‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Limited Edition Blu-ray Due Nov. 24 From Paramount

Sonic the Hedgehog will come out on limited edition Blu-ray combo pack (with digital and DVD) Nov. 24 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The family film based on the video game character follows the incredibly speedy Sonic the Hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz), aka The Blue Blur, who embraces his new home on Earth. That is, until he accidentally knocks out the power grid and sparks the attention of evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). It’s super-villain vs. super-sonic in an all-out race across the globe to stop Robotnik from using his unique power for world domination. Sonic teams up with The Donut Lord, aka Sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), to save the plane.

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Bonus features include four mini-posters; commentary by director Jeff Fowler and Schwartz; “Around the World in 80 Seconds,” Sonic’s next adventure; deleted scenes; bloopers; the “Speed Me Up” music video; “For the Love of Sonic,” in which Carrey and the cast discuss what Sonic the Hedgehog means to them; “Building Robotnik with Jim Carrey”; “The Blue Blur: Origins of Sonic”; and “Sonic On Set,” a set visit with Schwartz.

Comedy ‘Spontaneous’ Due on DVD Nov. 10 From Paramount

The satirical comedy Spontaneous will be available on DVD Nov. 10 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The film is available now on digital.

The film stars Katherine Langford (“Cursed,” “13 Reasons Why”), Charlie Plummer (“Looking for Alaska,” Words on Bathroom Walls), Yvonne Orji (“Insecure,” Night School), and Hayley Law (“Altered Carbon,” “Riverdale”), with Rob Huebel (“Transparent”) and Piper Perabo (“Penny Dreadful: City of Angels”).

In the film, when students in their high school begin inexplicably exploding (literally), seniors Mara (Langford) and Dylan (Plummer) struggle to survive in a world where each moment may be their last. As an unexpected romance blossoms between them, Mara and Dylan discover that when tomorrow is no longer promised, they can finally start living for today.

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‘South Park: The Pandemic Special’ Tops Newcomers on ‘Watched at Home’ Chart; ‘Ava’ Remains No. 1

Comedy Central’s South Park: The Pandemic Special was the top new release on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart, coming in at No. 13 the week ended Oct. 3.

The standalone hourlong special, which satirizes society’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, aired Sept. 30 on Comedy Central and became available on HBO Max and other online sources the next day. The special is technically the start of the show’s 24th season, although additional episodes have not yet been scheduled.

The No. 1 title on the chart for a second consecutive week was Ava, a thriller from Vertical Entertainment that stars Jessica Chastain as an assassin. The movie is also available to rent on disc exclusively from Redbox. However, the Watched at Home chart, which tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc) compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, does not account for rental data.

The rest of the top 20 wasn’t much different from the previous week.

No. 2 was Lionsgate’s The Secret: Dare to Dream, which moved up one spot from the previous week.

The three seasons of Paramount’s drama series “Yellowstone” continued to occupy the top 10, with the third season at No. 3, the first season at No. 5, and the second season at No. 6.

No. 4 was Disney’s Hocus Pocus, climbing eight spots as Halloween-themed titles begin to assert themselves during October. Always a top seller around Halloween time, the 1993 film about three Salem witches who are resurrected in modern times was given a boost this year by a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray re-release.

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Likewise, Warner’s 1988 spooky comedy Beetlejuice returned to the list at No. 11 after a few weeks off the list, which it was on a few weeks ago after its own 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release.

And Disney’s 1993 animated fantasy The Nightmare Before Christmas joined the list for the first time at No. 16.

  1. Ava (Vertical)
  2. The Secret: Dare to Dream (Lionsgate)
  3. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  4. Hocus Pocus (Disney)
  5. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  6. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  7. Alone (Magnolia)
  8. Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  9. Rick and Morty: Season 4 (Warner)
  10. The Tax Collector (RLJ Entertainment)
  11. Beetlejuice (Warner)
  12. Trolls World Tour (Universal/DreamWorks)
  13. South Park: The Pandemic Special (Paramount/Comedy Central)
  14. Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs (Lionsgate)
  15. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Warner)
  16. The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney)
  17. Outlander: Season 5 (Sony Pictures)
  18. The King of Staten Island (Universal)
  19. The Silencing (Lionsgate)
  20. Sonic the Hedgehog (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 Oct. 3.

