‘Harry Potter’ Collection Leads U.S. Disc Sales

With the coronavirus pandemic having the duel effect of both limiting the depth of new home video releases and leading to fewer disc sales in general, TV DVD and catalog content have had a much easier time of late reaching the top spots on the national sales charts. The week ended Oct. 17 saw a “Harry Potter” boxed set take a turn in the top spot.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection, first released in 2011, was No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined Blu-ray Disc and DVD unit sales in the United States, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart. It had been No. 24 overall a week earlier.

In fact, almost the entire top 20 overall disc sales chart consisted of catalog and TV content, and the two new releases that did find a spot on it were reworkings of previously released material.

The No. 2 overall disc seller, and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart, was Disney’s Hocus Pocus, the perennial Halloween-season seller that had topped the charts the previous two weeks.

Another Disney Halloween favorite, the 1993 animated movie The Nightmare Before Christmas, came in at No. 3 overall and No. 8 on the Blu-ray chart.

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The week’s top debut was Shout! Factory’s new deluxe-edition boxed set of the 12 “Friday the 13th” movies, featuring new bonus materials and restorations of some of the films. It came in at No. 4 overall and No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart. A boxed set of all the films was previously released in 2013 by Warner (which controls the most-recent four films in the franchise that were made by New Line Cinema; Paramount made the first seven).

The No. 5 overall disc seller was Universal’s The Office: The Complete Series, a DVD set that has been re-released several times since 2014.

The No. 2 Blu-ray Disc seller, and No. 7 overall, was another newcomer, Warner’s Batman: Death in the Family, a collection of DC Showcase animated shorts. The centerpiece of the new disc, Batman: Death in the Family, is an interactive feature that allows viewers to choose whether Robin is killed by the Joker, and to see which different paths the story could take after that. In many respects, however, the short is a reworking of the 2010 movie Batman: Under the Red Hood, with some new footage to provide a prequel to the movie and some alternate story possibilities.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Oct. 18, Lionsgate’s The Doorman, an actioner with Ruby Rose, debuted at No. 1 (for perspective, it was No. 55 its first week on the sales chart).

The Redbox-exclusive disc of Ava, which had been the top rental the previous two weeks, dropped back to No. 2, where it debuted a month earlier.

RLJE Films’ The Tax Collector was No. 3, followed by two titles from Lionsgate: The Silencing at No. 4 and The Secret: Dare to Dream.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 10-17-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 10-18-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 10-17-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 10-17-20

Shout! Factory TV Slates Movie Marathon Curated by Patton Oswalt

Shout! Factory TV Nov. 7 will present “Patton Oswalt’s Six Pack Movie Marathon,” a 12-hour marathon of ‘B’ movies hand-selected by Oswalt, with hosted segments and interstitials from the film-buff comedian.

The collection consists of Chopping Mall, Battle Beyond the Stars, Shriek of the Mutilated, Suburbia, Eat My Dust and Q the Winged Serpent — a carefully curated selection of  cult classics that according to Shout! Factory TV “run the gamut from space opera to monster horror to punk rock pandemonium.”

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“Patton Oswalt’s Six Pack Movie Marathon” begins Saturday, Nov. 7, at 9 a.m. PT and noon ET with an encore presentation Sunday, Nov. 8, at noon PT and 3 p.m. ET. The livestream can be viewed on Shout! Factory’s main website, Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; as well as the following digital streaming platforms: Pluto TV, Twitch, Samsung TV Plus, Comcast Xfinity, Xumo, Vizio, Redbox, IMDb TV and STIRR. Versions of the broadcast will also be available for viewing on demand following the marathon on Shout! Factory’s main website and its platforms.

A comedian, actor, and writer, Oswalt continues to find success in all areas of entertainment. From his award-winning comedy specials to his many memorable film roles and guest appearances on his favorite TV shows (including “Parks and Recreation,” for which he received a TV Critics Choice Award), Oswalt is a pop cultural icon. He received an Emmy nomination this year for his latest Netflix special, “I Love Everything” and currently stars as Principal Durbin on the NBC Universal comedy “A.P. Bio,” produced by Seth Meyers, Mike O’Brien, and Lorne Michaels.

 

Shout! Factory Releasing ‘Bartender’ 15th Anniversary Blu-ray Jan. 19

Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Anime Limited, will release Bartender: 15th Anniversary Collector’s Edition digitally and Blu-ray Disc Jan. 19, 2021.

