Merchandising: ‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ Preorders Available

With Universal’s Kung Fu Panda 4 becoming available for premium digital purchase and rental April 9, both Target and Walmart are already taking preorders for their exclusive editions of the film’s eventual Blu-ray release.

Walmart will have the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack as a limited-edition gift set with a pack-in pair of kid-sized training chopsticks for $29.96.

Target is offering the Blu-ray combo pack with a 40-page filmmaker gallery book for $30.99.

In addition, Target was also offering a buy-two-get-one-free sale on games, books and movies when using the Target Circle feature of the chain’s app.

Merchandising: New ‘Wish,’ ‘Aquaman’ Exclusives at Walmart

Walmart cemented its position as the new go-to retailer for 4K Steelbook exclusives with the March 12 release of Disney’s Wish and Warner’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

The Steelbook edition of Disney’s new animated film Wish is a 4K Ultra HD with Blu-ray combo pack offered at $34.96. The Walmart Steelbook is the only available version of the film on 4K disc, and unlike some of the chain’s other recent Steelbook exclusives, this one was actually still in stock on release date and available through the retailer’s website.

In contrast, the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom 4K Ultra HD with Blu-ray combo pack was also $34.96, and is the only edition of the film with both 4K and Blu-ray discs (the widely available SKUs were either standalone 4K or Blu-ray editions), but signs in the store indicated it was available at, where it is listed as “Out of Stock.”

Speaking of inventory issues, Amazon as of street date has already listed the brand-new 4K/Blu-ray combo packs of James Cameron’s Aliens, The Abyss and True Lies as unavailable, leaving many shoppers who preordered the titles complaining about having no idea when to expect to receive them.

Meanwhile, Target is offering a promotion for Easter-appropriate DVDs for as low as $5 each.

Merchandising: Retailers Craft ‘Wonka’ Exclusives

With Warner’s Wonka leading the new releases the week of Feb. 27, both Target and Walmart offered exclusive home video editions of the film.

Target offered the film’s Blu-ray with unique slipcover box art and collectible art cards for $27.99.

Walmart’s ‘Wonka’ 4K Steelbook

Meanwhile, Walmart offered a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack of the film in Steelbook packaging for $34.96, yet another new 4K Steelbook migrating to Walmart in the wake of Best Buy moving away from the disc market.

Of note, the Walmart edition is the only way to get both the 4K and regular Blu-ray discs in one package. The wide-release versions are either 4K only, Blu-ray only or DVD only.

Unfortunately, both Target and Walmart have listed their exclusive editions as sold out. The Walmart Steelbook is being offered on eBay from a number of sellers in the $50 to $70 range.

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Meanwhile, in the saga of the Best Buy DVD death watch, the store in Costa Mesa, Calif., completely cleared out its packaged-media inventory in the week prior to Feb. 28, leaving behind a set of empty shelves in the middle of the store. The scene is no doubt similar at other locations as an era of physical media truly comes to an end. The chain continues to sell DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, 4K Ultra HD discs and Steelbooks on its website.

Remaining DVD/Blu-ray inventory at a Best Buy in Costa Mesa, Calif., Feb. 21
Empty DVD/Blu-ray section at a Best Buy in Costa Mesa, Calif., Feb. 28


Merchandising: The Ballad of Steelbooks and Slipcovers

After weeks of new home entertainment releases that barely made a blip on the radar, Feb. 13 saw two of the biggest theatrical titles from the past few months arrive on disc — Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes and Disney’s The Marvels.

Walmart cemented its status as the new go-to retailer for Steelbooks, offering 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack Steelbook editions for both titles.

Walmart’s ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes’ 4K Steelbook

Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes was offered at $29.96, while The Marvels was offered at $34.96.

Walmart’s ‘The Marvels’ 4K Steelbook
Walmart’s ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’ 4K Steelbook

Walmart also had a new Steelbook edition of the 4K/Blu-ray combo pack of Shout! Studios’ Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, which was listed as $23.98 online but also marked as sold out.

Target’s ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes’ Blu-ray with exclusive art

Target had its own exclusive edition of Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, offering the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of the “Hunger Games” prequel with exclusive box art for $24.99 (with the online price at $22.22).

On the other hand, for the Marvels, Target was selling the 4K version online only.

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Merchandising: Target Runs Valentine’s BOGO Sale

Feb. 6 marked a sparse week for new home entertainment releases on Blu-ray and DVD. Target took the occasion to hold a buy-one-get-one-half-off sale, which the retail chain touted with a two-page spread in its weekly ad circular in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day.

The BOGO 50% off sale applied to board games, puzzles, activity kits, books, movies and select video games.

Some of the movies listed most prominently in the promotion were Oppenheimer, Trolls Band Together, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and The Equalizer 3. Video games included Hogwarts Legacy and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.

