‘Croods’ Returns Atop Redbox Disc Rental Chart; ‘Monster Hunter’ Still No. 1 On Demand

Universal Pictures’ The Croods: A New Age returned to the No. 1 spot on the Redbox disc rental chart the week ended March 14. It had debuted at No. 1 two weeks earlier before dropping to No. 2 in its second week.

The animated sequel remained No. 2 on the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital rental transactions.

The No. 1 digital title for a second week was Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s video game adaptation Monster Hunter, which slipped to No. 2 on the Redbox disc rental chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at Redbox’s more than 40,000 red kiosks.

Quiver’s Crisis, available as a Redbox exclusive on disc until April 20, rose to No. 3 on the disc rental chart and remained No. 6 on the On Demand chart. The film tells multiple stories about people dealing with how drug trafficking and drug abuse affects their lives.

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Rounding out the top five discs were Lionsgate’s Fatale at No. 4, and STX Films’ Greenland, distributed on disc by Universal Pictures, at No. 5.

On the On Demand chart, Fatale was No. 3 and Greenland was No. 4, followed by Lionsgate’s Wrong Turn reboot at No. 5 (Wrong Turn was the No. 9 disc rental).

The week’s top newcomer was the Lionsgate’s Vanguard, a Chinese actioner starring Jackie Chan as the CEO of a covert security firm tasked with protecting a wealthy businessman who rats out his corrupt partner in an arms deal. It was No. 6 on the disc chart and No. 7 on the digital chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 14:

  1. The Croods: A New Age — Universal/DreamWorks
  2. Monster Hunter — Sony Pictures
  3. Crisis — Redbox
  4. Fatale — Lionsgate
  5. Greenland — Universal/STX
  6. Vanguard — Lionsgate
  7. Freaky — Universal
  8. Half Brothers — Universal
  9. Wrong Turn (2021) — Lionsgate
  10. Let Him Go — Universal

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 14:

  1. Monster Hunter — Sony Pictures
  2. The Croods: A New Age — Universal/DreamWorks
  3. Fatale — Lionsgate
  4. Greenland — STX
  5. Wrong Turn (2021) — Lionsgate
  6. Crisis — Quiver
  7. Vanguard — Lionsgate
  8. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run — Paramount
  9. Cosmic Sin — Paramount
  10. Freaky — Universal

 

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Guy Ritchie Comedy ‘Snatch’ Due on 4K Ultra HD June 1

The comedy Snatch, from director Guy Ritchie, is being released on 4K Ultra HD June 1 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The writer-director of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels delivers a story about a diamond heist gone wrong, a colorful Irish gypsy-turned-prizefighter — and a very temperamental dog. In the heart of gangland, two novice unlicensed boxing promoters, Turkish (Jason Statham) and Tommy (Stephen Graham), get roped into a rigged bare-knuckle fight with local kingpin/villain and fellow boxing promoter Brick Top (Alan Ford). But all goes wrong when wild-card Irish gypsy boxer One Punch Mickey O’Neil (Brad Pitt) starts playing by his own rules, and the duo find themselves heading for a whole lot of trouble. Meanwhile, Franky Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro) and his stolen 86-carat diamond have gone missing in London. Head honcho Avi (Dennis Farina) hires local legend Bullet Tooth Tony (Vinnie Jones) to find them, launching everyone into a spiral of double-crossing vendettas and events, most of them illegal.

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The 4K release includes a new Dolby Atmos soundtrack and the theatrical trailer. Extras on Blu-ray include director and producer commentary; deleted scenes with optional commentary; the “Making Snatch” featurette; storyboard comparisons; and a video photo gallery.

‘Croods’ Again Top Disc Seller; ‘Monster Hunter’ Debuts at No. 2

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s The Croods: A New Age was No. 1 for a second consecutive week on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart the week ended March 6.

The two-movie “Croods” collection slipped from the second spot to No. 3 in its second week.

