Audrey Hepburn Seven-Film Collection Coming to Blu-ray Oct. 5

The Audrey Hepburn seven-film collection will come out on Blu-ray Disc Oct. 5 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which was originally released on Oct. 5, 1961, this collection includes Hepburn in My Fair Lady, Funny Face, Sabrina, Roman Holiday, Paris When It Sizzles, War and Peace and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  The collection also includes access to digital copies of each film and legacy bonus content.

Based on Truman Capote’s best-selling novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s made an indelible impact on movies, fashion and society. In director Blake Edwards’ timeless classic, Hepburn’s New York party girl Holly Golightly embarks on an entertaining, comedic adventure to find love in the big city.

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Winner of eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, My Fair Lady also won the Best Picture — Musical/Comedy Golden Globe and was selected for the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. Adapted from the Broadway stage hit, the film stars Rex Harrison as Professor Higgins, a role that earned him the Oscar for Best Actor, and Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle.

Set against the backdrop of the timeless City of Lights, Funny Face stars the Hepburn as a bookstore clerk turned modeling sensation and Fred Astaire as the photographer who discovers her. Funny Face was the only pairing of the two stars and remains a love letter to Paris in the 1950s.

Humphrey Bogart and William Holden are the mega-rich Larrabee brothers of Long Island, New York in Sabrina. They have little in common, except that they’ve both taken notice of a beautiful, sophisticated young woman, possessing a delightful zest for living, suddenly in their midst — Sabrina Fairchild (Hepburn).

Hepburn lights up the screen in her first starring role opposite the charismatic Gregory Peck in the romantic comedy Roman Holiday. Ranked as the No. 4 greatest love story of all time by the American Film Institute, it earned 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and won the Best Actress award for Hepburn, Best Costume Design for legendary designer Edith Head and Best Writing for Dalton Trumbo.

Hepburn reunites with William Holden in the romantic comedy Paris When It Sizzles, making its Blu-ray debut. Hepburn is Gabrielle Simpson, the captivating young assistant to screenwriter Richard Benson (Holden), who has three days to finish his movie. Together, they write and revise a romance/mystery as they envision themselves in the lead roles.

Tolstoy’s literary masterpiece War and Peace comes to life in this epic of international conflict, spectacular adventure, gripping intrigue and tragic romance set against the sweeping backdrop of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. Directed by King Vidor, the film stars Hepburn, Henry Fonda and Mel Ferrer.

Parrot Analytics: Netflix Share of Streaming Business Sinks to Record Lows

As Netflix prepares to announce its latest earnings, Parrot Analytics data released early on July 20 suggests the streaming giant’s share of digital original audience demand during the second quarter of this year sunk to record lows, dropping to 48.3% globally and just 46% in the United States.

This is the first quarter Parrot has ever measured in which Netflix’s digital original demand share slipped below 50% globally, the research company reported. The 48.3% share is down from 50.1% in Q1 2021, and down from 54.9% Q2 2020.

Meanwhile, Disney+ grew its share from 6.0% to 7.3% globally on the back of its original Marvel content.

Netflix’s 46% U.S. share is also a record low for a quarter, representing a 2.1% drop from Q1 2021 and a 5.3% drop from Q2 2020.

Disney+ grew its audience share from 7.0% to 8.1% in the U.S. thanks to the success of Marvel hits “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “Loki.”

“These latest numbers follow a steady trend of shrinking dominance for Netflix in the industry, that was spurred on by the launches of Disney+ and Apple TV+ in November 2019,” Parrot stated. “These platforms, along with HBO Max, Paramount+ and more, continue to establish themselves with consumers and grow their subscriptions numbers by releasing highly in-demand original content. Netflix has struggled to push out breakthrough original content in the last few quarters — with the exception of season three of ‘Cobra Kai’ — and likely won’t have another massive original hit until Q4 with season two of ‘The Witcher.'”

The Parrot report concludes, “Netflix is still the global leader in the streaming space, but its lack of new hit original programming and the increased competition from other streamers is going to ultimately have a negative impact on subscriber growth and retention.”

‘Crocodile Dundee’ Trilogy Due on Blu-ray Sept. 21 for 35th Anniversary

The “Crocodile Dundee” trilogy will come out on Blu-ray (plus digital) Sept. 21 from Paramount Home Entertainment for its 35th anniversary.

