Sale on TVOD Platform movieSpree Part of Ultraman Day Celebration

Mill Creek Entertainment’s transactional streaming platform movieSpree will celebrate Ultraman Day July 10 with a sale on “Ultraman” titles as part of a multi-faceted celebration of the classic Japanese superhero.

Customers can add complete “Ultraman” series to their digital streaming library for $7.10 each at  movieSpree.com/Ultraman.

Series on sale include “Ultra Q”; “Ultraman”; “Ultraseven”; “Return of Ultraman”; “Ultraman Ace”; “Ultraman X”; “Ultraman Orb – The Origin Saga”; “Ultraman Orb”; and “Ultraman Geed.”

The TVOD service also offers an array of “Ultraman” movies, several of which include English dub tracks in addition to the original Japanese language audio that also features English subtitles. Exclusive “Ultraman” bundles are also available for customers to rent or own.

With apps now available on RokuApple TV / iOSAmazon Fire TV, and Android devices, movieSpree (movieSpree.com) is available without long-term contracts, subscription fees or advertisements. Setting up an account is free and as an added bonus, users can redeem a curated assortment of 100 films to add to their accounts free of charge.

The Birth of Ultraman Collection, containing some of the best episodes of the original “Ultraman” series, is also coming to Blu-ray July 10 from Mill Creek Entertainment at $25.99.

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The sale and Blu-ray release are just a part of this year’s celebration of the classic Japanese superhero July 10. The day will include a series of virtual activations and talks with the leaders behind the “Ultraman” revival live on Shu.Watch. Ultraman Day will also feature the launch of the official online Ultraman Galaxy Store, which will display exclusive collectible Ultraman merchandise featuring the poster artwork of Marvel’s Alex Ross cover created for the comic book The Rise of Ultraman #1, on sale this September.

Ultraman Day kicks off on Shu.Watch at 10 a.m. PST and will feature a slew of celebrities, special guests, live artwork, giveaways, unboxing videos and more as the world celebrates 54 years of “Ultraman.”

Ultraman, created by Eiji Tsuburaya, the father of the Japanese monster movie genre, was born on July 10, 1966, when Tsuburaya Productions broadcast a memorable stage event called “Ultraman Eve: The Birth of Ultraman,” which was filmed before a live audience in Tokyo. The following week, the TV series “Ultraman” aired on Japanese TV. With Ultraman’s recent return to North America, Ultraman is being honored with an all-day celebration sponsored by Tsuburaya Productions, Elevated Games and Mill Creek Entertainment. Also supporting the event is Ultraman Galaxy, the official North America Ultraman platform spearheaded by Tsuburaya, with support by The Licensing Group and Starlight Runner Entertainment. The Licensing Group Ltd represents Ultraman for licensing, while Starlight Runner is supervising the new creative in America across all media.

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Ultraman Day will feature the following events:

  • A four-hour live show, comprising a number of special events streaming on Shu.Watch, produced by Ultraman licensee Jaron Hinds, CEO of Elevated Games, creators of the new Ultraman: Kaiju Kombat video game.
  • Bin Furuya, well known as the first actor to portray Ultraman, will demonstrate the correct way to do the Spacium Beam, recognized around the world as Ultraman’s signature move.
  • There will also be conversations with Marvel Comics editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski, editor Tom Brevoort, and writers Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom, the team behind Marvel’s upcoming “The Rise of Ultraman” comic series launching in September; a chance to hear legendary toy manufacturer Marty Abrams of Mego Figures; contests, drawings, special merchandise, unboxing videos, and a sneak peak of the Beta Capsule.
  • Special guests will appear throughout the day, such as director of “Ultraman Z” Kiyotaka Taguchi and Koichi Sakamoto, director of “Ultra Galaxy Fight,” plus Ultraman actors Hiroko Sakurai, Susumu Kurobe and Bin Furuya.
  • The launch of the official North America Ultraman Galaxy Store, an opportunity for fans around North America to purchase exclusive Ultraman merchandise online. The store will offer July 10 products with special Ultraman designs and artwork available for a limited time.
  • A look at Mill Creek Entertainment’s The Birth of Ultraman on Blu-ray, which features the best episodes of the original “Ultraman” series, in Japanese with English dubbing, and the special and rare pre-premiere that took place July 10, 1966.

