Comedy ‘The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee’ Due on Digital and On Demand Dec. 11 From Lionsgate

The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee will premiere on digital and on demand Dec. 11 from Lionsgate.

Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee) plays himself in the comedy, which also stars John Cleese (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, A Fish Called Wanda), Chevy Chase (Caddy Shack, National Lampoon’s Vacation), Olivia Newton-John (Grease) and Jacob Elordi as Hogan’s son (HBO’s “Euphoria, Netflix’s The Kissing Booth).

In the film, Hogan is reluctantly thrust back into the spotlight as he desperately attempts to restore his sullied reputation on the eve of being knighted by the queen of England. Hogan gets caught up in a series of comical scandals that dominate gossip shows and social media feeds.

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Woody Allen’s ‘A Rainy Day in New York’ Due on Digital and Disc Nov. 10

Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York will come out on VOD, digital, DVD and Blu-ray Nov. 10 from MPI Media Group and Signature Entertainment.

The film stars Timothee Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, Jude Law, Diego Luna and Liev Schreiber.

The film tells the story of college sweethearts, Gatsby (Chalamet) and Ashleigh (Fanning), whose plans for a romantic weekend together in New York City are dashed as quickly as the sunlight turns into showers. The two are soon parted, and each has a series of chance meetings and comical adventures while on their own. Over the course of a day in New York, Ashleigh discovers she might not be who she thought she was and Gatsby learns that while you only live once, once is enough if you find the right person.

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Post-Apocalyptic Thriller ‘Haven’s End’ Coming to DVD and VOD Nov. 3 From Mill Creek

The post-apocalyptic thriller Haven’s End will debut on DVD and VOD  Nov. 3 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Mill Creek acquired the film from Osiris Entertainment.

In the film from director Chris Ethridge, major cities across the globe are under attack. A surgeon (Catherine Taber, the voice of Padmé in Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and her friends flee Atlanta to her family property in the countryside of south Georgia. They arrive to discover her estranged brother (Alex Zuko), and his girlfriend (Hannah Fierman, V/H/S and Evil Little Things), already holed up on the land. As they try to figure out how to work together to survive, strange lights and unusual activity in the surrounding forest lead them to believe they are not alone.

The bioterrorism-induced action thriller contains a unique paranormal twist amid a survive-or-die backdrop.

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DVD extras include a commentary track with Ethridge, writer/producer Michael H. Harper, producer Stacey Palmer and Taber. The DVD also includes a digital redemption for Mill Creek’s movieSpree streaming service.

‘The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland’ Due on VOD and DVD Nov. 17 From Mill Creek

The faith and family film The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland debuts on VOD, cable and DVD Nov. 17 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

In the movie from Vision Films, sparks fly between a famous model and a farmer with a young daughter when she visits her childhood home. The town is in danger of losing their beloved Santaland festival, but miracles can happen with a little love, family and faith.

The film stars Jenn Gotzon (My Daddy Is in Heaven), Jim E. Chandler (AMC’s “Lodge 49,” “Stranger Things”), Corbin Bernsen (Major League), John Schneider (“The Dukes of Hazzard”), Natasha Bure (Home Sweet Home, “Fuller House,” “The Voice”), Delilah (nationally-syndicated radio host), Robert Amaya (Courageous, October Baby) and introduces Adele Chandler.

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“We are thrilled to release this heartfelt family film on DVD,” Barrett Evans, Mill Creek VP of marketing, said in a statement. “The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland really stands out among the standard seasonal fare on TV and retail shelves. The underlying message of faith and family really hones in on the deeper meaning the holidays represent.”

DVD bonus features include deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, audio commentary and a digital redemption on Mill Creek’s movieSpree streaming platform. The film is available for preorder on Amazon and will be available at Walmart.

