There weren’t many new titles hitting shelves April 13, so Best Buy touted a number of home entertainment promotions on its Website instead.
Among them is the Steelbook Collector Hub, a page to provide information about the special metal packaging that often forms the basis for Best Buy retailer exclusive editions. In addition to links for shoppers to buy and preorder Steelbook copies of hit movies, the page is also asking fans to vote on which titles Best Buy should release as 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbooks in the future.
In one vote, fans can choose between Lionsgate’s The Hurt Locker and La La Land. The other vote is between Sony Pictures’ Drive and The Guns of Navarone.
There’s also a section for fans to vote on which title previously released as a Steelbook that Best Buy should release again with the collectible packaging. Titles include 2004’s Hellboy, Total Recall, Rambo: Last Blood, 1995’s Jumanji, The Dark Tower, 1978’s Halloween and Atomic Blonde.
The Steelbook page also includes a section profiling a Steelbook collector with a brief Q&A.
Best Buy March 9 offered an exclusive 4K Ultra HD Steelbook edition of Lionsgate’s 2012 comic book adaptation Dredd, starring Karl Urban.
The Steelbook edition includes a 4K disc, a regular Blu-ray disc and a digital copy for $19.99, though it quickly sold out at many stores and online.
Dredd was directed by Pete Travis and written and produced by Alex Garland. It is based on the 2000 AD comic strip “Judge Dredd” and its character of the same name, created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. Urban plays the title role as Judge Dredd, a heavy-handed law enforcer in a huge dystopic metropolis, Mega-City One. Dredd and his apprentice partner, Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), attempt to clean up a 200-story high-rise and deal with resident drug lord Ma-Ma (Lena Headey).
The big retailers didn’t have much in the way of exclusives with the new releases of March 2.
Best Buy, though, did have another of its catalog Steelbook editions hit the shelves. This time, it’s a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack of Paramount’s 2005 sci-fi actioner War of the Worlds, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise.
The set includes a 4K disc, regular Blu-ray and digital copy for $19.99.
For the new home video releases of Feb. 16, the most notable exclusive was another Best Buy Steelbook edition.
This week it’s the first season of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The $32.99 Steelbook includes all 10 episodes on three Blu-ray discs.
Based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the supernatural drama series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he joins up with his friend Leti (Jurnee Smollett) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father, Montrose Freeman (Michael Kenneth Williams). This begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters described in an H.P. Lovecraft paperback.
Best Buy Feb. 9 offered a new 4K Ultra HD Steelbook edition of the 2016 war film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
Directed by Michael Bay and distributed by Paramount, the new edition includes the film on a 4K disc, bonus features on a regular Blu-ray, and a digital copy for $22.99. The cover appears to be the same art presented on Best Buy’s Blu-ray/DVD combo pack Steelbook of the film in 2016.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release the 1997 sci-fi movie Gattaca on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray March 23, 2021, in limited-edition Steelbook packaging.
Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Alan Arkin and Jude Law star in the thriller about an all-too-human man who dares to defy a system obsessed with genetic perfection.
The 4K edition has been remastered from the original camera negative. The Steelbook cobo pack includes 4K, regular Blu-ray and digital copies of the film. Blu-ray extras include deleted scenes, a blooper reel and the featurette “Welcome to Gattaca.”
Best Buy Dec. 8 continued its practice of offering a slate of exclusive new Steelbook editions to make up for an otherwise dull Blu-ray and DVD release slate.
Best Buy had a Steelbook edition of Lionsgate’s new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack of Total Recall, at $18.99.
Also new is Best Buy’s Steelbook for the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition of HBO’s Westworld: Season 3, even though the standard release came out Nov. 17. Best Buy’s Steelbook was listed at $46.99 upon release.
Best Buy also has a Blu-ray Steelbook of Funimation’s My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, a movie that first arrived on Blu-ray in March 2019. The Steelbook edition, offered for $25.99 by Best Buy, will apparently be widely available Feb. 21, according to Amazon.
Other chains weren’t so quick to line up exclusives following Black Friday. The lineup of top titles each week has gotten so anemic it seems that many of the big chains have left their DVD and Blu-ray shelves in a state of neglect, not even bothering to update the displays for weeks at a time without anything major to hit the shelves.
Outside of Best Buy, the most notable home video deal was that Target offered 20% off movie, TV show and book boxed sets.
For the home video titles released Dec. 1, Best Buy again offered exclusive Steelbook editions for several of them.
Among the biggest were Steelbook 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray boxed sets for Warner’s “Middle-Earth” fantasy series — “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogies, at $119.99 each. The boxes had both the theatrical and extended versions of each film on 4K Ultra HD in their own Steelbook case, plus a larger Steelbook box for the trilogy.
In addition, The Lord of the Rings 4K Ultra HD trilogy was also offered as a $149.99 gift set with a collectible ring on a necklace.
Other new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbooks for the week include HBO’s Chernobyl at $39.99, and Paramount’s Arrival at $34.99.
Also, as a holdover from Black Friday sales, Best Buy is selling Steelbook movies for as low as $7.99.
Meanwhile, Target is offering up to 30% off holiday music and movies.
Target also has an exclusive $129.99 DVD set of Modern Family: The Complete Series.
Disney released its live-action Mulan on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Nov. 10, having announced the street date just four days before. The film famously bypassed theatrical distribution due to the coronavirus pandemic in lieu of several PVOD options tested by the studio.
The disc version arrived with a couple of retailers offering the typical kind of exclusive editions they usually do.
At Target, the Mulan 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack was offered as a limited-edition with a pack-in gallery book for $34.99.
Best Buy offered its usual Steelbook edition for Mulan, with a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack priced at $34.99.
Interestingly, discs of the new Mulan were not listed at Amazon.com prior to their release date, and even after, the only copies that show up in searches are offered by third-party sellers.
Among other promotions, Best Buy is giving fans of HBO’s “Westworld” a chance to preorder the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook of the third season and get Steelbooks of the first two seasons for $9.99 each. According to the Best Buy website, however, the season one Steelbook is sold out. The season three Steelbook is listed with a Dec. 8 street date, although the non-exclusive versions of the season arrive in all stores Nov. 17.
Target was running a buy-two-get-one-free mix-and-match deal with movies, books, music, video games, board games and craft activities.
Lionsgate’s much-anticipated 4K Ultra HD Steelbook boxed set of the five “Rambo” films finally arrived at retail Oct. 27 exclusively at Best Buy.
The set, priced at $94.99, contains individual Steelbook cases for all five films inside a larger Steelbook box, and includes 4K and standard Blu-ray discs, plus a digital copy for each film. As an added bonus, a digital copy of the previously unreleased extended cut of the fifth film, Rambo: Last Blood also is included, with a note from director and star Sylvester Stallone.
A check of shelves at a Best Buy location in Costa Mesa, Calif., the afternoon of Oct. 27 found no copies had yet been stocked on the floor. A clerk pulled about eight copies out of the back room, and most had some sort of damage in the form of dents to the Steelbook cases, likely sustained during shipping.