Blu-ray Disc, DVD Releases Spur Viewership of ‘Birds of Prey’, ‘Call of the Wild’, ‘Fantasy Island’

Home viewership for Warner Bros.’ Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, 20th Century Fox’s The Call of the Wild, and Sony Pictures’ Fantasy Island soared after the three films were released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on May 12.

Birds of Prey, a superhero sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad, shot to No. 1 on the “Watched at Home” chart for the week ended May 16, up from No. 8 the prior week.

The Call of the Wild, an adventure film starring Harrison Ford and based on the classic Jack London novel, soared to No. 4 from No. 13 on the chart, which tracks transactional video activity compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

And Fantasy Island, a Blumhouse Productions horror film starring Michael Peña and scream queen Lucy Hale, debuted at No. 6 in the wake of its May 12 release on disc.

Also new to the weekly chart is Universal Pictures’ The Invisible Man, which debuted at No. 14 after it became available for digital purchase through retailers such as Redbox on Demand, FandangoNow, Amazon Prime Video and Google Play.

The film, about a woman stalked by her “invisible,” and supposedly dead, boyfriend, had initially been released to home audiences in mid-March, when movie theaters went dark due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, at a premium VOD price of $19.99. Consumers can now buy it for $14.99.

Follow us HERE on Instagram

Sony Pictures’ Bloodshot, a superhero film based on the Valiant Comics character of the same name, slipped to No. 2 on the “Watched at Home” chart from No. 1 the prior week.

Another Sony Pictures film, Bad Boys for Life, dropped a notch to No. 3 from No. 2, with Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog rounding out the top five after finishing at No. 3 the prior week.

  1. Birds of Prey (Warner)
  2. Bloodshot (Sony)
  3. Bad Boys for Life (Sony)
  4. The Call of the Wild (Fox, 2020)
  5. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)
  6. Fantasy Island (Sony)
  7. I Still Believe (Lionsgate)
  8. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony)
  9. The Gentlemen (STX/Universal, 2019)
  10. 1917 (Universal)
  11. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
  12. Dolittle (Universal)
  13. Little Women (Sony, 2019)
  14. The Invisible Man (Universal, 2020)
  15. Knives Out (Lionsgate)
  16. Rick and Morty Season 4 (Warner)
  17. Gretel & Hansel (Warner)
  18. Underwater (Fox)
  19. Ford v Ferrari (Fox)
  20. Yellowstone Season 2 (Paramount)

 

Source: DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Includes U.S. digital sales, digital rentals, and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD sales for the week ended May 16

 

‘Fantasy Island’ Unrated Edition Traveling to Digital April 14, Disc May 12

The horror adaptation Fantasy Island will emerge on digital April 14 and Blu-ray and DVD May 12 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

A Blumhouse horror reimagining of the TV show, Fantasy Island follows the enigmatic Mr. Roarke (Michael Peña) who makes the secret dreams of his lucky guests come  true  at  a  luxurious  but  remote  tropical  resort. When the fantasies turn into nightmares, the guests have to solve the island’s mystery in order to escape with their lives.

The film also stars Maggie Q, Lucy Hale and Michael Rooker.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Blu-ray, DVD and digital special features include deleted scenes, unrated and theatrical versions of the movie, unrated commentary by director Jeff Wadlow and the cast (on the unrated version only).

Season One of ‘Narcos: Mexico’ Due on DVD May 12 From Lionsgate

Season one of “Narcos: Mexico” arrives on DVD May 12 from Lionsgate.

Set in 1980s Mexico during the rise of the Guadalajara Cartel, “Narcos: Mexico” is the follow-up to the “Narcos” series (both of which stream on Netflix), with new characters and a new storyline that shifts the action from 1970s Colombia. The series explores the origin of the modern war on drugs and the violent reality of marijuana in Mexico.

Co-created by Chris Brancato (TV’s “Godfather of Harlem”), Carlo Bernard, and Doug Miro (The Great Wall, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Uninvited), “Narcos: Mexico” season one stars Michael Peña, Diego Luna, Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Alyssa Diaz, Matt Letscher, Joaquín Cosío, and Alejandro Edda.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In the series, in his quest to build a drug empire in the 1980s, Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (Luna) takes the helm of the Guadalajara Cartel, unifying traffickers. Meanwhile, DEA Agent Kiki Camarena (Peña) moves his wife and young son from California to Guadalajara to take on a new post. As Camarena gathers intelligence on Félix and becomes more entangled in his mission, a tragic chain of events unfolds, affecting the drug trade — and the war against it — for years to come.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold

BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Paramount;
Family Adventure;
Box Office $60.48 million;
$25.99 DVD, $31.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG’ for action and some impolite humor.
Stars Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Peña, Eva Longoria, Jeff Wahlberg, Nicholas Coombe, Madeleine Madden, Temuera Morrison, Adriana Barraza, Benicio del Toro, Danny Trejo.

It would be easy to assume that a movie based on Nickelodeon’s long-running animated “Dora the Explorer” TV series might be just another sappy, dumbed-down diversion aimed at kids. But in the hands of director James Bobin, Dora and the Lost City of Gold turns out to be a charming, fun adventure that all ages can enjoy, not just fans of the TV series.

