Flurry of New Films, Including ‘Spell,’ ‘Come Play,’ ‘Skylines’ and Animated ‘Batman: Soul of the Dragon’ Debuting Jan. 12 on Digital, Disc

A batch of new movies, including Paramount Home Entertainment’s Spell and Jungleland and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Ammonite and Come Play, top the slate of new disc and digital releases available Jan. 12.

Also new in stores are Skylines and two other new films from Lionsgate and several animated cartoon compilations and movies, including Warner Bros.’ Batman: Soul of the Dragon, which is making its digital debut two weeks prior to its release on disc.

Spell, available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, stars Omari Hardwick as a man flying his family to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia. He loses control of the plane in an intense storm and awakens alone, wounded, and trapped in the attic of a woman who claims she can nurse him back to health with a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin.

Jungleland, a DVD-only release, is a buddy film from Vertical Entertainment that stars Charlie Hunnam, Jack O’Connell and Jessica Barden. The film was released Nov. 10 on premium VOD and for digital purchase — four days after its theatrical debut, in a limited release. Directed and co-written by Max Winkler, Jungleland follows two brothers struggling to stay relevant in the underground world of bare-knuckle boxing, and facing danger when one of them falls into debt with a crime boss.

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Ammonite, about a passionate and all-consuming love affair that changes the lives of two 19th century women, becomes available Jan. 12 through digital retailers and on demand, as well as on Blu-ray Disc and DVD.  The film, written and directed by Francis Lee (God’s Own Country), stars Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.

Come Play makes its digital debut Jan. 12, two weeks ahead of its Blu-ray Disc and DVD release. The supernatural thriller is about a young boy who relies on his cell phone and tablet for companionship. He befriends a strange and sinister non-human creature; when the mysterious creature uses the devices to break into our world, his parents must fight to save their son.

The three new releases from Lionsgate include Skylines, the third and final installment in the science-fiction “Skyline” trilogy. Directed by Liam O’Donnell, the film stars Lindsey Morgan and Rhona Mitra and was initially released last December by Vertical Entertainment in theaters and on Apple TV. It is now available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD as well as through digital retailers such as FandangoNow and Redbox On Demand. The film details the battle between defenders from Earth and invaders from the moon.

Also out from Lionsgate, on DVD and digital only, are the crime thriller American Dream,  about two entrepreneurs (Luke Bracey and Michiel Huisman) who wind up beholden to a Russian mobster (Nick Stahl), and Parallel, another Vertical Entertainment release, starring Kathleen Quinlan, in which a group of friends stumble upon a mirror that serves as a portal to a “multiverse,” but soon discover that importing knowledge from the other side in order to better their lives brings increasingly dangerous consequences.

Also available on Jan. 12 is the crime thriller Coming From Insanity, which home viewers can rent or purchase from digital retailers or watch on demand. The Level 33 Entertainment release follows Kossi, one of many children trafficked and sold into servitude in Nigeria.

Warner’s Batman: Soul of the Dragon, the 41st film in the DC Universe series of animated movies, arrives on digital sellthrough Jan. 12 ahead of its Jan. 26 release on Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. The Elseworlds tale is set in the 1970s and finds Bruce Wayne in martial arts training alongside other students under a master sensei to confront a deadly menace. Batman, joins forces with Richard Dragon, Ben Turner and Lady Shiva, and their mentor O-Sensei, to battle the monsters of this world and beyond.

Also on the cartoon front, Paramount Home Entertainment is out with Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Twelfth Season on DVD only. In the 12th season, Gary tries out a new pair of legs to keep up with SpongeBob and Plankton and practice ruling the world in SpongeBob’s aquarium.

Cartoon fans also may be interested in Mill Creek Entertainment’s release of Ultraman Taro: The Complete Series  on Blu-ray Disc as both a special edition Steelbook and in standard packaging. It’s the North American debut of the series, which has never been broadcast on TV or available on any home entertainment format.

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

Comedy ‘She’s the Man’ Arriving on Blu-ray March 2 for 15th Anniversary

The Amanda Bynes comedy She’s the Man will arrive on Blu-ray for the first time March 2, from Paramount Home Entertainment for its 15th anniversary.

In addition to Bynes, the cast of She’s the Man includes Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), Laura Ramsey (Lords of Dogtown), Robert Hoffman (“90210”) and Alexandra Breckenridge (“This Is Us”). In the film, Viola (Bynes), disguised as her twin brother, Sebastian (James Kirk), joins the high school boys’ soccer team and ends up helping them win the big game. She also unexpectedly falls for Duke (Channing Tatum), the star forward.

