Without exclusives for any of the new May 26 disc releases, Best Buy continued to push deep discounts to incentivize movie fans to buy several titles at once.
In one deal, Best Buy offered a $5 discount off The Big Lebowski with the purchase of its unofficial spinoff, The Jesus Rolls, on Blu-ray. With Jesus Rolls discounted already to $12.99, and Big Lebowski at $9.99 ($4.99 with the discount), the bundle comes in at less than $18 before taxes.
Best Buy also continues its 4K Ultra HD disc promotions, offering select 4K Blu-ray movies at $12.99 each, others at two for $30, and another selection at three for $45.
Target and Best Buy offered a slew of exclusives for several of the new titles hitting shelves May 19, particularly for Disney’s Onward and Warner’s Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.
For Onward, the latest Pixar release, Target offered a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a gallery booklet and slipcover for $34.99. Best Buy had a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook edition for the same price.
Onward arrived at retail without much fanfare, as Disney did little to promote the disc version after the studio’s prominent announcement the Pixar fantasy would be available on the Disney+ streaming service in early April. Stores then offered the DVD, Blu-ray and 4K editions without the so-called first-week discount, typically $2 to $5 off new releases. That is, the stores that bothered to actually put them on shelves. A clerk at a Target in Tustin, Calif., found the box of the store’s entire inventory hidden in the stockroom after being prompted to search for them by customers wondering why the shelf spaces allocated for them were empty despite other new releases having been put out, and the Target website indicating all versions were in stock at that store.
Further, the lack of a slipcover for the regular 4K and Blu-ray editions motivated several Pixar collectors to take to message boards to complain that their absence, in addition to the lack of early discount, would lead them to forgo buying the title until it goes on sale for the holidays. (Slipcovers, often sought by collectors, are typically only included with new discs in their early shipments to stores.)
Moreover, Onward was also apparently not for sale through Amazon.com except via third-party sellers, and even then finding the disc versions wasn’t particularly easy to do through Amazon’s search function.
Onward’s lack of presence on Amazon is similar to another Disney-owned title, Fox’s The Call of the Wild, which didn’t have a disc listing at the online retailer until several days after its May 12 street date. This may relate to longstanding issues Amazon often has with studios such as Disney over distribution agreements for new titles, leading to Amazon not to take preorders for such titles.
Similarly, the newly released disc of Disney-owned Fox’s Downhill was almost nowhere to be found not just on Amazon (where it was offered by marketplace sellers, essentially Amazon’s version of eBay), but any physical store shelves, being relegated to the online stores of the major retailers.
For Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, Target offered a Steelbook edition of the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack for $19.99, while Best Buy offered a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray gift set that included a figurine of the Teen Titans’ Raven character for $29.99.
Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog was offered as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook by Best Buy for $32.99.
Best Buy also offered Universal’s new The Blues Brothers 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release as a Steelbook edition for $19.99.
Another Best Buy promotion lets customers buy Warner’s The Way Back Blu-ray at $19.99 and get $5 off another Warner Blu-ray.
Finally, Best Buy is already taking preorders for Warner’s Scoob!, which was released through digital channels May 15. The digital version is available now for $24.99, and Best Buy is offering the DVD at $17.99, Blu-ray at $19.99 and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray at $27.99, though no street date for the discs has been announced.
Even a pandemic can’t prevent major Hollywood titles from getting their retailer exclusives. Warner’s Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn landed at retail May 12 with exclusive packaging options from all three of the major national home video retailers.
Best Buy offered its typical Steelbook packaging for the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack of Birds of Prey, at $34.99.
The nation’s largest electronics chain, which has been primarily serving customers through online orders and curbside pickups during the pandemic, also offered a promotion allowing customers to save $5 on another Warner movie with the purchase of Birds of Prey.
Target offered the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack at $24.99 with exclusive box art touting a digital comic book. The cartoony art style likely inspired Target to include the phrase “This is a live-action movie” on its “Only at Target” sticker placed on the outside wrapping.
Walmart had a couple of options for Birds of Prey. First was a single-disc DVD edition with exclusive box art for $16.96, contrasted with the regular two-DVD version available everywhere else for $17.99. Walmart didn’t offer the wide-release DVD on its shelves, but did sell it online.
The Walmart DVD includes just the “Birds of a Feather” featurette, rather than the full array of extras fans could get for just $1 more.
Also available at Walmart were Blu-ray and DVD double features of Birds of Prey with 2016’s Suicide Squad, the previous appearance of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.
Among other titles, Fox’s The Call of the Wild arrived on disc May 12 as well, though the disc versions of the film are nowhere to be found on Amazon. Likewise, preorders for the May 19 disc release of Fox’s Downhill are absent as well. Amazon has had longstanding issues with listing new Disney titles, and it appears some of those problems have now carried over with the Disney-owned Fox releases as well.
Interestingly, one of the biggest concerns about Call of the Wild among online commenters at sites such as Blu-ray.com is that it was being released without a slipcover.
With a modest slate of new releases hitting shelves May 5, retailers focused mostly on promoting catalog titles and more notable recent hits.
Best Buy in particular continued to offer deals on a variety of films on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.
The chain had a two for $30 deal on select movies from Paramount, including Ghost in the Shell, Interstellar, Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator, Braveheart, A Quiet Place, Mission: Impossible — Fallout, Overlord, Bumblebee and the 2009 Star Trek.
