Finnish Drama ‘Compartment No. 6’ Due on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD June 7

The Finnish romance drama Compartment No. 6 will be released on digital, Blu-ray and DVD June 7 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the film, a young Finnish woman escapes an enigmatic love affair in Moscow by boarding a train to the arctic port of Murmansk. Forced to share the long ride and a tiny sleeping car with a Russian miner, the unexpected encounter leads the occupants of compartment no. 6 to face the truth about their own yearning for human connection.

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The film was an official selection at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival (Grand Prix award for director Juho Kuosmanen), 2021 Seattle International Film Festival, 2021 Toronto International Film Festival and 2021 Zurich Film Festival.

Vizio Adds Disney, Sony, Warner On-Demand Movies, TV Shows

Vizio April 20 announced it has expanded its slate of free, on-demand entertainment available on WatchFree+ to include TV shows and movies from more than 17 studios.

The ad-supported free streaming service now offers Vizio TV owners more than 5,000 titles, including from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (Need for Speed); Sony Pictures (Death at a Funeral and Guess Who); and Warner Bros. (Gossip, Pay it Forward, Knockaround Guys and “Veronica Mars” (2014)).

“We are excited to broaden our content offering, which now also includes a selection of Warner Bros. titles … for our users to enjoy for free,” Katherine Pond, VP of Business Development at Vizio, said in a statement. “Following the addition of ad-supported on demand content last November, the team has expanded the entertainment options at an accelerated pace to provide consumers with access to a massive free library of content that they can enjoy as a part of owning a Vizio TV.”

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Programming is available across genres including action, romance, comedy, family entertainment, crime and more — giving Vizio users content to watch and enjoy anytime and providing access to new audiences for advertisers and agencies.

Sony Pictures’ ‘Morbius’ Generates $39 Million North American Opening Weekend Box Office

Sony Pictures’ new Marvel antihero movie Morbius generated an estimated $39 million in revenue across more than 4,200 North American screens through April 3. The vampire-themed Jared Leto-starrer saw $84 million in projected global ticket sales.

While the numbers exceed Sony’s cautious $33 million projection, the ongoing box office potential for Morbius remains uncertain due to the film’s weak ratings (17% positive Rotten Tomatoes score) and upcoming strong April theatrical release slate featuring Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Universal Pictures’ crime actioner Ambulance, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, and Lionsgate’s action comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.

Regardless, the numbers for Morbius are uncharacteristically low for a Marvel movie.

The opening weekend tally also failed to match Sony’s previous antihero comic book movie Venom, which opened to $80 million in pre-pandemic 2018 starring Tom Hardy. The 2021 sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, generated a $90 million box office opening weekend.

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Meanwhile, the Sandra Bullock/Channing Tatum romantic comedy, The Lost City (Paramount) added $14.8 million in second-weekend ticket sales to bring the movie’s 10-day North American box office tally above $54 million ($62 million globally).

Sony Looks to Reclaim Box Office Supremacy With ‘Morbius’ Debut

Sony Pictures’ decision to shelve tentpole movies until theaters re-opened to full capacity from the pandemic has redoubled moviegoer interest for theatrical releases such as Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Spider-Man: No Way Home and, most recently, Uncharted.

Now, the studio is debuting a new comic book anti-hero Marvel character in Morbius, starring Jared Leto as a biochemist who inadvertently infects himself with a form of vampirism.

The movie is projected to generate upwards of $33 million in ticket sales across 4,000 North American screens, which should unseat Paramount Pictures’ box office chart topper for the past two weekends: The Lost City. The latter, co-starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum, is expected to see another $16 million in ticket sales, which could extend the movie’s domestic haul near $56 million.

Morbius is off to a strong start, generating $5.7 million in Thursday screenings.

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Separately, Paramount is bowing The Contractor, starring Chris Pine, in limited release. The movie was acquired from STX Entertainment.

Other weekend returnees include The Batman, the Warner Bros. Pictures’ reboot that should realize another $11.5 million in ticket sales to bring its North American total above $350 million; and Uncharted with $3.3 million and $138.7 million overall.

