The Real ‘Indiana’ Jones Wins Trip to NYC from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

To promote the upcoming release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment set out to find an individual with the same name as the great adventurer.

On Nov. 17, a Seattle high school student named Patrick Henry “Indiana” Jones was surprised by the studio with a trip to New York City, one of the key settings for the final film in the franchise.

Kennedy Catholic High School has had a winning football season, led by Jones, who was recently honored as North Puget Sound League Football “Player of the Year.” The presentation of the trip took place at a pep rally assembly at the school before the team’s next playoff game against Lake Stevens.

“100%. Super surpised. It was pretty crazy,” said Jones of the trip he and his family were gifted. “We usually do pep assemblies, but I had no idea until they called my name.” 

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny sees Harrison Ford reprise his iconic role as the one last time.

The film will be released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on Dec. 5. The 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray discs are loaded with bonus content, including five mini-documentaries that chart the making of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Also included is a new, exclusive “score-only” version of the movie that allows viewers to listen to the composer’s music on an isolated track as they watch the film.

Pixar’s ‘Elemental’ Headed to Digital Aug. 15, 4K, Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 26

Pixar Animation Studios’ Elemental will debut on digital platforms Aug. 15 and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Sept. 26 from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. A 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of the film will be available as an exclusive from several retailers — a Best Buy Steelbook, a Walmart edition with lenticular box art, and a Disney Movie Club exclusive of the “standard” 4K Blu-ray combo pack. 

The film earned $397.1 million at the global box office.

Elemental is set in Element City, where residents of Fire, Water, Earth and Air live together. The story introduces Ember, a tough, quick-witted and fiery young woman, whose friendship with a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy named Wade challenges her beliefs about the world they live in.

Directed by Peter Sohn (The Good Dinosaur, “Partly Cloudy” short), and produced by Denise Ream (The Good Dinosaur, Cars 2), Elemental features the voices of Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie as Ember and Wade.

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Bonus content includes deleted scenes, featurettes, an audio commentary, and the short “Carl’s Date.”


Disney FY 2021 Home Entertainment Revenue Fell 44%

The Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment segment generated more than $1 billion in fiscal-year 2021 (ended Oct. 2) revenue, which was down 44% from revenue of more than $1.8 billion in the prior-year period, according to the parent company’s Nov. 24 10-K filing.

Home entertainment includes revenue from the sale and licensing of movies and TV shows on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and all digital retail formats.

The decrease in home entertainment revenue was due to decreases of 36% from lower unit sales and 5% from lower average net effective pricing. New-release titles in the current year included Mulan, Raya and the Last Dragon and Black Widow, whereas the prior year included Frozen II, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Lion King, Toy Story 4, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Onward, Ford v Ferrari, Aladdin and Avengers: Endgame. The decrease in average net effective pricing was due to a lower mix of new-release titles, which have a higher sales price than catalog titles.

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Home entertainment is part of Disney’s content sales/licensing business, which generates revenue from the sale of film and episodic television content in the TV/SVOD markets, distribution of films in the theatrical market, licensing of music rights, sales of tickets to stage play performances and licensing of IP for use in stage plays.

The unit reported a 33% drop in revenue to $7.34 billion, from revenue of $10.97 billion in FY 2020. Operating income plummeted 51% to $537 million, from operating income of $1.15 billion a year earlier.

Within the unit, TV/SVOD distribution revenue fell 26% to $4.2 billion, from $5.67 billion a year earlier. Theatrical distribution revenue plummeted 57% to $920 million, from $2.13 billion.

Disney Home Entertainment Revenue Drops in Q3

Walt Disney Studios Aug. 4 reported third-quarter (ended June 27) home entertainment revenue of $416 million, which included $395 million from studio content and $21 million from direct-to-consumer. That compared with revenue of $456 million in the previous-year period. Through nine months of the fiscal year, however, home entertainment revenue topped $1.4 billion, up nearly 17% from $1.2 billion during the previous-year period.

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With scant new releases due to the coronavirus pandemic, Disney continues to generate home video sales with titles such as Frozen II and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the two top-selling titles of 2020 according to the NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service.