The collector’s edition, which represents the first time the cult favorite anime series “Bartender” has been released on Blu-ray in North America, collects all 11 episodes in a two-disc set, with deluxe packaging that includes nine cocktail recipe cards and four collectible coasters. Bonus content includes clean opening and closing credits, and bumpers.

The episodes are presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

Based on the best-selling Japanese manga books by Araki Joh, “Bartender” is centered on a bartending prodigy named Ryū Sasakura (voiced by Takahiro Mizushima) known for his spectacular cocktails. He opens his own bar, the Eden Hall, in downtown Tokyo, which soon becomes a gathering spot for customers who share their troubles and seek advice from the young bartender as they indulge in his “Glass of Gods” — the right drink for whichever situation they happen to find themselves in.

“Bartender” was adapted into an anime series in 2006 and a live-action Japanese television drama in 2011. The anthology series was directed by Masaki Watanabe, written by Yasushiro Imagawa, and produced by Palm Studios.

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Shout! Factory Slates Home Dates for Anime Heist Film ‘Lupin III: The First’

GKIDS and Shout! Factory have announced home release dates for Lupin III: The First, a 2019 Japanese 3DCG comedy action-adventure heist anime film based on the “Lupin the Third” franchise.

The film will first be available for digital download on Dec. 15, followed by a Jan. 12, 2021, release in a Blu-ray Disc + DVD combo pack, as a standalone DVD, and as a Blu-ray Steelbook.

In Lupin III: The First, the iconic “gentleman thief” Lupin III returns with his colorful underworld companions as they race to uncover the secrets of the mysterious Bresson Diary, before it falls into the hands of a dark cabal that will stop at nothing to resurrect the Third Reich.

The release will be presented in both the original Japanese version and a new English dubbed version, featuring the return of the English cast that has voiced previous Lupin films and series.

Bonus features exclusive to the Blu-ray include interviews with director Takashi Yamazaki and the Japanese voice cast.

The Steelbook edition also includes a 16-page booklet featuring character concept art.

Fans who order the Blu-ray + DVD combo pack or SteelBook copies from ShoutFactory’s main website will receive an 18×24-inch lithograph, while supplies last.

4K Ultra UHD: Into the Vaults — Indies Go 4K

As the 4K Ultra HD market has expanded, independents have jumped in as well.

In early 2016, Shout! Factory was one of the first independents to offer movies in the 4K Ultra HD format with a slate of family-friendly releases shot in Imax technology, including Journey to Space, narrated by Patrick Stewart; Humpback Whales, narrated by Ewan McGregor; Wonders of the Arctic, narrated by Victor Garber; The Last Reef: Cities Beneath the Sea; Flight of the Butterflies; and Rocky Mountain Express. The Imax releases continued with Mysteries of China (2017); We, the Marines, narrated by Gene Hackman (2018); Dream Big: Engineering Our World, narrated by Jeff Bridges (2018); National Parks Adventure, narrated by Robert Redford (2018); and Guardians of the Seas (2019), among others.

SEE ALSO: Prepping Films for 4K Ultra HD is a Journey of Discovery

In May of this year, Shout! released D-Day: Normandy 1944 — 75th Anniversary Edition and The Deer Hunter: Collector’s Edition. There are several titles slated for later this year and early 2021, including the Japanese animated Weathering With You: Collector’s Edition (Nov. 17) and John Carpenter’s sci-fi horror classic They Live (Dec. 8).

“For the most part, action is the best genre for the format,” says Jeff Nelson, senior marketing director at Shout! Factory’s horror imprint, Scream Factory. “Since Scream Factory is such a big brand for us, we will be looking to our catalog for some horror and sci-fi titles.”

While most of the titles Scream Factory’s Nelson and Cliff MacMillan have been working on have existing 4K masters, “we will be doing Army of Darkness early next year, which will be the first title we have done from scratch,” Nelson says. “We will need to do more restoration on the new 4K title to make sure the picture looks its best.”

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At Well Go USA Entertainment, executives watched the 4K market share of tentpole releases closely and jumped in with their first 4K Ultra HD release, the martial arts action film Shadow, in August 2019. Well Go has released three titles in the past 12 months, with two more planned for the fourth quarter, including the complete “Ip Man” collection.