The week’s top newcomer, at No. 2 on both charts, was Sony Pictures’ Monster Hunter. The video game adaptation stars Milla Jovovich as the leader of a military squad that gets caught in sandstorm that transports them to a strange world ruled by powerful creatures they must fight to survive. It earned $14.4 million at the domestic box office.

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Another newcomer, Lionsgate’s Fatale, landed at No. 4 on the overall disc sales chart, and No. 5 on the Blu-ray chart. The psychological thriller stars Michael Ealy as a sports agent who gets entangled in the murder investigation of a police detective (Hilary Swank) with whom he had a one-night stand. It earned $6.3 millon from U.S. theaters.

Rounding out the top five on both charts was STX Films’ Greenland, distributed on disc by Universal Pictures. It was No. 5 overall and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart.

Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 64% of total Monster Hunter unit sales; the 4K Ultra HD version comprised 22% of its total. For Fatale, Blu-ray comprised 43% of its total.

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Monster Hunter did manage to top the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended March 7, pushing The Croods: A New Age to No. 2.

Fatale debuted as the No. 3 rental, followed at No. 4 by Greenland and No. 5 by Universal’s Freaky.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 3-6-21
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 3-7-21
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 3-6-21
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 3-6-21Sales Report for Week Ended 3-6-21
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 3-8-21

‘Monster Hunter’ Captures Top Spot on Redbox Charts

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Monster Hunter debuted at No. 1 on the Redbox disc rental and Redbox On Demand charts the week ended March 7.

Based on the video game franchise, Monster Hunter stars Milla Jovovich as Capt. Artemis, whose unit is caught in a sandstorm that transports them to a world ruled by dangerous and powerful monsters. As they fight to survive, they encounter the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures. It earned $14.4 million at the domestic box office.

The previous week’s top title, Universal Pictures’ The Croods: A New Age, dropped to No. 2 on both charts. The Redbox disc rental chart tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at Redbox’s more than 40,000 red kiosks, while the Redbox On Demand chart tracks digital rental transactions.

No. 3 on both charts was another new disc release, Lionsgate’s Fatale. The psychological thriller stars Michael Ealy as a sports agent who gets entangled in the murder investigation of a police detective (Hilary Swank) with whom he had a one-night stand. It earned $6.3 millon from U.S. theaters.

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STX Films’ Greenland, distributed on disc by Universal Pictures, was No. 4 on the disc chart and No. 5 on the digital chart. Another Universal release, the horror/comedy hybrid Freaky, was No. 5 on the disc chart and No. 9 on the On Demand chart.

Lionsgate’s Wrong Turn reboot was No. 4 on the On Demand chart and No. 6 on the disc rental chart.

Quiver’s Crisis, available as a Redbox exclusive on disc until April 20, debuted at No. 8 on the disc rental chart and No. 6 on the On Demand chart. The film tells multiple stories about people dealing with how drug trafficking and drug abuse affects their lives. The cast includes Gary Oldman, Armie Hammer, Evangeline Lilly, Greg Kinnear, Michelle Rodriguez, Kid Cudi, Luke Evans, Lily-Rose Depp, Indira Varma and Mia Kirshner.

No. 7 on the digital chart and No. 10 on the On Demand chart was Universal’s Half Brothers, a comedy about two long-lost brothers who come together for a road trip to trace the path their father took as an immigrant from Mexico to the United States.