Meanwhile, Walt Disney Studios reported a 55% drop in third-quarter (ended June 27) revenue to $1.7 billion, from revenue of $3.8 billion in the previous-year period. Operating income declined 16% to $668 million, compared with income of $792 million in the prior-year period.

The decrease in operating income was due to lower theatrical distribution results, partially offset by growth from TV/SVOD distribution, a decrease in home entertainment marketing costs and lower film cost impairments.

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Theatrical distribution in the quarter was negatively impacted by COVID-19 as theaters were generally closed domestically and internationally.

No significant titles were released in the current quarter compared with the release of Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin and Dark Phoenix in the prior-year quarter. Growth in TV/SVOD distribution was due to the sale of content to Disney+, including library titles, of The Rise of Skywalker and Pixar Animation’s Onward. This increase was partially offset by a decrease in sales to third parties in the pay-TV window.

Disney’s ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Remains Top-Selling Home Video Release in the U.K.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker remained atop The Official Charts list of the 10 best-selling home entertainment releases on disc and digital in the United Kingdom — the No. 2 home video retail market — through May 6.

Skywalker, which last week was also the top-selling title of the year, more than doubled unit sales of its closet rivals, which included the newly arrived Oscar-winning comedy Jojo Rabbit from Disney’s 20th Century Fox on digital only.

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Warner Home Video’s Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn remained in the No. 3 spot.

See The Official Charts YouTube video here.

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The Official Charts is a 60-year-old joint venture of the BPI (representing the British recorded music industry) and the Entertainment Retailers Association (representing entertainment retailers and digital services from HMV, supermarkets and indie stores through to Amazon MP3, Spotify and Netflix). The role of the company is to commission, market, distribute and manage the U.K.’s official music and video charts — with its chart compilation contractor Kantar managing the databases, which it claims are the “fastest and most sophisticated” charts in the world.

Disney’s Record $10B Global Box Office Suggests Rosy Home Entertainment Future

Walt Disney Studios set a record $10 billion in worldwide box office ticket sales through Dec. 8 with current theatrical hit Frozen II — a notable milestone achieved without a “Star Wars” movie or breakout 20th Century Fox title.

Disney in July broke its previous $7.6 billion box office haul. Fox Studios’ theatrical titles topped $2 billion at the box office.

For home entertainment, Disney’s fiscal largess is a gift that keeps on giving despite ongoing consumer migration toward over-the-top video distribution.

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Disney titles have historically performed well in sales of DVD and Blu-ray Disc, and more recently in digital sellthrough as well. Despite launching a branded SVOD platform featuring original movies, Disney will continue to stream new releases after their retail window.

And that’s a no brainer when looking at recent movie sales.

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Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame is the top-selling disc in 2019, according to VideoScan. Captain Marvel, Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox), Toy Story 4 and Aladdin all rank among the top 10 this year.

It’s a trend Disney Home Entertainment has driven the past four years.

In 2016, Disney led all studios at retail disc sales with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, supported by Pixar’s Finding Dory, Zootopia and Captain America: Civil War.

The next year Disney again topped retail disc sales with Moana and Beauty and the Beast.

In 2018, Disney home entertainment outdid itself, spearheaded by Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Coco and Thor: Ragnarok.

Last November, CEO Bob Iger Iger gave a shout out to home entertainment — his first in years — which he said continued to deliver strong retail results in the face of OTT.  At the time Iger suggested there was ongoing internal strategy about putting theatrical content into retail channels sooner.

“The home video window continues to be quite important to us,” he said. “You’ll likely see us protect that as well, although there’s going to be discussion around whether there’s an opportunity to move product into that window maybe a little sooner.”

To date, Disney’s 90-day theatrical window remains largely intact.




‘Toy Story 4’ Box Office Debut Bodes Well for Home Video

Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4 quietly opened with a reported $118 million gross at the North American box office — on par with the 2010 opening weekend for Toy Story 3, which went on to generate $415 million domestically.