“We look for new releases that our growing fan base will appreciate and embrace on 4K,” says Well Go EVP Tony Vandeveerdonk. “We like action films that are visually stunning with a high production value. In the case of the Ip Man 4 4K release back in April, the decision to release a 4K was easy. ‘Ip Man’ is one of our most successful film franchises and has been touted as the best martial arts film franchise of all time. The [sellthrough] on this 4K SKU has been terrific.”

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Blue Underground, too, watched the growing sales in the 4K market and took the plunge.

“My company likes to be forward thinking,” says William Lustig, president of the indie that distributes through MVD Entertainment Group.

“Maniac and Zombie [released in May] were our first titles, as they are both historically strong sellers and, as we own them in perpetuity, we have a long time to recoup the costs if we misjudged the market,” he says. “Both sold well above expectations.”

In choosing titles to release in 4K, “we look for our best sellers,” he says.
Among the 4K projects the company is working on are Daughters of Darkness, Vigilante, Maniac Cop 2 and 3, Dead & Buried, The Final Countdown and Fire and Ice.

Disc Sales Charts Led by Season 5 of ‘Outlander’

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Outlander: Season Five debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Sept. 19.

The popular Starz series stars stars Caitriona Balfe as a World War II nurse who finds herself transported back in time to the 18th century.

Disney’s Hocus Pocus jumped up to No. 2, from No. 18 the previous week. The perennial Halloween-season seller got a bit of a boost from a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition, which comprised 18% of the title’s total unit sales. It was No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart.

Warner’s Beetlejuice, which topped the charts a few weeks earlier after the release of its own 4K disc, was No. 3 on the overall disc sales chart and No. 10 on the Blu-ray chart.

New release Weathering With You, an anime movie distributed in America by Shout! Factory, debuted at No. 4 overall and No. 2 on the Blu-ray chart.

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The previous week’s top seller, Warner’s direct-to-video animated movie Superman: Man of Tomorrow, slipped to No. 5 overall and No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart.

The No. 5 Blu-ray was Lionsgate’s new Vestron collector’s edition of David Cronenberg’s 1975 horror movie Shivers. Similarly, Lionsgate’s Vestron Blu-ray of the 1989 comedy Little Monsters was the No. 6 Blu-ray.

Warner’s Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite!, which arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 13 but is available for sale early at Walmart, was No. 14 overall. The Blu-ray version comprised 29% of its Walmart sales.

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The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Sept. 20 had at No. 1 for the third straight week the Universal political comedy Irresistible, which on the disc sales chart has never cracked the top 50.

Lionsgate’s Rogue moved up to No. 2, swapping with Universal’s The King of Staten Island, which dropped to No. 3.

Redbox’s Hard Kill climbed a spot to No. 4, and Warner’s Scoob! moved up to No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 9-19-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 9-20-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 9-19-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 9-19-20
Sales Report for Week Ended 9-19-20
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 9-21-20

‘Outlander: Season 5’ Jumps to No. 1 on ‘Watched at Home’ Chart

The fifth season of the fantasy TV series “Outlander,” distributed by Sony Pictures, was the top title on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart for the week ended Sept. 19.

The Blu-ray and DVD edition of the season arrived in stores Sept. 15.

Also new to the list at No. 7 is the anime movie Weathering With You, released on Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 15 by Shout! Factory.

No. 12 saw the debut of Lionsgate’s The Secret: Dare to Dream, which became available for digital sellthrough Sept. 15. Based on the 2006 self-help book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, the movie stars Katie Holmes as a widowed mother of three who meets a handyman (Josh Lucas) who inspires her with the power of positive thinking.

The other new release on the list, at No. 15, is Magnolia Pictures’ Alone, a thriller about a recently widowed woman who flees the city only to be kidnapped by a strange man and held captive in his cabin.

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The three seasons of Paramount’s drama series “Yellowstone,” which the previous week took the top three spots, dropped to second, third and fourth on the “Watched at Home” chart, which tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc) compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. Season three was No. 2, followed by season two then season one.

Warner’s eight-film “Harry Potter” collection rounded out the top five.

The Sept. 18 death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspired viewers to revisit two 2018 films about her: the documentary RBG, from Magnolia, at No. 10, and the biopic On the Basis of Sex, from Universal, at No. 16. In the latter, Felicity Jones plays a younger Ginsberg making a name for herself as a civil rights attorney.