Hulu’s ‘Under the Banner of Heaven’ Top New Show, Netflix’s ‘Russian Doll’ Top Returning Show Anticipated in April

Hulu’s “Under the Banner of Heaven” was the top anticipated new show, Netflix’s “Russian Doll” was the most anticipated returning show, and Sony Pictures’ Morbius was the top anticipated movie on the Whip Media charts for April.

Starring Andrew Garfield, “Under the Banner of Heaven” starts streaming on Hulu April 28. The limited series, inspired by the true-crime bestseller, follows the events that led to the 1984 murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty and her baby daughter in a suburb in Salt Lake Valley, Utah.

The second season of “Russian Doll” starts streaming on Netflix April 20. The series follows Nadia (Natasha Lyonne), a woman caught in a time loop in which she dies repeatedly.

Morbius, debuting in theaters April 1, is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It stars Jared Leto as Dr. Michael Morbius, who becomes a vampire after he cures himself of a rare disease.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with 21 million global users, according to the company. TV Time’s “Anticipation Report” is based on data from those users.

Most Anticipated New Shows for April:

  1. “Under the Banner of Heaven” (Hulu) — April 28
  2. “The First Lady” (Showtime) — April 17
  3. “Slow Horses” (Apple TV+) — April 1
  4. “The Offer” (Paramount+) — April 28
  5. “Tokyo Vice” (HBO Max) — April 7

 

Most Anticipated Returning Shows for April:

  1. “Russian Doll” (Netflix) — April 20
  2. “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max) — April 21
  3. “Barry” (HBO) — April 24
  4. “Better Call Saul” (AMC) — April 18
  5. “Undone” (Prime Video) — April 29

 

Most Anticipated Movies for April:

  1. Morbius — April 1
  2. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore — April 15
  3. Ambulance — April 8
  4. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 — April 8
  5. The Northman — April 22
  6. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent — April 22
  7. The Bad Guys — April 22
  8. The Contractor — April 1
  9. The Bubble — April 1
  10. All the Old Knives — April 8

‘Uncharted’ Headed to Digital April 26, 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD May 10

The action adventure Uncharted is headed to digital April 26 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD May 10 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the film, street-smart thief Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) to recover a fortune lost by Ferdinand Magellan 500 years ago. What starts as a heist job for the duo becomes a globe-trotting race to reach the prize before the ruthless Moncada (Antonio Banderas), who believes he and his family are the rightful heirs.

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Special features on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and digital include deleted and extended scenes; behind-the-scenes featurettes; and commentary with director Ruben Fleischer. The DVD includes one behind-the-scenes featurette.

 

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Swings to Top of Weekly Vudu Chart

Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home debuted in the top spot on the chart of the 10 most-popular titles on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu the week ended March 20.

The Marvel Studios film became available for digital purchase March 15. As the film begins, the friendly neighborhood hero’s identity is revealed, bringing his superhero responsibilities into conflict with his normal life and putting those he cares about most at risk, including MJ (Zendaya). When he enlists Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) help to restore his secret, the spell tears a hole in the world, releasing the most powerful villains who’ve ever fought a Spider-Man in any universe. Peter (Tom Holland) will have to overcome his greatest challenge yet, which will not only forever alter his own future but the future of the Multiverse. 

The canine buddy comedy Dog fell from No. 1 to No. 2 on the chart. Available for premium digital rental, the MGM film follows an Army ranger (Channing Tatum) who races down the Pacific Coast with an Army dog named Lulu to make it to a fellow soldier’s funeral on time. Along the way, they drive each other crazy.

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Illumination’s Sing 2 fell from No. 2 to No. 3 on the chart. The animated sequel, distributed by Universal Pictures, is available for digital purchase. It follows the animal singers as they plan a new show and try to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star, Clay Callaway (voice of Bono), to join them. The film also features the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Taron Egerton.

