Max Bows ‘The Sopranos’ 25th Anniversary Streaming Special

The Max streaming service Jan. 8 launched “The Sopranos: 25th Anniversary Collection,” which includes 15 deleted scenes, three of which have never been released. It also includes more than five hours of behind-the-scenes featurette content. Every season of the award-winning series is currently available to stream on Max.

Jan. 10 is the official 25th anniversary date of “The Sopranos” debut on HBO in 1999 and starring the late James Gandolfini, who won three Emmy Awards, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, and one Golden Globe Award playing Tony Soprano, the Italian-American Mafia crime boss.

To commemorate the anniversary, Max is hosting a special invitation-only cast reunion, a partnership with Postmates for an official “Satriale’s” pop-up restaurant in New York and Los Angeles, and fan screenings at Alamo Drafthouse with “Sopranos” actress Sharon Angela hosting the L.A. screening with “Sopranos”-themed concessions, trivia sessions, photo opportunities, and swag giveaways on Jan. 10.

From Jan. 11 through Feb. 4 at Da Nico, a renowned Italian restaurant in New York City, guests can order from a special menu featuring “Sopranos”-inspired dishes, such as Carmela’s Baked Ziti and Satriale’s Special Caprese.

On Jan. 10, fans of the series in New York and Los Angeles can visit the official Satriale’s pop-up, bringing an authentic “Sopranos”-inspired Italian sandwich from Ggiata in LA and Regina’s in NYC, to their door, available exclusively through the delivery app Postmates.

Episodes of the series will be available to sample through select cable partner’s free on-demand platforms. Episodes one and two from season one will also be accessible on Max’s YouTube channel. Additionally, @TheSopranos will launch on TikTok, where fans can relive each episode in 25 seconds.

Max is partnering with Robert Iler and Jamie-Lynn Sigler for a special edition of their podcast “Not Today, Pal.” They will reminisce about their roles as Meadow and AJ on the series, and answer questions from fans. The full episode will be available on Jan. 18 via the HBO YouTube channel and all major podcast platforms.

The festivities continue when the HBO Shop and New York ‘Escapewear’ brand Tombolo, partner to offer various special-edition products for the 25th anniversary. Select merchandise is now available with new items being introduced throughout 2024.

“‘The Sopranos’ left an indelible imprint on the global entertainment culture and was instrumental in defining HBO as the destination for groundbreaking, award-winning programming,” Zach Enterlin, EVP, brand, content & creative, streaming marketing, HBO and Max, said in a statement. “The many ways we will honor this 25-year milestone will allow fans to celebrate the Soprano legacy and pay tribute to the characters that have had such an enduring impact.”

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Restocking the Shelves, Part Three: Seeing Through Windows

One positive trend that has emerged during the pandemic, home entertainment studio executives say, is that consumers seem to be gaining a better understanding of the difference between transactional and subscription streaming and are realizing that not everything they might want to see is available on Netflix or the other big SVOD services.

“Because consumers are spending so much watching digital video at home, they are acutely aware of which titles are available on the various platforms,” says Jason Spivak, EVP of U.S. distribution at Sony Pictures Television Distribution.

Hilary Hoffman

“It has become clear that consumers sheltering at home not only have become increasingly engaged in our catalog offerings to keep entertained, but also have progressively grown to become more savvy in navigating the spectrum of formats,” says Hilary Hoffman, EVP of global marketing, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. “As such, we have continued to invest and reward consumers to stay engaged in the category and have been working in lockstep with our digital and physical retail partners to ensure that we remain hyper-focused on delivering the broadest access and best possible in-home experience.”

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“Consumers have become much more receptive to different price points,” adds Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s senior EVP of worldwide marketing Lexine Wong. “They realize not everything’s on Netflix, and it’s worth it to them to pay a transactional amount for something they really want to watch. They really have embraced all the ways to consume digital video.”

That includes the physical disc. “We are encouraged by the resilience,” Spivak says. “When you think of the structural impediments, stores being closed, online ordering taking longer to fulfill — consumers who love the physical disc are persevering and that business is holding up quite well.”

Studios were fortunate that two of the biggest retail sellers of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, Walmart and Target, were able to remain open throughout the pandemic because they also sell groceries and thus were deemed “essential” businesses. Alanna Powers, SVP of brand marketing, catalog, at Paramount Home Entertainment, says studio marketers have already met with Walmart to discuss fourth-quarter plans, with a focus on catalog.