Originally released on Sept. 26, 1986, Crocodile Dundee, featuring Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee (Paul Hogan), the eccentric Australian crocodile hunter, earned more than $328 million worldwide and spawned two sequels: Crocodile Dundee II and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. 

Crocodile Dundee was the No. 1 comedy at the U.S. box office in 1986, surpassed overall only by Top Gun in ticket sales. In the film, Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee (Hogan) is a free spirited Australian who hunts crocodiles with his bare hands, stares down giant water buffaloes, and drinks mere mortals under the table. But he’s about to face the ultimate torture test — a trip to New York City. The Blu-ray also includes the theatrical trailer in HD.

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In 1988’s Crocodile Dundee II, just as the eccentric Australian is starting to adjust to life in New York City, Dundee (Hogan) and his girlfriend (Linda Kozlowski) are targeted by a gang of ruthless drug dealers. Dundee evens the odds by leading the big-city hoods into the treacherous Australian outback. The Blu-ray includes a previously released behind-the-scenes featurette in standard definition and the theatrical trailer in HD.

In 2001’s Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Hogan returns in the third installment of the film series, making its Blu-ray debut.  The disc also includes a previously released “making of” featurette and the theatrical trailer in standard-definition.

Kurt Russell Thriller ‘Breakdown’ Traveling to Blu-ray Sept. 21 as Part of ‘Paramount Presents’ Line

The 1997 Kurt Russell thriller Breakdown will travel to Blu-ray as part of the “Paramount Presents” line on Sept. 21 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Featuring a director-approved remaster from a new 4K film scan, the film is presented in a limited-edition Blu-ray Disc with collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments.

In Breakdown, Russell is Jeff Taylor, headed toward a new life in California with his wife Amy (Kathleen Quinlan). When their car dies on a remote highway, a seemingly helpful trucker (J.T. Walsh) offers Amy a ride to the local diner while Jeff waits with the car. Then Jeff discovers his vehicle was deliberately tampered with, and by the time he gets to the next town, his worst fears are about to come true.

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The Blu-ray includes new bonus content, including a look at the never-before-seen alternate opening, a new “Filmmaker Focus” with director Jonathan Mostow, commentary by Mostow and Russell, a featurette with actress Kathleen Quinlan, an isolated track of Basil Poledouris’ score, and access to a digital copy of the film.

Keanu Reeves Sports Film ‘Hardball’ Hitting Blu-ray Sept. 21 for Its 20th Anniversary

The sports drama Hardball, starring Keanu Reeves and Diane Lane, will arrive on Blu-ray for the first time Sept. 21 from Paramount Home Entertainment for its 20th anniversary.

Directed by Brian Robbins, the film follows Conor O’Neill (Reeves), a down-on-his-luck gambler in debt to dangerous loan sharks. Desperate for cash, Conor reluctantly takes a job coaching a youth baseball team, a ragtag group of tough-talking kids from Chicago’s inner city. Secretly, Conor plans to desert the team after he wins a big bet. The kids need someone to believe in, and as Conor wrestles with his past, they start to teach him some lessons that will forever change his future — that responsibility and trust must be earned and hope can appear in the most unlikely places.

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The cast also include John Hawkes, D.B. Sweeney and Michael B. Jordan in one of his first film roles.

The Blu-ray includes the legacy bonus content, including commentary by Robbins and writer John Gatins; “The Making of Hardball”; deleted scenes; the music video “Hardball” by Lil’ Bow Wow, Lil’ Wayne, Lil’ Zane and Sammie; interstitials; and the theatrical trailer.

‘A Quiet Place Part II’ Coming to Digital July 13, Disc July 27

The thriller sequel A Quiet Place Part II will debut on digital July 13 and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray and DVD July 27 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

In the sequel, written and directed by John Krasinski, following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.

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Special features include Krasinski on the set of the new film as he details the cast and crew’s work in a video director’s diary; information about the secrets of the monstrous invaders; an explanation of the two-film character arc of daughter Regan; a breakdown of the marina scene; and exploration of the visual effects and sound design.

The 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Discs also include a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, and the 4K Ultra HD disc features Dolby Vision.

