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

Stan Lee Universe Licenses Stan Lee Name and Likeness to Marvel Studios

Stan Lee Universe, Genius Brands International’s Genius Brands controlled venture with POW! Entertainment, has signed a 20-year deal to license the name and likeness of Stan Lee to Marvel Studios for future feature films and television productions, as well as use in Disney theme parks and experiences worldwide.

“We are proud to be the stewards of the incredibly valuable rights to Stan Lee’s name, likeness, merchandise and intellectual property brand,” Andy Heyward, chairman and CEO of Genius Brands, said in a statement. “And, there is no better place than Marvel and Disney where Stan should be for his movies and theme park experiences. As we enter the centennial year of Stan’s birthday, Dec. 28, 2022, we are thrilled to see his memory and legacy will continue to delight fans through this new long-term agreement with Marvel.”

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Under the deal, Marvel Studios has acquired rights to use Stan Lee’s name, voice, likeness and signature in movies and television projects, as well as use images, existing footage and existing audio recordings featuring Lee. Exclusive rights to use Stan Lee’s name, voice, likeness and signature in theme parks, water parks, cruise lines and in-park merchandise were included for Disney Parks, experiences and products as part of the deal.

“As Stan’s longtime business partner and friend, I’m looking forward to commemorating his work in this new way,” Gill Champion, president of POW! Entertainment, said in a statement. “Building a connection with his fans is important to us and it’s a privilege to get to do that on his behalf.”

As Marvel’s editor-in-chief, Stan Lee helped build a universe of interlocking continuity, with super heroes from Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four, Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, the X-Men and more. Lee went on to become Marvel’s editorial director and publisher in 1972 and was eventually named chairman emeritus.

His well-known cameos in Marvel films began in the 1989 telefilm The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. After the release of X-Men in 2000, he appeared in nearly every Marvel film and television project until his passing in 2018.

‘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.

Reelgood: Disney’s ‘Moon Knight’ Most Popular Streaming Title Through April 20

The Disney+ original series “Moon Knight” was the most popular title streamed across all services for the second week during the seven-day period ended April 20, according to new data from Reelgood. The streaming aggregator’s top 10 ranking uses first-party data from how its 5 million users in the U.S. interact with movies and TV shows on the platform in real-time.

The No. 2 most-popular content was box office hit The Batman, which is now streaming on HBO Max. “Better Call Saul” reruns on Netflix, and Kenneth Branagh-directed and starring in Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile (streaming on Max) also made the top five. New on the list are Amazon Prime Video series “Outer Range” at No. 6 and Netflix’s “Anatomy of a Scandal” at No. 9.

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1. “Moon Knight,” Disney+
2. The Batman, HBO Max
3. “Better Call Saul,” Netflix
4. Death on the Nile, HBO Max and Hulu
5. “Severance,” Apple TV+
6. “Outer Range,” Amazon Prime Video
7. All the Old Knives, Amazon Prime Video
8. “Halo,” Paramount+
9. “Anatomy of a Scandal,” Netflix
10. Sonic the Hedgehog, Amazon Prime Video

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Again Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home again led the chart of the 10 most-popular titles on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu the week ended April 3.

The Marvel Studios film became available for digital purchase March 15. As the film begins, Spider-Man’s identity is revealed, bringing his superhero responsibilities into conflict with his normal life and putting those he cares about most at risk, including M.J. (Zendaya). When he enlists Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) help to restore his secret, the spell tears a hole in the world, releasing Spider-Man villains from other universes.

Debuting at No. 2 was Lionsgate’s Roland Emmerich disaster film Moonfall, starring Halle Berry. Available for digital purchase beginning April 1, the film follows a space crew who attempt to save the Earth when a mysterious force knocks the moon out of its orbit.

Entering the chart at No. 3 was Paramount Pictures’ Johnny Knoxville comedy Jackass Forever. In the film, which debuted on digital March 29, Knoxville and the gang are back for another outrageous round of stunts and bad ideas.

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Landing at No. 4 was Paramount Pictures’ The Contractor, which debuted for premium rental and sale April 1. The film stars Chris Pine as a former elite Special Forces Sergeant who contracts with a private military force and uncovers a conspiracy.

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Illumination’s Sing 2 landed at No. 5 on the chart. The animated sequel, distributed by Universal Pictures, is available for digital purchase and rental. It follows the animal singers as they plan a new show and try to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star, Clay Callaway (voice of Bono), to join them. The film also features the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Taron Egerton.

Also new to the chart for the week was Kenneth Branagh’s suspense thriller Death on the Nile, starring Gal Gadot, which landed at No. 6 and debuted on digital March 29.

Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended April 3, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Spider-Man: No Way Home
  2. Moonfall
  3. Jackass Forever
  4. The Contractor
  5. Sing 2
  6. Death on the Nile
  7. Dog
  8. The Matrix Resurrections
  9. Marry Me
  10. The Cursed

Disney+ Bows Trailer for New Original Series ‘Ms. Marvel’ Debuting June 8

Disney+ released the trailer and poster for Marvel Studios’ series “Ms. Marvel,” which will launch exclusively on the streaming service on June 8.

