Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Gets Home Release Dates for Digital, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, the summer theatrical blockbuster Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, will be released to home audiences digitally Nov. 26 and on disc two weeks later, on Dec. 10.

Disc versions will be available in the DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD formats from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, set in Hollywood in 1969, reimagines the Manson murders that shocked the city that year. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as actor Rick Dalton and his longtime friend and stuntman Cliff Booth, with Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate.

In the film, Dalton and Booth make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The cast also includes Julia Butters, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Luke Perry, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern and Al Pacino — and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.

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The film earned $140.4 million in U.S. theaters, and was the highest opening weekend of Tarantino’s career at $41 milion. It has been Certified Fresh by RottenTomatoes.com.

The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital releases come with more than 20 additional minutes of footage that delves deeper into world of Rick Dalton’s Hollywood. The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and digital include an additional behind-the-scenes look at the film’s production design, cinematography, costume design, cars and more.

Also due Dec. 10 is a limited 4K Ultra HD collector’s edition with a 7-inch vinyl record with two of the soundtrack’s 1960s hits,  a poster for the fictitious Rick Dalton film Operazione Dyn-o-mite!, and an exclusive mini-edition of a Mad Magazine parody of the Rick Dalton TV series “Bounty Law,” called “Lousy Law.” The collector’s edition may be ordered beginning Oct. 28 from Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com and Target.com.

The Blu-ray Disc release comes with several retailer-exclusive extras, including “Rick Dalton” movie poster cards from Walmart, a vintage-style film magazine with over 26 never-before-seen production photos at Target, and a Steelbook available at Best Buy. All exclusive offerings also may be ordered beginning Oct. 28.

Rotten Tomatoes Adds More Than 600 Critics as Part of Inclusion Initiative

As part of an initiative to increase inclusion, movie recommendation service Rotten Tomatoes announced that over the past year it has added more than 600 individually-approved critics, whose film and TV reviews now count towards Tomatometer scores.

Fifty-five percent of the new critics are women, 60% are freelancers and 10% publish reviews on modern platforms including YouTube and podcasts.  Rotten Tomatoes is also making meaningful progress in increasing ethnic diversity in the Tomatometer critics pool, according to the service.

In August 2018, Rotten Tomatoes revamped the critics criteria for its Tomatometer movie and TV rating system with an increased focus on critics’ individual qualifications, allowing for more freelance critics to be accepted and those working with newer media platforms that go beyond the traditional written review.

“Rotten Tomatoes is connecting audiences with authentic, trusted information from professional critics and fellow fans, to help them discover entertainment and decide what to watch in theaters and at home,” said Paul Yanover, president of Rotten Tomatoes parent Fandango, in a statement.  “Significant advancements are happening across Rotten Tomatoes, from the team’s work to increase critic diversity in the Tomatometer to expanding consumer confidence with the new Verified Audience Score. We are especially proud to commit to another $100,000 grant in 2020 to support film festivals and industry initiatives that further inclusion in entertainment criticism.”

New critics are spotlighted on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer Critics home page.

Rotten Tomatoes recently surveyed the 600 new individually-approved Tomatometer critics about their experiences over the past year. Ninety-two percent of the participants said that becoming a Tomatometer-approved critic has helped them amplify and legitimize their voice in criticism and 73% have seen an increase in their site traffic, views and social media followers, according to the service. However, many identified a number of barriers that still exist for newer critics. Sixty-one percent cited travel costs to festivals as a continuing concern, while 59% felt that proving their legitimacy as journalists to publications was their greatest challenge. Forty-three percent said they are still not able to secure invitations to press screenings of films.

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“We are encouraged by the progress we’re making towards creating a Tomatometer-approved critics pool that reflects the global entertainment audience and we will continue to build on our momentum,” said Jenny Jediny, Rotten Tomatoes senior manager, critic relations, in a statement. “We invite our industry colleagues to join us in our effort to create more opportunities for journalists, especially those from underrepresented groups. Our new critics have shared with us the obstacles they still face, such as gaining access to press screenings and film festivals and securing writing assignments.”

To help critics from underrepresented groups gain access to key film festivals, Rotten Tomatoes established a $100,000grant program in 2018 to assist with travel and lodging expenses associated with festival attendance. Rotten Tomatoes also hosted an in-person workshop and published online resources for critics to help them navigate film festivals, work with publicists and pitch editors.