Thriller ‘Spell’ Coming to PVOD and Digital Oct. 30

The horror thriller Spell will be released on PVOD and digital Oct. 30, in time for Halloween, from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The film will also be released in select theaters.

Omari Hardwick (“Power,” Sorry to Bother You), Loretta Devine (“Black-ish,” Crash) and John Beasley (The Sum of All FearsThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) star.

In the film, while flying to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia, an intense storm causes Marquis (Hardwick) to lose control of the plane carrying him and his family. He awakens wounded, alone and trapped in Ms. Eloise’s (Devine) attic, who claims she can nurse him back to health with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to outwit and break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.

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‘The Silencing,’ ‘Welcome to Sudden Death’ Top Slate of New Disc, Digital Releases

Lionsgate’s The Silencing and Universal Pictures’ Welcome to Sudden Death top the slate of new disc and digital releases available Sept. 29.

Also newly available, on Blu-ray Disc and DVD: Shout! Factory’s 20th anniversary edition of children’s classic Thomas and the Magic Railroad;  10-movie Illumination Films, Focus and Blumhouse collections from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment;  and Season One of “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels,” from Paramount Home Entertainment (also available through digital retailers).

The Silencing stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”) as a reformed hunter, and Annabelle Wallis as a sheriff, who are caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse when they set out to track a killer who may have kidnapped the hunter’s daughter five years earlier. The cast also includes Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Zahn McClarnon and Melanie Scrofano.

The film, available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, was released through VOD Aug. 14.

Welcome to Sudden Death, a remake of the 1995 Jean-Claude Van Damme action film, was directed by Dallas Jackson and becomes available on DVD only, as well as through digital retailers. The film centers on Jesse Freeman (Michael Jai White), a former special forces officer and explosives expert now working a regular job as a security guard in a high-tech basketball arena. When terrorists kidnap the team’s owner and Jesse’s daughter during opening night, it’s up to Jesse to save them.

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Thomas and the Magic Railroad is a 2000 British-American fantasy adventure based on the popular TV series “Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends,” which in turn is based on The Railway Series books by the Rev. W. Awdry. The movie stars Alec Baldwin (as Mr. Conductor), Peter Fonda, Mara Wilson, Didi Conn, Russell Means, Cody McMains, Michael E. Rodgers, and Eddie Glen as the voice of Thomas.

“Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” is a dark fantasy TV series set in Los Angeles during 1938. A spinoff of the British-American horror drama TV series “Penny Dreadful,” the series revolves around two police detectives investigating a gruesome murder who face off against demons, racial tension and Nazi conspiracies. The series premiered in April and in August was canceled after one season.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

‘Collateral’ Traveling to 4K Ultra HD Dec. 8

Director Michael Mann’s thriller Collateral arrives in a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo  Dec. 8 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Remastered under the supervision of the director, the new 4K Ultra HD presentation features HDR. The Blu-ray in the combo pack is also remastered.

The film stars Tom Cruise as Vincent, a cool, calculating contract killer at the top of his game. Jamie Foxx received an Academy Award nomination* for his portrayal of Max, a cabbie with big dreams and little to show for it.  Max transports Vincent on his next job — one night, five stops, five hits and a getaway. And after the fateful night, neither man will ever be the same.

Collateral was released theatrically in 2004 and racked up a domestic gross of $101 million, with a worldwide take of nearly $217 million.

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The 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo includes access to a digital copy of the film, as well as the following previously released bonus content: commentary by director Michael Mann;  “City of Night: The Making of Collateral”;  “Special Delivery”; a deleted Scene with commentary; “Shooting on Location: Annie’s Office”; “Tom Cruise & Jamie Foxx Rehearse”; and “Visual FX: MTA Train.”

