Disc Releases Send ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ to No. 1 on U.K. Home Entertainment Chart

Disney/Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness climbed  to No. 1 on the Official Film Chart, following its release on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

The packaged media release of the film — the 28th adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and second in the “Doctor Strange” series — sent it up three places to be the U.K.’s top-selling home release.

At No. 2, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Viking adventure The Northman, starring Alexander Skarsgård, reached a new peak following its release on disc, while last week’s chart topper, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore dropped to No. 3.

Warner’s The Batman remained in the Top 5 for another week at No. 4, while Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Spider-Man: No Way Home rebounded four spots to No. 5.

Also moving up the chart was Universal’s Sing 2 (6), Paramount Home Entertainment’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (7) and Universal’s The Bad Guys (8). Warner war drama Operation Mincemeat landed at No. 9 this week, ahead of Paramount’s enduring Top Gun which movies up three spots to No. 10.

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The Official Film Chart Top 10 – July 27, 2022

Last Week Position Movie Distributor
4 1 DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS DISNEY/MARVEL STUDIOS
5 2 THE NORTHMAN UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
1 3 FANTASTIC BEASTS – THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT
3 4 THE BATMAN WARNER
9 5 SPIDER-MAN – NO WAY HOME SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
10 6 SING 2 UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
12 7 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT
11 8 THE BAD GUYS UNIVERSAL
7 9 OPERATION MINCEMEAT WARNER
13 10 TOP GUN PARAMOUNT

© Official Charts Company 2022

Amazon Raising Prime Membership Fee Up to 43% in Europe; Taking Delivery of 100,000 Electric Vehicles by 2030

Amazon July 26 announced it will up the annual price of its Prime membership program as much as 43% across parts of Europe as the costs associated with e-commerce — i.e. shipping — continue to escalate. The price hikes also affect the Prime Video streaming service and other Prime features included with the membership.

The annual membership fee will increase in the U.K. 20% to £95 ($113.80) from £79 ($94.60) on Sept. 15. In France, Prime members will see the annual fee jump 43% to €69.90 ($70.80) from €49 ($49.64). Spain and Italy will see 39% price hikes, while Germany gets a 30% annual fee hike. The price increases follow a 15% increase in the U.S. announced in February.

Amazon has also significantly upped entertainment and live sports spending. In addition to closing its $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM Studios, the streamer is paying the NFL $11 billion for 11 years of exclusive rights to “Thursday Night Football” beginning this season.

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Prime Video this month for the first time secured rights to live stream European Champions League soccer matches in the U.K.

Separately, Amazon last week announced it would take delivery of 100,000 Rivian electric vehicles by 2030 for use delivering Amazon packages in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and St. Louis, among other cities. This rollout is just the beginning of what is expected to be thousands of Amazon’s custom electric delivery vehicles in more than 100 cities by the end of this year.

Amazon, which owns a stake in Illinois-based Rivian, took a $7.6 billion loss on that stake in the first quarter, ended March 31.

Amazon is currently the largest single global customer of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van used to deliver e-commerce purchases locally nationwide.

Amazon reports second-quarter (ended June 30) financial results on July 28.

U.K. Regulatory Board Approves Warner Bros. Discovery, BT Group Joint Sports Streaming Venture

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority has approved the BT Group agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery to form a 50/50 joint venture (JV) company that will create a new sports streaming offering for the U.K. and Ireland.

The decision now allows BT and Warner Bros. Discovery to complete the creation of the JV in the coming weeks and for each of their assets to be transferred into the new company. BT Sport and Eurosport U.K. will be brought together to form a sports streaming company with reportedly one of the most extensive portfolios of sports rights in the U.K. and Ireland. Both BT Sport and Eurosport U.K. will initially retain their separate brands and product propositions in the market before being brought together under a single brand in the future.

“Combining the capabilities, portfolios and scale of BT Sport and Eurosport U.K. will be a big win for fans in the U.K. and Ireland, offering a new destination that will feature all the sport they love in one place,” Andrew Georgiou, future board member of the JV and president and managing director of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said in a statement.