Rotten Tomatoes to date has helped more than 160 journalists attend film festivals by donating grant money to the 2018 and 2019 Toronto International Film Festivals’ Media Inclusion Initiative, as well as the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and 2019 SXSW Film Festival and Conference, according to the service. Rotten Tomatoes is renewing its grant program in 2020, designating another $100,000 for donations to film festivals and other industry initiatives that are committed to increasing inclusion in criticism.

According to Rotten Tomatoes’ consumer research, fans value both the Tomatometer score, representing critical opinion, and the Audience Score when determining what to watch.  To increase consumer confidence in its Audience Score, Rotten Tomatoes in May introduced Verified Ratings and Reviews. For eligible movies at the time of launch and beyond, Verified Audience Scores are made up of ratings from fans who are confirmed to have purchased tickets to those movies. Those fans’ written reviews display a “verified” badge.

Since the launch in May, more than 130 movies have received Verified Audience Scores, with more than 475,000 Verified Ratings and 88,000 Verified Written Reviews posted by fans.  Currently, Rotten Tomatoes users can get their rating and review “verified” if they purchased their movie ticket on Fandango. Top exhibitors AMC Theatres, Regal and Cinemark Theatres plan to participate as ticket purchase authenticators in the future. Visitors to the Rotten Tomatoes site can still rate and review movies regardless of whether or not they are confirmed ticket purchasers and their reviews are posted on the site.

FandangoNow Creates Playlists for San Diego Comic-Con

With Comic-Con in full swing in San Diego through July 21, FandangoNow, Fandango’s transactional VOD service, is hosting two new playlists devoted to fan favorites and genre films.

Fandango correspondent Alicia Malone, author of the feminist film histories The Female Gaze and Backwards and in Heels, July 19 is moderating a Comic-Con panel entitled “The Future of Film is Female.” The panel on genre films by female filmmakers features Rotten Tomatoes editor Jacqueline Coley, Fast Color director Julia Hart, Terminator producer Gale Anne Hurd and Black Panther cinematographer Rachel Morrison.

Malone has curated a FandangoNow playlist of her favorite female-helmed genre films, including Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, Mary Harron’s American Psycho, Anna Biller’s The Love Witch, Veronika Franz’s Goodnight Mommy, Karyn Kusama’s Jennifer’s Body, Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days, Mimi Leder’s Deep Impact and Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time.

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Also in honor of the convention’s 50th anniversary, Rotten Tomatoes has curated a special playlist of 50 Movies that Defined Comic-Con on FandangoNow, featuring such titles as Iron Man, Twilight and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

FandangoNow Celebrates 15th Anniversary of ‘The Notebook’ With Sale

In honor of this week’s 15th anniversary of the theatrical release of The Notebook, FandangoNow is offering the romance for purchase at $7.99 in SD or HD through July 1.

FandangoNow is movie site Fandango’s transactional VOD service.

Fans of the 2004 love story can also find a collection of other movies featuring the film’s stars, Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling, as part of the FandangoNow Flashback anniversary collection at https://www.fandangonow.com/list/flashbacks.

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Also, as part of the celebration, Rotten Tomatoes’ 21 Most Memorable Movie Moments series is featuring a special video devoted to the iconic “Kiss in the Rain” scene in “The Notebook,” narrated by director Nick Cassavetes.

FandangoNow Launches ‘Best LGBTQ Movies of All Time’ List for Pride Month

In celebration of Pride Month, FandangoNow is hosting a “Best LGBTQ Movies of All Time” promotion, featuring a collection of the 200 top-reviewed LGBTQ films, hand-picked by FandangoNow’s sister site, Rotten Tomatoes.

Taking the top spot is Academy Award-winner Moonlight, starring Mahershala Ali. Can You Ever Forgive Me, starring Melissa McCarthy, came in at No. 2, with Call Me By Your Name and The Favourite, at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively. Coming in at No. 5 was Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Booksmart, just released in theaters, took the No. 6 spot.

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Rotten Tomatoes Revises Audience Movie Ratings

Movie rating service Rotten Tomatoes is changing its Audience Rating System to feature verified ratings and reviews.

