Paramount Ups Q1 Home Entertainment Revenue 13%

Paramount Home Entertainment May 7 reported first-quarter (ended March 31) revenue of $174 million, which was up about 13% from revenue of $154 million in the previous-year period.

Home entertainment revenue was driven by the mix of titles in release and higher sales of catalog titles. Licensing revenue grew 18%, fueled by original studio productions for third parties, as well as the licensing of The Lovebirds to Netflix.

Paramount’s top-selling packaged-media release in 2020 thus far is the Will Smith actioner Gemini Man.

For the fourth-consecutive quarter, home entertainment sales topped theatrical revenue as box office sales reached $167 million, which was down 3% from revenue of $172 million last year. Despite strong results from Sonic the Hedgehog, revenue was more than offset by prior year quarter revenues, which included carryover performance from Bumblebee.

Paramount Ups Fiscal-Year 2019 Home Entertainment Revenue

It may be a subscription streaming video future, but sales of packaged and digital media remain strong for Paramount Home Entertainment.

The division generated $646 million in fiscal-2019 (ended Sept. 30) revenue, which was up almost 4% from revenue of $622 million during the previous-year period.

Domestic home entertainment revenue in the year surged 11% to $425 million, from $383 million the previous year. International sales dropped 8% to $221 million, from $240 million.

In the quarter, home entertainment revenue declined 3% to $153 million, from $158 million in the previous-year period. Domestic sales dropped 2% to $101 million, from $103 million. International sales dropped 4% to $52 million, compared with $54 million.

The top-selling Paramount title in the year was Bumblebee.

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Theatrical revenue plummeted 72% to $94 million, from $336 million the previous year. Domestic revenue fell 56% to $48 million, from $109 million. International sales dropped 80% to $46 million, compared with $230 million. The theatrical revenue declined reflected the comparison to Mission: Impossible — Fallout in the prior year.

Licensing revenue increased by 5% for the full year and 26% for the quarter, driven by growth in TV production. Ancillary revenue grew 33% for the full year, driven by higher licensing fees from international theme parks and a new music rights agreement

Paramount has delivered three straight years of year-over-year adjusted operating income improvement and achieved full year profitability for the first time in four years.

“It’s a testament to the strength of our strategy and content slate,” Viacom CEO Bob Bakish said in a statement.

Paramount Opens Movie Vault to Allied Vaughn

Paramount Home Media Distribution has inked a packaged-media deal with Allied Vaughn and its AVMOD distribution services.

“We have the [DVD/Blu-ray Disc] titles and they’re 100% ready to ship, just in time for Holiday sales,” Richard Skillman, VP, Allied Vaughn Entertainment, said in a statement.

Titles include:

Gung Ho 1986 When Michael Keaton persuades a Japanese auto firm to reopen his hometown’s defunct auto factory, he’s a hero. But when the Japanese hire him to enforce their policies among his American co-workers, he goes from hero to zero in seconds flat. Michael Keaton; Gedde Watanabe; George Wendt; Mimi Rogers; John Turturro; Rick Overton Comedy; Drama

Dead Man on Campus 1998 Tom Everett Scott and Mark-Paul Gosselaar are new roommates Josh and Cooper in this outrageous comedy that makes the grade. Josh is the studious type, while Cooper’s the nothing-succeeds-like-excess guy. Soon Cooper’s mantra rubs off on Josh, and they’re both in danger of flunking out. But there’s a catch: a clause in the school charter awards A’s to students who suffer the trauma of a roommate’s suicide. So Josh and Cooper set out to find a suicidal roomie who is, uh, Most Likely to Success. There’s no time to lose. This is a matter of life and death, and comedy. Featuring “How I Met Your Mother” stars Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel. Tom Everett Scott; Mark-Paul Gosselaar; Poppy Montgomery; Lochlyn Munro; Alyson Hannigan; Jason Segel Comedy

Ragtime 1981 This vivid, high-energy human tableau interweaves the lives and passions of a middle class, small town family against the scandal and events of a transitional America in 1906. Director Milos Forman and producer Dino De Laurentiis assembled an all-star cast-including legendary James Cagney- that brings the best-selling E.L. Doctorow novel to life in unforgettable fashion, with memorable music by composer/conductor Randy Newman. Ragtime is both a compelling story of human emotions and a reflection of the innocence, excitement and drama of that important time in the country’s history. Nominated for 8 Oscars and 7 Golden Globes, including Best Motion Picture (Drama). James Cagney; Moses Gunn; Elizabeth McGovern; Donald O’Connor; Mary Steenburge; Debbie Allen; Mandy Patinkin;Brad Dourif; Moses Gunn Drama; History