‘Outlander: Season 5’ Jumps to No. 1 on ‘Watched at Home’ Chart

The fifth season of the fantasy TV series “Outlander,” distributed by Sony Pictures, was the top title on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart for the week ended Sept. 19.

The Blu-ray and DVD edition of the season arrived in stores Sept. 15.

Also new to the list at No. 7 is the anime movie Weathering With You, released on Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 15 by Shout! Factory.

No. 12 saw the debut of Lionsgate’s The Secret: Dare to Dream, which became available for digital sellthrough Sept. 15. Based on the 2006 self-help book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, the movie stars Katie Holmes as a widowed mother of three who meets a handyman (Josh Lucas) who inspires her with the power of positive thinking.

The other new release on the list, at No. 15, is Magnolia Pictures’ Alone, a thriller about a recently widowed woman who flees the city only to be kidnapped by a strange man and held captive in his cabin.

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The three seasons of Paramount’s drama series “Yellowstone,” which the previous week took the top three spots, dropped to second, third and fourth on the “Watched at Home” chart, which tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc) compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. Season three was No. 2, followed by season two then season one.

Warner’s eight-film “Harry Potter” collection rounded out the top five.

The Sept. 18 death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspired viewers to revisit two 2018 films about her: the documentary RBG, from Magnolia, at No. 10, and the biopic On the Basis of Sex, from Universal, at No. 16. In the latter, Felicity Jones plays a younger Ginsberg making a name for herself as a civil rights attorney.

  1. Outlander: Season 5 (Sony Pictures)
  2. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  3. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  4. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  5. Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  6. The Tax Collector (RLJ Entertainment)
  7. Weathering With You (Shout! Factory)
  8. Trolls World Tour (Universal/DreamWorks)
  9. The King of Staten Island (Universal)
  10. RBG (Magnolia)
  11. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Warner)
  12. The Secret: Dare to Dream (Lionsgate)
  13. Irresistible (2020, Universal)
  14. Hocus Pocus (Disney)
  15. Alone (Magnolia)
  16. On the Basis of Sex (Universal)
  17. Guest House (Lionsgate)
  18. The Silencing (2020, Lionsgate)
  19. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Warner)
  20. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Warner)

 

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 Sept. 19.

Eddie Murphy Classics Coming to Disc and Digital From Paramount

The Eddie Murphy classics Coming to America and Beverly Hills Cop will come out on 4K Ultra HD disc, and Trading Places and The Golden Child will come out on Blu-ray, Dec. 1 from Paramount Home Entertainment in anticipation of the debut of Coming 2 America.

All four films will also be available digitally.

Newly remastered in 4K with HDR from a supervised restoration by director John Landis, Coming to America will be available for the first time on 4K Ultra HD with digital copy in a limited-edition 4K Ultra HD Steelbook with themed mini-poster, or on 4K Ultra HD digital. Murphy stars as an African prince trying to find a princess. The mission leads him and his most loyal friend (Arsenio Hall) to Queens, New York.  In disguise as an impoverished immigrant, the pampered prince quickly finds himself a new job, new friends, new digs, new enemies and lots of trouble. Extras (previously released) include the following previously released special features in HD: “Prince-ipal Photography: The Coming Together of America”; “Fit for Akeem: The Costumes of Coming to America”; “Character Building: The Many Faces of Rick Baker”; “Composing America: The Musical Talents of Nile Rodgers”; “A Vintage Sit-Down with Eddie & Arsenio”; the theatrical trailer and photo gallery.

