AFM Panelists: Disc Still Spinning at Independent Studios

While much of the discussion among panelists at the virtual American Film Market running Nov. 1-5 has been about digital distribution, independent supplier speakers have also noted that physical disc is still an important part of the pipeline.

“We still will release a DVD and Blu-ray on each film,” said Michael Murphy, president of Gravitas Ventures. “That’s going to be manufacture-on-demand in most cases. Our filmmakers like that, and if we can do it in a cost-effective manner, it’s still worth it.”

Disc revenue is still hanging on and filling the coffers at Screen Media.

At Screen, DVD has been a surprisingly stubborn revenue stream,” said Michael Messina, EVP of distribution at Screen Media. “And it’s actually grown for us in recent years after obviously dropping for a very long time. The past two to three years we’ve seen strong DVD sales.”

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J.J. Caruth, president of domestic marketing and distribution at The Avenue, noted Redbox is a key part of keeping the disc spinning.

“We’re still seeing some DVD revenue and, of course, Redbox is a part of that,” he said. “If you can do a deal with Redbox, there’s definitely some money to be made there as well for the right genre of movie.”

Megan Fox Movie ‘Till Death’ Arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 10

The thriller Till Death, starring Megan Fox, will arrive on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Aug. 10.

It is already available for digital purchase from Screen Media.

Fox plays a woman stuck in a stale marriage who is surprised when her whisks her away to their secluded lake house for a romantic evening on their 10th anniversary. But everything changes when she wakes up to discover herself handcuffed to his dead body. Trapped and isolated in the dead of winter, she must fight off hired killers to escape a twisted that gets more sinister at every turn.

The cast also includes Callan Mulvey, Eoin Macken, Aml Ameen and Jack Roth.

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Mafia Mystery ‘The Birthday Cake’ Coming to Disc July 27

Screen Media will release the crime drama The Birthday Cake on Blu-ray Disc and DVD July 27.

In the film, Gio (Shiloh Fernandez) continues a family tradition by bringing a cake to a memorial celebration of the 10th anniversary of his father’s mysterious death, hosted by his uncle (Val Kilmer), a Brooklyn mafia boss. Gio’s life begins to change as he pieces together what really happened to his father.

The cast also includes David Mazouz, Ewan McGregor, Lorraine Bracco, Ashley Benson, Aldis Hodge, Penn Badgley, Emory Cohen, Vincent Pastore and Jeremy Allen White.

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Screen Media to Distribute ‘Naked Singularity’ in August

Screen Media, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, has acquired all North American rights to the heist thriller Naked Singularity, and has set the film for an Aug. 6 theatrical release, followed by VOD Aug. 13.

Based on the novel A Naked Singularity by former Manhattan DA Sergio De La Pava, the tells the story of Casi (John Boyega), a promising young NYC public defender whose idealism is beginning to crack under the daily injustices of the very justice system he’s trying to make right. Doubting all he has worked for and seeing signs of the universe collapsing all around him, he is pulled into a dangerous high-stakes drug heist by an unpredictable former client (Olivia Cooke) to beat the broken system at its own game.

The cast also includes Bill Skarsgård, Ed Skrein, Linda Lavin and Tim Blake Nelson.

Naked Singularity marks the directorial debut of filmmaker Chase Palmer, who previously wrote the screenplay for 2017’s It: Chapter One.

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‘WW84’ Tops Disc Sales for Third Week; ‘Willy’s Wonderland’ Debuts at No. 2

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Wonder Woman 1984 spent a third week atop the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray chart the week ended April 17.

Debuting at No. 2 was Screen Media’s Willy Wonderland, which in its first week sold about one-third as many copies as the superhero sequel. The comedic horror film stars Nicolas Cage as a stranded motorist who finds himself fighting for survival against the homicidal animatronic inhabitants of an abandoned family fun center.

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Dropping a spot on both charts was Disney’s Soul at No. 3, and Universal Pictures’ News of the World at No. 4.

The No. 5 disc seller was Lionsgate’s Shadow in the Cloud, which was No. 6 on the Blu-ray chart.

The No. 5 Blu-ray seller was Sony Pictures’ video game adaptation Monster Hunter, which was No. 6 on the overall disc sales chart.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended April 18, Wonder Woman 1984 was the top rental and News of the World was No. 2 for the third-consecutive week.

Willy’s Wonderland debuted at No. 3, pushing Universal’s The Croods: A New Age to No. 4.

No. 5 was another new release, Lionsgate’s The Penthouse, a thriller about a man seeking revenge against a couple for interfering in his relationship.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 4-17-21
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 4-18-21
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 4-17-21
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 4-17-21
Sales Report for Week Ended 4-17-21
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 4-19-21

Nicolas Cage Movie ‘Willy’s Wonderland’ on Disc April 13

Screen Media will release the comedic horror actioner Willy’s Wonderland on Blu-ray Disc and DVD April 13.

Nicolas Cage stars as a quiet loner who finds himself stranded in a remote town when his car breaks down. Unable to pay for the repairs he needs, he agrees to spend the night cleaning Willy’s Wonderland, an abandoned family fun center. He soon discovers the Wonderland’s dark secret when he’s trapped inside and forced to battle the possessed animatronic mascots that roam the halls.

The cast also includes Emily Tosta, Beth Grant, Ric Reitz and Chris Warner.