Paramount’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, which arrived on premium-video-on-demand March 4, landed at No. 7 on the On Demand chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 7:

  1. Monster Hunter — Sony Pictures
  2. The Croods: A New Age — Universal/DreamWorks
  3. Fatale — Lionsgate
  4. Greenland — Universal/STX
  5. Freaky — Universal
  6. Wrong Turn (2021) — Lionsgate
  7. Half Brothers — Universal
  8. Crisis — Redbox
  9. Let Him Go — Universal
  10. The War With Grandpa — Universal

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 7:

  1. Monster Hunter — Sony Pictures
  2. The Croods: A New Age — Universal/DreamWorks
  3. Fatale — Lionsgate
  4. Wrong Turn (2021) — Lionsgate
  5. Greenland — STX
  6. Crisis — Quiver
  7. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run — Paramount
  8. Let Him Go — Universal
  9. Freaky — Universal
  10. Half Brothers — Universal

 

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‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Returns Atop U.K. Official Film Chart

The last time Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Spider-Man: Far From Home sat atop the U.K. home entertainment weekly sales chart in 2019, the pandemic was just someone’s wild nightmare. Fast forward and the Marvel webslinger is back up to No. 1 on the Official Film Chart through March 10.

With the week’s highest count of digital downloads, the film switches places with the previous week’s chart topper, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s The Secret Garden (No. 2) as anticipation builds for the next “Spider-Man” movie release in December. Sony recently disclosed that the next installment will be titled Spider-Man: No Way Home, and rumors are rampant across The Pond what — and who — might appear in the film.

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At No. 3 is the chart’s newest entry of the week, Cosmic Sin (Altitude Spirit). Starring Bruce Willis as retired General James Ford in this sci-fi adventure flick set in the year 2524, which sees him called back into service to lead a team of elite soldiers into a pre-emptive strike against a newly discovered alien civilization, to try and stop an imminent war before it’s too late.

The third and final installment of the “Maze Runner” series, Maze Runner: The Death Cure (20th Century) lands at No. 4, its first feature on the Official Film Chart, while Lionsgate U.K. horror sequel Hellraiser: Judgement also enters for the first time at No. 5.

Warner’s Birds of Prey soared 16 places to No. 6, while the studio’s Roald Dahl’s The Witches dropped three places to No. 7. Disney/Marvel’s Iron Man re-entered the chart for the first time since 2019 thanks to a new 4K Steelbook release, landing in the top 10 for the very first time at No. 8.

Warner’s Harry Potter: The Complete Collection moved up six places to No. 9, landing just ahead of Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame, which returned to the top 10 for the first time since mid-2020.

The Official Film Chart Top 10 — March 10, 2021

Rank Previous Week Title Studio
1 2 Spider-Man: Far From Home Sony Picture
2 1 The Secret Garden Universal Pictures
3 New Cosmic Sin Altitude Spirit
4 New Maze Runner: The Death Cure 20th Century
5 New Hellraiser: Judgment Lionsgate U.K.
6 22 Birds of Prey  Warner
7 4 Roald Dahl’s The Witches  Warner
8 Re-release Iron Man Disney/Marvel
9 15 Harry Potter: The Complete Collection Warner
10 Re-release Avengers: Endgame Disney/Marvel

© Official Charts Company 2021

OTT.X Summit Panelists: Transactional VOD, Including PVOD, Here to Stay

Transactional VOD, or the digital rental or sale of titles, is here to stay — including the higher-priced COVID-induced newcomer PVOD — said panelists during the OTT.X spring summit.

“It’s still, if you actually include the declining physical part of the business, it’s still a $10 billion business,” said Fandango’s Cameron Douglas, who oversees transactional services FandangoNow and the recently acquired Vudu. “It also was the first year, last year, that you actually saw growth, combined physical and digital business en masse. So I absolutely think that there’s a continued appetite for consumers for transactional video whether it’s Blu-ray and DVD or TVOD.”

“It’s absolutely here to stay, and the reason for that is that is consumers cannot afford to sign up for every single subscription service that’s out there, and there’s no way that you can replicate the selection that’s available on transactional platforms,” added Jill Allen, SVP of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “It’s just ubiquitous. It’s on every platform. And if you want to watch a movie, you generally know that it’s available to rent or buy somewhere. And then in addition TVOD has various benefits in terms of the windows, too, getting the earlier window. So in the near term I see it continuing. Even though it’s definitely benefited from COVID, looking forward I see it still being a very vibrant, large business.”