“We went through a whole planning session with the Walmart team,” Powers says.

See also: Restocking the Shelves, Part Two: Home Entertainment Marketing Shifts Into High Gear

But the biggest lift to DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales, studio marketers say, comes from e-commerce sellers such as Amazon.

“We’ve seen quite a boom in e-commerce,” Powers says. “Initially we were unsure about the supply chain and how retail would react, but we kept all our new-to-Blu-ray titles on the calendar and saw a very positive response so we’ve continued to fill the slate with additional titles.”

Indeed, in addition to monthly waves of “Paramount Presents” releases, Paramount recently has come out with a 25th anniversary edition of the Alicia Silverstone comedy Clueless and 40th anniversary editions of horror classic Friday the 13th and John Travolta’s Urban Cowboy. Clueless and Friday the 13th also are available in limited edition steelbooks.

“We’re really leaning more into the collector’s market,” Powers says. “That’s where e-commerce really shines.”

Jeff Brown

It’s not just movies, either. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment enjoyed a banner spring with TV product, says Jeff Brown, EVP and GM, Television. “The second quarter was a panacea for transactional television content, physical as well as digital,” Brown says. “Our business grew over 40%, year on year. And if you exclude ‘Game of Thrones,’ which had an extraordinary performance last year with the final season broadcast and transactional release, our business nearly doubled. This really shows peoples’ appetite for television content, and while obviously stay-at-home behavior contributed to this, there were several other opportunities we were able to capitalize on.”

One was the fact that Warner now distributes TV content from HBO and Turner digitally as well as physically.

See also: Restocking the Shelves, Part One: Home Entertainment Divisions Mine Catalog as Theatrical Slate Stalls

Another is a strong slate of product, released just in time for viewers to enjoy while encouraged by state and local governments to stay in their homes. “Our top drivers included ‘Rick and Morty,’ ‘Friends’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ as well as the animated original movie titles Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, which was probably our best-performing DC animated movie since Batman: The Killing Joke and Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge,” Brown says.

The third factor behind Warner’s strong TV quarter is a series of “Entertaining the World” promotions, Brown says, with a menu of promotional actions for digital retailers such as Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu and FandangoNow.

“We promoted shows such as ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’ ‘Two and a Half Men,’ ‘The Sopranos,’ ‘The Wire,’ and Hanna-Barbera and DC animated classics,” Brown says. “We were able to look at the total Warner-HBO-Turner TV and animation library and come up with compelling retail programs, and we coordinated this on a semi-monthly ‘wave’ basis to provide an abundance of promoted content to retailers in a timely manner.”

Editor’s Note: This is part three in a four-part series, “Restocking the Shelves: With No Theatrical Releases, Studio Home Entertainment Marketers are Getting Creative.” The complete story will be available in the July print and digital editions of ‘Media Play News.’

FandangoNow Offering ‘Sopranos’ 20th Anniversary Streaming Special

In association with the 20th anniversary of the debut of “The Sopranos” on HBO, FandangoNow Jan. 10 through Jan. 14 is offering a special pricing of the iconic show. Users can watch the series at a discounted price of $9.99 for each season.

The mob drama was one of the prime catalysts in the once-booming TV-on-DVD category, which at its peak in the early 2000s was valued at $4 billion a year in consumer spending. TV-on-DVD also triggered the binge-watching habit that has helped Netflix and other subscription streamers find success with original series such as “Orange is the New Black,” “Stranger Things,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Created by David Chase, “The Sopranos” – which aired for six seasons, from 1999 to 2007 – stars the late James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, a New Jersey mobster, and Edie Falco as his complicit wife, Carmela. The series follows Soprano’s rise up the mob ranks and was known for its brutal portrayal of the mob life. The series was hailed for capturing the complexities of Soprano’s character as he tries to balance his roles as head of both an organized-crime “family” and a real family.

Separately, users can also stream Golden Globes winning First Man (Best Original Score), which landed on FandangoNow earlier this week.

The top new movies to rent and to own on the transactional VOD platform are:

Top-Selling New Titles to Rent:

  1. Venom
  2. Bad Times at the El Royale
  3. A Simple Favor
  4. Night School
  5. The Equalizer 2

Top-Selling New Titles to Own:

  1. First Man
  2. The Hate U Give
  3. Halloween (2018)
  4. Johnny English Strikes Again
  5. Venom