‘Léon: The Professional’ Coming to 4K Ultra HD Dec. 1

The thriller Léon: The Professional will come out on 4K Ultra HD in a limited-edition Steelbook Dec. 1 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman and Danny Aiello star in the action thriller about a professional assassin whose work becomes dangerously personal. Calling himself a “cleaner,” the mysterious Léon (Reno) is New York’s top hitman. When his next-door neighbors are murdered, Léon becomes the unwilling guardian of the family’s sole survivor — 12-year-old Mathilda (Portman). But Mathilda doesn’t just want protection; she wants revenge. Training her in the deadly tricks of his trade, Léon helps her track the psychotic agent who murdered her family.

The limited edition Steelbook features the film on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray and both the theatrical and extended versions.

Bonus materials include “Cast and Crew Look Back”; “Jean Reno: The Road to Léon”; “Natalie Portman: Starting Young”; and the original theatrical trailer.

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‘Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse’ Available for Digital Purchase Oct. 27, Rental Nov. 10 From Sony

Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse, a film documenting a series of performances from the band of all-stars led by Pink Floyd’s drummer, will be available for purchase on 4K Ultra HD, HD and SD Digital on Oct. 27, and available for digital rental Nov. 10 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse is a live recording taken from the band’s sold-out shows at the London venue in May 2019. The film revives both the hits from Pink Floyd’s earliest live shows, as well as songs never performed live by Floyd.

Nick Mason, Gary Kemp, Guy Pratt, Lee Harris and Dom Beken, known as Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, came together with the simple idea of playing early Pink Floyd — the songs pre-Dark Side of the Moon — that had not been given a live outing in decades. What started with a simple suggestion from Mason, “Why don’t we get a rehearsal room and play some things and see how we feel about it,” turned into the artist’s first live performances since 2005’s Live 8.

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Recorded almost a year to the day from the band’s first live show together, Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse features songs from the garage band attack of “Arnold Layne” and “Vegetable Man” to the psychedelic journeying of “Interstellar Overdrive” and the mellow, spacey Floyd of “Atom Heart Mother” and “Green is the Colour.”

Tracks include:

  • “Beginnings”
  • “Interstellar Overdrive”
  • “Astronomy Domine”
  • “Lucifer Sam”
  • “Fearless”
  • “Obscured by Clouds”
  • “When You’re In”
  • “Remember a Day”
  • “Arnold Layne”
  • “Vegetable Man”
  • “If”
  • “Atom Heart Mother”
  • “The Nile Song”
  • “Green is the Colour”
  • “Let There Be More Light”
  • “Childhood’s End”
  • “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun”
  • “See Emily Play”
  • “Bike”
  • “One of These Days”
  • “A Saucerful of Secrets’
  • “Point Me at the Sky”

‘El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie’ Blu-ray Combo Pack Steelbook Due Oct. 13

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie will come out on Blu-ray (plus DVD) combo pack Oct. 13 in a limited-edition Steelbook from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The thriller — written and directed by “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan — reunites fans with Jesse Pinkman (Emmy Award-winner Aaron Paul). In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future.

Exclusive Blu-ray bonus materials include audio commentary with Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul; deleted and extended scenes; a gag reel; and scene studies with Vince Gilligan.

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Bonus materials on Blu-ray and DVD include a “Super Commentary!” audio commentary featuring 46 members of the cast and crew; “Making El Camino,” a behind-the-scenes documentary featuring never-before-seen interviews with the cast and crew; “Snow Globe: A Breaking Bad Short”; a “Skinny Pete in the Box” teaser; an “On the Radio” teaser; a Rocker Salvage commercial; a Vamonos Pest commercial; an “Enchanted” music video by Chloe x Halle; and visual effects design galleries.

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Stars of Sony’s ‘Center Stage’ to Gather for Virtual Fundraiser for Ballet

Stars of the film Center Stage, including Amanda Schull, Zoe Saldana, Sascha Radetsky and Ethan Stiefel, will gather Sept. 1 for a virtual fundraiser in support of American Ballet Theatre’s Crisis Relief Fund, which provides aid for dancers, production crew, musicians, ballet staff and faculty impacted by canceled tour engagements due to COVID-19.

During the pre-recorded reunion, moderated by “CNN Newsroom” anchor Poppy Harlow, the actors will look back at the making of the film that spawned two sequels and helped bring the ballet world into the pop culture spotlight.