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The Blu-ray includes access to a digital copy and previously released bonus content, including commentary by Bynes, Tatum, Ramsey, Hoffman and Breckenridge, director Andy Fickman and co-writer/producer Ewan “Jack” Leslie; a second commentary with Leslie and producer Lauren Shuler Donner;  “Making The Man”; “The Troupe”;  “Inspired By Shakespeare’s …”; nine deleted scenes with optional commentary by Bynes, Fickman and Leslie; a gag reel; a cast photo album; “Shakespeare, Soccer and Such Trivia Track”; and the  “Let Go” music video by David Lichens.

The film will also be available in the new Girls Rule 3-Movie Blu-ray Collection, which will also arrive March 2 and includes Mean GirlsClueless, and She’s the Man.

‘Wander’ Traveling to DVD Jan. 19 From Paramount

The thriller Wander will come out on DVD Jan. 19 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The film is available now on digital and on demand.

Aaron Eckhart, Tommy Lee Jones and Heather Graham star in the film, which follows Arthur Bretnik (Eckhart), a paranoid private investigator with a troubled past. After Bretnik is hired to investigate a suspicious death in the town of Wander, he becomes convinced the case is linked to the same ‘conspiracy cover up’ that caused the death of his daughter. The film also stars Katheryn Winnick.

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Classic ‘Love Story’ Coming to Blu-ray in ‘Paramount Presents’ Line Feb. 9

Paramount Home Entertainment will release the classic Love Story on Blu-ray as part of its “Paramount Presents” line for the film’s 50th anniversary Feb. 9.

Newly restored from a 4K film transfer, the 1970 romance captures the highs and lows of young love in a film based on Erich Segal’s best-selling novel. Love Story was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and became a cultural phenomenon, earning more than $100 million at the domestic box office. In 2002, the AFI placed it at No. 9 on its list of the 100 greatest love stories of all time.

Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw both received Oscar nominations for their starring roles as Harvard students Oliver (O’Neal) and Jenny (MacGraw), who come from opposite backgrounds, but share a chemistry they cannot deny — and a love they can’t ignore. Despite Oliver’s wealthy father threatening to disown him, the young couple marries and begins to build their new life together. But fate has other plans, and soon Oliver and Jenny face a crisis only the strongest of loves can endure.

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The limited-edition Blu-ray includes the newly restored film; a new “Filmmaker Focus” with film historian Leonard Maltin; previously released content, including a commentary by director Arthur Hiller, an introduction by film critic Ben Mankiewicz, “Love Story: A Classic Remembered” and the theatrical trailer; and digital copy access. Packaging includes a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments.

‘Dreamland’ Coming to Disc Jan. 19 From Paramount

The Margot Robbie romance Dreamland will debut on Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 19 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Two-time Academy Award nominee Robbie (I, Tonya, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) produces and stars alongside Finn Cole (“Peaky Blinders”) in director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte’s love story set amidst America’s struggle during the Great Depression.

Eugene Evans (Cole) dreams of escaping his small Texas town when he discovers a wounded, fugitive bank robber (Robbie). Torn between claiming the bounty for her capture and his growing attraction to the seductive criminal, Eugene must make a decision that will forever affect the lives of everyone he’s ever loved.

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Travis Fimmel (Warcraft), Kerry Condon (Avengers: Infinity War), Darby Camp (“Big Little Lies”) and Lola Kirke (American Made) also star.

Paramount Sets Jan. 12 DVD-Only Release Date for ‘Jungleland’

Paramount Home Entertainment has set a Jan. 12, 2021, DVD-only release date for Jungleland, a buddy film from Vertical Entertainment that stars Charlie Hunnam, Jack O’Connell and Jessica Barden.

Earlier, the film was released Nov. 10 on premium VOD and for digital purchase — four days after its theatrical debut, in a limited release.

Directed and co-written by Max Winkler, Jungleland was produced by Romulus Entertainment in association with Scott Free Productions and Big Red Films.

The movie follows two brothers whose bond is tested as they hustle and scrape toward their slice of the American Dream. Stanley (Hunnam) and Lion (O’Connell) are brothers struggling to stay relevant in the underground world of bare-knuckle boxing. When Stanley fails to pay back a dangerous crime boss, they’re forced to deliver an unexpected traveler  as they journey across the country for a high stakes fighting tournament. While Stanley trains Lion for the fight of his life, a series of events threaten to tear the brothers apart, but their love for one another and belief in a better life keep them going in this gripping drama that proves family pulls no punches.