The film made about $400,000 in a limited theatrical release in February, when it was available simultaneously through VOD.

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‘Girl’ Arriving on DVD Jan. 5 From Screen Media

Screen Media, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, will release the thriller Girl on DVD Jan. 5, 2021. The film from writer-director Chad Faust is available now digitally for sale and VOD.

The film stars Bella Thorne as a young woman who returns to her small hometown to exact revenge on her abusive father, only to discover someone murdered him the day before. As the girl searches for answers, she soon finds herself prey to a sinister sheriff (Mickey Rourke) and uncovers a family legacy more disturbing than she’d imagined.

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‘The Outpost’ Takes Over as Top Redbox Disc Rental; ‘Tax Collector’ Again Tops Digital Chart

Screen Media’s war drama The Outpost took over the top spot on the Redbox kiosk disc rental chart the week ended Aug. 23. The film, directed by Rod Lurie, is based on the book by Jake Tapper about the Battle of Kamdesh during the War in Afghanistan.

The Outpost was No. 5 on the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital rental transactions.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Scoob! dropped to No. 2 after four weeks in the top spot in the top spot on Redbox’s kiosk disc rental chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red kiosks.

The top title on the Redbox On Demand chart was again RLJ Films’ The Tax Collector, its third week as the top digital title.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s You Should Have Left was the No. 3 disc rental for a third week, and held onto the No. 3 spot on the Redbox On Demand chart.

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Another Universal title, DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls World Tour, climbed to No. 4 on the disc chart but slipped to No. 7 on the digital chart.

Warner’s direct-to-video Deep Blue Sea 3 slid to No. 5 on the kiosk chart and No. 6 on the On Demand chart. Redbox offered early availability of the disc prior to its wide Aug. 25 release.

Rounding out the top five on the On Demand chart was Universal’s remake of The Invisible Man at No. 2, and Sony Pictures’ Fantasy Island at No. 4.

Other new releases debuting on the disc rental chart included Universal’s Emperor at No. 6 and Distribution Solutions’ Open 24 Hours at No. 7.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended Aug. 23:

  1. The Outpost — Screen Media
  2. Scoob! — Warner
  3. You Should Have Left — Universal
  4. Trolls World Tour — Universal
  5. Deep Blue Sea 3 — Warner
  6. Emperor (2020) — Universal
  7. Open 24 Hours — Distribution Solutions
  8. Survive the Night — Lionsgate
  9. Archive — Lionsgate
  10. The Wretched — IFC


Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended Aug. 23:

  1. The Tax Collector — RLJ
  2. The Invisible Man (2020) — Universal
  3. You Should Have Left — Universal
  4. Fantasy Island — Sony Pictures
  5. The Outpost — Screen Media
  6. Deep Blue Sea 3 — Warner
  7. Trolls World Tour — Universal
  8. The Silencing — Lionsgate
  9. Dolittle — Universal
  10. Homefront — Universal


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‘The Outpost,’ ‘Deathstroke’ Top Slate of New Disc, Digital Releases

Despite the lack of theatrical titles, the home entertainment marketplace is once again getting a fresh batch of new releases on both the physical media side and the digital side.

Topping the slate of new disc releases available Aug. 18 is Screen Media’s The Outpost, a war drama directed by Rod Lurie that is based on the book by Jake Tapper about the Battle of Kamdesh during the War in Afghanistan. The film, which stars Orlando Bloom, was scheduled to premiere at the 2020 South by Southwest Film Festival, but in the wake of the festival’s cancellation it was released via VOD, and in a handful of open theaters, on July 3. The film is available on DVD and Blu-ray Disc and may also be purchased or rented through digital retailers.

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Also new, to Blu-ray Disc, is Warner Bros.’ Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons: The Movie, a 2020 direct-to-video animated superhero film compiling the CW Seed series “Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons” produced by Warner Bros. Animation. The film has been available through digital retailers since Aug. 4.

Two other new releases worthy of note, Military Wives and Emperor, come from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and are available on DVD and digital only.

Military Wives is a 2019 British dramedy starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan. It was directed by Peter Cattaneo, from a screenplay by Rosanne Flynn and Rachel Tunnard. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019.

Emperor, directed by Mark Amir, is based on the life story of Shields Green, an escaped slave who travels north and has chance encounters with Frederick Douglass and John Brown.

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

Military Drama ‘The Outpost’ on Disc Aug. 18

Screen Media will release the military thriller The Outpost on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Aug. 18.

Based on best-selling non-fiction book The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor by Jake Tapper, the film depicts the story of a unit of U.S. soldiers stationed at the remote Combat Outpost Keating, located deep in the valley of three mountains in Afghanistan, as they defend against an overwhelming Taliban attack. The Battle of Kamdesh, as it came to be known, was the bloodiest American engagement of the Afghanistan War in 2009 and Bravo Troop 3-61 CAV became one of the most decorated units of the 19-year conflict.

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Scott Eastwood portrays Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha and Caleb Landry Jones portrays Specialist Ty Carter (who also appears in the movie), who were awarded the Medal of Honor. Orlando Bloom plays Captain Ben Keating. Director Rod Lurie, himself a former soldier and graduate of West Point, cast several other veterans of the American military in various roles, including Henry Hughes and Daniel Rodriguez.