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The board of directors of the JV will be equally represented between appointees of British Telecommunications plc and Warner Bros. Discovery. The first chairperson to be appointed, nominated by each shareholder on a rotating basis, will be Marc Allera, CEO BT’s consumer division. The new management and delivery of the JV will be led by Georgiou, who will also be a member of its board.

“Today is a huge milestone, as we now look toward day one of the new business, which we hope to be in the coming weeks,” Allera said.

‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ Makes No. 1 Debut on U.K. Home Entertainment Chart

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore finished No. 1 in its debut on the Official Film Chart, the U.K. weekly home entertainment retail sales chart, through July 20.

The third installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” movie franchise, which once again stars Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law, nabbed the pole position based on sales of digital downloads only, finishing just ahead of Lionsgate’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, which debuted at No. 2.

The comedy stars Nicholas Cage as a fictionalized version of himself who channels his iconic characters from over the years while caught between a dangerous superfan and a CIA agent.

Meanwhile, Warner’s The Batman (No. 3) and Disney/Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (No. 4) maintained their previous-week positions, and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s historical action-adventure The Northman rose one spot to No. 5.

The previous week’s No. 1, The Lost City (Paramount Home Entertainment), tumbled to No. 6, and the Colin Firth-starring Operation Mincemeat (Warner) fell to No. 7 as both movies finished just ahead of Morbius (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) at No. 8.

Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home returned to the top 10 at No. 9 after climbing two spots, while rounding out the top 10 for another week: Universal’s animated musical Sing 2.

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The Official Film Chart Top 10 – July 20, 2022

Last Week Previous Week Movie Distributor
1 NEW FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE WARNER
2 NEW THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT LIONSGATE
3 3 THE BATMAN WARNER
4 4 DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS DISNEY/MARVEL
5 6 THE NORTHMAN UNIVERSAL
6 1 THE LOST CITY PARAMOUNT
7 2 OPERATION MINCEMEAT WARNER
8 7 MORBIUS SONY PICTURES
9 11 SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME SONY PICTURES
10 10 SING 2 UNIVERSAL

© Official Charts Company 2022

U.S. Studios Dominate Half-Year U.K. Home Entertainment Sales

New data from the Official Charts Company and British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) finds that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Spider-Man: No Way Home was the top-selling home entertainment release in the U.K. through June 30.

The latest edition of the Tom Holland-starring Marvel franchise sold more than 780,000 units since its March release, more than doubling the sales of No. 2 Dune from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Sony’s sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife ranked No. 3, and is the second-biggest release on digital downloads of the year so far.

Daniel Craig’s final performance as James Bond in MGM Studios’ No Time to Die ranked No. 4 — the second-biggest packaged-media release through June 30 — while Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s animated musical Sing 2 ranked No. 5.

Recent releases finished in the top 10 included Warner’s The Batman (No. 6), despite only being released in May. Disney’s Encanto ranked No. 8, just ahead of Sony’s action/adventure Uncharted (No. 9) and Warner’s The Matrix Resurrections (No. 10).

Outside the top 10, the original Top Gun (1986) ranked No. 11 following the release of its sequel, Top Gun: Maverick in theaters; the original broke records in May when it became the oldest film to ever top the Official Film Chart.

Another recent release, Paramount Home Entertainment’s video game-based sequel Sonic The Hedgehog 2 ranked No. 14 despite having not yet been released on disc. Additionally, Sony’s Morbius ranked No. 32, only having been released in retail channels in mid-June.

“The success of (Spider-Man, along with the Dune, Ghostbusters, James Bond and Sing releases) emphasizes just how popular buying and owning movies remains in 2022, when there is so much competition for the attention of consumers,” Martin Talbot, CEO, Official Charts Company, said in a statement.

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The U.K.’s Best-Selling Movies Through June 30, 2022

Position Movie/Distributor
1 SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME

Sony Pictures

2 DUNE (2021)

Warner

3 GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE

Sony Pictures

4 NO TIME TO DIE

MGM/Universal Pictures

5 SING 2

Universal

6 THE BATMAN

Warner

7 VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE

Sony Pictures

8 ENCANTO

Disney

9 UNCHARTED

Sony Pictures

10 THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS

Warner

© Official Charts Company 2022

Paramount’s ‘The Lost City’ Tops Second Week on U.K. Home Entertainment Chart

Paramount Home Entertainment’s The Lost City held onto the No. 1 spot on the U.K.’s Official Film Chart for the second week thanks to digital sales the week ended July 13.

Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum’s rom-com denied Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Operation Mincemeat the pole position, though the latter, which stars Colin Firth and Matthew MacFadyen as WWII intelligence officers who have to outwit German forces, climbed six spots following its release on disc.

Warner’s The Batman held at No. 3, finishing ahead of this week’s highest new entry, Disney/Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness at No. 4. The sequel to Doctor Strange and currently available on digital downloads only, this is the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe to be made available for home entertainment (with Thor: Love and Thunder the most-recent theatrical release)

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s The Bad Guys climbed to No. 5, while the second new entry of the week, The Northman, debuted at No. 6. The action-adventure stars Alexander Skarsgård as a young Viking prince who heads on a quest to avenge his father’s murder.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Morbius dropped five spots to No. 7, while Paramount’s original Top Gun held strong at No. 8, as does the studio’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 at No. 9. Finally, Universal’s Sing 2 finished the week at No. 10.

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Official Film Chart Top 10 – July 13, 2022

Rank Previous Week Movie Distributor
1 1 THE LOST CITY PARAMOUNT
2 8 OPERATION MINCEMEAT WARNER
3 3 THE BATMAN WARNER
4 NEW DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF DISNEY/MARVEL
5 6 THE BAD GUYS UNIVERSAL
6 NEW THE NORTHMAN UNIVERSAL
7 2 MORBIUS SONY PICTURES
8 5 TOP GUN PARAMOUNT
9 4 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 PARAMOUNT
10 9 SING 2 UNIVERSAL

© Official Charts Company 2022

Ampere: Paramount+ No. 2 in Original U.K. Content Production in 2022

U.S. streamer Paramount+ entered the U.K. streaming market — currently dominated by giants Netflix and Amazon Prime Video — on June 22 with a focus on local content, including the crime and thriller genre. According to a new report by Ampere Analysis, Paramount+ holds the second-largest slate of titles commissioned in the U.K. in 2022, with 13 commissions so far this year, second only to the market leader Netflix with 16 commissions.

In Q1 2022, Paramount+ expanded into Western Europe with most of its new commissions (seven of 12) set to be produced in the British market. The second slate of original titles in Q2 consisted of eight more (six from the U.K.), making the region the highest for Paramount+ original commissions outside the U.S.

Seven of the 13 commissions announced by the streamer in the U.K. so far this year have been crime and dramas, underscoring the genres’ popularity among the British. The slate includes three scripted series, including an adaptation of Jess Ryder’s 2018 psychological thriller “The Ex-Wife.” There are four unscripted series, including “The Box,” showcasing serial killers and presented by British detective Chris Loudon.

Paramount+ joined the U.K. market as SVOD stacking is becoming increasingly popular in the U.K. Many British households now subscribe to two or more streaming services, with the average streaming household having access to 2.7. This is still below the U.S. average of four streaming services.

“Paramount+ is conscious of how crowded the U.K. streaming market is becoming, and their decision to distribute with Sky+ will help tackle this challenge by providing instant subscriber reach,” Ampere Analyst Zuzana Henkova said in a statement. “One important differentiator for Paramount+ is its U.K.-made content and this will also be key to engaging Sky’s customer base, who are heavier-than-average viewers of U.K. content.”

Paramount’s ‘The Lost City’ Debuts at No. 1 on U.K. Home Entertainment Chart

Paramount Home Entertainment’s romantic actioner The Lost City bowed at No. 1 the week ended July 6 on the Official Film Chart, the U.K. weekly home entertainment sales chart tracking physical and digital retail transactions.

The Lost City, whose cast includes Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Brad Pitt, among others, topped Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Morbius (No. 2), which broadened its retail reach release on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray.

Separately, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s The Batman remained in the top five at the No. 3 spot, while the previous week’s chart topper, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, dropped two spots at No. 4. Paramount’s 1986 original Top Gun (No. 5) and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s The Bad Guys (No. 6) trailed in unit sales respectively.

At No. 7, and entering the top 10 for the first time was Michael Bay’s latest actioner Ambulance, starring Jake Gyllenhall, Vanya Abou-Mateen II and Eiza Gonzáles; it climbed nine spots following its release on disc.

The week’s second new entry included war drama Operation Mincemeat, which bowed at No. 8 on digital downloads only. Rounding out the Top 10 was Universal’s former chart topper Sing 2 (No. 9) and Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home (No. 10).

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The Official Film Chart Top 10 – July 6, 2022

Rank Previous Week Movie Distributor
1 NEW THE LOST CITY PARAMOUNT
2 5 MORBIUS SONY PICTURES
3 2 THE BATMAN WARNER
4 1 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 PARAMOUNT
5 3 TOP GUN PARAMOUNT
6 4 THE BAD GUYS UNIVERSAL
7 16 AMBULANCE UNIVERSAL
8 NEW OPERATION MINCEMEAT WARNER
9 7 SING 2 UNIVERSAL
10 9 SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME SONY PICTURES

© Official Charts Company 2022

Sony Pictures Partners with U.K. Home Entertainment to Promote Theatrical Release

Sony Pictures Entertainment has partnered with The Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness in the U.K. for the July 15 theatrical release of Where The Crawdads Sing, produced by Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter, and based on the best-selling novel written by Delia Owens.

Starring Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People), the promotional spot features Edgar-Jones encouraging viewers to frequent the cineplex and watch the 3000 Pictures’ release.

Where the Crawdads Sing is the mystery of “Kya” (Edgar-Jones) who raises herself in the dangerous marshlands of North Carolina, and finds herself at the center of a murder investigation.

The Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness was created in 2004 by the U.K. home entertainment industry to help promote intellectual property copyrights and “demonstrate the value in choosing legal downloads and DVDs over unauthorized content.”

The Trust is funded by more than 30 member organizations, including film studios and retailers in the United Kingdom.

“Our partnership with the Industry Trust is a fantastic way to celebrate the unique experience filmmakers aim to create for cinema audiences,” Ian George, managing director of Sony Pictures Entertainment U.K., said in a statement. “The quality of detail that has been put into this film has been done with a true passion to completely transport the audience into this visually spectacular world.

Liz Bales, chief executive of The Trust and British Association for Screened Entertainment, said the partnership is the “perfect way” to communicate the value of the theatrical experience among consumers.

“It’s wonderful to have a star as relevant and talented as Daisy Edgar-Jones to speak directly to audiences about those unforgettable moments we’ve all experienced and shared when we’ve bought a ticket and settled into our seat to immerse ourselves in a film,” Bales said. “We hope Daisy will inspire audiences, young and old, to watch the films they are excited about at the cinema this summer.”

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Disney+ Unveils U.K. Original Content Slate

Disney+ June 23 announced additional content set to premiere exclusively on the service in the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2022 and 2023.

Series include “The Patient,” starring Steve Carell and Domhnall Gleeson; “Fleishman is in Trouble,” based on the New York Times best-selling novel and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Lizzy Caplan, Claire Danes and Adam Brody; and “Welcome to Chippendales,” starring Kumail Nanjiani.

Welcome to Wrexham” is a docuseries tracking the dreams and people of Wrexham as Hollywood stars Rob McElhenney (“Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) and Ryan Reynolds take ownership of the town’s historic yet struggling soccer club. The series debuts on Aug. 25.

Other exclusive series premiering over the next 12 months include “Mike” from the team behind Oscar-nominated I, Tonya; “The Old Man” starring Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow, Amy Brenneman and Alia Shawkat; and “Limitless with Chris Hemsworth.”

Also joining the line-up over the next 12 months are U.K. originals, including “Wedding Season,” “Extraordinary,” and docuseries “Save Our Squad.” Plus, new seasons of “American Horror Stories” (season two) and “Reservation Dogs” (season two) are coming soon.

Movies making their debut on Disney+ U.K. include The Princess, starring Joey King, on July 1; Not Okay on July 29; Prey, an all-new entry in the Predator franchise, on Aug. 5; and Rosaline, starring Kaitlyn Dever, later this year.

Recently launched series available to stream now on Disney+ include Danny Boyle’s “Pistol,” “The Dropout” starring Amanda Seyfried, comedy series “Only Murders in the Building,” and “The Kardashians.”

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