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Barbarella 1968 Barbarella is an interstellar space-traveler who crash lands on the planet Lythion in the year 40,000. Encountering trouble everywhere she goes, Barbarella uses every asset and every man at her disposal, to complete her mission to seek out and stop the evil Durand Durand. Whether she is wrestling with Black Guards, the evil Queen, or the angel Pygar (John Phillip Law) she just can’t seem to avoid losing at least a part of her skin-tight space suit! Jane Fonda; Marcel Marceau; John Phillip Law; Claude Dauphin; David Hemmings; Ugo Tognazzi Cult; Comedy; Adventure

Barbarella [Blu-ray] 1968 Barbarella is an interstellar space-traveler who crash lands on the planet Lythion in the year 40,000. Encountering trouble everywhere she goes, Barbarella uses every asset and every man at her disposal, to complete her mission to seek out and stop the evil Durand Durand. Whether she is wrestling with Black Guards, the evil Queen, or the angel Pygar (John Phillip Law) she just can’t seem to avoid losing at least a part of her skin-tight space suit! Jane Fonda; Marcel Marceau; John Phillip Law; Claude Dauphin; David Hemmings; Ugo Tognazzi Cult; Comedy; Adventure

Alfie 1966 Meet Alfie. He’s the ultimate Ladykillerwonderfully successful with women, yet rarely emotionally attached. All of that changes when he has a series of reversals that turn his life upside down. A classic film made even more famous by its title song, “Alfie,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, sung by Cher over the film’s closing credits in the US release. Michael Caine; Shelley Winters; Millicent Martin; Julia Foster Comedy; Drama

Best Defense 1984 If you’re out to build the ultimate Super Tank/Super Weapon, and you find out Dudley Moore has something to do with designing the missile guidance system, you’ve got to be concerned. Then, when you find out Eddie Murphy is going to test the tank in an actual combat situation, you ought to forget about it all together. Luckily for us, the government and Dynatechnics Incorporated don’t know Moore and Murphy like we do. And both comics are turned loose on a high tech, high touched adventure that sets modern warfare back a couple of hundred years. Dudley Moore; Eddie Murphy; Kate Capshaw; George Dzundza ; Helen Shaver Comedy

Delicate Delinquent, The 1957 The Dean Martin – Jerry Lewis comedy team may have called it quits, but that didn’t mean the laughs were over. Jerry’s first film without longtime partner Dino makes a hilarious case for law enfarcement! The nutty one stars as The Delicate Delinquent, a bumbling janitor who pals around with the switchblade set but decides to become a cop. Darren McGavin (A Christmas Story) co-stars as one of New York’s finest in this terrific blend of zaniness and social comment that’s one of Jerry Lewis’ finest. Jerry Lewis; Darren McGavin; Martha Hyer Classic; Comedy

Fat Man and Little Boy 1989 In the remote desert of New Mexico, “The Manhattan Project” is materializing the World War II effort to build the atomic bomb. Oscar-winner Paul Newman (Hud, Nobody’s Fool) stars as General Leslie Groves, the military man in charge of a massive project that will produce two weapons: “Fat Man” and “Little Boy”. Dwight Schultz (The Temp, Star Trek: First Contact) is J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant scientist attempting to bring the startling mission to fruition. And Bonnie Bedelia, John Cusack, Laura Dern and Natasha Richardson co-star in this “stunning profoundly moving” film (Michael Medved, Sneak Previews) that re-creates one of history’s most compelling chapters one that resulted in the mushroom-shaped specter that changed the world forever. Paul Newman; Laura Dern; John Cuasack; Dwight Schultz; Bonnie Bedelia; John C. McGinley; Natasha Richardson Biography; Drama; History

Hustle 1975 Everybody “hustles”-especially in Los Angeles where suicides, strip joints, shootouts, porno movies, the mob and murder combine into a collage. Caught in this web of modern reality is an old fashioned detective (Burt Reynolds). A moralist who still sees the difference between right and wrong, he can hardly reconcile himself to the ugliness of his job. By day he investigates a young girl’s suicide; at night he relaxes with Catherine Deneuve, a high-priced Paris call girl. Director Robert Aldrich elicits fine performances from Reynolds and Deneuve while his perceptive direction explains why they’re never quite able to escape the hustle they’re so uncomfortable with. Burt Reynolds; Ernest Borgnine; Eileen Brennan; Catherine Deneuve; Paul Winfield Crime; Drama; Mystery

Home Entertainment Divisions Change Names

Two of the five major studios have quietly changed the names of their home entertainment divisions.

Paramount Pictures is once again using Paramount Home Entertainment, after several years of operating as Paramount Home Media Distribution.

