Merchandising: Getting Ready for ‘Endgame’

With just a few modest new releases hitting the market April 23, retailers focused more on clearing inventory than pushing exclusives.

Best Buy ‘Avengers’ catalog ad.

Best Buy used its weekly ad circular to promote Marvel movies on Blu-ray for fans to watch to prepare for the April 26 theatrical release of Avengers: Endgame. To that end, Best Buy had exclusive Steelbook editions of the newly released 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray editions of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, at $34.99 each.

Best Buy ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook
Best Buy ‘Captain America: Civil War’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook

Best Buy is also taking preorders for a Steelbook 4K UHD Blu-ray of Jordan Peele’s Us.

Target didn’t bother to include a movie section in its weekly circular, though it was selling Stephen King movies on DVD for $4.50.

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Sony Marking ‘Ghostbusters’ 35th Anniversary With Steelbook Ultra HD Blu-ray

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment June 11 will release 1984’s Ghostbusters and 1989’s Ghostbusters II in a special limited-edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook with new bonus material. The release marks the 35th anniversary of the original film and the 30th anniversary of the sequel.

The set includes both films on UHD and Blu-ray, plus a bonus disc of new extras. The films were fully restored from original camera negatives and are presented on 4K UHD Blu-ray with HDR and Dolby Atmos audio; the Blu-rays feature HD presentations also sourced from the 4K restorations.

New extras from the first film include deleted scenes; the full Ghostbusters TV commercial from the film with outtakes; the film’s 1984 ShoWest exhibitor reel; the original teaser; “A Moment With the Stars” vintage featurette; and a fan commentary.

New Ghostbusters II extras will include a commentary with director Ivan Reitman, star Dan Aykroyd and executive producer Joe Medjuck; the cast on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 1989; a vintage promotional featurette; and a rare unfinished teaser trailer containing the full commercial from the film.

The bonus disc will also include a fan restoration of the pitch concept pilot for the animated “The Real Ghostbusters” series.

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Legacy extras include a filmmaker commentary on the first film, a trivia track on the first film, deleted scenes, featurettes, music videos, photo galleries and trailers.

The anniversary celebration will also include a Ghostbusters Fan Fest June 7-8, an international Live Orchestra Tour for the original film throughout 2019, new documentaries and tie-in merchandise, including a Transformers/Ghostbusters crossover comic book.

Merchandising: ‘Bumblebee’ Exclusives Centered on Retailers

While Paramount’s Bumblebee was the biggest new release of April 2, it didn’t arrive with much in the way of exclusive editions. Rather, two of the big three retailers touted the title with promotions for their own services.

Target, for example, offered a free $5 store gift card with the purchase of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack of Bumblebee, priced at $29.99.

Walmart offered the Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray combo packs with a digital copy of the original 2007 Transformers film redeemable through Walmart’s proprietary Vudu digital storefront.

Best Buy, typically for them, offered a Steelbook edition of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, at $32.99.

Best Buy ‘Bumblebee’ Steelbook

Merchandising: Retailers Double-Up ‘Ralph’ Promotions With ‘Little Mermaid’

Target ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ 4K Blu-ray

While the Feb. 26 Blu-ray release of Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet came with its fair share of promotional exclusives, retailers offered the same types of exclusives with the new “Signature Collection” Blu-ray of The Little Mermaid that arrived the same day.

Target ‘The Little Mermaid’ 4K Blu-ray

Target offered the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo packs of both Ralph Breaks the Internet and The Little Mermaid with “filmmaker gallery and storybook” packaging for $32.99 each. The standard 4K editions were offered at $29.99 each.

Best Buy offered Steelbook editions for each 4K Blu-ray, at $34.99 each.

Best Buy ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ Steelbook

In conjunction with the release of the films, Best Buy ran a promotion touting Disney animated classics on Blu-ray for $19.99 each and on DVD for $14.99.

Best Buy ‘The Little Mermaid’ Steelbook

The Disney Store gave away an exclusive set of four lithographs with preorders of the Ralph Blu-ray, as well as a coupon for $10 off a $40 purchase through March 10. Likewise, preorders of the Little Mermaid Blu-ray came with a lithograph set of concept art from that film.

The Disney Princess selfie

The promotions for both films coming out the same day tie in to a cameo by the Disney Princesses in the Wreck-It Ralph sequel, including Ariel of The Little Mermaid.