Jungleland premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

‘Lady Sings the Blues’ Coming to Blu-ray Feb. 23 From Paramount

Lady Sings the Blues, starring Diana Ross as singer Billie Holiday, will arrive on Blu-ray for the first time Feb. 23 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

A new film about Holiday, The United States vs. Billie Holiday directed by Lee Daniels, is coming next year.

Ross gives a tour-de-force debut performance as the legendary singer in the 1972 drama nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Actress in a Leading Role for Ross. Capturing the essence of Billie Holiday, one of America’s most loved and memorable blues singers and filled with the greatest songs of the incomparable “Lady Day,” the film won Image Awards for Best Motion Picture, Best Actress (Ross) and Best Actor (Billy Dee Williams), as well as a Golden Globe for Ross as the year’s Most Promising Newcomer — Female.  Richard Pryor also stars as the unforgettable Piano Man.

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The disc includes previously released bonus content in standard definition: commentary by executive producer and Motown founder Berry Gordy, director Sidney Furie and artist manager Shelly Berger; the making-of featurette “Behind the Blues: Lady Sings the Blues”; and seven deleted scenes.

Nicolas Cage Actioner ‘Jiu Jitsu’ Due on DVD Dec. 22 From Paramount

The Nicolas Cage actioner Jiu Jitsu will come out on DVD Dec. 22 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The title is available now on VOD and digital and in select theaters.

The sci-fi actioner follows an ancient order of Jiu Jitsu fighters who face a vicious race of alien invaders in an epic battle for the survival of Earth. The film also stars Alain Moussi, Frank Grillo, Rick Yune, Marie Avgeropoulos, Juju Chan and Tony Jaa.

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Animated ‘The Little Prince’ Heading to Disc Feb. 9 From Paramount

The animated adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic story The Little Prince arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 9 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Featuring a voice cast including Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro, Ricky Gervais, Albert Brooks, Paul Rudd, Mackenzie Foy and Paul Giamatti, the film debuted on Netflix in 2016.

From the director of Kung Fu Panda comes this re-imagined take on the story. At its heart is “The Little Girl” (Foy), prepared by her mother (McAdams) for the very grown-up real-world. After her eccentric, kind-hearted neighbor “The Aviator” (Bridges) introduces her to an extraordinary world where anything is possible, she learns of “The Little Prince” (Riley Osborne). And so begins a magical and emotional journey.

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Special features include a 25-minute featurette on the making of the film, as well as a music video for the song “Turnaround” by Camille. The Blu-ray additionally includes access to a digital copy of the film.

Discovery Latest Media Company to Bow ‘Plus’ Subscription Streaming Video Service

Media giant Discovery is set to launch a branded SVOD platform called Discovery+ on Jan. 4, 2021. The platform will bow with a $4.99 monthly ad-supported option, and $6.99 per month ad-free plan. Discovery brands include HGTV and Food Network, Eurosport, in addition to the Discovery Channel.

Similar to Disney+, Discovery+ will be rolled out with a 12-month cross-promotion involving Verizon’s 55 million subscribers. The launch next month competes with a planned first-quarter rollout of ViacomCBS’s Paramount+ in the rapidly crowding SVOD ecosystem.

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The Verizon promotion has been key to Disney+ acquiring more than 73 million subscribers since launching last year. NBCUniversal’s Peacock has more than 22 million subs, while WarnerMedia reported 38 million combined HBO and HBO Max subs. Market leader and pioneer Netflix has more than 61 million North American subs; 195 million worldwide.

In the United States, Discovery+ will offer more than 55,000 episodes, with over 2,500 current and classic shows from Discovery’s portfolio of networks, including HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. Viewers in the U.S. will also gain access to new series from franchises and personalities such as Chip and Joanna Gaines; Will Packer and Kevin Hart; 90 Day Fiancé; Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis; Duff Goldman; Amy Schumer; Carla Hall; David Schwimmer; Sir David Attenborough; Ben Napier; Sebastian Maniscalco; Joe Kenda; and Mike Rowe, among others.

“We believe Discovery+ is the perfect complement to every streaming portfolio, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with Verizon to bring this incredible content to their customer base,” CEO David Zaslav said in a statement.

As part of a new content partnership, Discovery+ will bring together for the first time the top non-fiction content from A&E, The History Channel and Lifetime with the Discovery brand portfolio. More than 1,500 episodes of reality TV content from A&E networks on discovery+ will include “The First 48,” “Bring It,” “Dance Moms,” “Ice Road Truckers,” “Pawn Stars,” “Ancient Aliens,” “Storage Wars,” “60 Days In,” “Intervention” and “Ghost Hunters.”