Universal’s Jennifer Lopez-Owen Wilson romcom Marry Me landed at No. 4 on the chart. The film, which became available for digital purchase March 13, follows a heartbroken pop star (Lopez) slated to marry her pop star fiancé on stage who instead marries a stranger from the audience (Wilson).

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Also new to Vudu’s chart for the week was the supernatural horror thriller The Cursed, which landed at No. 5. Set in the late 1800s, the film follows a man who arrives in a remote country village to investigate an attack by a wild animal but discovers a deeper and sinister force that has the manor and its townspeople in its grip. The film is available for premium digital purchase and rental.

Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended March 20, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Spider-Man: No Way Home
  2. Dog
  3. Sing 2
  4. Marry Me
  5. The Cursed
  6. The Matrix Resurrections
  7. American Underdog
  8. Scream (2022)
  9. Blacklight
  10. Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Warner’s ‘The Batman’ Again Dominates Box Office with $69 Million Haul

Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Batman didn’t disappoint in its second weekend at the box office, generating an estimated $69 million through March 13. The tally, which could grow even higher when the final numbers are reported, would bring director Matt Reeves’ reboot of the DC Comics superhero franchise to more than $460 million globally ($238 million in North America) after 10 days of release.

Starring Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader and Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, The Batman generated a better second-weekend result (from the theatrical debut) than any of the top 5 releases in 2021, including Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home. The dark drama is on track to generate $400 million domestically given the lack of new releases in the near future; and exponentially more globally following next weekend’s release in China — the world’s No. 2 box office.

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Separately, Sony’s Uncharted, co-starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, took in another $9 million for No. 2 to bring its domestic haul to $113 million, and $300 million worldwide.

Notably, No. 3 spot was not filled with a movie but rather a live-dance event. South Korea’s K-Pop live dance event, BTS: Permission to Dance on Stage, was streamed to 800 theaters in the United States, generating $7 million based on the $35 ticket price. It is reportedly the highest-grossing live-streamed theatrical event ever with more than $32 million across 75 countries.

Doc ‘Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America’ Due on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD March 29

The documentary Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America will be released digitally and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD March 29 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Interweaving lecture, personal anecdotes, interviews, and revelations, criminal defense and civil rights lawyer Jeffery Robinson draws a timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States, from slavery to the modern myth of a post-racial America. In Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America, Robinson asks all of us to examine who we are, where we come from, and who we want to be.

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The film was an official selection at the 2021 South by Southwest Film Festival, the 2021 Seattle International Film Festival, the 2021 Boston Independent Film Festival, the 2021 Doc NYC Film Festival and the 2021 AFI Film Festival.

David Lean Classics ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ Available in 4K Steelbooks June 7

Two David Lean classics, Lawrence of Arabia and The Bridge on the River Kwai, will be released in separate limited-edition 4K Ultra HD Steelbooks June 7 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Both releases feature Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

Celebrating its 6oth anniversary and winner of seven Academy Awards — including Best Director for Lean and Best Picture of 1962 — Lawrence of Arabia stars Peter O’Toole as T.E. Lawrence, the audacious World War I British army officer who heroically united rival Arab desert tribes and led them to war against the mighty Turkish Empire.

Special features on companion Blu-ray Discs include Peter O’Toole revisiting the film; making-of documentaries; and directors Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and William Friedkin reflecting on the film.

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Celebrating its 65th anniversary, Lean’s epic World War II adventure The Bridge on the River Kwai won seven 1957 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Alec Guinness) and Best Director (Lean). In the film, when British POWs build a vital railway bridge in enemy-occupied Burma, Allied commandos are assigned to destroy it.

Special features include the “Crossing the Bridge: Picture-in-Picture Graphics Track”; a making-of documentary; “The Steve Allen Show” with William Holden and Guinness; The Bridge on the River Kwai premiere narrated by Holden; the “Rise and Fall of a Jungle Giant” featurette; a USC short film introduced by Holden; an appreciation by filmmaker John Milius; a photo gallery; and theatrical trailers.