The fourth installment of the animated toy-talking franchise, which began in 1995 with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen supplying the voices to memorable characters Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear, respectively, and Randy Newman’s Oscar-nominated soundtrack, continues Disney’s theatrical success following Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame and Aladdin.

The title also portends success for Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, which has established a lucrative business selling “Toy Story” DVD and Blu-ray Disc units, among other formats.

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The original Toy Story — directed by John Lasseter — ranks the 8th best-selling VHS title with more than 19.5 million units sold for $463 million in revenue (based on inflation) since its Oct. 29, 1996 retail release. It was also released on Laserdisc.

It is the 12th best-selling home entertainment release with 5.65 million combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc units sold since its March 20, 2001, DVD release and Blu-ray on March 23, 2010.

The title was released on the defunct Universal Media Disc (UMD) format on Sept. 6, 2005.

Toy Story 2 was released at retail in 1999, with a special edition re-release on Jan. 11, 2000. It generated $42.2 million in domestic DVD sales; $16.3 million in Blu-ray.

Toy Story 3 sold 10.8 million discs for $192 million in revenue, and was the No. 2 selling disc in 2010. Overall, the title sold $184 million worth of DVDs and $53.2 million on Blu-ray, according to

Indeed, when asked whether franchise films such as Toy Story 4 would be fast-tracked to Disney’s pending subscription streaming service, Disney+, CEO Bob Iger told CNBC in April that there was little financial incentive to do so.

“Don’t forget, in that [home video] window after it’s available in first theatrical run, these movies will be available for a form of rental or download or purchase,” Iger said. “Physical copies are still being sold.”

‘Spider-Verse’ Edges ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ on Disc Sales Charts

The week ended March 23 saw a pair of newcomers in a close race for No. 1 on the national home video sales charts, with Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse outpacing Walt Disney Studios’ Mary Poppins Returns.

Spider-Verse climbed to the top spot of the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart after taking in about $190 million at the domestic box office and claiming the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Mary Poppins Returns, a sequel to the 1964 family classic Mary Poppins, sold 90% as many copies as Spider-Verse. It earned $171.9 million in U.S. theaters.

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The previous week’s top seller, Warner’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, slipped to No. 3 on both charts.

Disney’s Animated Ralph Breaks the Internet took No. 4 on both charts in its fourth week.

No. 5 on both charts went to Universal Pictures’ Mortal Engines.

Blu-ray Disc formats comprised 78% of unit sales for both Spider-Verse and Mary Poppins Returns. Of those, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc edition accounted for 16% of Spider-Verse sales, compared with 8% for Poppins.

On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended March 24, Spider-Verse debuted at No. 1, with Grindelwald slipping to No. 2.

Paramount’s Instant Family held onto the No. 3 spot, while Universal’s Green Book slid to No. 4. Mary Poppins Returns was the No. 5 rental.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 3-23-19
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 3-24-19
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 3-23-19
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 3-23-19
Sales Report for Week Ended 3-23-19
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 3-25-19

Mary Poppins Returns


Street Date 3/19/19;
Box Office $171.69 million;
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $39.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘
PG’ for some mild thematic elements and brief action.
Stars Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Nathanael Saleh, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, Julie Walters, David Warner, Jim Norton, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Dick Van Dyke.

There’s a lyric at the beginning of the original 1964 Mary Poppins in which Dick Van Dyke sings “what’s to happen all happened before.” It’s a line that hints at the mysterious nature of the magical nanny but seems a bit curious in the context at the beginning of a story in which we as an audience have yet to witness any of Mary Poppins’ adventures.

Rather, that prophetically tinged turn of phrase would seem to have more meaning when applied to this new installment, which bears fruit for the notion that Mary Poppins’ adventures are somehow cyclical.

The sequel that has been 54 years in the making has been carefully crafted for each story beat to resonate with an equivalent scene from the first film. Indeed, such echoes of the original are even reflected in the musical score, which always seems to play a few nostalgic notes when appropriate.