Bobin, who has already demonstrated his deft touch with similar material as director of the two most recent “Muppets” movies, and screenwriters Nicholas Stoller and Matthew Robinson bring a slightly subversive sensibility that honors the concept while poking fun at it at the same time.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The cartoon, of course, dealt with the adventures of 7-year-old Dora, her monkey sidekick, Boots, and her cousin, Diego, as they talk and sing to the audience to solve puzzles and learn new facts about the world. And the movie jumps right in with a live-action version of the “Dora” theme that sets up the movie as providing more of the same. But it turns out Dora and Diego are just imaginative youngsters who live in the South American jungle with Dora’s parents (Michael Peña and Eva Longoria), a pair of professors researching ancient civilizations.

After Diego moves away to Los Angeles with his parents, Dora is left to explore on her own, and the movie cuts to 10 years later, with the 16-year-old Dora (Isabela Moner) running through the jungle as if nothing has changed (though, in a bit of meta-humor, she now live-streams her adventures as a means of talking to her audience). As her parents prepare to embark on a search for a lost city, Dora is sent to live with Diego in L.A., much to her chagrin.

Having spent 10 years in the city, Diego is now a more-or-less normal kid trying to survive high school, while Dora continues to be Dora.

The movie mines Dora’s fish-out-of-water adjustments to high school for some good laughs, as she is basically the cartoon character dropped into the real world. The tone brings to mind The Brady Bunch Movie in the way the humor stems from the juxtaposition of the central characters living in their own little world for regular reality to react to.

Things take a turn, however, as Dora, Diego and some of their fellow high schoolers are kidnapped by mercenaries who want to find the same city of gold that Dora’s parents are seeking, putting Dora back in her element and turning the tables on the students who were making fun of her for survivalist skills.

The kids quickly escape into the jungle and set off to find the legendary city and Dora’s parents on their own, pursued by the bad guys, who are aided by Swiper the Fox, lest any of his fans worry he would be left out of the action.

From here the film takes on the vibe of a junior “Indiana Jones” adventure, while also taking some cues from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, in terms of putting the ensemble into unusual situations.

In addition to the opening sequence, the film’s most direct nod to the cartoon version comes in the form of a clever sequence in which the characters are exposed to jungle spores that make them hallucinate an animated world. The making of this playful scene is the subject of a four-minute featurette on the Blu-ray.

The behind-the-scenes material is pretty standard as far as these things go, with plenty of interviews from the cast and filmmakers. The nine-minute “All About Dora” features the talented Moner offering her insights on playing the character as a teenager. “Can You Say Pelicula?” is a four-and-a-half-minute examination of some of the stunts as well as the comedic sensibilities of Eugenio Derbez. A four-minute “Dora’s Jungle House” video offers a lot of details about Dora’s parents’ house that aren’t readily apparent from the movie.

The latter should please fans looking to live in this world a bit more, as will more than 13 minutes of deleted scenes, extended sequences and alternate takes.

The Blu-ray also includes an amusing two-minute blooper reel.

Ant-Man and The Wasp

BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Street Date 10/16/18;
Disney/Marvel;
Action;
Box Office $216.42 million;
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $39.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for for some sci-fi action violence.
Stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas.

The 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe arrived in a somewhat awkward position for the franchise. Coming off the dire circumstances of Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers more of the lighthearted, fun romp first served up in 2015’s Ant-Man. It’s certainly a shift in tone for dedicated Marvel watchers, but also serves as a satisfactory palate cleanser for the despair that “Avengers” movie dished out.

Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man wasn’t in Infinity War, and this movie delves into what he was up to as Thanos was preparing to battle the rest of the Avengers. Under house arrest as a result of the events of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang (Rudd) is once again recruited by the father-daughter science whiz team of Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne (Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly), who are now fugitives because Lang used their shrinking technology to help Captain America fight Iron Man.

Hank needs Scott’s help to locate his wife, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) in the quantum realm, where she vanished 30 years ago after going too microscopic to return. Hope, meanwhile, has become The Wasp, fulfilling the setup from the first film for her to don a shrinking suit of her own.

However, their efforts have attracted some unwanted attention in the form of a criminal (Walton Goggins) who wants to get his hands on their technology, and a girl (Hannah John-Kamen) who needs energy from the quantum realm to reverse the effects of an accident that is causing her to phase out of existence.

Scott, meanwhile, has to avoid getting caught by the authorities by making sure he’s back home before they stop by for an inspection, lest he be sent back to prison for 20 years.

Director Peyton Reed takes advantage of the size-shifting premise to present both some very funny gags and some inventive action sequences. Reed says in an introduction to the film and his feature-length commentary that one of his main goals on the sequel was to really take advantage of the different perspectives that shrinking and growing can offer, much more than he did in the first film.

The film also sets up how Rudd will make his way into the fourth “Avengers” film, leaving even more clues with which fans can speculate about how the whole Thanos saga will be resolved next year.

For the here and now, though, the Ant-Man and The Wasp Blu-ray includes more than 20 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes with some good insights about establishing the characters in this new story, plus how the production design team mixed practical and CG effects to create sets and sequences that immerse the viewer into a world where the scale of everyday items is often out of whack.

The Blu-ray also includes two deleted scenes running about a minute each, which are interesting on their own but weren’t essential to the overall story. Then there are about four minutes of gag reels, including a minute of Stan Lee’s outtakes trying different lines for his cameo.

The digital editions include an exclusive eight-minute retrospective on the concept artists of the now 10-year-old MCU, plus a minute-long commercial for a company at the center of one of the film’s key running gags. Vudu also offers a two-and-a-half-minute featurette about Reed.