‘F9’ Now Available for On Demand Viewing

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on July 30 released F9: The Fast Saga for home viewing via video on demand digital rental at a premium price of $19.99.

The ninth film in the “Fast & Furious” series and 10th in the franchise (including Hobbs & Shaw), the film has earned $165 million at the domestic box office since its June 25 premiere. The movie’s total worldwide haul is $624.5 million, having opened as early as May 19 in some territories.

The story involves Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) leading his crew on another worldwide adventure to stop an evil scheme by his brother (John Cena).

F9: The Fast Saga was directed by Justin Lin from a screenplay by Daniel Casey and Lin.

The film’s digital and disc sellthrough dates have not been announced.

FandangoNow Unveils 25 ‘Freshest’ Zombie Movies List to Celebrate ‘Living Dead’ Anniversary

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of zombie classic Night of the Living Dead, Fandango’s on-demand video service FandangoNow Oct. 1 launched a list of the 25 “freshest” zombie movies with the George Romero film taking the top spot.

The list was curated by movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes based on the movies’Tomatometer scores. (A movie gets a “Fresh” designation when at least 60% of its critic reviews are positive.)

On Oct. 1 only, fans can rent any (or all) of the zombie movies on the list at a discounted rate of $1 off the regular price when using the promo code LIVINGDEAD50 at checkout.

“Zombies owe their popularity today to a little low-budget film from Pittsburgh released 50 years ago today, and Night of the Living Dead has lost none of its power to shock, stun and terrify,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis. “With its stark, in-your-face black-and-white imagery of the dead coming back to flesh-eating life, director George Romero’s film made it clear to 1968 audiences that visceral horror no longer took the shape of Gothic frights like werewolves and vampires. It now looks just like your friends and neighbors, and there is no escape. To celebrate the ‘Dead’s 50th-anniversary FandangoNOW is hosting the top 25 zombie movies that you can view at home today, starting of course with the film that started it all.”

The list with Tomatometer scores is:

Night of Living Dead (1968) 97%
Train To Busan 96%
Dawn of the Dead (1978) 93%
Shaun of the Dead 92%
I Walked with a Zombie 92%
The Cabin in the Woods 91%
Return of the Living Dead 91%
Zombieland 90%
ParaNorman 89%
White Zombie 89%
[Rec] 88%
28 Days Later 87%
Dead Alive 86%
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead 83%
The Plague of the Zombies 80%
Warm Bodies 80%
Dawn of the Dead (2004) 75%
Planet Terror 74%
Land of The Dead 73%
The Crazies 71%
28 Weeks Later 71%
Dead Snow 68%
Night of the Living Dead (1990) 68%
World War Z 66%
The Serpent and the Rainbow 61%

 

Europeans Up On-Demand Video Consumption

As viewers continue to migrate to on-demand TV content in the United States, so too is VOD consumption changing in five European markets: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Europeans are watching an additional two hours of on-demand content each month across all platforms, compared to the previous year, according to new data from IHS Markit.

Viewing time devoted to online platforms has increased, with an average of 10 minutes per-person per-day devoted to online short-form video content (up to 15 minutes in length), and eight minutes to long-form content (over 15 minutes in length).

Despite the rise in online video consumption, total TV and video viewing time in the top five European markets has remained relatively stable for the past six years, at an average of 247 minutes of TV viewing per-person each day, according to IHS. However, the composition of total viewing time varies across individual markets, as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and others become more popular with consumers, particularly younger demographics.

“With the increasing volume of consumption moving away from traditional linear broadcast, monetization of on-demand and time-shifted viewing remains a key concern, as ad-insertion and tracking technology has been slow to keep up,” Fateha Begum, associate director of connected devices and media consumption at IHS Markit, said in a statement. “However, pay-TV operators are still primarily concerned with retaining subscription revenue for the time being.”