In the new story based on author P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins novels, the nanny returns some two decades later when the now grown Banks children, Jane (Emily Mortimer) and Michael (Ben Whishaw) find themselves in a bit of a financial crisis. Michael’s life is in disarray a year after the tragic death of his wife, and the financial toll exacted by her loss have put their famous house at 17 Cherry Tree Lane in danger of being seized by the bank. As Michael seems ready to given in to cynicism and despair, Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) reappears to ostensibly take care of Michael’s three children while infusing a new sense of joy and imagination into everyone’s day.

Mary Poppins Returns is an effective follow-up to the original classic, capturing its spirit of whimsy with a slate of catchy tunes, even if its story could use some fine-tuning at points. While every sequence more or less serves a central premise of approaching life with a variety of perspectives, some moments seem less relevant to the primary narrative than others. Colin Firth’s bank executive, for example, seems to want the house just for the sake of typical movie villain greed, where the plot could have given him a more personal stake in the Banks family story by, say, establishing he had a grudge against their father, George, who was a senior partner at the bank.

Likewise, the film’s most eccentric musical number, “Turning Turtle,” seems to exist only to provide an outlet for interesting ideas from the books the filmmakers wanted to use couldn’t infuse elsewhere in the story, resulting in a superfluous guest appearance by Meryl Streep. ‘

Much more effective is a practically perfect appearance by the iconic Angela Lansbury as the magical balloon lady, whose perfectly “Nowhere to Go but Up” number is the most memorable of film while most effectively reminding young and old alike to never lose sight of their childlike sense of wonder.

Bonus features on the Blu-ray are mostly focused on the creation of the various musical numbers, from the 23-minute “The Practically Perfect Making of Mary Poppins Returns” to the 18-minute “Seeing Things From a Different Point of View: The Musical Numbers of Mary Poppins Returns.” And the five-and-a-half-minute “Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns” delves into the now 93-year-old actor’s cameo in the new film.

The disc also includes a deleted song sequence that was replaced by another piece early enough so that the version presented here is a scratch track set to animated storyboards. The total sequence, called “The Anthropomorphic Zoo,” runs about five minutes.

There are also two true deleted scenes that run about a minute each that are extensions of musical sequences that are in the final film, as well as a two-minute blooper reel.

The disc also offers the movie in a sing-along mode that shows the lyrics during the various song sequences (as opposed to closed captioning showing all the dialogue).

The digital edition, which can be accessed using the Movies Anywhere redemption code included with the Blu-ray combo pack, offers an informative commentary with director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca.

Movies Anywhere also has two more vignettes, each running more than a minute. “Different Worlds: Creating Mary Poppins Returns is a shorter clip from the longer making-of featurette about the making of an animated sequence. And “What Is Your Favorite Disney Musical?” is a promotional video in which the title question is asked to various cast members.

Finally, the digital version on Vudu offers a three-minute featurette about the cameo of actress Karen Dotrice, who played young Jane in the original film.

Disney+ Is a Safe-Cracker

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger’s announcement that the studio would abandon its long-standing “vault” strategy for its upcoming subscription streaming service is perhaps one of the most shocking shifts in an industry rocked by change.

At the March 7 shareholder meeting in St. Louis, he said that the studio would pull movies from its vault and offer them all on the pending Disney+ service.

“At some point fairly soon after launching, [Disney+] will house the entire Disney motion picture library,” Iger said. “So, movies that have traditionally been kept in the vault, and basically been brought out every few years, will be on the [streaming] service.”

The vault strategy, exploited by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment for decades, involved putting select movies, mostly animated classics such as BambiThe Lion King, and The Little Mermaid, on retail moratorium for several years to wait for a new crop of children to come along. Oft termed “treasures” or “platinum” or “gold” editions when they emerged after seven years or so for a re-release, they were snapped up at $20 to $30 apiece by eager parents, purchases made all the more urgent by the studio warning that they would soon go back into the vault. When these classic films came out, often in a new format, they shot to the top of the sales charts.

It took the digital entertainment revolution to finally crack the Disney vault — but is it a heist? If enough subscribers sign on to Disney+ at a high enough subscription price, offering a panoply of content may be a lucrative investment, but it could also devalue some of the studio’s most valuable jewels.