Speaking of preorders, Target is promoting its future exclusive for the new-to-theaters How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, which will be offered as a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack with wearable dragon wings for $27.99.

Other deals for the week at Best Buy included a $34.99 Steelbook for the Captain America: The First Avenger 4K Blu-ray, and a Blu-ray boxed set of the first seven seasons of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” for $99.90 (a savings of $73.09).

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Merchandising: Retailers Switch Up ‘A Star Is Born’ Box Art

The retail exclusives for the Feb. 19 home video release of Warner’s A Star Is Born focused on variants of the box art.

Wide-release box art for A Star Is Born DVD (left) and Blu-ray
Target’s A Star Is Born Blu-ray box art

Target offered a version of the Blu-ray combo pack with special box art and the exclusive featurette “A Star Is Born: Backstage Pass,” at $26.99.

The standard DVD and Blu-ray releases already include a making-of featurette, bonus song performances, and music videos.

In addition, Target gave shoppers a $5 gift card with the purchase of both the movie and the film’s CD soundtrack, which was priced at $11.99 and included an exclusive poster.

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Best Buy delivered its usual Steelbook edition of the film, offered for both the standard Blu-ray ($29.99) and the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack ($34.99).

Best Buy A Star Is Born Steelbooks
Walmart’s A Star Is Born DVD

Likewise, Walmart dipped into its usual bag of tricks for an exclusive, choosing to offer a slimmed-down DVD variant with different artwork but without the bonus disc included with the wide release containing the behind-the-scenes material. The only extras included with the Walmart version are the music videos, for $16.96. By comparison, the regular DVD with the additional extras is listed on Walmart’s website and priced at other stores at $17.99.


Merchandising: Retailers Rock Out Over ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Target Bohemian Rhapsody booklet

The new-release week of Feb. 12 saw retailers go gaga over Bohemian Rhapsody on Blu-ray, with each of the big three offering an exclusive to entice fans of the Queen biopic.

Target offered a version of the Bohemian Rhapsody Blu-ray ($22.99) and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray ($27.99) with an exclusive 24-page gallery book featuring a look at the music, fashion and making of the film.

Best Buy Bohemian Rhapsody Steelbook

Target also offered a free $5 gift card with the purchase of the movie and soundtrack CD ($11.99) together.

Best Buy had the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc of Bohemian Rhapsody with exclusive Steelbook packaging.

Walmart Bohemian Rhapsody gift set with shirt

Walmart offered a $24.96 Bohemian Rhapsody “Ultimate Fan Gift Set” that included the Blu-ray combo pack and an official Queen T-shirt.

Walmart also had an exclusive Blu-ray version of Lionsgate’s animated sequel Norm of the North: Keys to the Kingdom at $14.96.

Target ran a “buy two, get one free” promotion on select movies, books, games and video games. The offer excluded new-release and pre-order movies, 3DS and select Nintendo Switch titles.

Best Buy touted Disney hits for under $20, as well as Steelbook preorders for Warner’s A Star Is Born ($34.99 4K UHD BD, $29.99 Blu-ray) and Creed II ($34.99 4K UHD BD), and Disney’s Feb. 26 release of 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger as a 4K UHD Blu-ray Steelbook.

Merchandising: Target Offers 15% Off Movies

As part of its New Year’s sales, Target is offering shoppers using its app’s Cartwheel mode 15% off DVDs and Blu-rays through Jan. 5, excluding new releases, preorders and clearance items.

Cartwheel is a function of the Target app that allows shoppers to scan individual items in the store using their cell phone’s camera and save special coupons that may be related to the item.

Target is also offering discounts on select recent releases, such as Netflix’s Stranger Things 2 Blu-ray for $17 (down from $24.99); Disney’s Incredibles 2 for $19.99 on Blu-ray and $24.99 for UHD BD (saving $5 apiece); Universal’s The House With a Clock in Its Walls Blu-ray or $19 (saving $3.99); and Disney’s Christopher Robin Blu-ray for $19.99 ($5 off).

Best Buy is now taking preorders for future Steelbook releases of Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet and Mary Poppins Returns ($34.99 each on UHD BD combo pack), and Warner’s Aquaman and A Star Is Born ($29.99 Blu-ray, $34.99 UHD BD).

Merchandising: ‘Venom,’ ‘Predator’ Engage in Retail Battle

Among the new home video releases for Dec. 18, Sony Pictures’ Venom and 20th Century Fox’s The Predator arrived with similarly themed exclusives at each of the big-three retailers.

