Vudu Mounts Sale on More Than 100 Focus Features Films

As Focus Features’ The Northman arrives on Vudu May 12 and Downton Abbey: A New Era arrives in theaters May 20, Fandango’s transactional VOD service Vudu is hosting a sale on more than 100 other titles from the Focus Features library, celebrating 20 years of indie filmmaking.

The sale ends May 23.

This year’s Oscar winner for Best Original Screenplay, Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, is available for sale at $12.99, while features such as Downton Abbey, The Card Counter, The Sparks Brothers, Wolf, Blue Bayou, Stillwater and Last Night in Soho are available at $9.99 each. Other titles, such as Promising Young Woman, Let Him Go, Harriet, On the Basis of Sex, Emma, Kajillionaire, Never Rarely Sometimes Always and The High Note, are on sale at $6.99 each.

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Vudu is also hosting a “Mix & Match” bundle sale, where customers can choose two qualifying Focus Features titles for the total price of $9.99. Qualifying titles include:

  • Atomic Blonde
  • Atonement
  • BlackKKlansman
  • Boy Erased
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Burn After Reading
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • The Danish Girl
  • Darkest Hour
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Harriet
  • In Bruges
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • Milk
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • Phantom Thread
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Tully
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Again Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home again led the chart of the 10 most-popular titles on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu the week ended April 3.

The Marvel Studios film became available for digital purchase March 15. As the film begins, Spider-Man’s identity is revealed, bringing his superhero responsibilities into conflict with his normal life and putting those he cares about most at risk, including M.J. (Zendaya). When he enlists Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) help to restore his secret, the spell tears a hole in the world, releasing Spider-Man villains from other universes.

Debuting at No. 2 was Lionsgate’s Roland Emmerich disaster film Moonfall, starring Halle Berry. Available for digital purchase beginning April 1, the film follows a space crew who attempt to save the Earth when a mysterious force knocks the moon out of its orbit.

Entering the chart at No. 3 was Paramount Pictures’ Johnny Knoxville comedy Jackass Forever. In the film, which debuted on digital March 29, Knoxville and the gang are back for another outrageous round of stunts and bad ideas.

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Landing at No. 4 was Paramount Pictures’ The Contractor, which debuted for premium rental and sale April 1. The film stars Chris Pine as a former elite Special Forces Sergeant who contracts with a private military force and uncovers a conspiracy.

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Illumination’s Sing 2 landed at No. 5 on the chart. The animated sequel, distributed by Universal Pictures, is available for digital purchase and rental. It follows the animal singers as they plan a new show and try to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star, Clay Callaway (voice of Bono), to join them. The film also features the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Taron Egerton.

Also new to the chart for the week was Kenneth Branagh’s suspense thriller Death on the Nile, starring Gal Gadot, which landed at No. 6 and debuted on digital March 29.

Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended April 3, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Spider-Man: No Way Home
  2. Moonfall
  3. Jackass Forever
  4. The Contractor
  5. Sing 2
  6. Death on the Nile
  7. Dog
  8. The Matrix Resurrections
  9. Marry Me
  10. The Cursed

Family Video Shutting Down eBay Site

Family Video is reaching its end.

The last national video rental chain, which in January 2021 announced it was closing all of its stores, is shutting down the last vestige of its business, an eBay site liquidating an assortment of discs, memorabilia and other items.

“Last Call! Our Website is Shutting Down!” read a March 28 email.

Announcing a “Site Closing Sale” the email read “Thank You for Your Support!” and offered a 10% off use code of “THANKYOU.” The email also offered shoppers an extra 15% off with the promo code “MOVIES.”

Items for sale on the site included DVDs of Reservoir Dogs for 99 cents and The Ring for $3.99. Also available were a Family Video “Novelty Employee Vest” for $14.95 and an “Ergotron Workfit S Dual Sit-Stand” for $399.99.

Family Video opened its first store  — Video Movie Club — in Springfield, Ohio, in 1978. The privately owned company ultimately grew to 800 stores, but more than a year ago announced it would begin liquidation of its remaining 250 stores, citing the pandemic as the reason.

“While we have faced digital competition from Netflix and others for years, nothing has been as devastating to our business as COVID-19,” Keith Hoogland, CEO of Highland Ventures, the Glenview, Ill.-based company that owns Family Video, said in a media statement. “We are very thankful to have been able to provide entertainment for many family movie nights.”

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The chain posted a letter from Hoogland on its website shortly before noon PST on Jan. 6, stating that the impact of COVID-19 combined with the lack of fresh theatrical product “pushed us to the end of an era.”

In November 2020, the chain mounted a brief  promotional campaign called #SaveTheVideoStore to drum up consumer support. The campaign was supported by studios and Hollywood talent such as Clerks. director Kevin Smith.

Redbox Entertainment Picks Up Rights to ‘Johnny & Clyde’ Starring Megan Fox

Redbox Entertainment, the original content division of Redbox, has signed a deal for North American rights to Verdi Productions’ action crime film Johnny & Clyde.