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Beverly Hills Cop has been remastered in 4K with HDR and will be available in a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack with digital copy and is available now on 4K Ultra HD digital. Murphy plays Axel Foley, a street-smart cop from Detroit. Tracking down his best friend’s killer in Beverly Hills, Axel smashes through the local barriers in a hilarious, high-speed pursuit of justice. The 4K combo includes the following previously released special features: commentary by director Martin Brest, “Beverly Hills Cop — The Phenomenon Begins” (SD); “A Glimpse Inside the Casting Process” (SD); “The Music of Beverly Hills Cop” (SD); deleted scenes (HD); behind-the-scenes featurettes incorporating vintage 1984 interviews (HD); an isolated audio track of the original score by Harold Faltermeyer; “BHC Mixtape ‘84”, which allows viewers to go directly to the scenes featuring the hit songs “The Heat Is On,” “Neutron Dance,” “New Attitude,” “Stir It Up,” “Do You Really” and “Nasty Girl”; a location map; and the theatrical trailer (HD).

Newly remastered from a 4K film transfer supervised by director John Landis, Trading Places will come out on a limited-edition “Paramount Presents” Blu-ray Disc presented in collectible packaging that includes a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments.  The film will also be available on 4K Ultra HD digital. In Trading Places, the very rich and extremely greedy Duke Brothers (Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy) wager over whether “born-loser” Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy) could become as successful as the priggish Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Akroyd) if circumstances were reversed. Alongside the street-smarts of Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis), Winthorpe and Valentine are a trio ready for a revenge that culminates on the commodities trading floor in New York City. The “Paramount” Presents Blu-ray includes a new “Filmmaker Focus” with John Landis and access to a digital copy of the film, as well as the following previously released bonus content: deleted scenes; “Insider Trading: The Making of Trading Places”; “Dressing the Part”; “The Trade in Trading Places”; trading stories; an industry promotional piece; and the theatrical trailer.

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Newly remastered from a 4K film transfer under the supervision of director Michael Ritchie, The Golden Child comes to Blu-ray for the first time as part of the “Paramount Presents” line. The limited-edition Blu-ray Disc is presented in collectible packaging that includes a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments. The film will also be available on 4K Ultra HD digital. In the film, Murphy is the Chosen One, a social worker on a madcap mission to find the Golden Child, a young boy possessing mystical powers. Joined by Kee Nang (Charlotte Lewis), they battle the countless henchmen of Sardo Numspa (Charles Dance), the mysterious and evil cult leader holding the boy captive. The “Paramount Presents” Blu-ray includes a new featurette on the making of The Golden Child, as well as access to a digital copy of the film and the theatrical trailer.

ViacomCBS CEO: ‘Paramount+’ Rebranding Gives New Life to Studio

ViacomCBS’s move to rebrand subscription streaming video service CBS All Access to Paramount+ in 2021 could be the spark that returns the famed Paramount Pictures studio to global prominence, CEO Bob Bakish told an investor event.

Speaking Sept. 15 during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, Bakish said the Paramount name resonates globally, giving the rebooted CBS All Access service greater appeal as it is supersized for worldwide access to compete against Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

“It’s a brand with a history of innovation, it’s over a century old, and a legacy of producing great content,” Bakish said. “It’s a brand that has always brought people together to enjoy the entertainment experience. Importantly, it’s a brand that also leverages ViacomCBS’s global position with near universal brand recognition. The fact is consumers all over the world know the Paramount brand, and they love it. So it’s a natural choice for us.”

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Indeed, Paramount could use the jolt. The studio is the fifth-oldest in the world, the second-oldest in the U.S. after Universal Pictures, and the only major still headquartered in Los Angeles. In addition to select “Transformers” movies, the studio’s biggest franchise (six movies) in recent years has been “Mission: Impossible” with Tom Cruise, generating a combined $3.6 billion at the global box office. The studio has also fared well with Sonic the Hedgehog, A Quiet Place and television production of “Yellowstone,” starring Kevin Costner.

“It is really the beginning of an exciting new chapter for one of the most storied brands in Hollywood,” Bakish said.

CBS All Access Rebranding as ‘Paramount+’ in 2021

ViacomCBS Sept. 15 announced that its pending global streaming video platform will be called “Paramount+” and take over CBS All Access in early 2021 as part of the service’s expansion to feature content from ViacomCBS’s portfolio of broadcast, news, sports and entertainment brands. ViacomCBS will also bring Paramount+ to international markets with an initial debut in AustraliaLatin America and the Nordics in 2021.