Daily linear viewing time in the U.K. declined by more than eight minutes per person in 2017, as DVR use also declined for the second consecutive year. However, on-demand viewing added five daily minutes per person, with the U.K. leading in the amount of time spent viewing non-linear content compared to the other four markets.

Online long-form consumption grew 21%, rising three minutes per-person per-day since 2016, with subscription over-the-top (OTT) services accounting for 74% of viewing minutes, compared to 69% in 2016.

In France, online long-form viewing time increased by 41.6% year over year, or approximately five additional viewing minutes per-person per-day. Netflix, the leading OTT player in France, accounted for three out of four net OTT subscriptions in 2017. CanalPlay, which led the market before Netflix launched in France, experienced subscription declines and closed their standalone OTT service in 2018.

“The shift to OTT consumption signals the need for pay-TV operators to act quickly, in order to retain their foothold in the market,” saidRob Moyser, TV and online video analyst at IHS. “Leading operators are already enhancing their current propositions and embracing OTT, to ensure they capture some of the time spent on other devices and services, so they can stay at the forefront of consumers’ minds.”

Vubiquity Inks Deal With Verizon

Vubiquity, a provider of content services and media technology solutions, has inked a deal with Verizon to provide the processing and packaging of Verizon’s video on-demand and pay-per-view portfolio across the Fios multiscreen platform.

Vubiquity is owned by Amdocs.

The deal continues to include a content licensing component, which is an extension of the prior relationship, according to an Amdocs press release.

“Verizon remains vigorously focused on making content personal with video that can go anywhere to meet the demands of even the most discerning customers,” said Heather McDavitt, VP of Verizon Fios Consumer Products.

“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Verizon as they continue to innovate for consumers across the complex and transformative media landscape,” said Darcy Antonellis, head of the Amdocs Media Division, in a statement.

As the bridge to more than 630 content owners, Vubiquity will be supplementing Verizon’s expansive collection of assets across existing and future formats, including but not limited to 4K and high dynamic range, for a variety of business models, including TV on-demand, rental, PPV and electronic sellthrough, according to the release.

“This will allow Verizon’s customers to watch a robust selection of films and TV shows from major blockbusters to smaller independent films, as well as television series and digital assets from more than 100 media brands on any device,” according to the release.

Shout! Factory and ITV in Classic Content Deal

Shout! Factory and ITV Studios Global Entertainment have inked a distribution deal to bring a library of classic films and series, including Sophie’s Choice, On Golden Pond and the 1967 TV series “The Prisoner,” to entertainment platforms in the United States and Canada.

This multi-year deal provides Shout! with broadcast, video on-demand, streaming, digital and home entertainment rights to more than 135 titles. Among the properties in the deal are The Big Sleep (Robert Mitchum, James Stewart, Sarah Miles), Raise the Titanic (Jason Robards), The Boys From Brazil  (Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier), The Last Unicorn  (Jeff Bridges, Alan Arkin, Mia Farrow), The Eagle Has Landed (Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall), Capricorn One (Elliott Gould, James Brolin), The Cassandra Crossing (Sophia Lauren, Richard Harris, Martin Sheen), “Hammer House of Horror,” and Gerry Anderson TV shows (“Fireball XL-5,” “Stingray,” “Thunderbirds,” “Captain Scarlet” and “Supercar”).

“We’re incredibly excited to bring these memorable films and TV shows out through Shout’s distribution channels,” said Shout! Factory’s founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos in a joint statement. “There’s a lot of opportunity to distribute this content through digital and cable channels, transactional outlets, and on disc. We love getting into all the nooks and crannies.”

“Our extensive portfolio is rich in classic titles and we are delighted that this deal with Shout! will open up some of our most timeless shows and films to brand new audiences,” said Rob Kaplan, VP, U.S. sales, at ITV Studios Global Entertainment, in a statement.

The two companies are working closely to remaster a number of titles, some of which have never been available on digital, Blu-ray and DVD, according to the Shout! press release. Shout! is also developing bonus content for special editions.