Starring Avan Jogia (Zombieland: Double Tap), Ajani Russell (Betty), with Tyson Ritter (Preacher) and Megan Fox (Transformers), and directed by Tom DeNucci (Vault), Johnny & Clyde will premiere in theaters and will be available on the same date in Redbox kiosks and on demand.

The film is a spin on the iconic Bonnie and Clyde story and follows two serial killers (Jogia, Russell) who are madly in love and on a shocking crime spree. They ultimately set their sights on robbing a prosperous casino run by a crime boss, Alana (Fox), and her head of security Guy (Ritter).

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Rounding out the cast are Vanessa Angel (Kingpin), Bai Ling (The Crow), Robert LaSardo (The Mule), Armen Garo (The Departed), Sean Ringgold (American Gangster), Nick Principe (Vault), Brett Azar (Young Rock), Sydney Jenkins (Don’t Look Up) and Charles W. Harris III (Glass). 

Verdi Productions produced and financed the project and VMI Worldwide is handling international sales.

“Fans of dark, gritty action movies are going to love Johnny & Clyde,” Redbox CEO Galen Smith said in a statement. “Tom has created a film that will have fans on the edge of their seats. We’re looking forward to releasing the film later this year.”

“This film will keep fans engaged from beginning till the end — a true thriller with a twist of humor,” stated producer Chad A. Verdi.

Buddy Comedy ‘Dog’ Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

The canine buddy comedy Dog led the chart of the 10 most-popular titles on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu the week ended March 13.

Available for premium digital rental, the MGM film follows an Army ranger (Channing Tatum) who races down the Pacific Coast with an Army dog named Lulu to make it to a fellow soldier’s funeral on time. Along the way, they drive each other crazy.

Illumination’s Sing 2 remained at No. 2 on the chart. The animated sequel, distributed by Universal Pictures, was recently made available for digital purchase. It follows the animal singers as they plan a new show and try to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star, Clay Callaway (voice of Bono), to join them. The film also features the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Taron Egerton.

Paramount Pictures’ new Scream horror flick, which became available for digital rental and purchase March 1, took the bronze on the chart, dropping from the top spot. It reunites Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, reprising their roles from the original series. The story takes place 25 years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro as a terrifying new killer resurrects the Ghostface mask. As the deaths mount, Woodsboro’s new targets must seek help from the survivors of the original attacks.

The Matrix Resurrections, the fourth installment in Warner Bros.’ “Matrix” franchise, landed at No. 4 on the chart. The film, which debuted in theaters and on HBO Max, is available for regular digital purchase after a premium-priced digital run. It follows up on the trilogy that ended in 2003 and features Keanu Reeves returning to the role of Neo as he learns about the aftermath of the war between humanity and the machines that he thought he ended. His mission becomes to reconnect with his lost love Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss).

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Falling from No. 3 to No. 5 on the chart was the Liam Neeson actioner Blacklight, available for premium digital rental. The film follows a government operative with a shadowy past who discovers a plot targeting U.S. citizens and finds himself in the crosshairs of the FBI director he once protected.

Among other titles new to Vudu’s chart were the Jennifer Lopez-Owen Wilson romcom Marry Me, Guillermo Del Toro’s Oscar-nominated Best Picture contender Nightmare Alley and the Peter Dinklage starrere Cyrano (Oscar-nominated for Best Costume Design), ranked at No. 7, No. 8 and No. 9, respectively.

Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended March 13, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Dog
  2. Sing 2
  3. Scream (2022)
  4. The Matrix Resurrections
  5. Blacklight
  6. Ghostbusters: Afterlife
  7. Marry Me
  8. Nightmare Alley
  9. Cyrano
  10. American Underdog

Universal at the Head of the Studio Pack in Q3 Home Entertainment Sales

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment reported third-quarter revenue of $273 million from the sale of physical and digital media — thus far topping all studios that have reported data specific to retail sales. (Disney releases financial results on Nov. 10.)

With a dearth of major new releases due to the pandemic, the home entertainment retail market in the three-month period that ended Sept. 30 continued to be driven by a collection of catalog titles mixed with some new releases.

In addition to F9: The Fast Saga (which streeted in late September), top-selling Universal titles in the quarter included Nobody, The Boss Baby: Family Business and The Croods: A New Age.

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Lionsgate, led by Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, generated home entertainment revenue of $161 million, which included $31 million from the sales of DVD/Blu-ray Disc and digital retail. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment realized physical and digital retail revenue of $130 million — driven by the original Venom, Peter Rabbit 2, Spider-Man: Far From Home and The Unholy.

Neither Warner Bros. Pictures or Paramount Pictures breaks out home entertainment sales, preferring to include the category with the licensing of movies, TV shows and video games — largely to streaming services.

Paramount, which generated $513 million in licensing revenue, saw retail sales led by A Quiet Place: Part II. Warner generated $403 million in licensing revenue, led by Godzilla vs. Kong, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Mortal Kombat, and Rick and Morty: Season Five.

Target Announces Holiday Deals

Each Sunday, starting Oct. 31, Target announced it will unveil new week-long “Holiday Best” deals available in store and online.

