‘Madame Web’ Due on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD April 30

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release the Marvel Comics-based Madame Web on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD April 30.

The film, which earned $99.8 million at the global box office, tells the standalone origin story of one of Marvel publishing’s most enigmatic heroines. The suspense thriller stars Dakota Johnson as Cassandra Webb, a paramedic in Manhattan who may have clairvoyant abilities. Forced to confront revelations about her past, she forges a relationship with three young women destined for powerful futures — if they can all survive a deadly present.

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Extras on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and digital include a gag reel; Easter eggs; “Oracle of the Page”; “Fight Like a Spider”; “Future Vision”; “Casting the Web”; and a deleted scene. Extras on the DVD include “Future Vision” and “Casting the Web.”

Sony’s ‘Madame Web’ Available for Premium Digital Rental and Sale

The Marvel Comics-based actioner Madame Web is available for premium digital rental and sale — a month after its Feb. 14 theatrical debut — from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $43 million at the domestic and $96.9 million at the global box office.

Part of Sony’s franchise of “Spider-Man” characters, the film tells the standalone origin story of a Marvel heroine and stars Dakota Johnson as Cassandra Webb, a paramedic in Manhattan who may have clairvoyant abilities. Forced to confront revelations about her past, she forges a relationship with three young women destined for powerful futures — if they can all survive a deadly present.

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Digital extras include a gag reel, Easter eggs, “Oracle of the Page,” “Fight Like a Spider,” “Future Vision,” “Casting the Web,” and a deleted scene. 

 

All Episodes of Marvel Studios’ ‘Echo’ to Launch on Disney+ and Hulu Jan. 10

All five episodes of Marvel Studios’ “Echo” will launch on Disney+ and Hulu Jan. 10. 

This marks the first Marvel Studios series to drop all episodes at once. 

The episodes will be available on Hulu until April 9.

The five-episode series spotlights Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) as she is pursued by Wilson Fisk’s (Vincent D’Onofrio) criminal empire. When the journey brings her home, she must confront her own family and legacy. 

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“Echo” also stars Chaske Spencer (“Wild Indian,” “The English”), Graham Greene (“1883,” “Goliath”), Tantoo Cardinal (Killers of the Flower Moon, “Stumptown”), Devery Jacobs (FX’s “Reservation Dogs,” “American Gods”), Zahn McClarnon (“Dark Winds,” FX’s “Reservation Dogs”), Cody Lightning (“Hey, Viktor!” “Four Sheets to the Wind”) and Vincent D’Onofrio (“Hawkeye,” “Godfather of Harlem”).

 

Season Two of ‘Loki’ Second Most-Viewed Season Premiere on Disney+ in 2023

The premiere of the second season of “Loki” is the second most viewed season premiere on Disney+ in 2023, according to the service. “Loki” — which stars Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as the sly God of Mischief — notched 10.9 million views globally after three days streaming on Disney+.

The debut of the Marvel Studios series — which returned Oct. 5 — was behind only the season three premiere of “The Mandalorian,” which hit Disney+ in March.

“Everybody’s playing at the highest level,” Kevin Wright — the executive producer of “Loki,” said in a statement. “It’s just exciting to dive deeper into a world that we know people are already excited about.”

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New episodes of “Loki” premiere on Disney+ on Thursdays at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET.

Merchandising: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Exclusives Arrive

Disney’s Aug. 1 release of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on DVD and Blu-ray included a couple of retailer exclusives for the movie’s 4K edition.

Walmart offered the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack with exclusive box art and a pack-in enamel pin of the Guardians logo for $37.39.

Walmart’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ 4K combo pack with enamel pin

Best Buy as usual offered a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack of the film in Steelbook packaging, for $38.99.

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Another exclusive Steelbook available at Best Buy during the week was the Disney 100th anniversary-themed 4K Blu-ray combo pack of the animated movie Frozen for $29.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Frozen’ 4K Steelbook

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Headed to Disney+ Aug. 2

Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will begin streaming on Disney+ Aug. 2, the day after it debuts on disc.

The film — which was released for digital purchase July 7 — has earned $842.4 million at the global box office. 

The film’s windowing mirrors Disney’s rollout of Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, which started streaming on Disney+ May 17 — about a month after it became available in the home for digital purchase and the day after it came out on disc. The move was a shift from streaming-favorable windows for the studio. The previous Marvel film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, debuted for streaming Feb. 2 and was available on digital Feb. 1 and disc Feb. 7.

In the third installment in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” series, the band of misfits is settling into life on Knowhere. But it isn’t long before their lives are upended by the echoes of Rocket’s turbulent past. Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him on a dangerous mission to save Rocket’s life— a mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.

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The film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Sean Gunn, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter and Maria Bakalova. James Gunn is the director and also wrote the screenplay.

 

Reelgood: Disney’s ‘Secret Invasion’ Tops Hulu’s ‘The Bear’ in Respective Streaming Debuts

The debut of Disney+’s new Marvel Studios miniseries “Secret Invasion” topped the second season bow of Hulu’s “The Bear” in streaming views for the week of June 22, according to new data from Reelgood.

