‘Ultraman Taro’ Bowing on Blu-ray Jan. 12 From Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment will bow the next release from the “Ultraman” superhero library — Ultraman Taro — on Blu-ray as both a special edition SteelBook and in standard packaging Jan. 12.

It’s the North American debut of the series, which has never been broadcast on TV or available on any home entertainment format.

Ultraman Taro is the sixth entry in the “Ultraman series,” premiering in Japan in April 1973.  After being scouted to the Earth defense team ZAT (Zariba of All Territory), young boxer Kotaro Higashi is severely injured during a Kaiju attack. At the chasm between life and death, Mother of Ultra appeared and saved Kotaro by merging his life with a young Ultra Hero, thus giving birth to the sixth Ultra Brother — Ultraman Taro.

Ultraman Taro took a kid-friendly approach, introducing several new monsters and aliens inspired by folklore. Classic Ultra heroes, such as Ultraman, Ultraseven and Zoffy, also return to assist the powerful but inexperienced Taro as he learns the ropes of being an Ultra Brother.

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The SteelBook and standard Blu-ray releases of Ultraman Taro will each contain high definition video for all 53 half-hour episodes with DTS-HD Master Audio of the original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles.

Digital redemption will also be available via Mill Creek’s streaming service, movieSpree.

Mill Creek has licensed the entire available “Ultraman” back-catalog via international distribution company Indigo Entertainment, from the team at Tsuburaya Productions.

Merchandising: Retailers Bring ‘Back to the Future’ Exclusives

Universal Pictures’ new Back to the Future Trilogy boxed set arrived Oct. 20 with exclusive editions from Best Buy and Target.

Best Buy, as usual, offered a Steelbook edition of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version of the trilogy, at $64.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Back to the Future Trilogy’ Steelbook

Target offered a gift set of the regular Blu-ray, at $42.99, which included a levitating hoverboard replica.

Target’s ‘Back to the Future Trilogy’ gift set

The 4K version of the hoverboard gift set was available from Amazon for $69.98.

The other notable exclusive for the week came at Target, which offered a Steelbook edition of The Twilight Saga from Lionsgate, for $29.99.

Target’s ‘Twilight Saga’ Steelbook

Target also offered 30% off select Halloween movies and books.

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Merchandising: Best Buy Offers ‘Paranoia Agent’ Blu-ray Steelbook

Among the scant deals on new DVD and Blu-ray releases Oct. 13, Best Buy as usual had a few exclusive Steelbook editions of new titles.

Most notable was a Blu-ray Steelbook of Funimation’s Paranoia Agent: The Complete Series for $37.99.

The anime series focuses on a boy named Lil’ Slugger who attacks a series of seemingly unconnected victims with a golden baseball bat. As detectives attempt to find a link between the victims, they discover that the victims’ lives have somehow improved.

A regular Blu-ray edition of the show will be widely released Dec. 15.

Best Buy also offered a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook edition of Sony Pictures’ District 9, for $27.99.

Best Buy’s ‘District 9’ 4K Steelbook

Target was holding a buy-two-get-one-free sale on music, movies and books.

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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.

Merchandising: ‘Tax Collector’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Exclusive to Best Buy

Best Buy’s ‘Tax Collector’ 4K Steelbook

The new releases for Oct. 6 saw more exclusive Steelbook editions from Best Buy.

Most notable, though, is that Best Buy has the exclusive 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of RLJ’s The Tax Collector. The 4K Tax Collector is available as a Steelbook combo pack containing 4K and regular Blu-ray discs for $19.99.

Among the Best Buy Steelbooks for catalog titles released during the week was Warner’s 300, a 4K combo pack for $29.99.

Best Buy’s ‘300’ 4K Steelbook

Best Buy also had 4K Steelbook combo packs for three Paramount movies at $24.99 apiece: Interstellar, Saving Private Ryan and Mission: Impossible — Fallout.

Best Buy’s ‘Interstellar’ 4K Steelbook
Best Buy’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’ 4K Steelbook
Best Buy’s ‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout’ 4K Steelbook

Elsewhere, Target offered 15% off all Disney movies on disc.

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Merchandising: Walmart Offers ‘Wonder Woman’ Gift Set; New Best Buy Steelbooks Include ‘Fury Road’

Walmart is selling an exclusive Blu-ray/DVD gift set of Warner’s 2017 superhero movie Wonder Woman that includes a wallet and slap bracelet for $14.96. It also comes with an $8 coupon for the sequel, WW84, whenever it opens in theaters (good through 2021).

