million tickets sold. The tally surpassed the previous single-day U.S. attendance record for AMC set during the opening weekend of Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther 14 months earlier in 2018.

AMC said it set a new single-day domestic food and beverage revenue record April 26 of more than $13 million. That record lasted less than 24 hours before it was shattered April 27 with more than $15 million sold.

Indeed, a record-number 19 AMC locations were open around-the-clock from Thursday morning through Sunday night. The 63,000 Avengers: Endgame showtimes over the weekend topped by 16,000 the previous record for a single movie on opening weekend.

The chain put a weekend-record nearly 11 million tickets on sale from Thursday through Sunday for the movie. Demand was so strong that AMC added more than 5,000 showtimes.

Meanwhile, Imax Corp. announced Avengers: Endgame set a new all-time worldwide opening weekend record grossing approximately $91.5 million, surpassing previous record holder Star Wars: The Force Awakens by 92%.

Endgame was the second Hollywood film to ever be shot entirely with Imax cameras.

In China, Imax set an opening five-day record with $42.4 million, surpassing its previous record by 65% and outperforming the entire Imax China run of Avengers: Infinity War.

In addition, Imax set 50 opening weekend territory records, including France, Germany, Italy, Japan, India, Taiwan, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. The film is scheduled to open in additional territories, including Russia on April 29.

In North America, Endgame grossed $26.5 million in Imax, surpassing the opening of Avengers: Infinity War by 14% and marking Imax’s second-highest-grossing domestic opening weekend ever. The high-definition format reported hundreds of sellout screenings across its domestic network with the chain representing 21 of the film’s top 25 North America engagements.

“Like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, our decade-long relationship with Marvel has only strengthened over time with each film creating a deeper connection between these beloved characters and Imax audiences worldwide,” Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said in a statement.

Disney Bringing ‘Captain Marvel,’ ‘Simpsons’ to $6.99 Disney+ Streaming Service at Launch

Disney’s Nov. 12 launch of standalone subscription streaming video service Disney+ will offer unfettered access to the media giant’s brands, including Disney Animation, Disney Studios, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and National Geographic.

The service, which will cost $6.99 monthly, and $69.99 annually, will be co-branded across Disney business segments, including merchandise, parks and resorts, live event entertainment, cruise ships and home entertainment.

fBy comparison, Netflix basic monthly pricing just increased from $7.99 to $8.99.

“We’re designing a product that we want to be accessible to as many consumers as possible,” CEO Bob Iger told attendees April 11 at the company’s annual investor day event in Los Angeles. “Disney is loved by so many many millions of people around the world.”

Disney projects 60 million to 90 million SVOD subscribers globally by 2024, including about 30% in the United States. Content spending will top $1.5 billion cash in the current fiscal year, reaching $2 billion by fiscal 2024. Disney said the service is projected to become profitable by 2024.

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“There truly is no bigger priority for the Walt Disney Co. moving forward,” said Ricky Strauss, president of content and marketing at Disney Streaming Services.

The streaming service will offer subscribers exclusive pay-TV access to Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, which recently topped $1 billion at the global box office.

Marvel is also creating 12 original long-form episodic series for the streaming service, including “What If?” the studio’s first animated series, based on the Marvel comic book that looks at how famous comic book storylines might have played out differently. The show will focus on storylines from the Marvel movies.

The first episode of the first live-action “Star Wars” series, “The Mandalorian,” will be available at launch as well, in additional to other programming.

Notably, long-running animated Fox TV series “The Simpsons” will move to Disney+, including the series’ entire 30-season catalog. The series previously streamed on Hulu.

Kevin Mayer, chairman of Direct-to-Consumer & International, said the service would offer different fonts and user interfaces depending on user access points, including TV and portable devices such as tablets and smart phones.

All Disney+ content will be available to download on any device for non-Internet streaming.

“No restrictions and for an unlimited basis for as long as you are a subscriber,” Mayer said. “That’s a key subscriber benefit.”

“Never before has our content been as broadly, conveniently, or permanently available as it will be on Disney+,” he added. “We are confident consumers will love the service.”

Michael Paull, CEO of Disney Streaming Services (formerly BAMTech), said the streaming service would be available across all portable media devices, including video game consoles. Current partners include Roku TV and PlayStation 4.