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Merchandise based on the film, available on QVC Nov. 17, includes:

  • A #Beauty Bracelet features five charms, each with two encouraging statements about the true nature of beauty. A significant portion of the proceeds will be donated to Point Hope, a nonprofit organization, founded by national radio personality Delilah that puts focus on the children within the U.S. foster care system and in providing water in Ghana.
  • A 30-day devotional and study Divine Beauty: Becoming Beautiful Based on God’s Truth by Michelle Cox (Hallmark’s devotional co-author, “When God Calls the Heart”) and Jenn Gotzon with online video Bible studies available, one for women, one for teens.
  • A children’s book that reinforces the film’s message — Beautiful Mable — by Mike Nawrocki, a co-creator of “VeggieTales” — and illustrated by Sara Jo Floyd.

 

Analyst: Global SVOD Revenue to Reach $100 Billion by 2025

New data from Digital TV Research contends SVOD revenue from 138 countries will top $100 billion by 2025, double the $50 billion recorded in 2019. SVOD revenue will top $1 billion in 16 countries by 2025 — up from eight countries in 2019.

As expected, streaming services Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video will help sustain the U.S. as the global SVOD revenue leader — adding nearly $18 billion through 2025 to take the countries total to $42 billion. At the same time, the U.S. share of global SVOD revenue will decline to 42% from 49%.

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SVOD subscriptions will increase by 529 million through 2025 to 1.17 billion. China and the U.S. together will account for 51% of the global total. This is down from 63% in 2019 — suggesting SVOD growth in other countries is growing quickly.

Disney+ will be the biggest winner by adding 142 million subscribers between 2019 and 2025 to take its total to 172 million. Netflix will add 91 million subscribers to total 263 million.

“We believe that Disney+ will have a huge impact,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement. “However, we have lowered our 2025 forecasts by 30 million since our May edition. Analysis of Disney’s June results showed a rapid deceleration in subscriber additions after an initial spike in its early launch countries. We expect this to be repeated elsewhere.”

By 2025, a third of the world’s TV households will have at least one SVOD subscription — up from a quarter at end-2019.

Horror Film ‘The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw’ Due on VOD and Digital Oct. 6

Epic Pictures’ horror film The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw will come out on VOD and digital Oct. 6.

In the film, a devout community suffering from a plague is torn apart by a beautiful young woman and the forces of witchcraft, black magic, and possession. Against the autumnal palette of harvest season in 1973, The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw explores the disturbed bond between Audrey, an enigmatic young woman, and Agatha, her domineering ‘mother,’ who live secretly as occultists on the outskirts of a remote Protestant village. As the community is besieged by a pestilence of unknown origin, children, fields and livestock begin to die — yet the Earnshaw farm remains strangely unaffected. As mass hysteria sets in the village, the townsfolk commence accusations against Audrey and Agatha of witchcraft.

The film premiered at Fantasia Fest 2020.

‘From Zero to I Love You’ Available Now on VOD, DVD From Ariztical

From Zero to I Love You is available now from LGBT distributor Ariztical Entertainment on VOD and DVD.

The film stars Scott Bailey and Darryl Stephens (Logo’s “Noah’s Arc,” Boy Culture the movie, the upcoming “Boy Culture” series, the series “DTLA”).

Doug Spearman’s second feature, following the gay detective movie Hot Guys With Guns, From Zero to I Love You is a semi-autobiographical story revolving around Jack (Bailey), who is in a seemingly perfect marriage but can no longer hide the secret desires that have plagued him. When he meets Pete (Stephens), what was supposed to be a one-night stand turns into a once in a lifetime love for both of them, threatening to upend everything Jack has built and changing his life forever.

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Spearman originally wrote the story as a novel called Welcome, Sinners. After adapting the novel to a screenplay, a scene from the script ran as a one-act play called Getting Better All the Time at the Beverly Hills Playhouse for a year, starring Jay Huguley as Pete and Al Sapienza as John, who both appear in the movie as Eric Dupont and Dr. Tracey Thayer, respectively.

Israeli Drama ‘Broken Mirrors’ Due on Digital and VOD Sept. 22 From Level 33

The Israeli film Broken Mirrors will premiere on digital and VOD Sept. 22 from Level 33 Entertainment.

