Merchandising: Best Buy Celebrates 25th Anniversary of ‘Casper’ With Steelbook

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.

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While Target hasn’t offered much in the way of DVD deals lately, it does have 20% off select books and 25% off vinyl records with the purchase of another record.

Merchandising: Best Buy Brings Out ‘Inception,’ ‘Town’ Steelbooks

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’s ‘The Town’ 4K Steelbook

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.

Best Buy’s ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy 4K Steelbook
Best Buy’s ‘The Goonies’ 4K Steelbook

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.

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Merchandising: Best Buy Selling New ‘Wonder Woman’ Steelbook

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.

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Best Buy is also taking preorders for its 4K Ultra HD Steelbook collector’s set of the complete series of “Game of Thrones” at $239.99. The release date is Nov. 3.

Merchandising: ‘Spartacus’ Steelbook Available at Best Buy

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.

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Merchandising: Best Buy Offers ‘Bloodshot’ Steelbook

Best Buy’s ‘Bloodshot’ Steelbook

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.

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Merchandising: ‘Trolls World Tour’ Dances to Shelves

After weeks of thin selection of new releases at stores, Universal’s Trolls World Tour hit disc July 7, with each of the big three retailers offering an exclusive edition.

Best Buy had its typical 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook combo pack, priced at $32.99

Best Buy’s ‘Trolls World Tour’ Steelbook

Target offered the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack with a 40-page “The Art of Trolls World Tour” filmmaker gallery book for $26.99.

Target’s ‘Trolls World Tour’ Blu-ray with gallery book

And Walmart offered the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack as a gift set with pack-in Funko Pop keychains for $27.96.

Walmart’s ‘Trolls World Tour’ gift set with keychains

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Merchandising: Best Buy Offers Free HBO Max Trial

Best Buy is offering a free 30-day trial subscription to the new HBO Max streaming service with the purchase of a qualifying 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.

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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.





Merchandising: Best Buy Targets Collectors

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.

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Best Buy’s ‘Trolls World Tour’ Steelbook

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.



Merchandising: Heading Into Summer Sales

As the lineup of major new releases slows to a crawl as a result of movies being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, stores are left with inventories of catalog titles to hold those shelf spots.

Best Buy continued its Father’s Day promotions, such as $9.99 Blu-rays, $14.99 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, buy-one-get-one on select Blu-rays, and two-for-$20 Blu-ray deals.

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Target, meanwhile, had a general buy two, get one free sale on all entertainment media, including movies, video games, books and music.

Walmart had an actual exclusive disc: a $24.96 two-pack containing a Vudu code for a Scoob! digital copy with a DVD and digital copy of Scooby-Doo! and the Gourmet Ghost.

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Merchandising: Best Buy Unveils Catalog Steelbooks, Dad’s Day Promos

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.

‘Flash Gordon’ Blu-ray Steelbook
‘Jaws’ 4K Steelbook
‘Apollo 13’ 4K Steelbook

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.

‘Watchmen’ Steelbook

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.

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Walmart has the exclusive early availability of Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues & You DVD, with episodes from the interactive preschool series, offered at $9.96.