The  two-movie collection will also be available to buy exclusively on digital or Blu-ray with bonus content on both films.

Paramount, CBS Celebrating 55th Anniversary of ‘Star Trek’ With New Blu-ray, 4K Releases

To celebrate the 55th anniversary of the “Star Trek” franchise, Paramount Home Entertainment Sept. 7 will release a new Blu-ray Steelbook collection of the original series, as well as a boxed set of the first four “Trek” movies on 4K Ultra HD for the first time.

The first episode of the original “Star Trek” series aired Sept. 8, 1966. The sci-fi adventure chronicled the adventures of the starship Enterprise in the 23rd Century and starred William Shatner as Capt. James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, and DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy.

CBS Home Entertainment is re-releasing the remastered Blu-ray editions of the show’s three seasons (1966-69) in collectible Steelbook packaging. The 20-disc Star Trek: The Original Series — The Complete Series set also includes nine hours of cast and crew interviews, commentaries, documentaries and archival materials.

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Meanwhile, Paramount is releasing the new Star Trek: The Original 4-Movie Collection boxed set containing 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray versions of 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, 1984’s Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and 1986’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Newly remastered from original elements, each film is presented with Dolby Vision and HDR 10. The set also comes with a digital copy of each film, and a regular Blu-ray copy of each film with hours of previously released bonus content.

Each of the original four “Star Trek” films will also be available individually on Blu-ray.

In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the U.S.S. Enterprise boldly debuted on the big screen with the cast of the original “Star Trek” series, including Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig and James Doohan. When an unidentified alien intruder threatens Earth, Kirk returns to duty in command of a newly transformed U.S.S. Enterprise. This is the original theatrical cut and features Jerry Goldsmith’s iconic overture.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan includes both the original theatrical and director’s cuts. In the film, on routine training maneuvers, Admiral Kirk seems resigned that this may be the last space mission of his career. But an adversary from the past has returned with a vengeance. Aided by his exiled band of genetic supermen, Khan (Ricardo Montalbán) — brilliant renegade of 20th century Earth — has raided Space Station Regula One, stolen the top-secret device called Project Genesis, wrested control of another Federation starship, and now schemes to set a most deadly trap for his old enemy Kirk.

In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Kirk’s defeat of Khan and the creation of the Genesis planet are empty victories. Spock is dead and McCoy is inexplicably being driven insane. Then a surprise visit by Spock’s father provides a startling revelation: McCoy is harboring Spock’s living essence. Kirk attempts to steal the U.S.S. Enterprise and defy Starfleet’s Genesis planet quarantine to search for his friend, but the Klingons are planning a deadly rendezvous.

In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, when a mysterious alien power threatens the atmosphere of Earth in the 23rd century, Kirk and his crew must time travel back to 1986 San Francisco to save mankind. Exploring this strange new world, they encounter punk rock, pizza and exact-change buses that are as alien as anything in the far reaches of the galaxy.

To mark the 35th anniversary of Star Trek IV, Fathom Events will bring the film to select movie theaters nationwide on Thursday, Aug. 19, and Sunday, Aug. 22, with 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. local screening times. This special 35th anniversary screening will also include the featurette “Three Picture Saga,” which traces the unofficial “Star Trek Trilogy” storyline that begins in Star Trek II, continues in Star Trek III and concludes in Star Trek IV. A list of participating cinemas and tickets are available at www.fathomevents.com.

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In addition, Paramount and the Paramount+ streaming service have announced that a full restoration of Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director’s Edition is underway.

To meet its release date in December 1979, the filmmakers behind Star Trek: The Motion Picture were famously behind schedule in completing post-production work, preventing director Robert Wise from fine-tuning the final cut. Later, a television version added scenes back in, but some containing unfinished visual effects.

In 2001, Wise was given the chance to re-edit the film and replace several visual effects shots for a DVD director’s edition, but the final master was completed in standard-definition.

Thus, the restored version of the director’s edition will be prepared in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision high dynamic range and a new Dolby Atmos soundtrack. The restoration will be overseen by producer David C. Fein, restoration supervisor Mike Matessino and visual effects supervisor Daren R. Dochterman, all of whom worked previously with Wise, who died in 2005.