‘Gone With the Wind’ Discs Top Amazon’s Best-Seller List, Fetch Big Prices

In the wake of HBO Max pulling the film from its streaming service, Gone With the Wind has become the hottest title of the home video aftermarket.

By midday Friday, June 12, Gone With the Wind discs occupied the top four spots of Amazon’s list of best-sellers in the movies and TV category, as well as the No. 12 spot.

All of the copies are not offered directly from Amazon, but from third-party sellers using Amazon’s Marketplace service. Indeed, used and new DVD and Blu-ray copies of the film have been popping up on eBay in the $60 to $70 range, particularly a special Walmart re-release of the 70th anniversary edition in a new slipcover (which had an in-store price of $5 for the DVD and $7.50 for the Blu-ray). Used VHS copies of the film can be had for around five to 10 bucks.

The 1939 film made headlines this week when it was removed from HBO Max amid global anti-racism protests, after 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley criticized the film for romanticizing the pro-slave Confederacy and suggested temporarily removing it. HBO Max announced the film would return at some point accompanied by disclaimers and programming to put the film in its proper historical context.

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On Amazon, the No. 1 and No. 4 seller both appear to be the same 70th anniversary DVD released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment in 2009. One copy is listed from $133.99, the other from $82.95. The same edition is listed at $7.99 on Best Buy’s website but is sold out.

The version at No. 2 appears to be a U.K./Irish import of a 2014 75th anniversary Blu-ray starting at $35.99, while No. 3 is the U.S.-released four-disc 75th anniversary Blu-ray/DVD combo pack starting at $34.99, the most-recent anniversary edition released by Warner.

No. 12 is the 2009 Blu-ray, with several listings asking for around just over $100 with shipping included.

The film is also listed as sold out at the Barnes & Noble and Walmart websites. A search for the film at Target.com doesn’t bring up any results.

June 11, Mill Creek Entertainment’s movieSpree digital movie platform sent out a promotional email touting the availability on the service of the 1994 miniseries Scarlett, an adaptation of the novel that serves as a sequel to Gone With the Wind. Mill Creek’s movieSpree is selling the digital edition of the miniseries for $6.99. Scarlett was first released on DVD by Artisan in 2001, while Mill Creek has been selling it on DVD since 2017.

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Interestingly, the controversy over Gone With the Wind may have boosted other similarly themed programming. The No. 16 Amazon seller on Friday was Warner’s 2011 DVD boxed set of North and South, a collection of miniseries from 1985, 1986 and 1994 about friends who find themselves on the opposite sides of the U.S. Civil War.

Amazon’s No. 30 seller was a DVD bundle of the first three seasons of “The Dukes of Hazzard,” also from Warner. The 1978-85 series has been labeled as racially problematic in recent years because the iconic 1969 Dodge Charger featured on the show is called the General Lee and sports a Confederate battle flag on its roof. TV Land dropped reruns of the series from its schedule in 2015 owing to the show’s use of the flag. (The 2005 film version of Dukes of Hazzard spoofed the potential awkwardness of displaying the banner in a racially diverse state such as Georgia, where the show is set.)

Several DVD collections of Nickelodeon’s animated series “Paw Patrol” also appear on the Amazon best-seller list. The show, which depicts a group of rescue dogs as representing different emergency services, has reportedly been targeted by “Defund the Police” activists for being too pro-police. The most-recent DVD compilation was released June 2.

Amazon Movies & TV rankings from June 12, 2020

TVOD Service movieSpree Launches New Promotion With Free Content

Mill Creek Entertainment’s transcational VOD service movieSpree is mounting a new weekly promotion that offers free streaming content each weekend.