  1. Outlander: Season 5 (Sony Pictures)
  2. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  3. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  4. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  5. Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  6. The Tax Collector (RLJ Entertainment)
  7. Weathering With You (Shout! Factory)
  8. Trolls World Tour (Universal/DreamWorks)
  9. The King of Staten Island (Universal)
  10. RBG (Magnolia)
  11. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Warner)
  12. The Secret: Dare to Dream (Lionsgate)
  13. Irresistible (2020, Universal)
  14. Hocus Pocus (Disney)
  15. Alone (Magnolia)
  16. On the Basis of Sex (Universal)
  17. Guest House (Lionsgate)
  18. The Silencing (2020, Lionsgate)
  19. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Warner)
  20. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Warner)

 

Source: DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Includes U.S. digital sales, digital rentals, and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD sales for the week ended Sept. 19.

Shout! Factory Slates Month-Long Streams of Horror Films During October

Shout! Factory TV and Scream Factory have announced “31 Nights of Horror,” featuring a daily selection of macabre films available to stream each evening throughout October.

Starting Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. PT or 10 p.m. ET, fans can tune in for a daily selection of horror movies such as Witchboard, Bad Moon, the cult classic Sleepaway Camp, The Exorcist III, Clive Barker’s Nightbreed: Director’s Cut, and many more. Viewers will also be treated to a double feature every Saturday during the month, as well as a distinctively eerie episode of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” for every MSTie Monday. There will also be an announcement of a special presentation for Oct. 30.

The livestream can be viewed on Shout Factory TV’s main website, Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Android apps, and on the following digital streaming platforms: Twitch, Samsung TV Plus, Comcast Xfinity, Xumo, Vizio, Redbox, IMDB TV, and STIRR.

The featured films will also be available for viewing on Shout! Factory TV’s main website, Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and on various Shout! Factory TV branded channels including Tubi TV, Amazon Prime Channels, and the Roku Channel

The schedule for “31 Nights of Horror” is as follows:

  • Oct. 1: Nosferatu the Vampyre
  • Oct. 2: Body Bags
  • Oct. 3: Deadly Double Feature: Mermaid: Lake of the Dead / Night Tide
  • Oct. 4: Cannibal Girls
  • Oct. 5: MSTie Monday: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Hobgoblins
  • Oct. 6: The House That Dripped Blood
  • Oct. 7: Werewolves on Wheels
  • Oct. 8: Shakma
  • Oct. 9: How to Make a Monster
  • Oct. 10: Deadly Double Feature: Witchboard / Witchery
  • Oct. 11: The Beast Must Die
  • Oct. 12: MSTie Monday: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Night of the Blood Beast
  • Oct. 13: Q: The Winged Serpent
  • Oct. 14: Saturday the 14th
  • Oct. 15: Chopping Mall
  • Oct. 16: The Howling III: The Marsupials
  • Oct. 17: Deadly Double Feature: Bad Moon/ The Howling: New Moon Rising
  • Oct. 18: Nightbreed: Director’s Cut
  • Oct. 19: MSTie Monday: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Touch of Satan
  • Oct. 20: Jackals
  • Oct. 21: Itsy Bitsy
  • Oct. 22: Bloodsucking Bastards
  • Oct. 23: The Exorcist III
  • Oct. 24: Deadly Double Feature: Sleepaway Camp / The Final Terror
  • Oct. 25: Horror Hospital
  • Oct. 26: MSTie Monday: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Werewolf
  • Oct. 27: Class of 1984
  • Oct. 28: The Monster Club
  • Oct. 29: Asylum
  • Oct. 30: TBD
  • Oct. 31: Deadly Double Feature: Ghosthouse / The Evil

‘Cats & Dogs 3’, ‘The Secret: Dare to Dream’ Top New Digital Releases; ‘Roman Holiday’ Makes Blu-ray Disc Debut

The family film Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite!, from Warner Bros., and Lionsgate’s The Secret: Dare to Dream top the slate of new digital releases available for purchase Sept. 15, while a flurry of independent films arrive on disc the same day.

Also out Sept. 15: the classic 1953 film Roman Holiday, arriving for the first time on Blu-ray Disc as part of Paramount Home Entertainment’s new Paramount Presents line. The film was subjected to an extensive 4K restoration by the studio, which showed off some of the results at an online press event July 15.

In the film, Audrey Hepburn stars as a European princess who escapes her secluded lifestyle and spends an adventure in Rome with an American journalist played by Gregory Peck. “I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like Roman Holiday,” said famed critic and film historian Leonard Maltin. “It’s an irresistible movie.”

