The latest catalog title to get a special Best Buy Steelbook exclusive Blu-ray is Universal’s 1995 family film Casper.
The film, a live-action version of the “Casper the Friendly Ghost” cartoons, is offered at Best Buy as a 25th anniversary Steelbook Blu-ray edition at $14.99. The movie version stars Christina Ricci and Bull Pullman.
Otherwise, the DVD and Blu-ray sections at the major retailers are starting to see some neglect as the pandemic wears on, simultaneously upping the profile of digital delivery while limiting the number of blockbuster new releases hitting shelves. A Target store in Tustin, Calif., hadn’t even bothered putting the new Aug. 11 titles on shelves as of late afternoon Tuesday.
In a pandemic environment that limits the number of major new disc releases making their way to shelves, Best Buy continues to fall back on its tried-and-true exclusive Steelbook editions.
For Aug. 4, Best Buy offered 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack Steelbook editions of Warner’s Inception at $24.99 and The Town at $29.99.
Best Buy is also taking preorders for many upcoming titles, including Steelbook editions of Universal’s Oct. 20 4K release of the Back to the Future Trilogy at $69.99, and Warner’s Sept. 1 4K release of The Goonies at $29.99.
Among other promotions during the week, Best Buy is holding a sale on select anime Blu-rays, and also offers select 4K Blu-ray movies at $9.99, including Lionsgate’s Anna, Ex Machina and Hacksaw Ridge.
Best Buy July 28 began selling a new Steelbook edition of 2017’s Wonder Woman. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment was likely planned as a promotional tie-in to its sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, which was originally slated to come out this summer but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and is now tentatively slated for October.
The new Wonder Woman Steelbook is priced at $29.99.
Best Buy’s latest exclusive Steelbook arrived July 21 in the form of the re-release of the 1960 Stanley Kubrick-directed Spartacus. The consumer electronics retailer offered a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack in Steelbook packaging for $19.99.
The big new release of July 21, Warner’s Scoob!, didn’t have any major exclusives at the big three retailers, but did have a few tie-in promotions.
Walmart offered a DVD double feature of Scoob! with the previously released animated direct-to-video movie Scooby-Doo! and the Gourmet Ghost for $22.96.
Target offered 20% off select “Scooby-Doo!” titles.
Not much arrived in the way of new releases July 14, though stores did offer a couple of promotions on home entertainment.
Best Buy, whose stores began reopening to onsite shoppers last month, released a new exclusive Steelbook edition of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Bloodshot. The film has otherwise been available on disc since May.
And Target through Aug. 1 began a buy-one, get-50%-off-another sale on DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies. The discount doesn’t apply to new releases or preorders, mirroring efforts by home entertainment marketers at the major studios to focus on catalog titles, which are climbing due to the lack of fresh new theatrical product.
Shoppers receive a promo code on their receipt good that can be redeemed for the free trial. Qualifying products include TVs, streaming media players, tablets, video games, gaming consoles, DVD and Blu-ray movies and mobile accessories.
The promo code must be redeemed by Aug. 28. To access the free trial, consumers must provide a valid credit card as well, which will be automatically charged the $14.99 monthly fee at the conclusion of the trial period unless the subscription is canceled prior to the renewal date.
Meanwhile, Target continues to offer “Stranger Things” on Blu-ray at ever-declining discounts.
The first two seasons of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” are available on Blu-ray exclusively from the chain. Three years after the set of the first season hit shelves, it remains a prominent fixture of Target’s DVD displays.
The past few weeks, Target has been selling the “Stranger Things” season one Blu-ray for as low as $3. Its original price in 2017 was $24.99.
Best Buy continues to target collectors with its home entertainment offerings as its stores reopen.
The chain is taking preorders its exclusive $34.99 Trolls World Tour 4K Ultra HD Steelbook Blu-ray combo pack due July 7. In addition, any Blu-ray version of Trolls World Tour purchased at Best Buy allows the consumer to access to a digital copy of the movie now.
Best Buy also touted select 4K movies at two for $30 or $12.99 each.
Best Buy locations have been emerging from the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns and reopening stores to the public beyond curbside deliveries and online shipping. Social distancing protocols, though, mean limited floor capacities, resulting in lines to get in — a not uncommon site at the retailers that remained open during the pandemic.
Elsewhere on the home entertainment front, June 23 didn’t bring much to freshen up new-release shelves at most of the major retail chains, once again resulting in discounts on catalog product.
At Target, where the new-release shelves at many stores have been suffering from neglect, the big promotion was 20% off recently released movies.
Without much in the way of theatrical films heading to DVD, Best Buy June 2 offered a slew of catalog movies in new Steelbook Blu-ray editions.
The three selections come from Universal Pictures: a 40th anniversary Flash Gordon Blu-ray Steelbook at $14.99, a 45th anniversary Jaws 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook at $24.99, and a 25th anniversary Apollo 13 4K Steelbook at $19.99.
Best Buy did have an exclusive edition of one new release during the week: a $34.99 Blu-ray Steelbook of HBO’s Watchmen limited series.
The “Top Deals” section for home video at Best Buy’s website touted Father’s Day sales, with a “Get Dad in the action” banner promoting a sale on action movies. The site also offered savings on select Disney-distributed movies for dad. Ford vs Ferrari made both lists.