“We insure that our service will be prominently featured in merchandise on our [streaming media] partner platforms,” Paull said. “We are confident that by the time we launch, we will have a full array of device platform partnerships.”

Paull said current content license agreements with third parties globally will expire over the next four years, at which time Disney+ will be rolled out market-by-market over a two-year period depending consumer SVOD adoption, familiarity with payment (credit card) options and assimilation with distribution partner platforms.

Disney+ will bow in the United States in Disney’s Q1 fiscal period and in Western Europe and Asia in Q1/Q2 fiscal year 2020. Rollouts in Eastern Europe and Latin America will occur in 2021.

“We prioritize [markets worldwide] where product is available … in addition to markets where consumer have already demonstrated a willingness to pay for SVOD service and content more generally,” he said. “By considering all these factors together, we created our global Disney+ launch roadmap.”

Original Disney movies available at launch include Noelle, a fantasy adventure Christmas comedy film directed and written by Marc Lawrence. The film stars Anna Kendrick as Noelle Claus, the daughter of Santa Claus. It also stars Bill Hader, Billy Eichner, Shirley MacLaine, and Julie Hagerty.

Other content includes original series “Falcon & Winter Soldier,” based on the Marvel movie characters; a new Phineas and Ferb animated movie; and “The Imagineering Story,” which looks at the past, present and future achievements of Walt Disney’s Imagineering staff at the numerous Disney theme parks, among other content exclusives. The National Geographic section of the service will have a docuseries called “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” starring the actor.

“Disney+ subscribers will be able to customize their profiles to their favorite Disney characters,” Mayer said, adding that parental controls could limit children to access only family friendly content.

Disney’s animated movies will be available at launch, including the company’s shrewdly-marketed “vault” titles. In addition, 18 Pixar movies will be available, including all short films.

Netflix’s ‘Roma’ Leads Oscar Nominations

The critically acclaimed film Roma from director Alfonso Cuarón scored a major victory in Netflix’s efforts to be taken seriously as a movie-distribution outlet, securing 10 Oscar nominations.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 91st Academy Awards Jan. 22. Roma tied with Fox Searchlight’s The Favourite, which also had 10 nominations.

Roma is available now for viewing on the SVOD service, having qualified for the Oscars with a brief theatrical run at the end of 2018. Its nominations include Best Picture, Best Foreign-Language Film (representing Mexico), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress for Yalitza Aparicio, Best Supporting Actress for Marina de Tavira, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. Its 10 nominations tie it with 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for most nominations by a foreign-language film.

Another Netflix-distributed film, the Coen Bros.’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, earned three nominations, including adapted screenplay, original song for “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” and costume design.

The Favourite earned nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress for Olivia Colman (who takes over as Queen Elizabeth II on Netflix’s “The Crown” later this year), Best Supporting Actress for Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, Best Director for Yorgos Lanthimos, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best Production Design.

An aggressive marketing push from Walt Disney Studios helped secure seven nominations for Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, including for Best Picture, the first comic-book based superhero film to earn such an honor (a decade after the snub of The Dark Knight supposedly prompted the Academy to increase the Best Picture field from five nominees to up to as many as 10 – there were eight this year). Black Panther also earned noms for Best Original Score, Best Original Song for “All the Stars,” Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. The film is readily available through digital channels and on Blu-ray and DVD. It was the No. 3-selling disc of 2018, according to the NPD Group.

And in a bit of a double whammy for comic book movies, Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse earned a nomination for Best Animated Feature, alongside Disney’s Incredibles 2 (available now on disc and digital) and Ralph Breaks the Internet (available digitally Feb. 12 and on disc Feb. 26), Fox’s Isle of Dogs (available now on disc and digital), and Gkids’ Mirai.

Other Best Picture nominees include Universal’s BlackKklansman (available on disc and digital), which earned six nominations; Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody (on digital now, disc Feb. 12), which earned five noms, including Best Actor for Rami Malek; Universal’s Green Book (on digital Feb. 19, disc March 15), which earned five noms; Warner’s A Star Is Born (available now digitally, on disc Feb. 19), which earned eight noms, including Best Original Song for “Shallow”; and Annapurna’s Vice.