The restoration is expected to take six to eight months and is expected to launch in 2022 with an exclusive window on Paramount+.

New App Aids in Streaming Movie Search, Discovery

A new app called Picticular promises to help movie fans easily and conveniently find films currently streaming on all platforms as well as upcoming releases. The app also offers recommendations and, in the future, will allow movie ticket sales.

Similarly to a dating app, users can either swipe right or left to accept or reject film choices as suggested by the app’s proprietary AI technology.

Conceived in 2018 and co-founded by serial entrepreneur Todd Courtney, pioneering Google senior executive Marcel Van Lohuizen and former iHeartMedia executive Lasse Hamre, Picticular says its advantage is its laser focus on films and how to easily access them — either on a streaming platform for immediate viewing or for marketing purposes for a new film.

“We’re all film enthusiasts and there were countless times when I just gave up on my search for a film,” Courtney said. “There had to be a better and more convenient way to access films, particularly with the growing universe of streaming platforms. With Picticular, the fun of discovery begins while the frustration ends.”

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Beyond the ability to easily find films on streaming platforms, Picticular also offers:

    • Immediate accessibility of content: Users can click on films in the app and can immediately begin viewing the film on the streaming platform’s app;
    • Friend matching: App allows friends to privately share selections with each other;
    • Ticket purchasing: Moviegoers can soon purchase theater tickets directly from the app;
    • Entertainment news: Movie fans will receive celebrity and entertainment news updates;
    • Recommendations: With proprietary AI technology, the app will provide film suggestions to the user, based on previous selections.

 

Picticular also has established relationships with Hollywood. Most recently, Saban Films, which releases around 30 films per year through Paramount or Lionsgate, has been using the app since last December. For the Mel Gibson film Fatman, Picticular captured comprehensive user data and the trailer had nearly two million views.

“As a studio executive, the benefits are significant,” said Jonathan Saba, SVP of distribution and marketing for Saban Films. “For example, Picticular’s private swiping feed ensures an impulsive decision around each film that ultimately provides us with invaluable data. The app allows for full visibility of past or current films with a critical monetization model and branding opportunities.”

Nickelodeon’s ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark? — Curse of the Shadows’ Due on DVD Aug. 10

Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? — Curse of the Shadows, a follow-up to 2019’s reimagined limited series horror anthology, will come out on DVD Aug. 10 from Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon Home Entertainment.

Based on the ‘90s kids’ cult classic and featuring a  new story, the second season includes six hour-long episodes that follow an all-new group of kids as they tell the tale of a curse that has been cast over their small seaside town, haunted by a villain named the Shadowman. After their leader goes missing, it’s up to the remaining members of the Midnight Society to break the curse and free the Shadowman’s victims, before they too disappear into the shadows.

The members of the newest chapter of the Midnight Society are: Luke, played by Bryce Gheisar (Wonder, Nickelodeon’s “The Astronauts”); Jai, played by Arjun Athalye; Hanna, played by Beatrice Kitsos (Child’s Play); Gabby, played by Malia Baker (“The Baby-Sitters Club”); Seth, played by Dominic Mariche (The Christmas Yule Blog); and Connor, played by Parker Queenan (“Party of Five”). The Shadowman is played by Kyle Strauts (“Flora & Ulysses”).

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Are You Afraid of the Dark? — Curse of the Shadows episodes include “The Tale of the Haunted Woods,” “The Tale of the Night Frights,” “The Tale of the Phantom Light,” “The Tale of the Danse Macabre,” “The Tale of the Midnight Magic” and “The Tale of the Darkhouse.”

Richard Dreyfuss Film ‘Crime Story’ Available for Rental Aug. 13 From Saban and Paramount

Crime Story, starring Academy Award winners Richard Dreyfuss (The Goodbye Girl, Jaws) and Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite, Mimic), will open in select theaters and for digital rental Aug. 13 from Saban Films and Paramount Home Entertainment.

In the film, a man suffering from cancer seeks revenge on the thieves who have destroyed his life.

When ex-mob boss Ben Myers (Dreyfuss) is targeted in a home robbery, he goes on a deadly rampage of vengeance. But with his family caught in the cross hairs, Myers must finally face the consequences of his dark past in this action-packed crime thriller.

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