‘James Cameron’s Story of Science-Fiction’ Coming to Disc July 28 From RLJE

The sci-fi documentary series “James Cameron’s Story of Science-Fiction” will come out on DVD and Blu-ray July 28 from AMC Networks’ RLJE Films.

The series originally aired on AMC Networks in 2018 as part of the AMC Visionaries series.

The show, an intimate look at science fiction’s roots, its futuristic vision and our fascination with its ideas, is hosted by Academy Award winner James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic). It features interviews with ‘A’-list storytellers, stars and others whose careers have defined the field of science fiction movies and television. Interviewees include Steven Spielberg (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial), George Lucas (“Star Wars” franchise), Ridley Scott (The Martian, Blade Runner), Christopher Nolan (Tenet, Interstellar), Will Smith (Men in Black, I Am Legend), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Predator, Terminator) and Bruce Willis (Die Hard, The Sixth Sense).

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Bonus features include extended interviews with Spielberg, Lucas, Scott, Nolan, Guillermo Del Toro and Schwarzenegger.

Shudder’s ‘Belzebuth’ to Come Out on Disc, Digital and VOD July 7 From RLJE

RLJE Films, a business unit of AMC Networks, has picked up select rights to Belzebuth from Shudder, AMC Networks’ streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural.

The title will be released on VOD, Digital HD, DVD and Blu-ray on July 7.

Belzebuth is Emilio Portes’ (Pastorela) fourth feature film and first horror film, from a script co-written by Portes and Luis Carlos Fuentes (“Kipatla”). The horror/thriller stars Joaquín Cosio (“Narcos: Mexico,” The Lone Ranger), Tobin Bell (Saw franchise), and Tate Ellington (Sinister 2). The film premiered at the 50th Sitges Film Festival and received Best Picture at 2019 Santiago Horror Film Festival and Best Special Effects at 2019 Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre. 

In Belzebuth, Special Agent Emanuel Ritter leads a police investigation into a series of shocking deaths. But after a priest from the Vatican finds a link between the murders and an ancient demon, a descent into horror ensues.

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Season One of ‘Creepshow’ Coming to Digital and Disc From RLJE

RLJE Films has picked up select rights to season one of “Creepshow” from parent AMC Networks’ Shudder streaming service and will release it June 2 digitally, and on DVD and Blu-ray.

The six-episode season of the horror-comedy from showrunner Greg Nicotero (“The Walking Dead”) stars Tobin Bell (Saw franchise), Adrienne Barbeau (Escape From New York), Giancarlo Esposito (“Breaking Bad”), Cailey Fleming (“The Walking Dead”), Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator), Scott ‘Kid Cudi’ Mescudi (Bill & Ted Face the Music), DJ Qualls (“The Man in the High Castle”), Bruce Davison (X-Men), David Arquette (Scream franchise), Dana Gould (“Stan Against Evil”) and Tricia Helfer (“Battlestar Galactica”).

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The new anthology series is based on George A. Romero’s 1982 horror comedy film. A comic book comes to life in a series of 12 vignettes over six episodes, exploring terrors from murder to the supernatural and unexplainable, including haunted dollhouses, werewolves, murderous goblins, villainous trick-or-treaters, the dead and medical marvels.

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The six episodes were directed by Greg Nicotero (“The Walking Dead”), Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead), John Harrison (Book of Blood), Rob Schrab (“Community”), David Bruckner (The Ritual) and Roxanne Benjamin (Body at Brighton Rock).

Bonus materials include more than three hours of interviews, featurettes and behind-the-scenes footage, audio commentary tracks with the cast and crew for each of the episodes, and a 24-page comic art booklet.

Update (5/12/20): The original street date of May 19 was changed to June 2 by RLJ.

RLJ Entertainment Posts Q2 Loss, Reports Continued Growth in Digital

RLJ Entertainment reported a net loss of $2 million in the second quarter of 2018, compared to a loss of $0.9 million in the previous-year period.

The loss was a result of higher investment in content and marketing expenses, as well as $1 million of transaction costs incurred to respond to AMC Networks’ merger proposal offset by the improvement in gross profit generated by the digital channels segment, according to the company.

AMC Networks announced it would buy a majority interest in RLJE Aug. 1.

RLJE’s revenue increased 14% to $21.5 million in the second quarter over the previous-year period, primarily driven by a $3 million increase in digital channels segment revenues.

Digital channels, which includes over-the-top services Acorn TV (British TV) and The Urban Movie Channel, grew paying subscribers 49.1% from the second quarter of 2017 to more than 820,000. Digital channels segment revenues increased 46% to $9.4 million from $6.4 million in second quarter of 2017.

Gross profit increased 15.3% to $11.2 million and gross margin increased approximately 60 basis points to 52.3% in the second quarter of 2018 from the previous-year period. Continued growth in the digital channels segment, which represents a larger portion of total revenues, drove the improvements in gross profit and gross margin, according to the company. Adjusted EBITDA increased to $4.5 million from $3.9 million in the second quarter of 2017 primarily due to the growth of higher-margin digital channels segment revenues.

Equity earnings from Agatha Christie Limited increased 48.2% year-over-year to $1.3 million driven by the segment’s film and publishing business segments. RLJE owns 64% of Agatha Christie Limited.

“The OTT landscape continues to represent a tremendous growth future as viewership increases and new platforms emerge,” said Robert L. Johnson, chairman of RLJ Entertainment, in a statement. “With our differentiated targeted brands, Acorn TV and Urban Movie Channel, that fulfill consumers’ demands and preferences, we continue to expand our position, delivering a strong value proposition to subscribers.”

“Subscriber growth was strong in second quarter 2018, gaining momentum as our increased investments in unique and original content, broader distribution across multiple recognized platforms and heightened consumer awareness continue to pay off,” said Miguel Penella, CEO of RLJ Entertainment, in a statement. “Digital channel subscribers grew past the 820,000 mark, our wholesale business remains a strong, increasingly profitable contributor, and Agatha Christie Limited’s performance yields both highly demanded content and strong dividends in our IP segment.”

“RLJ Entertainment’s revenue gains and profitability expansion continued in the quarter as we execute consistently on increasing our strategic investments in growth and controlling costs carefully,” said Mark Nunis, principal financial and accounting officer of RLJ Entertainment, in a statement.