Target’s The Predator Blu-ray with booklet

Target offered Blu-rays of each film packaged with collectible booklets. The Venom Blu-ray with a 24-page gallery book was offered at $27.99. For The Predator, a 36-page The Art of the Hunt” booklet was included with specially marked copies of the Blu-ray ($24.99) or the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack ($29.99).

In addition, Target offered Redcard members a Funko Pop! vinyl figure of a red “Fugitive Predator.”

Best Buy continues to offer exclusive Steelbook packaging of major releases with distinctive box art. Venom Steelbooks were available with the Blu-ray ($27.99) and 4K UHD Blu-ray ($34.99) editions. The Steelbook for The Predator was offered at $29.99.

Best Buy’s Venom Steelbook
Best Buy’s The Predator Steelbook

Walmart packaged toys with each film. The Predator Blu-ray was offered as a gift set at $22.96 with a Pocket Pop! Keychain of a green vinyl “Fugitive Predator” figurine. The $27.96 Venom Blu-ray gift pack came with a 1980s-style retro action figure of the main character.

Walmart’s Venom Blu-ray with retro action figure

The Walmart Blu-ray was even promoted with a throwback toy commercial.



Amazon has an exclusive limited edition Venom Blu-ray with glossy foldout packaging and art from illustrator Marko Maney.

Among other promotions, Best Buy offered Blu-rays touted as “Stocking-Stuffer Gold” starting at $9.99, and holiday favorites on DVD and Blu-ray for $4.99 and $6.99. Best Buy is also taking preorders for a UHD Blu-ray Steelbook of Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms for $34.99, though the release date is not yet announced.

Remastered ‘Phantasm,’ ‘Train to Busan’ Steelbook Blu-rays Coming From Well Go in November

Well Go USA will release steelbook versions of the horror classic Phantasm, remastered from 4K, and the Korean film Train to Busan Nov. 6.

Phantasm, the first of five films from Don Coscarelli’s classic cult horror series, follows strange things happening at the Morningside Cemetery. At a funeral, Mike (Michael Baldwin), watches as a tall mortician clad in black (Angus Scrimm) tosses the unburied coffin into a waiting hearse as if it were nothing. Seeking the truth behind this unusual sight, Mike breaks into the mortuary, where he comes face-to-face with the sinister Tall Man. After barely managing to escape with his life, Mike enlists the help of his brother, Jody (Bill Thornbury), and their friend Reggie (Reggie Bannister). Together they set out to uncover the secrets of the Tall Man and those who dwell in his hellish world.

Special features include new audio commentary with writer/director Don Coscarelli, co-producer Paul Pepperman and visual consultant Roberto Quezada; audio commentary with Coscarelli, Baldwin, Thornbury and Scrimm; the graveyard carz episode; a vintage interview with Cascarelli and Scrimm; behind-the-scenes home movies with commentary; deleted scenes; the theatrical trailer; TV and radio spots; and a still gallery.

In the Korean film Train to Busan (also coming in a steelbook), during a countrywide outbreak of a mysterious virus, a few terrified passengers must fight their way through an infected, blood-drenched bullet train if they want to make it to the safe zone — which may or may not still be there. Special features include a behind-the-scenes featurette and a trailer.

‘Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis’ Blu-ray Steelbook Coming Oct. 30 From Mill Creek

The 2001 anime film Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis will be released as a Steelbook Blu-ray and DVD combo  pack on Oct. 30 from Mill Creek Entertainment at $34.98.

With a screenplay by Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) and directed by Rintaro (Galaxy Express 999, Astro Boy), Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis is based on the classic manga inspired by the 1927 German silent film of the same name about an industrial, high-tech city of the future. Duke Red, the unofficial leader of Metropolis, plans to unveil a highly advanced robot named Tima, but his violent son Rock distrusts robots and intends to find and destroy Tima. A Japanese detective and his nephew, Kenichi, travel to Metropolis to apprehend a mad scientist, but they instead find the robot girl. While trying to navigate the confusing labyrinth beneath Metropolis and avoid the people chasing her, Tima and Kenichi form a strong friendship that is tested when Duke Red separates them, endangering not only Tima’s life but also the fate of the universe.

Special features include interviews with the filmmakers, “The Making of Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis,” original Japanese audio (with English subtitles) and a concept art comparison featurette.