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Meanwhile, in the Best Buy DVD death watch, the store in Costa Mesa, Calif., at some point during the first week of February removed the new-release Blu-ray and DVD display from the front of the store. What titles remained there were moved to the lone home media aisle that still remains at the center of the store, where it seems discs will still be sold there until sufficient inventory is bled off.

Merchandising: ‘Silent Night’ Steelbook Released

Among the few new notable disc releases Jan. 30, Lionsgate’s Silent Night had an exclusive 4K edition available at Walmart.

Walmart’s 4K version was a combo pack with a 4K disc, Blu-ray disc and digital copy for $29.96. It also came in Steelbook packaging — another sign that the 4K Steelbook market previously dominated by Best Buy is being shifted to Walmart. Unfortunately, Walmart’s website listed it as sold out as of the first day of release.

A Blu-ray/DVD combo pack was the only version widely released, though Target didn’t bother to stock it.

Target did run a “Celebrate Black History Month” promo in its weekly ad circular, touting movies such as the 1984 The Color Purple on 4K for $26.99, Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid Blu-ray, for $23.99, Poetic Justice on DVD for $7, and Hidden Figures on Blu-ray for $7.99.

Merchandising: ‘Trolls Band Together’ Exclusives Arrive

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Jan. 16 release of of DreamWorks’ animated sequel Trolls Band Together included exclusive editions at both Target and Walmart.

Walmart’s version was a Blu-ray/DVD/digital combo pack gift set containing two pack-in light-up bracelets for $29.96.

Walmart’s ‘Trolls Band Together’ Blu-ray with bracelets

Target’s version is the Blu-ray/DVD/digital combo pack with a 40-page filmmaker gallery booklet for $26.99.

Target’s ‘Trolls Band Together’ Blu-ray with gallery booklet

Target also ran a sale offering up to 30% off best-selling movies, music and books.

Merchandising: Retailers Closing Out 2023 With Disc Discounts

With a thin slate of new releases Dec. 26, most retailers turned to closing out 2023 with the usual post-holiday sales.

Best Buy touted up to 40% off featured movies, with a minimum savings of 3%. Titles include 4K discs for The Goonies, John Wick: Chapter 3, Halloween Ends, WandaVision, Saw X, Titanic and The Twilight Saga.

Target enabled a 20% savings on movies through the retailers Circle app.

Separately, Target and Walmart have been promoting preorders for the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of DreamWorks’ animated sequel Trolls Band Together, though it hasn’t been announced for release yet.

Walmart’s version has two pack-in light-up bracelets for $29.96.

Target’s is a sing-along edition with a 40-page filmmaker gallery booklet, though no price is listed. Also, despite the title being listed as a preorder in the company’s weekly ad circular, the link to the title on retailer’s website doesn’t work.

Merchandising: ‘Indiana Jones’ and the Retail Exclusives

Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny arrived on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 5, and a couple retailers offered exclusive editions of the adventure film.

Walmart’s ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ 4K Blu-ray with pin

Walmart had a version of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack with custom artwork and a limited-edition enamel pin of the Archimedes Dial, the so-called “Dial of Destiny” of the film’s title and the quest object of the film’s plot. The listed price was $34.96, though most physical Walmart locations didn’t have them in stock, according to the retailer’s website. Copies were still available for purchase online, however.

Best Buy, as usual, offered its Steelbook edition of the 4K Blu-ray combo pack, listed for $41.99, though mostly sold out already. According to the Best Buy website, copies were no longer available for online purchase, though some physical locations still had a copy.

Best Buy’s ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ 4K Steelbook

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Best Buy also had Steelbook editions for a couple of catalog titles being re-released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray during the week.

One was the 1988 Western Young Guns, from Lionsgate, offered at $23.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Young Guns’ 4K Steelbook

The other was for the 1991 actioner Point Break, from Shout! Studios, for $33.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Point Break’ 4K Steelbook

Merchandising: ‘Equalizer 3’ Steelbooks Arrive

For the fourth week in a row, a home video edition of a new-release movie was offered in exclusive Steelbook packaging by two different retailers.

The previous releases were Gran Turismo Nov. 7, Blue Beetle Oct. 31 and Meg 2: The Trench Oct. 24. For each, Best Buy offered a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack Steelbook, while Walmart offered a Steelbook for the regular Blu-ray.

Nov. 14 saw Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s The Equalizer 3 get the same special dual Steelbook treatment. Best Buy’s 4K and Blu-ray combo pack with digital copy was offered at $38.99, while Walmart’s Blu-ray with digital copy version could be had for $27.96.

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Meanwhile, Target had an exclusive edition of Shout! Studios’ Spirited Away: Live on Stage Blu-ray that came with a double-sided poster for $22.99.

Best Buy also had a 15th anniversary Steelbook boxed set of Lionsgate’s The Twilight Saga with all five films on both 4K Ultra HD disc and regular Blu-ray, for $79.99.

Best Buy’s ‘The Twilight Saga’ 4K Steelbook collection