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Also new in stores, Best Buy has an exclusive Steelbook of the camp comedy classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, from 20th Century Fox. The studio, now owned by The Walt Disney Co., is also offering consumers the chance to buy a new 4K Ultra HD edition of the holiday classic Home Alone to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary.

Paws Unite! is the second sequel to 2001’s Cats & Dogs, a spy action-comedy film starring Jeff Goldblum that grossed more than $200 million in global ticket sales. Unlike the two other films, Paws Unite! is a straight-to-home release, except in the UK, where it opens theatrically on Oct. 9. In the U.S., the film will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on Oct. 13.

The Secret: Dare to Dream is new drama based on the 2006 self-help book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. The film stars Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas and was directed by Andy Tennant, from a screenplay by he wrote with Bekah Brunstetter and Rick Parks.

New independent films arriving in stores Sept. 15 on DVD and Blu-ray include Mill Creek Entertainment’s No Safe Spaces and Shout! Factory’s Weathering With You.

No Safe Spaces finds comedian and podcaster Adam Carolla and radio talk show host Dennis Prager taking the audience on a journey to expose threats to free speech taking place on university campuses, in social media, and at the workplace.

Weathering With You is a new anime film from director Makoto Shinkai. It follows a boy named Hodaka, who runs away from his remote island home in Tokyo the summer of his high school freshman year. He quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits, and notices the weather is unusually rainy and gloomy every day (a sign of his troubled future). He lives his days in isolation, finally finding his place as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. One day, he meets a bright and strong-willed girl named Hina, who possesses a strange but wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky.

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

Shout! Factory Releasing ‘They Live’ on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Shout! Factory’s horror imprint, Scream Factory, will release director John Carpenter’s They Live on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Dec. 8.

The 1988 sci-fi allegory will be available as a two-disc They Live: Collector’s Edition combo pack with the 4K disc and a regular Blu-ray. This marks the first time the film will be available in 4K in North America.

The film stars Rowdy Roddy Piper as Nada, a drifter in Los Angeles who comes across a pair of sunglasses that allows him to see a hidden society of aliens living among humans and systematically taking over Earth by luring society into submission.

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The 4K combo pack will include a new 7.1 Dolby Atmos audio mix, Dolby Vision HDR, and all the previous bonus features from Scream Factory’s 2012 Blu-ray of the film:

  • Commentary with Carpenter and Piper;
  • “Independent Thoughts” — an interview with Carpenter;
  • “Man vs. Aliens” — An interview with actor Keith David;
  • “Woman of Mystery” — An interview with actress Meg Foster;
  • “Watch, Look, Listen: The Sights & Sounds of They Live” — A look at the visual style, stunts and music with director of photography Gary B. Kibbe, stunt coordinator Jeff Imada, and co-composer Alan Howarth;
  • Vintage “The Making of They Live” featurette;
  • Footage from commercials created for the film;
  • Original theatrical trailer;
  • TV Spots;
  • still gallery.

 

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The ShoutFactory.com store also features five exclusive offers tied to the They Live 4K release.

Fans who order the 4K disc (priced at $34.98) directly from ShoutFactory.com will receive an 18×24-inch rolled poster reproduction of the film’s original one-sheet, while supplies last.

ShoutFactory.com also has an exclusive limited-edition NECA 8-inch clothed action figure of Keith David’s “Frank,” who joins Nada in the fight against the aliens. Limited to a run of 4,000 units, the figure will be housed in retro box packaging featuring original theatrical art, and  comes with two accessory machine guns, a purple shirt, khaki pants, and a pair of the special sunglasses. The figure is meant as a companion to NECA’s Nada action figure due in November 2020.

The Frank figure can be purchased on its own for $39.99.

A bundle of the 4K disc, poster and the Frank figure is available for $74.99.

Scream Factory will also have an exclusive 7-inch bubble gum pink vinyl record via Sacred Bones, limited to a run of 2,500 units and featuring music from They Live composed by Carpenter. The ‘A’-side includes the 2017 version of the main title and the ‘B’-side contains a never-before-released recording of “Wake Up” recorded by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies in 2019.

The 4K disc with the poster and vinyl is available for $58.99.

Finally, a deluxe bundle of the 4K disc with the poster, Frank figure and vinyl is offered for $94.99.