It also had a three for $35 offer on select Universal 4K movies, including Warcraft, Lucy, King Kong 2005, Get Out, Apollo 13, American Made, Straight Outta Compton, Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious.
Many promotions were also built around the annual “Star Wars” day known as “May the 4th Be With You.” Best Buy made “Star Wars” movies one of its weekly “Top Deals.” Target dedicated a full page of its weekly ad to “Star Wars” products, including the movies on Blu-ray for $19.99 each. And Disney offered the “Star Wars” movies through digital retailers for as low as $4.99 on May 4 only.
A couple of retailers offered exclusives for Warner’s new animated movie Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge that arrived on disc April 28.
Target offered the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of the film with exclusive Steelbook packaging for $19.99
Best Buy had the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray as a limited-edition gift set with a Scorpion figurine for $29.99.
Among other deals, Walmart was selling a $19.96 bundle from Paramount containing digital versions of both Sonic the Hedgehog and Monster Trucks, redeemable through Vudu.
Best Buy offered a promotion giving shoppers a free 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray movie from a select list with the purchase of the $249.99 Panasonic UB420 4K Blu-ray player. The available 4K movies include Avengers: Endgame, Aquaman, 1917, Dunkirk, Ford v Ferrari, Jumanji: The Next Level, The Lion King, Joker and more.
Target is taking preorders for Universal’s Trolls World Tour Blu-ray and is offering a $26.99 limited-edition that includes an “Art of Trolls” filmmaker gallery booklet. No street date for the film has been announced yet.
Best Buy had its usual 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook packaging for $32.99.
Another promotion at Best Buy involved Universal’s new The Gentlemen, offered at $19.99 for the DVD, $22.99 for the Blu-ray and $27.99 for the 4K UHD Ultra HD Blu-ray. Fans who purchased The Gentlemen on disc could save $5 on another title from a select list that includes Dazed and Confused, Smokin’ Aces, Notting Hill, Love Actually, Non-Stop, Last Christmas, Downton Abbey and more.
Best Buy also offered select Disney 4K Steelbooks starting at $14.99 each.
The big retailers didn’t bother to attach exclusives to any of the modest new releases of April 14, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to shift attention away from the electronics section.
Best Buy, which has turned its focus to online shopping, touted some catalog sales and preorders for Steelbook editions of future releases.
Under the banner “4K Ultra HD — Celebrate 4Kpril,” Best Buy promoted a “save on select 4K movies” sale with 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray titles starting at $9.99 each.
Steelbook editions of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo packs being touted for preorders at $34.99 apiece include Sony Pictures’ Bad Boys for Life (due April 21), Warner’s Birds of Prey (due May 12), Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog (due May 19) and Disney’s Onward (due May 19).
Target changed the distribution of its weekly ad to online only, and this week didn’t include a home entertainment section.
With depressed foot traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic, retailers are touting deep discounts in an effort to clear some catalog titles.
Best Buy, which has been relegated mostly to online business but still offers curbside pickups, gave a savings of $30 to shoppers who bought both Star Wars: The Rise ofSkywalker on Blu-ray ($24.99) or 4K Ultra HD ($29.99) with the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video game. With the game priced at $39.99, that essentially means the movie is free, although the more-expensive Steelbook ($34.99) and the nine-movie boxed set ($249.99) also meet the terms of the promotion.
Another sale at Best Buy offers $5 off an additional movie when buying a Blu-ray or 4K UHD version of Universal’s Dolittle or Cats. A list of eligible titles is available at BestBuy.com.
After weeks of touting preorders for Disney’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, retailers finally had the discs available for consumers March 31 despite the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.
Among the big three retailers, Target and Walmart stores remain open, with adjusted hours, since they offer groceries and other essential household goods.
Best Buy stores are closed for walk-ins but are offering shipping for online orders, as well as curbside pickups for local shoppers.
Target’s $34.99 Rise of Skywalker 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack comes with a gallery booklet and an exclusive bonus DVD with the featurette “A Final Alliance,” a chronicle of the various starships used in the film.
Walmart offered the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack as a limited edition with fold-out artwork packaging for $34.96.
Best Buy has its customary $34.99 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook treatment for Rise of Skywalker.
In addition, Best Buy has the exclusive U.S. distribution of the $249.99 nine-movie, 27-disc “Skywalker Saga” boxed set that includes a 4K disc, a Blu-ray disc and a bonus disc for each of the episodic films. Rogue One and Solo are available on 4K separately.
Speaking of 4K, Disney also released all the films not yet available on 4K as three-disc standalone combo packs (ie episodes one through seven and Rogue One are new on 4K, while Last Jedi and Solo remain available on 4K from their earlier combo pack releases, though Disney seems set to re-release them with new packaging once existing inventory thins out). The retailers had them for $29.99 each.
The online Disney Movie Club was offering various membership discounts such as 50% off all items in the order plus free shipping with the purchase of one at the full price ($34.99), which lowers the average to under $20 when all eight 4K combo packs are purchased together. DMC VIP members (those who fulfilled the membership requirement of buying five full-price discs previously) qualify for a 60% discount, pushing the average price to under $17.
Among other promotions, Target was offering a buy-two-get-one-free mix-and-match sale on video games.