Reelgood tracks real-time data from 5 million users in the United States across SVOD and AVOD services for original and acquired streaming programs and movies.

“Secret Invasion” stars Samuel L. Jackson as super hero Nick Fury waging battle against a group of shape-shifting Skrulls.

“The Bear” features Jeremy Allen Wright reprising his role as a troubled former New York culinary chef prodigy who returns to his Chicago roots to save a family sandwich shop.

The two new shows held Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse to the No. 3 spot through the week of June 22.

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The previous week’s top two, Netflix’s “Black Mirror” and “From” (MGM+), finished at No. 7 and No. 6, respectively. Top movies on the chart included Netflix’s Extraction 2 at No. 5 and Max’s Evil Dead Rise at No. 8.

‘Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania’ to Stream on Disney+ Starting May 17, a Month After Bow for Digital Purchase

Disney/Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania will start streaming on Disney+ May 17 — almost a month after it became available in the home for digital purchase.

It’s a shift in windows for the studio.

The film became available at home for digital purchase only April 18 and will be released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on May 16, a day before the film is available for streaming.

The windowing is a departure from that of previous Marvel films. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, for instance, debuted for digital purchase and on the streaming service concurrently on Feb. 1. Thor: Love and Thunder debuted simultaneously Sept. 8 for digital purchase and streaming on Disney+.

In Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, superheroes Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) return to continue their adventures as Ant-Man and The Wasp. Together, with Hope’s parents Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and Scott’s daughter Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton), the family finds themselves exploring the Quantum Realm, interacting with strange new creatures and embarking on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they thought possible. 

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Hub Research: Content Brands Matter in Crowded Streaming Universe

Viewers often have a hard time differentiating the brands of streaming services, and turn to known content or creative brands to help make viewing decisions, according to Hub Entertainment Research’s annual “Evolution of Video Branding” survey.

Brand awareness and brand familiarity are different. The vast sums expended on marketing during the streaming wars have been effective as all the major platforms have brand awareness above 90%, according to Hub.   

But as far as brand understanding, far fewer feel confident that they could explain to someone else what each platform does best, or how it’s different from the others. This is the case even for companies that are masters at branding, such as Apple. Almost all respondents said they were aware of Apple TV+, but fewer than half felt they understand its content offering. In the end, consumers are choosing between a well-known set of brands, without a clear understanding of what differentiates them, according to the study.

Without a clear understanding of the difference between platforms, consumers turn to other guideposts, such as program brands, according to Hub. In the study, 41% of viewers said they have signed up for a platform just to watch one specific show (up from 35% two years ago). This is even more pronounced among desirable audiences, such as young people. In the study, 57% of those age 16 to 34 said they have signed up to watch one particular show.

New shows based on familiar characters or histories have a leg up in the discovery process. In the study, 40% of all respondents said they would be more likely to watch a new show based on the Marvel universe (the highest of the 10 brands tested). But the next three highest were broadcast TV procedurals that have already had successful spinoffs.

Another example is the “Yellowstone” franchise (shows set in the world of “Yellowstone” or marketed as coming from the same creator). Among the respondents who had ever watched “Yellowstone,” almost three-fourths (70%) said they also watched at least one of Sheridan’s other shows (“1883,” “1923,” “Tulsa King” or “Mayor of Kingstown”). Perhaps most notably, viewers had to put in some effort to watch these: “Yellowstone” is on the Paramount cable network and on Peacock, while the other shows are only available on Paramount+.

“Viewers have not lacked in choice of services and content over the past few years. But this can be a two-edged sword for content providers, as the immense volume just makes it hard for viewers to remember what is different about each service,” David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study, said in a statement. “But at the end of the day, content is king, and unique content will drive viewers even if the service itself isn’t unique to consumers.”

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The findings are from Hub’s 2023 “Evolution of Video Branding” report, based on a survey conducted among 2,400 U.S. consumers with broadband, age 16-74, who watch at least one hour of TV per week. Interviews were conducted in February 2023 and explored attitudes towards brands associated with traditional TV service as well as those providing streaming TV service. A free excerpt of the findings is available on Hub’s website.

Disney+ Announces Feb. 1 Streaming Debut for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

Disney+ has announced the Feb. 1 streaming debut of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will join 16 other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies now streaming in Imax Enhanced on Disney+. Imax Enhanced gives subscribers more picture with an expanded aspect ratio for an immersive viewing experience at home (content availability varies by region).

In anticipation of the film’s upcoming streaming debut, Proximity Media, in collaboration with Marvel Studios and Marvel Entertainment, released “Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast,” a six-episode podcast about the making of the film.  The first episode is out now on the “Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast” feed, available on all major podcast platforms and at ProximityMedia.com. Five additional episodes will be available weekly beginning Jan. 18. Here is a trailer for the podcast.

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In Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Introducing Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor, ruler of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livinalli.