There weren’t many new titles hitting shelves April 13, so Best Buy touted a number of home entertainment promotions on its Website instead.
Among them is the Steelbook Collector Hub, a page to provide information about the special metal packaging that often forms the basis for Best Buy retailer exclusive editions. In addition to links for shoppers to buy and preorder Steelbook copies of hit movies, the page is also asking fans to vote on which titles Best Buy should release as 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbooks in the future.
In one vote, fans can choose between Lionsgate’s The Hurt Locker and La La Land. The other vote is between Sony Pictures’ Drive and The Guns of Navarone.
There’s also a section for fans to vote on which title previously released as a Steelbook that Best Buy should release again with the collectible packaging. Titles include 2004’s Hellboy, Total Recall, Rambo: Last Blood, 1995’s Jumanji, The Dark Tower, 1978’s Halloween and Atomic Blonde.
The Steelbook page also includes a section profiling a Steelbook collector with a brief Q&A.
The light slate of new releases April 6 didn’t attract much interest in the way of retail exclusives, but Target did offer one for Lionsgate’s Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar.
The Target-exclusive Blu-ray edition of the comedy came with lenticular box art and additional bonus materials: the featurettes “Reason #497 Why We’re Friends,” “The Visionary Sets of Barb & Star” and “Emotional Dancing With Jamie Dornan.” It was priced at $17.99, the same price as the regular Blu-ray.
Savvy shoppers could also take advantage of a backdoor discount at Target involving Lionsgate’s World War II thriller Shadow in the Cloud, which was priced at $29.99 on Blu-ray at the chain (at least, in the stores that bothered to restock their home entertainment sections with the week’s new titles). The Target circle app gives a 15% discount on the title, but Target also has a policy to match prices of its competitors, one of which is Walmart, which listed the Shadow in the Cloud Blu-ray online for $14.96. So with the new priced keyed in, a 5% discount for Target Redcard users, and the 15% discount on the title still applicable, the final price comes to under $13. Not bad.
Best Buy used the week to push a number of themed promotions, including a tie-in to Oscar season with a sale on movies that won Awards over the years.
Superhero movie fans looking for exclusive home video editions of Warner’s Wonder Woman 1984 had their wish granted upon its March 30 release on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Not only did each of the major national retail chains have an exclusive version, but Amazon did as well.
In this case, Amazon offered a two-pack of Wonder Woman 1984 and its predecessor, 2017’s Wonder Woman, as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray for $44.99. The set includes 4K versions and digital copies of both films, but not regular Blu-ray versions. The standard Blu-ray version of the two-pack was a wide release.
Best Buy, as is typical for the chain, presented a Steelbook edition of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack of Wonder Woman 1984, for $34.99.
Walmart likewise stuck with its typical pattern, and as it often does with major Warner Bros. releases, stocked an exclusive vanilla DVD edition without the bonus disc but with unique box art.
The widely released DVD includes a bonus disc touting 90 minutes of special features, including extensive making-of featurettes, and is offered at $17.99 at Target and Best Buy, and $17.96 at Amazon and Walmart’s online store.
Walmart’s physical stores stocked just the vanilla version, offered at $16.96 and containing just one extra, a “Scene Study: The Mall” featurette.
Walmart also offered an exclusive DVD two-pack of both “Wonder Woman” movies for $22.96.
Target went with a simpler route and just offered unique box art with the Wonder Woman 1984 Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack, for $24.99.
Rounding out the array of “Wonder Woman” releases, the Warner Archives Wonder Woman 1984 3D Blu-ray combo pack was priced at $29.88 on Amazon,com, $27.99 at BestBuy.com, and $34.99 at Walmart.com.
Disney animated movies are reliable subjects for retailer exclusive editions, and the March 23 Blu-ray release of Pixar’s Soul was no exception.
Target offered a $34.99 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack of the Oscar-nominated animated film packed with a limited-edition gallery booklet of artwork from the film.
As it has been doing several times in the past few months, Target also touted another buy-two-get-one-free sale on movies, kids’ books, board games, activity sets, select video games and puzzles. The offer excludes new releases and preorders.
The March 16 new releases didn’t generate much retail excitement.