Transactional services also offer a deeper library of content than subscription services, panelists noted.

“I don’t know how many pieces of content Peacock has or Netflix has but it’s relatively small compared to a transactional platform,” Douglas added. “I think Vudu, at last count, has 225,000 movies and TV shows. I promise you that even the biggest services on the subscription side have nothing that size library.”

Panelists, clockwise, from left top: Mike Gamboa of Roku, Thomas K. Arnold of Media Play News, Jill Allen of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Michelle Edelman of Premiere Digital, and Cameron Douglas of FandangoNow. (Screen shot courtesy of Marc Rashba)

The studio leap into premium VOD (PVOD), usually a $20 one-time rental, has been successful as well, panelists noted, with Premier Digital’s Michele Edelman saying that a friend had shared a story about watching a first-run film at home.

“She said, ‘I treated myself to a theatrical movie in my house,’” Edelman said. “’I’d just had dinner, and I watched Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar.’ She said, ‘It was the best experience.’”

Edelman noted that “everyone’s screens are bigger,” making watching movies at home more theater-like.

“They’re creating this really great theatrical experience where they are,” she said.

Roku’s Mike Gamboa agreed.

“Consumers love new release movies,” he said. “I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon, but I think they have been demanding the flexibility to watch either in theaters or at home. And I think from our perspective, the success of Trolls [World Tour on PVOD] and Scoob! [also on PVOD] kind of demonstrated that consumers love new-release movies at home, and the economics and technical infrastructure is in place to support that business model. So we do see opportunity and viability of PVOD and TVOD to support the new-release movies.”

Sony’s Allen, too, noted that PVOD produced changes in how the teams at the studio worked together.

“We’ve never collaborated so closely with our theatrical team,” she said.

Indeed, Douglas noted, PVOD titles were able to benefit from theatrical marketing as never before.

“I’m looking forward to a real PVOD title,” Douglas said. “We really haven’t had one. Premium VOD in its initial incarnation was meant to be a theatrical movie that has a short window to home entertainment. Because theaters haven’t really opened up yet, a real PVOD title is going to be the real test.”

With the windows shifting during the pandemic and studios experimenting with different windows and pricing, the calculus in how to release a title has become complex during the past year, Allen said.

“You now have to navigate around a whole new set of competitive windows and, internally, as a content provider, you have to look at when your content is going into other windows as well, too,” she said. “So it’s become a little bit more complex.”

Allen said she has to look at individual release plans for each of her studio’s own titles and also what windows the other studios’ titles are employing.

“You had Wonder Woman [1984] that had multiple new-release windows,” she noted. “If you’re competing against the third new-release window of that, is that now a big deal? So understanding the competitive landscape, very, very complex. Even within each studio, if you have a title that’s on a subscription service. If I have a Christmas-themed movie, and I have it available on an SVOD service, can I sell that movie right now?”

While new releases have been few and far between during the pandemic as the pipeline shrank to a trickle, TVOD services and studios leaned on catalog to fill the gap, panelists noted.

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“We’ve seen huge growth in [catalog] the last year because of the dearth of new release content,” Douglas said, adding the services have noticed “people rediscovering their favorites, collecting them, adding them to their library, including full series of television shows, where they’re buying almost the entire series of ‘Married With Children’ or ‘M*A*S*H’ or ‘The Office.’”

Sony, too, has been mining catalog while production slowed.

“It’s been our lives since COVID started,” Allen said.

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Indeed, consumers are responding by collecting digitally, noted Edelman.

“I just heard the other day, someone said, ‘I started building my digital library,’” she said. “’I now have in my library my absolute favorite films, and I’m buying them at these really discounted prices because it was worth it.'”

“It’s the best subscription service you could ever have,” added Douglas.