The reunion will premiere simultaneously on the American Ballet Theatre and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment YouTube channels at 7:30 p.m. ET. Viewers on both channels will be able to use YouTube’s integrated fundraising capabilities to donate to the ABT Crisis Relief Fund.

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Center Stage, which celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this year, follows a group of ballet students in the competitive world of professional dance where they must devote themselves to their art with the rigor of Olympic athletes. While experiencing the joys, sorrows and conflicts of youth, they vie for a place in a prestigious ballet company and strive to take center stage. The film has inspired two sequels, Center Stage: Turn It Up and Center Stage: On Pointe, as well as an upcoming series in development with Sony Pictures Television. Center Stage is available now on disc and digital.
American Ballet Theatre will also be hosting a ticketed pre-event reception via Zoom, beginning at 6:15 p.m. ET. Moderated by ABT dancer Erica Lall and ABT Accelerator co-chair and Gagosian Gallery director Sarah Hoover, the reception will feature an exclusive conversation with Sascha Radetsky, former ABT soloist and artistic director of ABT Studio Company, and Ethan Stiefel, former ABT principal dancer and current faculty member. Tickets, benefitting the ABT Crisis Relief Fund, will start at $150; for more information please email specialevents@abt.org.

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Sony Polling Fans About Future 4K Blu-ray Releases

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is polling movie fans about which titles the studio should release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc in the future.

The survey comes on the heels of Sony Pictures’ release of the Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection Vol. 1, a boxed set that contained 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Strangelove, Gandhi, A League of Their Own and Jerry Maguire.

The studio says the input from the survey will help guide which titles will be included in Vol. 2.

The poll is available HERE.

The first question asks which film from the 1930s to 1950s collectors would most like to see presented on 4K Ultra HD disc in a potential Vol. 2 set.

Fans can choose one title among the following, with the winner possibly appearing in a future 4K boxed set:

  • A Matter of Life and Death
  • All The King’s Men (1949)
  • Anatomy of a Murder
  • Born Yesterday
  • The Caine Mutiny
  • Cover Girl
  • From Here to Eternity
  • Gilda
  • His Girl Friday
  • In a Lonely Place
  • It Happened One Night
  • The Lady From Shanghai
  • Lost Horizon (1937)
  • Mr. Deeds Goes To Town (1936)
  • On the Waterfront
  • Pal Joey
  • Picnic
  • You Can’t Take It With You

 

The studio says the survey could also guide future 4K releases in general, and the survey contains a second question allowing fans to select three titles they would potentially purchase on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray should they be available as a standalone release.

Choices include:

  • 2012
  • A Man for All Seasons
  • A Matter of Life And Death
  • A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
  • Ali
  • All The King’s Men (1949)
  • Anaconda
  • Anatomy of a Murder
  • Born Yesterday
  • The Caine Mutiny
  • The City of Lost Children
  • Cover Girl
  • The Craft
  • Cromwell
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
  • Fright Night
  • From Here to Eternity
  • Funny Girl
  • Ghost Rider
  • Gilda
  • Godspell
  • Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
  • The Guns of Navarone
  • His Girl Friday
  • Hudson Hawk
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer
  • In a Lonely Place
  • It Happened One Night
  • The Karate Kid Part Ii
  • Kramer vs. Kramer
  • Krull
  • La Bamba
  • The Lady From Shanghai
  • Lost Horizon (1937)
  • Marie Antoinette
  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan
  • Night of the Living Dead (1990)
  • Not Another Teen Movie
  • On the Waterfront
  • Pal Joey
  • Peggy Sue Got Married
  • The People vs. Larry Flynt
  • Picnic
  • Punch-Drunk Love
  • Real Genius
  • Rent (2005)
  • School Daze
  • So I Married An Axe Murderer
  • Tootsie
  • xXx (2002)
  • You Can’t Take It With You
  • Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby

 

The survey also includes a space for fans to write in a title not already listed, or provide any feedback regarding Sony’s 4K releases, from special features to menus to Dolby, Imax and more.

The form also offers the option to sign up for email updates from Sony Pictures Entertainment.