The first chapter of the epic miniseries Lonesome Dove will be available free of ads or interruptions with the complete series available to own at $4.99. The purchase includes all four chapters of the television series plus a 50-minute making-of bonus featurette.

Lonesome Dove is based upon the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Larry McMurtry. The epic of the Old West is the story of the last defiant frontiersmen, a daring cattle drive and an undying love. Winner of seven Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes including Best Miniseries, Lonesome Dove stars Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Diane Lane, Anjelica Huston and Danny Glover.

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The “SPREEview Weekend” will be a recurring event that will showcase content available on the site and provide consumers with a free viewing experience without ads or short-term trial periods.

Those who set up a movieSpree account will get the chance to redeem a curated assortment of 100 films free of charge. With apps available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, iOS and Android devices, movieSpree is available without long-term contracts, subscription fees or advertisements.

Tune into the “SPREEview Weekend” here.

MovieSpree TVOD Service Bows Sales on Animated Kids’ Series Including ‘Gigantosaurus’

MovieSpree, Mill Creek Entertainment’s transactional VOD service, is offering sales on several animated kids’ series to keep the little ones occupied while they stay at home.

On March 25, MovieSpree launched the complete first season of the animated kids’ series “Gigantosaurus,” on sale for $22.49 — 25% off of the regular price. In the series, young dinosaurs Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu are growing up in the Cretaceous period where life is always an adventure — new volcanoes are popping up all the time, the long-necked brachiosauruses and enormous triceratops roam free, meteor showers light up the night sky, and the big, fierce Gigantosaurus reigns over it all.

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“Liberty’s Kids”

Also on sale are several complete animated series at $2.99, including “Liberty’s Kids” (including all 40 episodes of the edutainment series), “Street Sharks,” “C.O.P.S.,” “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century,” “Archie’s Weird Mysteries” and “Horseland.”

‘Ultraman X’ and ‘Ultraman Ace’ Coming on Blu-ray This Spring From Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment is releasing to new titles on Blu-ray from the “Ultraman” superhero library for their North American debut.

“Ultraman X” will arrive on Blu-ray as both a complete series plus movie combo pack at $39.98 and a movie-only, stand-alone Blu-ray at $19.98 on April 21.

“Ultraman Ace” will come out in a steelbook at $49.98 while the complete series will also be available in standard Blu-ray packaging at $39.98 on May 12.

The first Ultraman series with an ongoing antagonist, “Ultraman Ace” premiered in 1972 and features all of the earlier Ultra Heroes — Ultraman, Ultraseven, Ultraman Jack and Zoffy — as recurring characters. The releases include all 52 half-hour episodes with DTS-HD Master Audio of the original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles. In this fifth entry in the Ultra Series, theinterdimensional alien Yapool launches a war against the Ultra Heroes for galactic domination. As the conflict spreads to Earth a new hero, Ultraman Ace, is tasked with protecting the planet from Yapool and his Terrible-Monsters, experimental beasts more powerful than ordinary monsters. Divided between his two human hosts’ personalities, Ace must learn to balance them and his superior energy powers as he battles alongside Earth’s Terrible-Monster Attacking Crew (TAC) and his fellow Ultramen to overcome these terrible new foes.

“Ultraman X” was originally released in 2015. When a massive “Ultra Flare” from the sun envelops the earth, Spark Dolls buried underground and undersea are turned into monsters. In order to deal with the sudden outbreak of marauding creatures, mankind forms Xio, a special defense team equipped with the latest in super-science. Then, 15 years later, Xio is engaged in battle against a monster when team member Daichi Ozora hears a mysterious voice say, “Unite! If you and I join together, you will fight that monster with one heart, one mind!” He agrees, merging with a giant of light to become Ultraman X. Also included with the complete, 25-episode series is the 2016 theatrical feature film Ultraman X: The Movie — Here He Comes! Our Ultraman. In the film, X is joined by his longtime ally Cyber Gomora and a team of Ultra Heroes (Ultraman, Ultraman Zero, Ultraman Max, Ultraman Victory, Ultraman Ginga, Ultraman Nexus and Ultraman Tiga) to stop the evil beast Zaigorg and a “powered up” army of classic monsters.