The chain will offer first look at the next week’s deals in Target’s digital weekly ad. The first week of deals, starting Oct. 31 and running through Nov. 6, include:

 

Deals for Nov. 4-6, include:

 

Deals tagged “Holiday Best” at Target, offer the chain’s “best planned price of season,” according to Target. If shoppers see a lower deal price later in the season, Target pledges to match it with the Holiday Price Match Guarantee.

Amazon Opens First Non-Grocery Retail Store Outside U.S.

Amazon has expanded its non-grocery (i.e. Whole Foods, Amazon Go) retail footprint outside the United States. The e-commerce behemoth opened a 4-Star retail location south of London. The brick-and-mortar brand sells merchandise (devices, consumer electronics, toys, video games, movies books, kitchen, home, etc.) that have received at least a four-star rating (out of five) online.

Amazon opened its first 4-Star store in 2018. It now operates 35 locations in 16 states in the United States. Store aisles correspond to specific sections of the website, in addition to “most wished for,” “most gifted” and items trending locally. Amazon switches out merchandise based on customer feedback to keep up with retail trends.

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“Amazon 4-Star is designed all around customer discovery,” the company states on its website. “We are an extension of Amazon.com, and have filled our stores with familiar product groupings like you would see online.”

Fandango Unites TVOD Services FandangoNow and Vudu Under Vudu

Fandango has officially announced the combination of its two transactional movie and TV content services Vudu and FandangoNow under Vudu.

The newly updated Vudu replaces FandangoNow as the official movie and TV store on Roku. (Vudu uses Roku Pay.)

The new Vudu service will offer more than 200,000 new-release and catalog movies and TV shows to rent or buy digitally, including the largest collection of 4K Ultra HD titles and thousands of titles to watch for free with no subscription required, according to the Fandango press release.

Vudu, which was acquired by Fandango in 2020, is available in more than 75 million U.S. TV-connected device households, according to The NPD Group. The service has more than 60 million registered users and serves millions of consumers daily across smart TVs, connected devices, mobile and online, according to the release.

“At Fandango, we’ve been building a digital network that super-serves tens of millions of fans across the entire entertainment lifecycle, from movie and TV discovery with Rotten Tomatoes, to our three theatrical ticketing apps and now an even larger scale Vudu on-demand streaming destination,” Fandango president Paul Yanover said in a statement. “During a time where consumers have a myriad of viewing options, we’re proud to deliver a service that presents an unparalleled library of content, many titles that are not available on subscription services, and the flexibility to pay as you go.”

“Consumer excitement for premium video on-demand has grown significantly as users turn to streaming to access the latest movies and TV show releases,” Tedd Cittadine, VP of content partnerships at Roku, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to continue our long-standing partnership with Fandango as we build a future where all TV will be streamed by creating a seamless experience for users to discover and enjoy premium video-on-demand releases.”

Vudu delivers multiple 4K Ultra HD audio-visual experiences, including premium formats such as Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision and is available on Samsung, LG and Vizio Smart TVs; the Roku platform; Amazon Fire TV; Apple TV; Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex; PlayStation; Xbox; TiVo; and more. Other benefits include personalized deals with “Mix & Match” bundles; family-friendly features such as “Kids Mode”; tools to manage digital collections, such as list-building; and the ability to transfer physical discs to digital.

“By bringing its two services together on Vudu, Fandango will be able to rapidly innovate and make bolder, faster enhancements to benefit consumers and partners, especially important during an ever-changing media landscape,” read the press release. “Vudu’s size, reach and breadth of content, paired with Fandango’s scale in theatrical ticketing, will provide even more opportunities for studios, brands and marketers to reach a massive high value entertainment audience.”

Starting now, FandangoNow customers can transfer their accounts and movie and TV collections to Vudu. Access to their libraries will thereafter be provided through Vudu. The Movie Store and TV Store on Roku devices will automatically update from FandangoNow to the new Vudu.

Vudu, as was FandangoNow, is part of the Movies Anywhere cloud-based library service.

Amoeba Hollywood (Music) Reopens at New Location After Year Hiatus

Amoeba Hollywood (aka Amoeba Music), one of the last big packaged-media retailers, has re-opened after a year hiatus in a new location in West Los Angeles. The location at 6200 Hollywood Blvd. is holding initial temporary hours everyday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (buy counter open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) with limited store capacity due to the pandemic. Face masks are mandatory.

Old Amoeba Music store

Opening day (April 1) events included a special design created by L.A. artist Ivan Minsloff. Customers get a limited-edition poster as a gift with purchase, with silkscreened T-shirts available for purchase in the store while supplies last.

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Opening day line to get into the new Amoeba store

With locations in Berkeley (site of original store in 1990), San Francisco (1997) and Hollywood (2001), Amoeba sells new and used selection of Vinyl LPs, CDs, DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies, posters, books and related memorabilia.

“We’re still carrying everything that we had carried before, so we’re more than just a record store, the music, and movies, the posters, T-shirts, games, toys, lunchboxes, you name it,” Amoeba Music co-owner Jim Henderson said in a media statement.