Like Roma, Cold War also was nominated for Best Foreign-Language Film, representing Poland, and Best Director, for Paweł Pawlikowski, marking the first time two foreign-language nominees were also nominated in the directing category. The other foreign-language nominees were Lebanon’s Caparnaum, Germany’s Never Look Away and Japan’s Shoplifters (due on Disc and Digital Feb. 12 from Magnolia Home Entertainment).

The 91st Academy Awards ceremony will be held Feb. 24 in Los Angeles. A full list of nominees is available at Oscars.com.

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Tops 2018 Disc Sales; ‘Venom’ Leads in December

Walt Disney Studios finished 2018 with six titles on the top 10 list of combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales for the full year according to the NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service.

The top seller was Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, which became the year’s top seller in November, displacing Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which finished the year at No. 2. Another Disney release, Marvel’s Black Panther, was No. 3 for the year.

The top 10 list for the full year was unchanged from what had been tracked at the end of the previous month, with the exception of Disney’s Incredibles 2, an early November home video release, taking over the No. 9 spot, and Warner’s Justice League dropping off the list.

Other Disney titles in the top 10 were Coco at No. 6 and Thor: Ragnarok at No. 7.

For December, Sony Pictures’ Venom was the month’s top seller. The comic book movie was released on disc in the middle of the month and jumped to the No. 1 spot on the weekly sales list, where it remained for four straight weeks.

The month’s No. 2 title was Paramount’s Mission: Impossible — Fallout, followed at No. 3 by Sony Pictures’ The Equalizer 2.

Incredibles 2 carried over its popularity into December, landing at No. 4.

Three more December disc releases cracked the month’s top 10, with Warner’s Smallfoot debuting at No. 6, Universal’s The House With a Clock in Its Walls at No. 6 and Fox’s The Predator at No. 7.

Two Christmas catalog titles, Warner’s Elf and Christmas Vacation, were the No. 8 and No. 9 sellers in the month, respectively.

According to NPD, the December 2018 top 10 by units sold were:

  1. Venom (Sony Pictures)
  2. Mission: Impossible — Fallout (Paramount)
  3. The Equalizer 2 (Sony Pictures)
  4. Incredibles 2 (Disney)
  5. Smallfoot (Warner)
  6. The House With a Clock in Its Walls (Universal)
  7. The Predator (Fox)
  8. Elf (Warner)
  9. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Warner)
  10. Avengers: Infinity War (Disney)

 

2018 Top 10:

 

  1. Avengers: Infinity War (Disney)
  2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Disney)
  3. Black Panther (Disney)
  4. The Greatest Showman (Fox)
  5. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Sony Pictures)
  6. Coco (Disney)
  7. Thor: Ragnarok (Disney)
  8. Deadpool 2 (Fox)
  9. Incredibles 2 (Disney)
  10. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal)

 

‘Incredibles 2’ Tops November Sales; ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Takes Over as Year’s No. 1 Title

Stankey Discusses Advantages of Leveraging Licensed Content

As Disney and WarnerMedia ready flagship over-the-top video platforms for launch in late 2019, SVOD services such as Netflix are scrambling to minimize their risk to third-party content obligations.

Witness Netflix’s decision to cancel “Daredevil,” which was foreshadowed last month by the SVOD behemoth’s termination of original Disney/Marvel series “Iron Fist,” and “Luke Cage.”

Netflix’s exclusive pay-TV access to Disney theatrical titles ends this year.

While Netflix hinted that more adventures of Daredevil could eventually materialize in other mediums, the service took the high road saying — in a statement — that the three existing seasons would remain on the platform “for years to come,” while the Daredevil character “will live on in future projects for Marvel.”

To John Stankey, CEO of WarnerMedia, which owns Warner Bros., HBO and Turner, the move by Netflix to distance itself from third-party license agreements in favor of proprietary fare underscores ongoing changes in the OTT video landscape.

“A lot of those incumbents [i.e. Netflix] should expect that their libraries are going to get a whole lot thinner,” Stankey said Nov. 29 on AT&T’s analyst day event. “They are not going to be the same size they are today.”

Indeed, WarnerMedia and Disney can enhance the consumer value of their pending SVOD services simply by denying their content brands to Netflix & Co. — in effect depriving competing OTT services streaming access to valuable IP.

Stankey said the challenge for Netflix and other OTT services is to get their subs to pivot away from licensed content (about 70%, according to Stankey) to proprietary original fare. Regardless, Stankey said WarnerMedia wins as both a producer and distributor of original content.