Digital redemption on Mill Creek Entertainment’s streaming service movieSpree is also included with each release.

‘Ultraman’ and ‘Ultra Q’ Japanese TV Series Available on TVOD Site movieSpree

The “Ultra Q” and “Ultraman” Japanese TV series are available to purchase or rent in high-definition on movieSpree, Mill Creek Entertainment’s transactional streaming site.

The purchase price is $29.99 each for the two series.

The original series “Ultra Q” was one of the most expensive TV series ever produced in Japan.  Originally airing in 1966, it spawned a revolution in “Ultra” content that has spawned series after series, as well as movies and merchandising created.

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The “Ultraman” television series of the 1960s and 1970s, produced by Tsuburaya Productions, built a worldwide audience for the property. Hailing from the distant Nebula M78, Ultraman is a sleek silvery being who protects Earth and the human race from an endless array of invading aliens and terrifying monsters together with the crew of the Earth-based defense force using advanced high-tech weapons and vehicles. Ultraman battles monsters that cause endless mayhem and destruction on Earth. With the ability to extend his height to over 150 feet, Ultraman melds with a human and only emerges in times of extreme danger to save people and the Earth.

Mill Creek’s movieSpree TVOD Service Launching ’31 Nights of Fright’ Promotion

Mill Creek Entertainment’s recently launched transactional VOD service movieSpree has launched the 31 Nights of Fright promotion in October, offering a free horror movie a day to stream without any interruptions, commitments or ads.

Also, the entire bundle of 31 movies can be added to a consumer’s movieSpree library for a discounted price of $10.31.

The horror lineup includes:

Oct. 1  Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Oct. 2  Attack of the Monsters

Oct. 3  House on Haunted Hill

Oct. 4  Zombie Shark

Oct. 5  Ghostquake

Oct. 6  Did I Kill My Mother?

Oct. 7  Status: Unknown

Oct. 8  The Atomic Brain

Oct. 9  Monsters from a Prehistoric Planet

Oct. 10 Vipers

Oct. 11 The Stranger Beside Me: The Ted Bundy Story

Oct. 12 Sisterhood of Murder

Oct. 13 The Clown at Midnight

Oct. 14 The Manster

Oct. 15 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (2007)

Oct. 16 Sudden Fury: A Family Torn Apart

Oct. 17 Attack of the Giant Leeches

Oct. 18 Ghost Shark

Oct. 19 Ghouls

Oct. 20 Eye of the Beast

Oct. 21 House of Bones

Oct. 22 House of the Living Dead

Oct. 23 Chrome Angels

Oct. 24 Silent Night, Bloody Night

Oct. 25 Santa Jaws

Oct. 26 Flora

Oct. 27 Gamera the Invincible

Oct. 28 Monsterwolf

Oct. 29 Arachnoquake

Oct. 30 Headless Horseman

Oct. 31 American Horror House

The movieSpree app is available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android devices or on the website.

Consumers also can buy the entire collection of horror flicks now at https://www.moviespree.com/series/31-nights-of-fright.

More ‘Ultraman’ Series Coming From Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment is releasing more series from the “Ultraman” superhero library recently licensed from Tsuburaya Productions for North American home entertainment distribution.

Due Nov. 17 are “Ultraman Orb” and “Ultraman Geed,” making their North American debut as Blu-ray combo packs that include the complete series and subsequent feature films that concluded each respective storyline ($39.98 each).

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On Dec. 10, the 1967 series “Ultraseven” will also be making its Blu-ray debut in limited edition steelbook packaging at $49.98 and as a standard Blu-ray release at $39.98.

“Ultraseven” is the third entry in the “Ultra” series. The show premiered in October of 1967 and appealed to a wider, adult audience with a greater emphasis placed on alien threats and social issues that were not as clear-cut as good and evil. The series questioned the actions of the Ultra Heroes as they fought against giant monsters and alien hordes bent on human domination.  The steelbook and standard Blu-ray releases will each contain 48 half-hour episodes with DTS-HD Master Audio of the original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles. Digital redemption will also be available via Mill Creek Entertainment’s streaming service, movieSpree.