‘The Burnt Orange Heresy’ Due on Digital and Disc Aug. 25

The action thriller The Burnt Orange Heresy is coming to digital, DVD and Blu-ray Aug. 25 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the Sony Pictures Classics film, charming and ambitious art critic James Figueras (Claes Bang), has fallen from grace. He spends his days in Milan lecturing witless tourists about art history. His only glimmer of hope is a new-found love interest, the enigmatic American Berenice Hollis (Elizabeth Debicki). An opportunity strikes when he is contacted by the wealthy art dealer Joseph Cassidy (Mick Jagger) who summons James to his villa on Lake Como and asks him to steal a painting from the legendary reclusive artist Jerome Debney (Donald Sutherland). Soon, James’ greed and ambition get the better of him, and he finds himself caught in a web of his own making.

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Extras on disc and digital include commentary with director Giuseppe Capotondi and “Behind The Burnt Orange Heresy,” in which stars Bang and Debicki explore their characters, Mick Jagger’s turn as Cassidy in his first film role in nearly 20 years, and Donald Sutherland as the reclusive artist at the heart of the film.

Sony Pictures Ups Q1 Home Entertainment Revenue 60%; Corporate CFO Hints at Future PVOD Releases

To observers of weekly home video charts during the pandemic, a common denominator is Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Parent Sony Corp. Aug. 4 revealed SPHE’s chart prowess is real to the bottom line as well.

The home entertainment studio generated $319 million in first-quarter (ended June 30) revenue, which was up 59.5% from revenue of $200 million during the previous-year period.

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Top-selling/renting titles in the quarter included Bad Boys For Life and Jumanji: The Next Level.

While Sony Pictures generated just $6 million at the box office due to theater and production shutdowns caused by COVID-19, the studio reported operating income of $230 million, which was up 760% from $3 million in the previous-year period. Revenue topped $1.6 billion, on par with last year’s fiscal period, but lower marketing costs from the absence of theatrical releases contributed to the higher profit margin.

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Another overachieving business segment (besides home entertainment) was television production, which generated revenue of $597 million, up 41% from revenue of $422 million a year ago. The studio had 31 series in broadcast, syndication and streaming in the quarter, including “Better Call Saul,” “Shark Tank” and “Indebted,” among others.

On the fiscal call from Tokyo, Sony Corp. CFO Hiroki Totoki said that while Sony Pictures remains committed to the box office, changes in theatrical distribution due to the pandemic will impact studio financial results for the next three years. As a result, Sony Pictures is looking at alternatives, including premium VOD.

“Digital sales of products we have released theatrically in the past are strong,” Totoki said. “For Sony, the importance of theatrical releases is not expected to change going forward. But in order to maximize the long-term value of our product, we will select the optimal distribution channel for our product based on the nature, scale and timing of the product.”

In other words, should theatrical re-openings produce lackluster consumer response, Sony would opt for direct-to-consumer movie distribution. Totoki contends Sony can minimize theatrical uncertainty through enhanced TV show production.

“If we can restart production, we think we can recover our position in the television production area relatively quickly because demand for content from digital distribution services is extremely high, and we think we can leverage our advantage as a major independent studio,” he said.

Universal’s ‘Trolls World Tour’ Headlines U.K.’s ‘FindAnyFilm’ Retail Video

With the world’s No. 2 home entertainment market — and second-largest subscriber base for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video — the United Kingdom represents both opportunity and challenge for U.S. studios.

With the U.K. slowly embracing a return to normal following the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, the British Association for Screen Entertainment — with a mandate to “champion growth across the home entertainment market” — has released its quarterly “FindAnyFilm.com” video showcasing new and pending movie/TV show releases available in retail channels.

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The website is similar to Movies Anywhere in the U.S., an agnostic platform aimed at jumpstarting digital home entertainment retail, except that it also aggressively pushes packaged media, including Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K UHD Blu-ray, and cinema.

“It’s a trailer we make every quarter, detailing new [disc] titles coming to market in the U.K.,” BASE’s Andy Neilson said in an email.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has seized the moment, aggressively marketing erstwhile theatrical releases on FindAnyFilm. Veteran studio boss Eddie Cunningham cut his teeth as chairman of U.K. operations and regional managing director for Australia, New Zealand and the Nordic countries.

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Headlining the video is Universal Pictures’ Trolls World Tour, the scuttled theatrical release that exploded in popularity (and revenue) in the U.S. due to early release on premium video-on-demand. The sequel streets in the U.K. on July 27. The title generated more than $100 million in three weeks release, prompting Universal to declare it would continue PVOD distribution going forward.