“Maybe it sits in our library and maybe it sits in Disney/Fox,” he said.

The executive contends OTT video platforms will be structured differently in the next couple of years, including incorporating third-party content providers looking to piggyback on AT&T/WarnerMedia’s scale.

“I think structurally that is likely what will happen,” he said. “I believe we can play in that world going forward.”

 

Netflix Continues Marvel Housecleaning, Cancels ‘Daredevil’

Faced with the impending launch of a rival Disney streaming service next year, Netflix appears to be eager to get out of the Marvel business.

The streaming service pioneer Nov. 29 canceled “Daredevil” after three seasons, the third of its shows based on Marvel Comics to get the axe in the past two months.

Netflix Oct. 12 canceled “Iron Fist,” followed a week later by “Luke Cage,” which it canceled the same day as the premiere of the third season of “Daredevil.”

The rapid elimination of its Marvel-based properties has led to increased speculation that Netflix was washing its hands of the franchise as Marvel owner The Walt Disney Co. prepares to launch its own direct-to-consumer video service, Disney+, late next year.

“Daredevil” had been the flagship of a heralded distribution deal between Disney and Netflix announced in late 2013 that would see the production of four series based on Marvel characters set in the same cinematic universe as the “Avengers” films.

The show, which premiered in 2015, focused on blind lawyer Matt Murdock, who used his acute senses to fight crime as a vigilante on the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, New York.

“Daredevil” was followed by “Jessica Jones,” about a super-powered NYC private investigator; “Luke Cage,” which focused on the bulletproof hero of Harlem; and “Iron Fist,” about a wealthy heir who returns to New York after a long absence having gained mystical martial arts abilities.

After a second season of “Daredevil” in 2016, the four title heroes joined forces in 2017 in the miniseries “The Defenders.” In 2017 “Daredevil” spun off “The Punisher,” about a veteran seeking revenge for the death of his family. “Jessica Jones” received a second season early in 2018.

The series were produced for Netflix by Marvel Television and ABC Studios.

“Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist” were both given two seasons on Netflix. While the first season of “Iron Fist” was generally derided by fans, its second season was praised as a positive turnaround by most critics, although its cancellation wasn’t seen as much of a surprise given lingering animosity toward the show. The elimination of the better-received “Luke Cage” was more eye-opening to industry observers, with the lack of renewal of “Daredevil” leaving little doubt as to the eventual fate of Netflix’s remaining Marvel shows.

A second season of “The Punisher” has completed production and is expected to debut early next year. A third season of “Jessica Jones” is currently in production.

Netflix never formally renewed or canceled the “The Defenders,” though in September it rebranded its “Defenders” Facebook page into “NX,” a label more encompassing of Netflix’s wider array of genre-based properties. Many fan sites interpreted this move as a sign that no further crossover adventures were in the works, especially since the first “Defenders” miniseries garnered a lukewarm critical reaction (its 77% Rotten Tomatoes critics score was the lowest of any of the preceding seasons, save for “Iron Fist,” and ranks it eighth among the 11 Marvel Netflix seasons).

Rotten Tomatoes listed the third season of “Daredevil” as the best-received Marvel Netflix season in terms of both critic (94% positive) and fan (96%) response since the first season of “Daredevil” three years ago (which earned 99% and 96%, respectively).

Global data measurement firm Parrot Analytics reported that “Daredevil” was the No. 4 most in-demand show in terms of online activity the week ended Nov. 24, more than a month after its third season debuted. However, Business Insider Nov. 28 speculated that the fate of “Daredevil” was uncertain, despite a #RenewDaredevil Twitter campaign advocating a fourth season, citing data from consumer-insights company Crimson Hexagon claiming interest in all the Marvel shows was down significantly since the franchise debuted.

At the same time, Netflix has been putting more emphasis on its own proprietary content, rather than licensing shows from third parties, as they do with Marvel.

In a statement to Deadline, Netflix stated that it was “tremendously proud” of the third season of “Daredevil” and felt “it best to close this chapter on a high note.”

Netflix also hinted that more adventures of Daredevil could eventually materialize in other mediums: “While the series on Netflix has ended, the three existing seasons will remain on the service for years to come, while the Daredevil character will live on in future projects for Marvel.”