“Ultraman Orb” was originally released in 2016 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Ultraman and the 20th anniversary of the franchise’s relaunch with “Ultraman Tiga.” The series stars Hideo Ishiguro as Gai Kurenai, who calls upon the power of previous Ultra Heroes via a device called the Orb Ring to fight Demon King Beasts released by the mysterious Jugglus Juggler after they were sealed away by Ultra Warriors long ago.  Also included with the complete, 25-episode series is the theatrical feature film Ultraman Orb: The Movie — Let Me Borrow the Power of Bonds!, in which the titular hero joins forces with Ultraman Zero and Ultraseven to rescue the “New Generation Heroes” Ultraman Ginga, Ultraman Victory and Ultraman X and prevent an unprecedented global crisis.

“Ultraman Geed” is the story of a young Ultra Warrior who carries the DNA of an infamous father, the evil Ultraman Belial, but fights his fate to become a hero of justice. The 25-episode series also includes the feature Ultraman Geed: The Movie — Connect the Wishes!, in which Earth is about to be swallowed up in the cyber subdimension and annihilated, but the power of “wishes” will cause Geed to undergo a further transformation and fight against an alien force threatening intelligent life across the universe.

‘Ultraman’ Library Licensed to Mill Creek and U.K.’s Indigo for North American Home Entertainment Distribution

Mill Creek Entertainment and the U.K.’s Indigo Entertainment have licensed the “Ultraman” superhero library from Tsuburaya Productions for North American home entertainment distribution.

Under the deal, Indigo, on behalf of Tsuburaya, with Mill Creek has both physical and digital distribution rights for the “Ultraman” catalog, which includes classic TV series newly remastered in high definition, recent theatrical feature films and “almost everything produced” throughout the last 50 years, according to Mill Creek.

Mill Creek Entertainment’s debut releases from this deal will be limited edition SteelBook and standard-packaged complete series releases of “Ultra Q” and “Ultraman” on Blu-ray Oct. 15. Each release will contain high definition video with DTS-HD Master Audio of the original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles.

Digital redemption will also be available via Mill Creek Entertainment’s streaming service, movieSpree, with a free 10-minute sample of the first episodes of “Ultra Q” and “Ultraman” available to watch now on the service.

The original series “Ultra Q” was one of the most expensive TV series ever produced in Japan.  Originally airing in 1966, it spawned a revolution in “Ultra” content that has seen the creation of many series, movies and merchandising.

The classic “Ultraman” live television series of the 1960s and 1970s, from Tsuburaya Productions, built a worldwide audience for the property. Hailing from the distant Nebula M78, Ultraman is a sleek silvery being who protects Earth and the human race from an endless array of invading aliens and terrifying monsters together with the crew of the Earth-based defense force using advanced high-tech weapons and vehicles. With the ability to extend his height to more than 150 feet, Ultraman melds with a human and only emerges in times of extreme danger to save people and the Earth.

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“These first two series are what kicked off the worldwide phenomenon of Ultraman,” said Jeff Hayne, VP of content acquisitions for Mill Creek, in a statement. “Ultraman’s success paved the way for other popular tokusatsu franchises including ‘Kamen Rider’ and ‘Super Sentai,’ which influenced the spawning of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ and ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.’”

“Ultra Q”

“We are excited to bring the Ultraman catalog to North American audiences through a multi-faceted release model spanning Blu-ray and DVD plus various TVOD, SVOD and AVOD digital outlets,” said Barrett Evans, VP of marketing for Mill Creek, in a statement. “In tandem with the classic series, we will also be releasing the more recent series and films to appease fans of both classic and modern Ultraman.”