Other promotional titles include Universal’s The High Note, which streets in the U.S. on packaged media Aug. 11, Military Wives, which hits retail channels on Aug. 18, The King of Staten Island (Aug. 25), and Dark Waters, which was released in March. Other featured title: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Fantasy Island, which hit the street in the U.S. on May 12.

‘Outlander’ Season Five on Disc Sept. 15

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release Outlander: Season Five on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Sept. 15. The season will be available for digital purchase Sept. 14.

The fifth season of “Outlander” sees a continuation of Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) fight to protect those they love, as they navigate the trials and tribulations of life in colonial America. The Frasers strive to flourish within a society which is unwittingly marching toward Revolution, and Jamie must now defend the home they have built together at Fraser’s Ridge while Claire seeks to put her own skills and medical expertise to use in keeping her family together and safe from harm. Meanwhile Brianna Fraser (Sophie Skelton) and Roger MacKenzie (Richard Rankin) struggle to find their respective places in this world and chase away the shadow cast upon their lives by Stephen Bonnet (Edward Speleers) as they raise their son in this brave new world.

The Starz series, executive produced by Ronald D. Moore, Matthew B. Roberts, Maril Davis, Toni Graphia, Jim Kohlberg and Andy Harries, is based on the international best-selling books by Diana Gabaldon.

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The Blu-ray, DVD and digital copies at select retailers will include four all-new “Outlander Untold” scenes following the stories of fan-favorite characters; a blooper reel; a “Flowers of the Forest” lyric video; a glimpse of life at home with the Frasers’ cat, Adso; and two featurettes, “Strength in Action: The Women of Outlander” and “Through Fire & Hell: The Finale.”

The Blu-ray will have additional features including 16 deleted scenes, writer and producer commentaries, and two new behind-the-scenes featurettes: “The Heart of the Frasers,” highlighting Jamie and Claire’s relationship as well as their family bond, and “Expanding the World: Sets & Costumes.”

A special deluxe collector’s edition Blu-ray set also will be available and will include a CD of the season five soundtrack, a 28-page digibook and an excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s upcoming ninth “Outlander” novel, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, plus premium packaging.

‘21 Jump Street,’ ’22 Jump Street’ Leaping to 4K Sept. 15 From Sony

The comedies 21 Jump Street and its sequel, 22 Jump Street, are coming out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc on Sept. 15 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the first film, former high school foes turned rookie cop partners can’t catch a break — until they’re assigned to pose as students and bust a drug ring inside their old alma mater. Living like teenagers again, they slip back into their adolescent selves and risk the case — and their friendship. Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Channing Tatum (Magic Mike) and Ice Cube (Friday) star. Bonus features on 4K UHD include theatrical trailers.

Blu-ray bonus features include:

  • commentary with directors and cast
  • “Back to School”
  • 20 deleted scenes
  • gag reel
  • Johnny Depp on set
  • “Cube-O-Rama”
  • “Brothers in Arms”
  • “Peter Pan on the Freeway”
  • “The Rob Riggle Show”

In the sequel, after making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college. When Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the football team and Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene, they begin to question their partnership. B

Bonus features on 4K Ultra HD include:

  • “Big Time Action”
  • “Constructing Jump Street”
  • “How to Fight Funny”
  • “Ice Cubed”
  • “Inside Whyphy”
  • “Johnny Pemberton’s Nonsensical Tour”
  • “Jump StreetSpring Break”
  • “Ssshhhh: The Deleted Scene Library”
  • Dick Graze Music Video
  • theatrical trailers

Bonus features on Blu-ray include:

  • commentary with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum
  • 22 deleted and extended scenes
  • five “Line-O-Ramas”
  • “The Perfect Couple of Directors”
  • “Joke-A-Palooza”
  • “Everything is Better in College”
  • “Jenko Split Video”
  • “The Perfect Line: Ad-Libbing on Set”
  • “The Dramatic Interpretation of 22 Jump Street– the Version Without the Jokes!”
  • “Don’t Cut Yet: The Mr. Walters Prison Scene”
  • “New Recruits: Casting 22 Jump Street”
  • “Janning and Chonah”
  • extended Zook and McQuaid football video