What form this may take remains to be seen, given the apparent creative split between Marvel Studios, which handles the films, and Marvel Television. Disney+ has confirmed a new series based on the “Thor” and “Avengers” villain Loki, and rumors are swirling about additional series based on film characters such as The Scarlet Witch, Winter Soldier and Falcon, the latter two being sidekicks of Captain America. But these series would be handled by Marvel Studios and its executive producer, Kevin Feige, and not Marvel Television.

The 2015 separation of Marvel’s film and TV divisions left many fans wondering about how interconnected the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s television incarnation would remain. Thus far, MCU-set TV shows such as the Netflix group, ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and Freeform’s “Cloak & Dagger” have referenced events from the films, but have not received reciprocal acknowledgement from any of the movies (though the Russo Brothers did acknowledge discussions about the feasibility of using characters such as Luke Cage in Avengers: Infinity War).

With Marvel Studios seemingly handling the Marvel programming on Disney+, industry observers have expressed skepticism about the pending service’s willingness to pick up Marvel Television productions that have already been canceled by other networks.

 

Disney Creating Star Wars, Marvel Series for Streaming Video Service

Disney’s Lucasfilm unit is in development on a second “Star Wars” live-action series for Disney+, the over-the-top subscription streaming video service launching in 2019.

The series will follow the adventures of Rebel spy Cassian Andor during the formative years of the Rebellion and prior to the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Diego Luna will reprise the role of Andor, which he originated in the 2016 movie.

The spy thriller will explore tales filled with espionage and daring missions to restore hope to a galaxy in the grip of a ruthless Empire. A release date has yet to be announced.

Disney+ is also creating (through Marvel Studios) a live-action series based on Loki, the god of mischief, to star Tom Hiddleston.

The new projects join a slate of movies and series planned for Disney+ that includes new stories set in the worlds of Pixar’s Monsters Inc., Disney Channel’s “High School Musical” and “Star Wars.”

Earlier this year, Lucasfilm revealed that Emmy-nominated producer/actor Jon Favreau would write and executive produce “The Mandalorian” for Disney+.

The live-action series, which is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order, is currently in production with a lineup of directors that include Deborah Chow (Marvel’s “Jessica Jones”), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Dave Filoni (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars,”Star Wars Rebels”), Bryce Dallas Howard (Solemates) and Taika Waititi (Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok).

‘Mamma Mia,’ ‘Ant-Man’ Retain Top Spots on Disc Sales Charts

A modest slate of new releases the week ended Nov. 3 was largely overshadowed by a pair of higher-profile favorites on the home video sales charts.

Universal Pictures’ Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again topped the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, for a second consecutive week, and dropped to No. 2 on the Blu-ray Disc sales chart.

Meanwhile, Walt Disney’s Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp was once again the top Blu-ray Disc seller, and was No. 2 on the overall chart in its third week, selling 98% as many discs as the Mamma Mia! sequel. The Marvel Studios film had been the top Blu-ray in its debut week before being displaced by the musical a week ago.

No. 3 on both charts was once again Disney’s Hocus Pocus, the perennial Halloween favorite that has been entrenched in the top five for more than a month following the release of a 25th anniversary edition Blu-ray. Even more surprisingly, Hocus Pocus sold 97% as many copies as the top title during the week.

Holding onto No. 4 on the overall chart was Sony Pictures’ Hotel Transylvania 3, which slipped to No. 5 on the Blu-ray chart.

The week’s top newcomer, Lionsgate’s The Spy Who Dumped Me, debuted at No. 5 overall and No. 6 on the Blu-ray chart. The comedy earned $33.6 million at the domestic box office.

Warner’s eagerly anticipated Blu-ray release of “Batman: The Animated Series,” presenting the popular 1990s animated series remastered in high-definition, was the No. 4 Blu-ray seller and No. 7 on the overall sales chart.

Tracking the other week’s new releases, Warner’s animated Teen Titans Go! to the Movies was No. 8 overall and No. 9 on the Blu-ray chart; RLJE’s Mandy, a well-regarded thriller starring Nicolas Cage, was No. 12 overall and the No. 11 Blu-ray; 20th Century Fox’s teen sci-fi thriller The Darkest Minds was No. 13 on both charts; and the Sony Pictures horror movie Slender Man came in at No. 15 overall and No. 16 on the Blu-ray chart.