For eligible movies moving forward, Audience Scores will be made up of ratings from fans who are confirmed to have purchased tickets to those movies. Those fans’ written reviews will also display a “verified” badge.

“We know from our research that fans consult Rotten Tomatoes’ Audience Score along with the Tomatometer, when making decisions on what to watch,” Paul Yanover, Fandango president, said in a statement. “Having an Audience Score and reviews from fans who are confirmed ticket purchasers, will add even more usefulness to our product and increase consumer confidence.”

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Rotten Tomatoes users can opt-in to get their rating and review “verified” if they purchased their movie ticket on Fandango. Exhibitors AMC Theatres, Regal and Cinemark Theatres plan to participate as ticket purchase authenticators later this year. Every visitor to the Rotten Tomatoes site will still be invited to rate and review movies regardless of whether or not they are confirmed ticket purchasers. Reviews (both verified and unverified) will still be listed, with those that are verified marked with a “verified” badge, so that readers will know that the reviewer purchased a ticket to that movie.

On Fandango’s site and mobile apps, Rotten Tomatoes will begin powering Fandango’s fan rating system, replacing its previous five-star fan rating, according to the service. Once their ticket purchases are confirmed through their Fandango user account, Fandango ticket buyers’ ratings and reviews will now count towards the Verified Audience Score displayed on Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes, as well as on other platforms that syndicate Rotten Tomatoes scores.

The service has previously come under fire as users have been able to manipulate the Audience Score for a particular movie through coordinated online campaigns by those who hadn’t even seen the film. In particular, a recent campaign against Captain Marvel, which has a strong female character, drew criticism of the service.

The launch of Verified Ratings and Reviews is part of the Rotten Tomatoes’ overall plan to modernize its Audience Rating System over the next year, “making it even more helpful to fans as they make their entertainment viewing decisions,” according to a press release.

Rotten Tomatoes introduced an earlier product enhancement in February, and reports each change in a Product Update Blog.

In addition to enhancing its Audience Rating System, Rotten Tomatoes has been working over the past 18 months to increase the diversity of the critical voices that make up its Tomatometer, which aggregates the collective opinions of thousands of Tomatometer-approved critics for movies and TV shows, according to the release. Last August, Rotten Tomatoes made an enhancement to its critics community, by debuting revamped Tomatometer critics criteria. With an increased focus on the critic’s individual qualifications versus the publications that they write for, Rotten Tomatoes’ goal is to enable a wider and more diverse pool of critics’ perspectives to be included in the Tomatometer. Since launch, Rotten Tomatoes has added more than 500 new Tomatometer-approved critics and publications, with plans to add even more critics in the future, according to the release.

Additionally, Rotten Tomatoes announced the establishment of a $100,000 grant program to create more opportunities for critics serving underrepresented groups to cover major film festivals and gain access to press screenings. To date, Rotten Tomatoes has donated $25,000 respectively to the press inclusion initiatives at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, 2019 Sundance Film Festival and 2019 SXSW Film Festival and Conference, according to the release.

Moviefone Hires Former Rotten Tomatoes Editor to Reboot Brand

Moviefone, the 1990s-era movie ticket/recommendation telephone service owned by Helios and Matheson Analytics March 28 announced that former Rotten Tomatoes senior editor Grae Drake has assumed the role of “Ms. Moviefone” to serve as the brand’s personality.

The announcement comes as Moviefone launches a new initiative seeking to become a consumer destination for content, reviews and commentary for movies.

Grae Drake

Competition includes online movie ratings platform Rotten Tomatoes, which is owned and operated by NBC Universal subsidiary Fandango.

In a nod to the former “Mr. Moviefone” telephone character, Drake will provide “go-to” commentary on the entertainment industry, in addition to movie recommendations.

Drake will interview filmmakers, celebrities and appear at industry events to provide an inside look at the movies.

She will be responsible for producing and hosting a series of original video content on the Moviefone site. Drake will also oversee the evolution of existing video content, such as the “Unscripted” series, providing Moviefone with the flexibility to continue creating and growing its video library.

Developing dynamic video content will allow viewers to form a bond with Ms. Moviefone and have a more engaging experience with the brand.

“Having a female voice of authority about movies is really important. It’s making the change I want to see regarding representation and gender parity in film media, which is still overwhelmingly male,” Matt Atchity, GM of Moviefone (and former editor-in-chief at Rotten Tomatoes), said in a statement.