The trailer gives viewers a first look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest superhero as she tries to balance high-school life, her family and her emerging superpowers. 

Marvel Studios’ “Ms. Marvel” introduces Kamala Khan, a Muslim American teenager growing up in Jersey City. An avid gamer and a voracious fan-fiction scribe, Kamala is a superhero mega fan with an oversized imagination — particularly when it comes to Captain Marvel. Yet Kamala feels like she doesn’t fit in at school and sometimes even at home — that is, until she gets super powers like the heroes she’s always looked up to.

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Iman Vellani stars as Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel. The cast also includes Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Rish Shah, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Laith Nakli, Azhar Usman, Travina Springer and Nimra Bucha.


Disney+ to Add More Marvel Live-Action Series, Parental Controls

Disney+ on March 16 will add more Marvel live-action series titles to its content offering in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand with the addition of “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist,” “The Defenders” and “The Punisher,” plus “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in the United States.

Disney+ will concurrently release an update to its parental controls in the United States that will prompt all subscribers to update their settings. When opening Disney+ for the first time on or after March 16, all subscribers in the United States will be prompted to update their parental controls. This includes the option to select content ratings restrictions for each profile as well as to add a PIN to lock profiles. Those that choose to keep their settings the same will continue within a TV-14 content rating environment, with the option to make changes at any time under profile settings.

“Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist,” “The Defenders” and “The Punisher” were originally produced for Netflix and contained ‘R’-rated content such as sex and violence typically considered too mature for Disney+, which famously used CGI to obscure female nudity in Splash. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” was produced for the ABC broadcast network.

Characters from the Netflix series have already started appearing in other Marvel Cinematic Universe content, with Vincent D’Onofrio‘s villainous Kingpin appearing as the big bad in “Hawkeye,” while Daredevil’s alter ego Matt Murdock, again played by Charlie Cox, popped up in Spider-Man: No Way Home with anticipation of a new season for the character on Disney+.

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“Disney+ has served as the home for some of the most beloved brands in the industry, and the addition of these live-action shows brings more from the Marvel brand together, all in one place,” Michael Paull, president of Disney Streaming, said in a statement. “We have experienced great success with an expanded content offering on Disney+ across our global markets and are excited to continue that here in the U.S. as well by offering our consumers not only great content with the new Marvel additions, but also a set of features that help ensure a viewing experience most suitable for them and their family.”

The Marvel series will also be available across all other Disney+ markets later this year.

Roku Partners With Russo Brothers for Marvel, DC Comics Rivalry Series

The Roku Channel Dec. 24 will debut its latest Roku Original program, “Slugfest,” a 10-part series executive produced by the Russo Brothers (Anthony and Joe) and narrated by director Kevin Smith, which explores the decades-long relationship and rivalry between Marvel and DC Comics.

Each episode dives into the unique story from the companies’ intermingled history that’s created a lucrative worldwide superhero phenomenon.

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“Audiences will leave [watching the show] with a whole new of understanding of how the rivalry between two creative powerhouses shaped the iconic storylines and characters that fans around the world have come to know and love,” Joe Russo said in a statement.

Don Argott and Sheena Joyce served as directors. Producers include Todd Makurath, Peter Rieveschl, Nick Gilhool and Jen Casey. The series was created in partnership with AGBO.

“After watching ‘Slugfest,’ even the most die-hard superhero fans will gain a newfound perspective on how one competitive relationship shaped fandom culture into what it is today,” said Brian Tannenbaum, head of alternative originals at Roku. “Collaborating with the the Russo Brothers to tell the backstory behind one of the most epic creative battles in the history of Hollywood was an incredible experience.”

Since launching in May, Roku Originals has been an important audience driver for The Roku Channel, which bowed in 2017. From scripted entertainment and documentaries, to new unscripted series, Roku Originals gives viewers free access to entertainment from the biggest names in Hollywood. In the next 24 months, The Roku Channel is expected to premiere 50 new original programs.

In 2021, The Roku Channel saw record growth, reaching U.S. households with an estimated 70 million people in the first quarter. In Q3, The Roku Channel was a top five channel on the Roku platform in the U.S. by active account reach.

Disney Announces ‘Eternals’ Streaming Date

Disney’s latest Marvel Studios feature Eternals will be available exclusively on the studio’s Disney+ streaming service starting Jan. 12.

Eternals joins 13 other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies now streaming in Imax Enhanced on Disney+ (content availability varies by region).

Eternals follows a group of heroes from beyond the stars who have been protecting the Earth since the dawn of man. When monstrous creatures called the Deviants, long thought lost to history, mysteriously return, the Eternals are forced to reunite in order to defend humanity once again.

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The ensemble cast includes Gemma Chan as humankind-loving Sersi, Richard Madden as the all-powerful Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as cosmic-powered Kingo, Lia McHugh as the eternally young old-soul Sprite, Brian Tyree Henry as the intelligent inventor Phastos, Lauren Ridloff as the super-fast Makkari, Barry Keoghan as aloof loner Druig, Don Lee as the powerful Gilgamesh, Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, Salma Hayek as the wise and spiritual leader Ajak, and Angelina Jolie as the fierce warrior Thena.

‘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.