“Paramount is an iconic and storied brand beloved by consumers all over the world, and it is synonymous with quality, integrity and world-class storytelling,” Bob Bakish, CEO of ViacomCBS, said in a statement. “With Paramount+, we’re excited to establish one global streaming brand in the broad-pay segment that will draw on the sheer breadth and depth of the ViacomCBS portfolio to offer an extraordinary collection of content for everyone to enjoy.”

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Upon launch, Paramount+ will feature several original series, including “The Offer,” a scripted limited event series from Paramount Television Studios, based on Oscar-winning producer Al Ruddy’s never-revealed experiences of making The Godfather. The 10-episode event series is written and executive produced by Michael Tolkin (“Escape at Dannemora” and “The Player”). Ruddy will also serve as executive producer, and Emmy-winning producer Leslie Greif (“Hatfields & McCoys”) will executive produce and be a writer on the series.

“Lioness” is a spy drama created by Taylor Sheridan (“Yellowstone”) with Sheridan, Jill WagnerDavid GlasserDavid Hutkin, and Bob Yari set to executive produce. Based on a real-life CIA program, the series follows a young Marine recruited to befriend the daughter of a terrorist to bring the organization down from within. The series is produced by Paramount Network and 101 Studios.

The platform will also offer a reimagination of the Emmy-nominated series “Behind the Music,” titled “MTV’s Behind the Music — The Top 40,” which will look at the 40 biggest artists of all time, through their voices and their eyes. The series will be produced by Creature Films and MTV Studios.

“The Real Criminal Minds” is a true crime docuseries based on the long-running CBS television series “Criminal Minds,” and produced by XG Productions in association with CBS Television Studios and ABC Signature.

The service is also developing a revival of “The Game,” as part of BET’s programming on Paramount+ from CBS Television Studios and Grammnet Productions.

The new series join the Paramount’s previously announced plans for “Kamp Koral,” an original children’s series from Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” franchise, and the service’s role as the exclusive SVOD home to The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run in early 2021. Additional new original content will be announced ahead of launch.

This programming will join CBS All Access’ existing offering of more than 20,000 episodes and movies from BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and more, as well as exclusive original series including “The Good Fight,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Tooning Out The News,” “No Activity,” “Why Women Kill,” “Interrogation,” “The Thomas John Experience” and “Tell Me a Story,” as well as upcoming series “The Stand,”” The Man Who Fell to Earth,” “The Harper House,” and “Guilty Party.” The service is also the exclusive domestic home to “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Star Trek: Picard,” the animated series “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” and the upcoming U.S.S. Enterprise-set series “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.”

Since the transformation of CBS All Access began in late July, the service has experienced significant growth and engagement. With the addition of a mix of content, including UEFA soccer, “Big Brother Live Feeds,” “Star Trek: Lower Decks” and more than 3,500 episodes from across ViacomCBS brands, the service broke a record for total monthly streams in August and experienced one of its best months ever in terms of new subscriber sign-ups. In addition, the average age of new subscribers in August was measurably younger than the service’s overall average subscriber age, due in large part to the addition of UEFA and the newly added content from various ViacomCBS brands.

Leading up to the early 2021 rebrand to Paramount+, CBS All Access will expand its content offering to more than 30,000 episodes and movies and continue to develop additional original series across brands including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and more, transforming it into a diversified super service for the ViacomCBS portfolio.

“The response from consumers in just the early weeks of the service’s expansion already illustrates the tremendous opportunity ahead of us in bringing these phenomenal ViacomCBS brands together in one premium streaming home under the new Paramount+ name,” said chief digital officer Marc DeBevoise. “With the addition of even more content from across the portfolio as well as the new exclusive originals we are announcing today, we look forward to the early 2021 rebrand and bringing existing and new subscribers more of the compelling, genre-spanning live sports, breaking news and mountain of entertainment ViacomCBS has to offer.”