Lionsgate Vice Chairman: Sony Distribution Deal Increases Margins; Says Theatrical Window Forever Changed

Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns says he expects to see increased consolidation of marketing and distribution efforts within the home entertainment market.

Speaking March 9 on the virtual Deutsche Bank confab, Burns was asked about last month’s decision to consolidate North American DVD/Blu-ray Disc distribution with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Sony will handle distribution of Lionsgate’s packaged-media releases in the U.S. and Canada beginning in July. The studio’s North American distribution has been handled by the former 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, which was acquired in 2019 by Disney.

“It will be good for us,” Burns said. “We’re all in the same [retail] business, which is to try to make as much money as possible. So, if you can consolidate operations and squeeze a little bit of margin here and there by having significant volume, which gives you that opportunity, I think you’re going to see more of that [in the industry].”

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When asked about ongoing efforts to rejigger the traditional theatrical window, Burns said he believes the windows will continue to change and have “changed forever in many ways.”

“That’s good for us,” he said. “I like the prospects for the motion picture business right now. You have limited supply and increased demand in that business.”

Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns

Lionsgate movies in the pipeline include back-to-back “John Wick” releases, among other action movies; Borderlands; a Monopoly-themed movie with Hasbro; and The Hunger Games prequel Snakes and Songbirds. 

The executive said changing windows with established major theatrical franchises such as “Hunger Games,” The Twilight Saga and “John Wick” diminish the titles’ upside in future retail channels. For the movies that don’t do well at the box office, shortening windows to 17 days (or three weekends), Burns said going straight to the consumer is “a really good thing” as opposed to waiting three months or longer before electronic sellthrough, VOD or DVD.

“There are a lot of advantages to having flexibility,” he said. “We’re not going to commit to one release pattern or another. The movie business is a mixture of art and science. And so we’re going to look at each movie individually and go where we can make the most money.”

 

‘Khalid: Free Spirit’ Album Companion Film Due on Digital April 6 From Sony

Khalid: Free Spirit, a companion film to the multi-platinum recording artist’s album, will be available for digital purchase and rental April 6 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In this creative parallel to Khalid’s platinum album Free Spirit, Khalid and award-winning music video director Emil Nava expand on Khalid’s lyrics and artistry on the album to create a visual story of love, loss and the pain of growing up.

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The cast includes Khalid Robinson, Dizzy Fae, Judah Lang, Jahking Guillory, Estefania Preciado, Bianca Leonor Quinones, Maverick McConnell, Diamond White and Ed Gathegi.

The film also includes never-before-seen outtakes.

Sony Releasing ‘Last Action Hero’ 4K Steelbook

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment May 18 will release Last Action Hero for the first time on 4K Ultra HD as a limited-edition Steelbook combo pack.

The set includes the 1993 big-budget spoof on a 4K disc, a regular Blu-ray and a digital copy.

Directed by John McTiernan (Die Hard), the film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a heightened version of himself, playing an action hero named Jack Slater in a popular film franchise. When 11-year-old Danny Madigan (Austin O’Brien) is given a magic ticket during a screening of the latest Jack Slater movie, he ends up in the world of the movie, where the good guys always win and the laws of physics rarely apply. As Danny searches for a way home, he becomes Slater’s sidekick on a case involving a trio of bad guys: Benedict (Charles Dance), Vivaldi (Anthony Quinn) and The Ripper (Tom Noonan). But things get out of hand when Benedict steals Danny’s magic ticket stub and transports himself into the real world, and plans to take out his biggest nemesis by eliminating Schwarzenegger himself.

The cast also includes F. Murray Abraham, Art Carney, Frank McRae, Robert Prosky, Bridgette Wilson, Ian McKellen and Mercedes Ruehl.

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Last Action Hero was No. 1 in a 2019 fan poll conducted by SPHE that received more than 30,000 responses, in which participants were asked to choose from a list of possible 4K UHD disc releases.

