Merchandising: It’s a ‘Jumanji’ Jungle Out There

The big three retail chains each had exclusive promotions for two of the big titles released to stores March 17.

The most notable was for Sony Pictures’ Jumanji: The Next Level.

Best Buy’s ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ Steelbook

Best Buy had its typical Steelbook edition of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack for $32.99.

Walmart released a 3-movie “Jumanji” DVD collection containing Next Level, its 2017 predecessor Welcome to the Jungle, and the 1995 original Jumanji for $29.96.

Target didn’t have an exclusive edition, but did offer a free $10 gift card with the purchase of the new movie on disc with the $19.99 Jumanji board game.

‘Jumanji’ board game

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The other notable title was Warner’s animated Superman: Red Son.

Target’s ‘Superman: Red Son’ Steelbook

Target offered a Blu-ray/DVD Steelbook at $19.99 with the same cover art as the regular edition. The exclusive appeared to be available only in stores as it wasn’t listed on Target’s website.

Best Buy had the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack with a pack-on Soviet Superman figurine for $29.99.

Walmart had a DVD-only edition of Superman: Red Son for $14.96. Only the Blu-ray and 4K editions were released wide.

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Another exclusive at Walmart involved the 2016 animated movie Trolls, in the form of a gift set containing a Trolls DVD and a troll wig. The set is timed with the release of Universal’s Trolls World Tour movie.

Warner Cancels ‘Superman: Red Son’ New York Premiere Over Coronavirus Concerns

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment March 2 canceled a screening of the animated film Superman: Red Son slated for March 16 in New York over concerns regarding the spread of the COVID-19, aka coronavirus disease 2019.

Based on the DC Comics “Elseworlds” graphic novel from 2003, Red Son takes place in an alternate reality where the spaceship bearing the last survivor of Krypton crash lands in Stalinist Russia instead of rural Kansas, resulting in Superman becoming a hero of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The film features the voices of Jason Isaacs as Superman and Diedrich Bader as Lex Luthor.

The film premiered in Los Angeles Feb. 24 and was released through digital retailers Feb. 25. Warner Feb. 28 announced the New York premiere would be held March 16, the day before Red Son’s March 17 release on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD.

The first case of COVID-19 in New York City was confirmed March 1.

As of March 2, there have been about 90,000 reported cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with more than 3,100 deaths from the illness — the vast majority occurring in China. Around 100 cases have been reported in the United States, with six deaths in Washington state.

“As the impact and spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, Warner Bros. is placing added emphasis on the health and welfare of its employees, talent and fans. To help minimize risk of exposure, Warner Bros. has opted to take preventative measures and cancel the New York premiere,” the studio announced.

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Warner had planned a red carpet event at New York’s Directors Guild with a screening and Q&A for members of the press, with a limited number of tickets available to the general public. The Guild theater has a capacity of 436.

Among those announced to be in attendance were executive producer Bruce Timm, director-producer Sam Liu, screenwriter J.M. DeMatteis, and castmembers Amy Acker (voice of Lois Lane), Vanessa Marshall (Wonder Woman), Roger Craig Smith (Batman) and Sasha Roiz (Hal Jordan).

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Animated Elseworlds Adventure ‘Superman: Red Son’ Flying to Home Video in 2020

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the DC Universe animated superhero adventure Superman: Red Son through digital retailers Feb. 25, 2020, and on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray March 17.

The film is an adaptation of the 2003 graphic novel Superman: Red Son, part of DC Comics’ “Elseworlds” imprint that provides alternate histories and settings for some of the company’s famous characters. The story takes place in an alternate reality in which the spaceship bearing the last survivor of Krypton crash lands not in America, but in Stalinist Russia, and is raised to defend the ideas of the Soviet Union.

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The cast includes Jason Isaacs as the Soviet Superman, Diedrich Bader as Lex Luthor, Amy Acker as Lois Lane, Vanessa Marshall as Wonder Woman, Phil Morris as James Olsen, Paul Williams as Brainiac, Roger Craig Smith as Batman, Sasha Roiz as Hal Jordan, Phil LaMarr as John Stewart, Jim Meskimen as John F. Kennedy, Travis Willingham as Superior Man, William Salyers as Joseph Stalin, and Winter Ave Zoli as Svetlana.

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The Blu-ray and digital versions will include the new DC Showcase animated short Phantom Stranger, by Bruce Timm. Set in the 1970s, the short follows young adult Jess as she joins her friends at a party in a dilapidated mansion hosted by the mysterious Seth, when odd things begin to happen. Peter Serafinowicz voices Phantom Stranger, and Michael Rosenbaum provides the voice of Seth. The voice cast also includes Natalie Lander, Grey Griffin and Roger Craig Smith.

Other extras include the featurette “Cold Red War,” two episodes from Superman: Red Son – The Motion Comics, and a preview of the next DC Universe movie, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.