On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Nov. 3, The Spy Who Dumped Me debuted at No. 1, pushing Ant-Man and The Wasp to No. 2.

Universal’s Skyscraper slipped to No. 3, while Hotel Transylvania 3 dropped to No. 4. Slender Man debuted at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 11-3-18
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 11-4-18
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 11-3-18
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 11-3-18
Sales Report for Week Ended 11-3-18
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 11-5-18

 

‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ Makes Big Debut on Disc Sales Charts

Marvel Studios’ latest superhero blockbuster, Ant-Man and The Wasp, 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 Oct. 20.

The sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man, and the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity, earned $216.6 million at the domestic box office. Ant-Man and The Wasp is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

Slipping to No. 2 on both charts for the week was Sony Pictures’ Hotel Transylvania 3, with Disney’s Hocus Pocus once again coming in at No. 3.

Rounding out the top five on both charts were Universal’s Skyscraper at No. 4 and Disney’s Solo: A Star Wars Story at No. 5.

Blu-ray Disc accounted for 70% of first week Ant-Man and The Wasp unit sales, with the UHD Blu-ray format comprising 17% of the tally.

On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Oct. 21, Skyscraper held onto the top spot for a second week, followed by Hotel Transylvania 3.

Ant-Man at The Wasp debuted at No. 3, with Lionsgate’s Reprisal at No. 4 and Sony Pictures’ Sicario: Day of the Soldado at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 10-20-18
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 10-21-18
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 10-20-18
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 10-20-18
Sales Report for Week Ended 10-20-18
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 10-22-18

Ant-Man and The Wasp

BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Street Date 10/16/18;
Disney/Marvel;
Action;
Box Office $216.42 million;
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $39.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for for some sci-fi action violence.
Stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas.

The 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe arrived in a somewhat awkward position for the franchise. Coming off the dire circumstances of Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers more of the lighthearted, fun romp first served up in 2015’s Ant-Man. It’s certainly a shift in tone for dedicated Marvel watchers, but also serves as a satisfactory palate cleanser for the despair that “Avengers” movie dished out.

Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man wasn’t in Infinity War, and this movie delves into what he was up to as Thanos was preparing to battle the rest of the Avengers. Under house arrest as a result of the events of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang (Rudd) is once again recruited by the father-daughter science whiz team of Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne (Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly), who are now fugitives because Lang used their shrinking technology to help Captain America fight Iron Man.

Hank needs Scott’s help to locate his wife, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) in the quantum realm, where she vanished 30 years ago after going too microscopic to return. Hope, meanwhile, has become The Wasp, fulfilling the setup from the first film for her to don a shrinking suit of her own.

However, their efforts have attracted some unwanted attention in the form of a criminal (Walton Goggins) who wants to get his hands on their technology, and a girl (Hannah John-Kamen) who needs energy from the quantum realm to reverse the effects of an accident that is causing her to phase out of existence.

Scott, meanwhile, has to avoid getting caught by the authorities by making sure he’s back home before they stop by for an inspection, lest he be sent back to prison for 20 years.

Director Peyton Reed takes advantage of the size-shifting premise to present both some very funny gags and some inventive action sequences. Reed says in an introduction to the film and his feature-length commentary that one of his main goals on the sequel was to really take advantage of the different perspectives that shrinking and growing can offer, much more than he did in the first film.

The film also sets up how Rudd will make his way into the fourth “Avengers” film, leaving even more clues with which fans can speculate about how the whole Thanos saga will be resolved next year.

For the here and now, though, the Ant-Man and The Wasp Blu-ray includes more than 20 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes with some good insights about establishing the characters in this new story, plus how the production design team mixed practical and CG effects to create sets and sequences that immerse the viewer into a world where the scale of everyday items is often out of whack.

The Blu-ray also includes two deleted scenes running about a minute each, which are interesting on their own but weren’t essential to the overall story. Then there are about four minutes of gag reels, including a minute of Stan Lee’s outtakes trying different lines for his cameo.

The digital editions include an exclusive eight-minute retrospective on the concept artists of the now 10-year-old MCU, plus a minute-long commercial for a company at the center of one of the film’s key running gags. Vudu also offers a two-and-a-half-minute featurette about Reed.