The 4K version of the movie is newly remastered from the original camera negative, with HDR10 and all-new Dolby Atmos audio. Also include are the original theatrical SDDS mix presented as 5.1, and the original stereo audio.

Extras include commentary with McTiernan, deleted and alternate scenes (presented in 4K with HDR10), an alternate ending (also presented in 4K with HDR10), the “Big Gun” Music Video by AC/DC. A vintage behind-the-scenes featurette, and the theatrical teaser.

‘Fatale,’ ‘Monster Hunter’ Top New Releases on Disc March 2; ‘La Llorona’ Available Digitally

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Monster Hunter and Lionsgate’s Fatale top the slate of new releases heading to disc March 2, while new digital releases include Shudder’s La Llorona from RLJE.

Monster Hunter, based on the video game franchise, arrives on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. It stars Milla Jovovich as Capt. Artemis, whose unit is caught in a sandstorm that transports them to a world ruled by dangerous and powerful monsters. As they fight to survive, they encounter the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures. It has been available for digital sellthrough since Feb. 16.

The psychological thriller Fatale arrives on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and digital sellthrough. The film stars Michael Ealy as a sports agent who gets entangled in the murder investigation of a police detective (Hilary Swank) with whom he had a one-night stand.

Shout! Factory March 2 releases 400 Bullets on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and digitally. It follows a Gurkha soldier named Rana Rae (Jean-Paul Ly) who is guarding a British military outpost when Capt. Noah Brandt (Andrew Lee Potts) arrives looking for refuge from a group of rogue special ops and a cell of heavily armed Taliban.

The Japanese action epic Crazy Samurai: 400 vs. 1 arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and digital from Well Go USA March 2 after debuting Feb. 12 on the martial arts streaming service Hi-Yah! Director Yuji Shimomura (Death TranceRe: Born) crafts action choreography around leading Japanese martial arts icon Tak Sakaguchi (VersusRise of the Machine Girl) who plays Japan’s most legendary swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645), a warrior undefeated in at least 60 documented duels. When the master samurai arrives to duel the disgraced Yoshioka dojo, he walks into an ambush.

BBC Studios March 2 releases the Blu-ray and DVD editions of Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks, an episode of “Doctor Who” that originally aired Jan. 1, 2021, as the franchise’s New Year’s special. Taking place following the 12th season of the revived franchise, it stars Jodie Whittaker as the time traveling hero The Doctor and features the return of John Barrowman as Capt. Jack Harkness. The story involves the Doctor and her companions fighting an army of the villainous Daleks that are inadvertently created when an industrialist creates security drones using Dalek technology.

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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is releasing a new compilation of all four seasons of Cartoon Network’s “Rick and Morty” on Blu-ray Disc and DVD. The set includes a new collectible poster. Warner previously released a set of seasons 1-3 last year prior to the airing of season four.

The documentary Zappa, highlighting the life and impact of rock iconoclast Frank Zappa, arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and digital March 2 from Magnolia Home Entertainment. Directed by Alex Winter (who played Bill in the “Bill & Ted” movies), Zappa is an unabashed portrait brought to life through unfettered access to the Zappa estate.

The Jackie Chan actioner Vanguard arrives on digital March 2 from Lionsgate, prior to its release on DVD and Blu-ray March 9. In the film, Jackie Chan plays Tang, CEO of the covert security company Vanguard. After wealthy businessman Qin rats out his corrupt partner in an arms deal gone fatally wrong, he and his family become targets of the world’s deadliest mercenary organization — and the fighting power of Tang’s team is their only hope to survive.

La Llorona, available for digital sellthrough, was nominated for Best Motion Picture — Foreign Language, at the recent Golden Globe Awards, and is Guatemala’s official entry for the Oscar for Best International Feature Film. The film blends together the terror of both myth and reality in a modern retelling of the legendary genocidal atrocities against the Mayan community in Guatemala.

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