And Walt Disney Studios’ home entertainment arm is now known as Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International.

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Originally, studios used the “home video” moniker for their home entertainment units, but then the launch of DVD shifted consumer habits away from renting video cassettes at dedicated video rental stores. Instead, consumers were buying discs — priced low for initial sale, unlike VHS cassettes — at large mass merchants and consumer electronics stores such as Walmart and Best Buy.

Soon, “home video” divisions became “home entertainment” business units, in the belief that “video” was a throwback to the old mom-and-pop video stores, which were rapidly closing up as the business shifted. Even Blockbuster Video became Blockbuster Entertainment, while trade publication Video Store Magazine in 2004 became first Home Media Retailing and then Home Media Magazine.

Director John Singleton Movies Live On at Retail

Pioneering director John Singleton, who died April 29 at age 51 after suffering a stroke last week, was the first African American (and youngest) nominated for an Academy Award for 1991 seminal hit, Boyz in the Hood.

Filmed in South Central Los Angeles where Singleton grew up, the teen hood drama starred Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia Long, Regina King and Angela Bassett.

The movie, which was the acting debut for Ice Cube and Chestnut, was selected for preservation by the U.S. Library of Congress in the National Film Registry.

Singleton’s theatrical movies — spearheaded by 2 Fast 2 Furious in 2003 (Universal Pictures) — generated nearly $780 million in global ticket sales when adjusted for inflation.

2 Furious, sequel to original The Fast and the Furious (2001) was Singleton’s top-grossing international release — in addition to home entertainment seller.

The Universal Pictures Home Entertainment title featuring the late Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson, sold about $6 million combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc units, according to The-Numbers.com.

Other home video releases include Four Brothers, Baby Boy, Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, Abduction and Shaft.

Four Brothers, starring Mark Wahlberg, Gibson, Andre Benjamin and Garrett Hedlund, was released on disc by Warner Home Video in 2005.

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in 2012 released “The John Singleton 4-Movie Collection” combo pack on DVD featuring Higher Learning, Baby Boy, Boyz n the Hood and Poetic Justice.

Paramount Home Media Distribution released Singleton’s Shaft reboot, starring Samuel L. Jackson, in 2000 on DVD and later on Blu-ray Disc.

Paramount included the title in a 3-Pack titled “Samuel L. Jackson Ultimate Collection,” also featuring Coach Carter and Rules of Engagement.

Lionsgate released Abduction, starring Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins, on disc in 2012.

 John Singleton — Hollywood’s Best Film Directors from documentarian David Freydt is available on Amazon Prime Video.

‘Bumblebee,’ ‘Aquaman’ Remain Top Disc Sellers

A slate of newcomers had little luck displacing the top titles on the national sales charts the week ended April 13.

The top performing new release for the week was Sony Pictures’ A Dog’s Way Home, which debuted at No. 4 on both the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.

The top two titles on both charts remained the same from the prior week. Paramount’s Bumblebee took No. 1 and Warner’s Aquaman was No. 2.

Warner’s The Mule held onto the No. 3 spot on the overall sales chart but slipped to No. 7 on the Blu-ray chart.

No. 5 on the overall sales chart and No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart was Warner’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Rounding out the top five on the Blu-ray chart was Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, which was No. 6 overall.

A Dog’s Way Home, about a lost dog looking for her owner, earned $42 million at U.S. theaters.

Sony Pictures’ critically panned comedy Holmes & Watson debuted at No. 8 on the overall chart and No. 9 on the Blu-ray chart. The latest pairing of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly earned just $30.6 million at the domestic box office.

Two new releases from Universal also cracked the top 20 in their first week: On the Basis of Sex debuted at No. 15 (No. 17 on the Blu-ray chart) and Welcome to Marwen, the latest film from director Robert Zemeckis, came in at No. 20 (No. 14 on the Blu-ray chart).

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Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 45% of A Dog’s Way Home sales, compared with 54% for Holmes & Watson, 47% for On the Basis of Sex and 85% for Welcome to Marwen.

On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended April 14, Holmes & Watson debuted at No. 1, with The Mule at No. 2, Bumblebee at No. 3, Aquaman at No. 4 and A Dog’s Way Home at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 4-13-19
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 4-14-19
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 4-13-19
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 4-13-19
Sales Report for Week Ended 4-13-19
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 4-15-19

Final Season, Full Series Set of ‘Broad City’ Coming to DVD July 9 From Paramount

The fifth and final season and full series set of critically acclaimed series “Broad City” will arrive on DVD July 9 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.