Best Buy’s website, while listing the week’s new releases but not offering exclusive editions for any of them, displayed a big banner for an Easter-themed promotion encouraging shoppers to “Fill their Easter baskets.”
Best Buy debuted the banner last week and will likely continue to run Easter tie-ins until the holiday arrives April 4.
Of course, the promotion was more for family and animated titles than anything overtly religious. Among the titles listed under the promotion were Disney’s Soul (arriving March 23 with an exclusive 4K Blu-ray Steelbook), Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender — The Complete Series Blu-ray, Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Far From Home and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, Disney’s Lady and the Tramp — Signature Collection Blu-ray, Sony Pictures’ A Dog’s Way Home, DreamWorks Animation’s three-movie How to Train Your Dragon collection, 20th Century’s The Sound of Music and more.
Target, on the other hand, listed some of the week’s new titles, such as Universal Pictures’ Promising Young Woman and Songbird, and Lionsgate’s Don’t Tell a Soul, in its weekly ad circular, but that’s no guarantee of finding them on shelves. A Target store in Tustin, Calif., didn’t even bother to update its new releases area with shelf tags for the new titles, let alone put the discs on display, well into the evening of March 16. Instead, the section was left barren and half-empty as the recent titles from previous weeks trickle away.
Best Buy March 9 offered an exclusive 4K Ultra HD Steelbook edition of Lionsgate’s 2012 comic book adaptation Dredd, starring Karl Urban.
The Steelbook edition includes a 4K disc, a regular Blu-ray disc and a digital copy for $19.99, though it quickly sold out at many stores and online.
Dredd was directed by Pete Travis and written and produced by Alex Garland. It is based on the 2000 AD comic strip “Judge Dredd” and its character of the same name, created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. Urban plays the title role as Judge Dredd, a heavy-handed law enforcer in a huge dystopic metropolis, Mega-City One. Dredd and his apprentice partner, Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), attempt to clean up a 200-story high-rise and deal with resident drug lord Ma-Ma (Lena Headey).
The big retailers didn’t have much in the way of exclusives with the new releases of March 2.
Best Buy, though, did have another of its catalog Steelbook editions hit the shelves. This time, it’s a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack of Paramount’s 2005 sci-fi actioner War of the Worlds, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise.
The set includes a 4K disc, regular Blu-ray and digital copy for $19.99.
Target and Walmart brought out exclusive editions of DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age, which was released on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, 3D Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Feb. 23 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
Target offered the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of the animated film with a 40-page filmmaker gallery book at $24.99.
Walmart had a gift set of the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack for $24.96 packed with a “Croods” water bottle and a 35-piece puzzle.
Among the new titles hitting shelves Feb. 2 was a Target-exclusive 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook collection of Universal’s “Fifty Shades” trilogy.
Timed for Valentine’s Day, Target’s $39.99 collection includes a 4K, Blu-ray and digital version of each film in the erotically charged trilogy — 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey, 2017’s Fifty Shades Darker, and 2018’s Fifty Shades Freed.
Meanwhile, Best Buy’s home video focus for the week wasn’t on “Grey,” but black, or, rather, Black History Month. The “Top Deals” section of the chain’s website for movies and music ran a banner that highlighted a number of relevant movies under the statement “More recognition. More representation.” Among the films on Blu-ray were Harriet, Hidden Figures, Black Panther, Boys N the Hood, Selma, Fences, Moonlight and Get Out, priced as low as $3.99 each.
Target had its own Black History Month-themed title, with a Steelbook edition of the new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, from Universal Pictures, at $22.99.
Jan. 26 saw the first title of 2021 to arrive with an exclusive retailer edition. Best Buy offered a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack of Warner’s new animated movie Batman: Soul of the Dragon as a gift set at $32.99 packed with a figurine of the Bronze Tiger character.
The 1970s-set film features a number of DC Comics’ martial arts themed characters teaming with Batman, including Bronze Tiger, who interestingly has an outfit very similar to the title character of Marvel’s “Luke Cage” Netflix series.
Walmart also had a Batman: Soul of the Dragon exclusive, in the form of a $14.96 DVD edition not available elsewhere, as the movie’s wide release was only on Blu-ray and 4K formats.