“Ultraman is a revolution in television history — a landmark property and record-breaking global phenomenon. The original series heralded a new age of quality adventure and special effects for children’s entertainment.  Now, through Indigo’s unique relationship with Tsuburaya, we are delighted to be partnering with Mill Creek Entertainment in repositioning the legendary Ultraman for both new and old audiences alike,” said David Lawley, MD of Indigo Entertainment, in a statement.

“We are very excited about this partnership and the opportunity to reintroduce the Ultraman series, with over 50 years of history, to the people of North America. We hope that we shall rekindle memories of the fans that enjoyed the series in the 70s and 80s and at the same time nurture a new fan base for the younger generation,” said Kei Minamitani, GM, international business at Tsuburaya Productions, in a statement.

Mill Creek’s movieSpree Streaming Service Adds Titles, Docs

Mill Creek Entertainment’s recently-launched transaction-based streaming service movieSpree July 10 announced the addition of 17 titles, including 14 movies and three documentaries.

Titles include:

Imax Space Station
Tom Cruise narrates a fascinating look at the high-flying International Space Station where developing technologies make possible future voyages to Mars and provide solutions to earthbound problems.

NASA – A Journey Through Space
On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy pledged to send astronauts to the moon before the end of the decade. Eight years later, on July 20, 1969, Apollo commander Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module and made a giant leap for mankind – a step that symbolized one of the most remarkable feats in human history.

From that moment on, the exploration of our universe has achieved unimaginable feats with hundreds of missions stretching light years into the distant galaxy. This exciting documentary series takes you on the incredible journey of the past, present and future of NASA that shaped the 20th Century and will boldly go further in the 21st Century and beyond!

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“Forgotten Heroes – The Robert Hartsock Story” interweaves the story of Medal of Honor recipient Robert Hartsock with an overview of dog handlers in the Vietnam War.

This documentary carefully explains the major issues that America faced during this generally unpopular war. Despite a few negative elements related to the world of war, Robert Hartsock’s story is a shining example of courage and resolve in the face of certain defeat.

Ann Rule Presents: The Stranger Beside Me – The Ted Bundy Story

Ann Rule (Emmy and Golden Globe winner Barbara Hershey, Beaches) is an ex-cop working the suicide hotlines in Seattle. To make ends meet, she indulges in another obsession — writing true-crime stories. She has a daughter, a fulfilling life, and a good friend in a man named Ted Bundy (Golden Globe nominee Billy Campbell, Once and Again), a handsome and intelligent charmer who’s just been accepted into law school in Utah.

What’s captivating Ann’s attention now is a string of brutal murders—missing-women cases that have stretched from Utah to Seattle. It’s being called the most intriguing unsolved series of crimes since Jack the Ripper and she’s been offered the chance to turn her articles into a book. But the more she digs and uncovers, a dreadful and unavoidable truth is staring her directly in the face – her friend Ted.

Picasso Trigger
When agent Picasso Trigger is killed by arch-criminal Miguel Ortiz, the Agency decides to send a trio of female agents out with the task of bringing Ortiz down. Our agents must use all of their skills, specialized weaponry and their physical attributes in order to track down Trigger’s killer.

Savage Beach
Two female government agents transporting a vaccine are forced to land their plane on a remote island that houses more than palm trees and sandy beaches. A sunken WWII Japanese ship containing a fortune in gold is located nearby and the island is now the base for a nefarious group searching for it.

Shark-related documentaries:
Ghost Shark – 2013 – 87 min – Not Rated
Mississippi River Sharks – 2017 – 87 min – Not Rated
Ozark Sharks – 2016 – 87 min – Not Rated
Santa Jaws – 2018 – 88 min – Not Rated
Swamp Shark – 2011 – 89 min – Rated R
Zombie Shark – 2015 – 88 min – Not Rated
Alligator Alley – 2013 – 89 min – Not Rated

Disaster documentaries:
Tornado Warning – 2012 – 88 min – Not Rated
Judgement Day – 2010 – 95 min – Not Rated
Ghouls – 2008 – 91 min – R
Chrome Angels – 2009 – 94 min – Not Rated