Drake is most well-known as a Rotten Tomatoes editor and film critic, which included guest appearances on NBC’s “Today Show”and ABC’s “20/20”and “World News Tonight.”

She is also the recipient of the 2017 Press Award from the International Cinematographers Guild. In this new role, Drake reunites with Atchity and will be working with Drew Taylor, recently promoted to managing editor at Moviefone.

“Ms. Moviefone is the perfect way to connect with moviegoers and strengthen our brand recognition,” said Ted Farnsworth, CEO of Helios and Matheson Analytics. “Moviefone has a bright future ahead, and I know Grae is the perfect person to help make our vision a reality.”

 

FandangoNow Offers Sale on Select Oscar Nominees Before Awards

Ahead of the 91st Academy Awards Feb. 24, FandangoNow, Fandango’s VOD service, is offering Best Picture nominees Green Book and The Favourite, Best Documentary nominee Free Solo, and Best Costumes and Best Makeup nominee Mary Queen of Scots at 30 percent off the listed price.

The flash sale starts Feb. 20 and ends Feb. 21. Consumers can access the discount using the promo code “FNOWOscar” at checkout.

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Fandango is also offering a downloadable 2019 Oscars ballot with Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer scores included.

FandangoNow Unveils Rotten Tomatoes’ Top Rated Romantic Comedies for Valentine’s Day

For Valentine’s Day, FandangoNow, Fandango’s VOD service, has released a list of top-rated romantic comedies ranked by Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer.

Frank Capra’s 1934 classic It Happened One Night is the top pick, while 2017’s The Big Sick came in at No. 2. Two films from 2018 joined the list: Crazy Rich Asians at No. 6 and Love, Simon at No. 25.

“This is a new era for the rom com,” said Rotten Tomatoes editor-in-chief Joel Meares in a statement. “With last year’s Crazy Rich Asians and Love, Simon taking their place among the best of the genre, it’s clear audiences and critics alike are seeking movies that marry fresh, modern-day perspectives with the rom-com conventions we all know and love.”

Rotten Tomatoes’ top 25 best reviewed romantic comedies are, in order:

  1. It Happened One Night (1934)
  2. The Big Sick (2017)
  3. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  4. Roman Holiday (1953)
  5. My Man Godfrey (1936)
  6. Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
  7. The Lady Eve (1941)
  8. City Lights (1931)
  9. Annie Hall (1977)
  10. His Girl Friday (1940)
  11. Adam’s Rib (1949)
  12. Holiday (1938)
  13. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
  14. The Princess Bride (1987)
  15. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
  16. Some Like It Hot (1959)
  17. Indiscreet (1958)
  18. Desk Set (1957)
  19. The Apartment (1960)
  20. Groundhog Day (1993)
  21. Bull Durham (1988)
  22. Enough Said (2013)
  23. Broadcast News (1987)
  24. Ninotchka (1939)
  25. Love, Simon (2018)

 

Roughly 150 romantic comedies, ranked by the Tomatometer, are available to watch here on FandangoNow.

Report: Netflix Has Highest-Rated Movies

Netflix is known for original TV series such as “House of Cards,” “Stranger Things,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “The Crown.”

While the streaming video pioneer is ramping up original movie production, its portfolio of highly-rated third-party movies tops the renowned feature film repository of HBO Now, in addition to Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, according to new data from Streaming Observer.

Using Rotten Tomatoes’ “Certified Fresh” movies rating system, in addition to a combination of data from streaming service providers and third-party sites RealGood and JustWatch, Streaming Observer found Netflix has more “certified fresh” movies (596) than HBO Now (38), Prime Video (232) and Hulu (223) combined.

The ranking is significant considering Netflix has 3,000 fewer movies available to stream (3,839 through Jan. 20, 2019) than it did in 2018, and its library is 450% smaller than Prime Video’s with 17,461 titles.

Hulu and HBO Now had 2,336 and 815 movies, respectively.

“Netflix remains the best streaming service overall … for the time being,” wrote Chris Brantner, analyst with Streaming Observer. “Of course, as new streaming services from Disney, Apple, and others enter the market, and Netflix loses more of its licensed content, it remains to be seen how long it can hold onto the crown.”