In the dramatic thriller, Shira Haas (Emmy Nominee, Netflix’s “Unorthodox”) plays 17-year-old Ariella, who is shadowed by a strict, military father who inflicts severe methods of punishment as a form of discipline. When she commits a grave error that her father isn’t willing to punish her for, seeking a punishment of her own, Ariella embarks on a dark quest where she will discover a secret to her father’s past that will lead them to confront one another.

The film also stars Yiftach Klein, Renana Raz, Yoav Rotman, Liora Rivlin, Manuel Elkaslassy, Yaakov Zada Daniel and Michaela Elkin.

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It won the Jury Prize for Best Actress at the Festival du Cinéma Israélien de Montréal and Schlingel Best Feature Film at the Film Festival for Children & Young Audience Schlingel. It was nominated for the Jury Award Narrative Feature at the Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF); the Grand Prix at the Zlin Film Festival; the Award of the Israeli Film Academy; Best Actress, Best Casting and Best Screenplay from the Awards of the Israeli Film Academy; the Golden Zenith First Fiction Films Competition at the Montréal World Film Festival; and Alice in the City Prize Young Adult at the Rome Film Fest.

Live Online Global Content Pitch Event Debuts Sept. 9

A new live global webcast presentation, Content Market Live, launches Sept. 9 in association with Vuulr, Boom! and C21 Media.

The event, taking place local time at 11 a.m. in Los Angeles, London and Singapore, is designed to make the buying and selling of newly finished content rights quicker and easier in the face of content supply chain issues and social distancing restrictions. It is not designed for screenings, but as a global interactive pitch event and is “unique in the content industry,” according to organizers.

The event is free for buyers and allows them to engage in one-on-one Q&As with distributors, watch pitch presentations of content broadcast live in their time zone, and negotiate directly with distributors online.

The event also includes the ability to see on-demand trailers and screeners and check avails.

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All Vuulr buyers are pre-registered.

Registrants have access 15,000-plus titles and 96,000-plus hours of programming on Vuulr.

Register here.

The Blech Effect: The Rise and Fall of the King of Biotech

DIGITAL REVIEW:

Street Date 8/25/20;
Virgil;
Documentary;
Not Rated.

Spectacular highs and lows are the stuff of great stories, and the true tale of investor David Blech spans both — fantastic financial gains and incredible losses.

The documentary The Blech Effect: The Rise and Fall of the King of Biotech chronicles the journey of man known for starting multiple biotech companies that have helped countless people and generated enormous wealth. As Blech himself admits in the film, if only he were in a coma for the last 15 years, he would be a multi-billionaire. Forbes Magazine once pegged his worth at more than $300 million, and he was on the Fortune 400 list. He became known as the “King of Biotech” and his influence on the market coined the term “The Blech Effect.”

But he couldn’t hold onto it. Bipolar disorder and a gambling addiction — what Blech terms a “manic push” — kept him constantly looking for the next big thing.

“When you do things that are outrageous, outrageous things happen to you,” Blech says in the film, calling his life a cautionary tale.

The documentary catches up with Blech at a low point, $11 million in debt, struggling to keep his family afloat and awaiting a jail sentence for his latest hijinks on Wall Street. His wife also struggles to keep him from spiraling into depression, as she looks after their son, who has been developmentally disadvantaged since birth. At one point, Blech notes that every time he sees one of those ubiquitous Cialis commercials, he is reminded of one of the companies he fostered and the money that eluded his grasp — money that could help him stay in his apartment and take care of his wife and son.

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Blech is looking for another big score with a company working on an Alzheimer’s drug that might just solve all his problems. Viewers experience the hope and anxiety about its success along with the couple — offering a taste of the rollercoaster ride Blech has been on much of his adult life.

Will it be the success that gets him out of the jam he’s in or will he have to face ultimate failure?

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Ultimately, The Blech Effect, like a classic tragedy, celebrates the talents and pride of its hero while revealing his fatal flaws. The fact that Blech ultimately comes to terms with his fate — and his responsibility for it — gives the story an added poignancy.