The DVD catalog section at Walmart also offers a selection of Universal monster movies on DVD for $14.96 each with limited-edition glow-in-the-dark slipcases and exclusive Vudu digital copy.

Universal monster movie DVDs with glow-in-the-dark slipcases at Walmart

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Best Buy’s new Steelbooks for Sept. 29 include Warner’s Mad Max: Fury Road 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack for $29.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Evil Dead 1&2’ Steelbook

There are also two new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack Steelbooks from Lionsgate: 1978’s Halloween at $19.99, and an Evil Dead 1&2 double feature for $24.99.

Best Buy is also running a buy-two-get-one-free promotion covering dozens of titles, including Universal’s 1917 on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, and Parasite and The Photograph on Blu-ray.

Merchandising: Three More Best Buy Steelbooks Arrive, including ‘Rick and Morty’

Best Buy continues to crank out exclusive Steelbook editions of new releases during the pandemic, with three more arriving Sept. 22.

Best Buy’s ‘Rick and Morty: Season 4’ Steelbook

One was for the new Blu-ray release of Warner’s Rick and Morty: Season 4, for $27.99.

Best Buy’s 4K ‘Whiplash’ Steelbook

The other two were for catalog titles being re-released as 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo packs.

Warner’s Full Metal Jacket 4K Steelbook was offered at $29.99, while Sony Pictures’ Whiplash 4K Steelbook was $27.99.

Target offered a $10 Target gift card to shoppers who spendt $100 on select Apple gift cards.

Best Buy’s ‘Full Metal Jacket’ 4K Steelbook

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Merchandising: Best Buy Brings Out Several 4K Steelbooks

Best Buy released several exclusive Steelbook editions for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs released Sept. 15.

Among the Sept. 15 4K Steelbook releases:

  • Hocus Pocus, from Disney, $27.99;
  • Home Alone, from Disney’s 20th Century Studios, $27.99;
    Goodfellas, from Warner, $22.99;
  • 21 and 22 Jump Street in a two-movie Steelbook set, from Sony Pictures, $44.99.

 

In addition, Best Buy also released a standard Blu-ray Steelbook editions of the of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, from Disney’s 20th Century Studios, and 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, from Warner. Both are listed at $14.99.

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Target offered 25% off select TV shows on DVD in stores and online.

Walmart offered early disc release of a couple of Warner titles slated for Oct. 6 everywhere else: the Blu-ray and DVD of Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite!, and the DVD of Happy Halloween Scooby-Doo!, the latest animated movie in the franchise. Both are also available early on disc for rental at Redbox kiosks.

‘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.

Merchandising: Steelbooks Galore After Labor Day

Several Steelbook editions of new and catalog titles hit shelves Sept. 8, and not just at Best Buy, which is best known for offering the exclusive packaging variant.

Best Buy offered the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook of Lionsgate’s Ghost in the Shell at $19.99 to mark the 25th Anniversary of the anime movie.

A few titles from Universal Pictures also made their way to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray at Best Buy via the Steelbook, at $22.99 apiece: 47 Ronin, 2020’s The Invisible Man, and the 60h anniversary re-release of Psycho.

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Best Buy also offered an exclusive edition of Warner’s animated Superman: Man of Tomorrow, but it wasn’t a Steelbook. Best Buy offered a $29.99 gift set of the film that paired the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack with a figurine of the Parasite character.

Best Buy’s ‘Superman: Man of Tomorrow’ with Parasite figurine

To get Man of Tomorrow in Steelbook packaging, fans had to head to Target, which offered the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of the movie in the collector’s packaging for $19.99 (though the box art was the same as the standard release).

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Another Steelbook offered through Target was Lionsgate’s Rob Zombie Trilogy Blu-ray set at $29.99, containing House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects and 3 From Hell.

Target’s ‘Rob Zombie Trilogy’ Steelbook

Target also offered an exclusive Jojo Siwa Party Pack at $19.99, a three-DVD bundle of Nickelodeon’s “Jojo Siwa” programs

Target’s ‘Jojo Siwa’ bundle

Speaking of Nickelodeon, Amazon had the Paw Patrol: Jet to the Rescue DVD Sept. 3, before other stores stocked in Sept. 8.