Executive produced by Amy Poehler, “Broad City” stars series creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer​, as a pair navigating their 20s in New York. The show’s many guest stars have included Fred Armisen, Amy Sedaris, Seth Rogen, RuPaul, Kumail Nanjiani, Kelly Ripa, Jane Curtin, Fran Drescher, Amy Ryan, Aidy Bryant, Whoopi Goldberg, Cynthia Nixon, Seth Green, Tracee Ellis Ross, Hillary Clinton, Tony Danza and Wanda Sykes.​

“Broad City” season five will be available in a two-DVD set and “Broad City” The Complete Series will be available in an 11-DVD set, which includes an extra disc of special features.

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Season 1 (two discs) includes 10 episodes; outtakes and deleted scenes;  video commentary on select episodes; and a photo gallery. Season 2 (two discs) includes 10 episodes; outtakes and deleted scenes;  a pop-up enhanced episode; “Hack Into Broad City”; and “Body by Trey” videos. Season 3 includes 10 episodes; “Hack Into Broad City”; “Behind the Scenes with Broad City”;  deleted scenes; and NOMO FOMO, an art show about broads in the city. Season 4 (two discs) includes 10 episodes; “Hack Into Broad City”; “Behind Broad City”; and deleted and extended scenes. Season 5 (two discs) includes 10 episodes; “Hack Into Broad City”; and  outtakes and deleted/extended scenes. The complete series special features disc includes “Abbi & Ilana’s Broad City”; “Behind the Scenes,” which includes two set tours and two featurettes on the costumes; a fan surprise; “The Making of Season 5,” which includes three featurettes, one of which is exclusive to the DVD; and “A NYC Broad City Send-Off Fit for a Queen” exclusive to the DVD.

‘Bumblebee’ Transforms Into Top Disc Seller

Paramount Home Media Distribution’s Bumblebee debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended April 6.

The “Transformers” spinoff earned $127 million at the domestic box office.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Aquaman, the previous week’s top seller, slipped to No. 2 on both charts.

Another newcomer, Clint Eastwood’s The Mule, also from Warner, debuted at No. 3 on both charts.

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Rounding out the top five on both charts were Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse at No. 4 and Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns at No. 5.

Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 65% of first-week Bumblebee sales, with 14% of its overall tally from 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended April 7, The Mule edged out Bumblebee for the top spot. Aquaman slipped to No. 3.

Universal’s Second Act dropped to No. 4, while Spider-Verse settled for No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 4-6-19
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 4-7-19
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 4-6-19
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 4-6-19
Sales Report for Week Ended 4-6-19
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 4-8-19

‘Jack Ryan: Season One’ on Disc June 4

Paramount Home Media Entertainment will release Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan: Season One on Blu-ray and DVD June 4 (order date April 23).

The Amazon Prime Video original series stars John Krasinski as the CIA analyst from the Tom Clancy novels, who finds himself at the center of a search for a terrorist figurehead preparing to attack the United States. The cast also includes Wendell Pierce and Abbie Cornish.

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The two-disc Blu-ray and three-disc DVD sets include all eight episodes from the first season, plus exclusive deleted scenes.

Amazon has renewed the series for a second and third season.

 

‘Bumblebee’ Screenwriter Relished Chance to Put a Woman in the Driver’s Seat

A girl and her car are at the center of the “Transformers” reboot Bumblebee, available now on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc and digital from Paramount Home Media Entertainment.

And that’s just as screenwriter Christina Hodson intended.

“As soon as I got the call about working within the ‘Transformers’ franchise I knew I wanted to tell a female-driven story,” she said in an interview with Media Play News on the Paramount lot.

It’s something that blockbuster action franchises rarely feature.

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“Honestly, it’s more about the big picture for me; it’s just about seeing girls in these kinds of roles,” she said. “I think we haven’t seen it often enough. We see so many movies where we just take for granted that it’s the boy or the man that’s at the lead going on the adventure.…  It’s wonderful to just introduce into the world a new spin on that, to see a woman — forgive me — at the steering wheel.”

She based the character of Charlie on her two nieces. One is neither a “girly-girl” nor a “tomboy,” but “something in between” like Charlie, she said. Another has a special relationship with her dad that inspired Charlie’s.

Hodson said she wants more women to get into screenwriting to provide more balance.

“The numbers are crazy, and we’ve got to work on fixing them, and the one thing that I can say — knowing a lot of the female screenwriters of my generation — is we are bringing more women up with us,” she said. “That’s very much our goal.”

To talk about Bumblebee, editor-in-chief Stephanie Prange visited the Paramount lot to learn about the sound effects and more:

She also talked to screenwriter Hodson about the need for more girl power in the movies. Here is the full interview: