‘A Dog’s Journey’ to Be Fetched on Digital Aug. 6, Disc Aug. 20 From Universal

A sequel to A Dog’s Purpose, A Dog’s Journey will come out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Aug. 6 and Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Aug. 20 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Directed by Emmy winner Gail Mancuso (“Modern Family”), the film continues the tale of lovable farm dog Bailey, as he finds a new destiny, forms an unbreakable bond and learns that some friendships transcend lifetimes. Bailey (voiced again by Josh Gad; Beauty and the BeastFrozen) is living the good life on the Michigan farm of his former “boy” now grown to manhood, Ethan (Dennis Quaid; A Dog’s Purpose, I Can Only Imagine) and Ethan’s wife Hannah (Marg Helgenberger; “C.S.I.,” “Under the Dome”). He has a new playmate, Ethan and Hannah’s baby granddaughter, C.J. (Kathryn Prescott; “24: Legacy”). Everything is great on the farm until C.J.’s mom, Gloria (Betty Gilpin, Isn’t It Romantic, “GLOW”), decides to take C.J. away and chase her own fulfillment in the big city. Ethan asks Bailey to watch over C.J. wherever she goes and thus begins Bailey’s adventure through multiple lives as he, C.J., and C.J.’s best friend Trent experience joy and heartbreak, music and laughter.

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A Dog’s Journey features more than 30 minutes of bonus content including deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, featurettes with the cast and composer, and a behind-the-scenes look at the animal performances. The release also includes feature commentary by Mancuso.

Studios, Distributors, EMA Team Up on Massive Digital Movie Rental Promotion

A consortium of studios and key digital retailers, cable companies and satellite providers is sponsoring a digital rental movie sale May 31 through June 3 in which consumers can stream up to 250 different movies at prices as low as $2.99 for recent releases and 99 cents for older, catalog titles.

The “Ultimate Movie Weekend” initiative, led by the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), is believed to be the first time such a coordinated promotion has been undertaken in the United States.

The goal, according to EMA SVP Sean Bersell, is to “introduce consumers who haven’t rented digitally previously to the value and convenience of digital rental, and to entice consumers who haven’t rented digital recently to re-engage.”

The campaign will offer recent releases and catalog movies from Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. Participating digital retailers and cable and satellite companies include Altice USA’s Optimum and Suddenlink TV, Amazon Prime Video, the Apple TV app and iTunes, Atlantic Broadband, Comcast’s Xfinity TV, Cox, DIRECTV, DISH, FandangoNOW, Frontier Communications, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, PlayStation Store, Redbox On Demand, U-Verse, and Vudu.

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The tagline for the Ultimate Movie Weekend is “Rent the Biggest Movies for Less.” Participating retailers will offer between 50 and 250 movies at discounted prices as low as $2.99 for recent releases and $0.99 for catalog movies. The Ultimate Movie Weekend sale includes some of the latest releases that are not yet available on subscription video services. Among the movies in the promotion are A Star Is Born (2018), Bumblebee, Fifty Shades of Grey, First Man, Forrest Gump, The Hunger Games, Robin Hood (2018), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Step Brothers, and Wonder Woman.

The promotional campaign will be supported by a significant media buy, social media marketing, direct-to-consumer outreach, and a dedicated website, www.ultimatemovieweekend.com. The Ultimate Movie Weekend sale is patterned after similar successful efforts last year in Australia, France and the U.K.

“While the popularity of digital movie rentals continues to grow, there is the opportunity to introduce even more consumers to the value and convenience of digital rental, so the industry has come together to offer a compelling promotion that we hope will attract new customers and remind infrequent digital renters of this option,” said EMA president and CEO Mark Fisher. “Plus, with the start of the summer, which is traditionally a heavy movie-viewing season, it’s a good time to remind consumers of the pleasure of getting together with family and friends for a movie night.”

According to industry statistics, in the first quarter of 2019, digital rental generated $564 million in consumer spending, which accounted for approximately 10% of all home entertainment consumer spending in the quarter.

“This is the first effort of its kind in the U.S., and the breadth of participants demonstrates that the home entertainment industry is making it a priority to communicate the value proposition of digital rentals to consumers,” said Richard Smith, SVP, domestic digital sales, for Paramount Pictures and chair of EMA’s Ultimate Movie Weekend planning committee. “We see significant potential to grow this sector of the industry, and in doing so grow the overall home entertainment market.”

“Our studio partners have assembled a fantastic slate of movies, many unavailable on subscription services, which FandangoNow will offer at compelling prices,” added Cameron Douglas, VP of home entertainment at Fandango and chair of the EMA. “Convenience and value have always been the hallmark of home entertainment, and these great movies at discounted prices draws attention to the ease and affordability of renting digitally.”

Drama ‘The Best of Enemies’ Coming to Digital June 18, Disc July 2 From Universal

The Best of Enemies will arrive on digital June 18 and Blu-ray, DVD and on demand July 2 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film stars Academy Award-nominee Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures, “Empire”) and Academy Award-winner Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MissouriVice) and features a supporting cast the includes Babou Ceesay (Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryEye in the Sky), Anne Heche (“Chicago P.D.,” “Aftermath”), Wes Bentley (“American Horror Story,” “Yellowstone”), Nick Searcy (The Shape of Water, “Justified”) and Bruce McGill (Lincoln, “Shades of Blue”).

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The drama centers on an unlikely relationship between Ann Atwater (Henson), an outspoken civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis (Rockwell), a local Ku Klux Klan leader who reluctantly co-chaired a community summit, battling over the desegregation of schools in Durham, N.C., during the racially-charged summer of 1971. The events that unfolded would change Durham and the lives of Atwater and Ellis forever.

Bonus features include:

  • “Make a Connection,” in which the cast discusses the unlikely friendship between Atwater and Ellis, with clips of past interviews of the film’s subjects;
  • “Ann Atwater,” a behind-the-scenes discussion with Henson and Rockwell about Atwater;
  • “Unlikely Friendship,” an inside look at how 10 days transformed the lives of two people who formed an unexpected friendship; and
  • the trailer.

Comedy ‘Little’ Graduating to Digital June 25, Disc July 9 From Universal

The “body swap” comedy Little will arrive on digital (including Movies Anywhere) June 25 and Blu-Ray, DVD and on demand July 9 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Regina Hall (Girls Trip, “Black Monday”) and Marsai Martin (“Black-ish”) star as Jordan Sanders — Hall as the take-no-prisoners tech mogul adult version of Jordan and Martin as the 13-year-old version of her who wakes up in her adult self’s penthouse just before a do-or-die presentation. Issa Rae (“Insecure,” The Hate You Give) plays Jordan’s long-suffering assistant April.

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Bonus features include a gag reel, behind-the-scenes featurettes, a “mockumentary” featuring Hall and a special “Assistant Survival Guide” presented by Rae.

Romance ‘After’ Coming to Digital June 25, Disc July 9 From Universal

The steamy romance After will arrive on digital (including Movies Anywhere) June 25 and Blu-ray combo pack, DVD, and on demand July 9 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film made $12 million in theaters.

Based on a best-seller from author Anna Todd with more than 1 billion reads on social storytelling site Wattpad and 23 million copies sold in more than 40 countries, the film stars Hero Fiennes Tiffin (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince) and Josephine Langford (Wish Upon), supported by Selma Blair (SkyscraperCruel Intentions), Inanna Sarkis (Boo 2! A Madea Halloween), Pia Mia (“East Los High”), Jennifer Beals (“The L Word”) and Peter Gallagher (American Beauty, “New Girl”).

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The film follows Tessa (Langford), a dedicated student, dutiful daughter and loyal girlfriend to her high school sweetheart, as she enters her first semester in college. Her guarded world opens up when she meets the dark and mysterious Hardin Scott (Tiffin).

The soundtrack includes “Out of Love” by Alessia Cara and “Bitter Love” by Mia. Sarkis, who plays Molly in the film, performs the track “Best You’ll Ever Have.”

Bonus features on Blu-ray, DVD and digital include deleted scenes.

‘Hotel Mumbai’ Coming to Digital June 11, Disc June 18 From Universal

The historical drama Hotel Mumbai will come out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) June 11 and on Blu-ray, DVD and on demand June 18 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

It earned $9.5 million in theaters.

The film follows those who lived and died during the 2008 siege of the famed Taj Hotel by a group of terrorists in Mumbai, India. It stars Academy Award nominee Dev Patel (Lion, Slumdog Millionaire), Golden Globe nominee Armie Hammer (On the Basis of Sex, Call Me by Your Name), Nazanin Boniadi (“Homeland”), Tilda Cobham-Hervey (52 Tuesdays), Anupam Kher (“New Amsterdam,” Silver Lining Playbook) and Jason Issacs (“Star Trek: Discovery”).

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Disc special features include “Story and Cast,” in which Patel, Hammer, Kher, Boniadi and others describe how the real-life heroism of the guests and staff inspired the making of Hotel Mumbai; “Finding the True Story,” in which director Anthony Maras and cast discuss how they first discovered the true story of the Mumbai attacks; “Humanity Within Tragedy,” in which the director explains the pre-production process of reaching out to survivors, and the crew describes how heroism can emerge in the worst conditions; and “Real-Life Heroes,” in which the director and cast talk about the how guests and staff became heroes during the real Mumbai attacks and express their hopes for others to see how we can help one another and be selfless.

Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Emerging on Digital June 4, Disc June 18 From Universal

Academy Award winner Jordan Peele’s followup to Get OutUs —is coming to digital (including Movies Anywhere) June 4 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD June 18 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film, which earned $172.9 million at the box office, stars Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther, 12 Years a Slave), Winston Duke (Black Panther), Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Mad Men”) and Tim Heidecker (The Comedy, “Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories”).

Set along the North California coastline, the story follows Adelaide Wilson (Nyong’o) who reluctantly returns to her beachside childhood home with her family and finds that she is haunted by unresolved trauma from her past along with a string of eerie coincidences. As darkness falls after a tense day at the beach, the Wilsons discover four figures standing in their driveway. They soon realize this is only the beginning of their troubles as they find that the four figures are terrifying and uncanny opponents: doppelgängers of themselves.

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Special features include:

  • “The Duality of Us,” in which Peele goes in-depth on some of the key themes and imagery in the film, including Doppelgängers, Hands Across America, The Nutcracker dance scene, rabbits and the infamous 11:11 coincidence;
  • “The Monsters Within Us,” which examines how cast members were able to find their characters, whether they were playing one of the Wilsons or their sinister doppelgängers;
  • “Tethered Together: Making Us Twice,” about the difficulties of making a movie where all the main cast members play dual roles;
  • “Redefining a Genre: Jordan Peele’s Brand of Horror,” in which cast and filmmakers highlight what makes Peele so unique, as well as the filmmaker’s own thoughts on his inspirations and the relationship between horror and comedy;
  • “Becoming Red,” a closer look at Nyong’o’s performance as “Red”;
  • deleted scenes;
  • “We’re All Dying,” funny outtakes from the conversation between Duke and Heidecker on the beach;
  • “As Above, So Below: Grand Pas de Deux,” an extended version of the dance sequence from the film.

 

Special features exclusive to 4K UHD, Blu-ray and digital include scene explorations, about the making of three iconic scenes from the film, the Tyler house massacre, Jason’s abduction and Adelaide’s underground flashback.

Faith Film ‘Run the Race’ Coming to Disc at Walmart and Digital May 21

The faith-based film Run the Race debuts on Blu-ray and DVD at Walmart as well as on digital (including Movies Anywhere) and on demand May 21 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, in partnership with The WTA Group, Reserve Entertainment and 10th Leper Productions.

The film will be available on Blu-ray and DVD at all retailers nationwide June 18.

Executive produced by athlete Tim Tebow and his brother Robby Tebow, the family drama follows the journey of two high school athletes and brothers who see their relationship tested as they seek different paths out of their troubled lives. Reeling from his mother’s death and his father’s abandonment, Zach, an all-state athlete, finds glory on the football field, working to earn a college scholarship and the brothers’ ticket out of town. When a devastating injury puts Zach — and his dreams — on the sidelines, David laces up his track cleats to salvage their future and point Zach toward hope.

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The cast includes Tanner Stine (“NCIS,” Indivisible), Kristoffer Polaha (“Condor,” “Get Shorty”), Evan Hofer (“Kickin’ It”), Kelsey Reinhardt (“Transparent”) and Mario Van Peebles (“Superstition,” “Bloodline”) with Mykelti Williamson (FencesForrest Gump) and Frances Fisher (TitanicUnforgiven).

Bonus features include “The Heart of Run the Race,” in which executive producer Tim Tebow and cast talk about why the film is so important, what makes it special, and the bonds of family; a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film with writer-producer Jake McEntire and executive producer Robby Tebow; and “The Cast Talks,” in which cast and crew cover a variety of topics, including their characters, the power of forgiveness, mentorship, dating and sports.

‘Captive State’ to Be Unleashed on Disc and Digital June 11

The sci-fi thriller Captive State will land on Blu-ray, DVD, digital (including Movies Anywhere) and on demand June 11 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film is set a decade after an extraterrestrial force occupied Earth, deceiving humanity with the promise of peace and unity, and Chicago police officer William Mulligan (John Goodman) is tasked with maintaining law and order in a city on the brink of rebellion. Gabriel (Ashton Sanders), the young brother of a fallen militant and the son of Mulligan’s ex-partner, is faced with the crucial choice, collaborate or fight back.

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Bonus features include “Igniting a War,” in which producer/co-writer/director Rupert Wyatt explains how the cast helped achieve realism against the backdrop of an alien invasion story; “Building the World of Captive State,” in which filmmakers and cast discuss their experiences shooting on location in Chicago; and feature commentary with Wyatt.

Samsung and Universal in Content Pact on Next-Gen HDR10+

Samsung Electronics and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will bring to market titles mastered with HDR10+, according to a Samsung press release.

HDR10+ is an open source-based, next-generation high dynamic range video standard led by Samsung. HDR adds brightness and contrast dynamically for each scene, delivering brighter brights and deeper darks, according to the release.

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Samsung and UPHE will collaborate on a wide selection of new release and catalog fare with HDR10+ technology, according to the release.

“We are delighted to team with Samsung Electronics on HDR10+ to deliver this striking, cutting-edge technology to entertainment consumers, providing them the opportunity to enjoy unparalleled, state-of-the-art movie-watching experiences across an array of Universal physical and digital titles,” said Michael Bonner, EVP, digital distribution, UPHE, in a statement.

“We have launched a new era of picture-quality technology with HDR10+, providing an amplified vivid viewing experience for consumers” said Hyogun Lee, EVP of the R&D team, visual display business, at Samsung Electronics. “Based on Samsung Electronics’ unique technology and proficiency, we will continue to expand our alliances with premier partners like Universal to provide consumers with the best HDR content possible.”

Samsung Electronics has been collaborating with various companies such as movie studios and OTT operators since the formation of the HDR10+ LLC in August 2017, according to the release. In addition to efforts in Korea, Japan and the United States, Samsung will continue to strengthen the HDR10+ logo and certification program partnership in other territories around the world, according to the release.

Additional details on the HDR10+ certification/logo operating program can be found at www.hdr10plus.org. Logo and technology fees are free.

Dolby also has a dynamic metadata, scene-by-scene, next-gen HDR format, Dolby Vision, requiring a licensing fee.