‘All of Us Strangers’ Headed for Digital Purchase, Hulu Streaming Debut on Feb. 22

 Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has announced a Feb. 22 home release date for Searchlight Pictures’ All of Us Strangers, with the film from English director Andrew Haigh becoming available to buy from major digital retailers such as Vudu and Prime Video and stream on Hulu.

Hailed as best film of the year by both the Los Angeles Times and USA Today, All of Us Strangers begins one night in a near-empty tower block in contemporary London, where Adam (Andrew Scott) has a chance encounter with a mysterious neighbor, Harry (Paul Mescal). As a relationship develops between them, Adam is preoccupied with memories of the past and finds himself drawn back to the suburban town where he grew up, and the childhood home where his parents (Claire Foy and Jamie Bell) appear to be living, just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before.

The digital release comes with exclusive behind-the-scenes bonus content. 

Six James Cameron Blockbusters Rolling Out on 4K for Disc and Digital Purchase

Six of director James Cameron’s biggest theatrical hits are being re-released in 4K Ultra HD on a transactional basis. Three of the films — 1986’s Aliens, 1989’s The Abyss and 1994’s True Lies — will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray for the first time ever in collector’s editions on March 12, 2024.

The 4K transfer for each release will be presented in Dolby Vision HDR and with an immersive Dolby Atmos audio mix. Additionally, most of the releases will arrive with several hours of new bonus features. The 4K UHD physical releases will come on 100GB discs for maximum space and bit rates.

All six films were originally released by 20th Century Fox, which Disney acquired four years ago, and helmed by Cameron, who in a statement said, “There’s a world of emotions in revisiting these films and I hope we’ve captured some of that in the new bonus materials we created for our fans.”

Producer Jon Landau added, “We really wanted to deliver the best possible experience at home so viewers could immerse themselves both in the films and the journeys we went through to make them.”

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The Cameron rollout begins Dec. 5 with Paramount’s previously announced 25th anniversary release of Titanic on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. (Paramount handled domestic distribution of the film while Fox had international rights). The film also will be available in 4K Ultra HD for digital purchase through such retailers as Prime Video, Vudu and Apple TV.

Next, on Dec. 12, come AliensThe AbyssTrue Lies and new special-editions of Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water, available in 4K Ultra HD for digital purchase from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

On Dec. 19, Disney will release special-edition Blu-ray Discs of Avatar (available as a 4K Collector’s Edition, a 3D Blu-ray and a 4K limited-edition Steelbook exclusive to Best Buy) and Avatar: The Way of Water (4K Collector’s Edition).

Avatar will include new extras such as “Behind-The-Scenes Presentation Hosted by Jon Landau,” “Colonel Miles Quaritch RDA Promos” and a new still gallery in addition to legacy bonus material.

The Avatar Steelbook (Disney photo)

New Way of Water extras include “Behind-the-Scenes Presentation Hosted by Jon Landau,” “Production Design Panel Hosted by Jon Landau,” “Memories From Avatar: The Way of Water” with Landau and several cast members, deleted/extended scenes, scene deconstructions and more production featurettes, in addition to the extras released when the film was first released on home video earlier this year.

What Disney is now calling 20th Century Studios on Dec. 6 will present the deep sea adventure The Abyss: Special Edition in theaters for a special one-night-only event. Tickets go on sale Nov. 20 and can be purchased at Fandango or wherever tickets are sold.

The home viewing editions of The Abyss will include the featurettes “Deep Dive: A Conversation with James Cameron” and “The Legacy of The Abyss,” plus archival featurettes and production materials.

True Lies, which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a spy trying to keep his dual identity a secret from his family, will include the new documentary “Fear Is Not an Option: A Look Back at True Lies,” archival documents, and the film’s theatrical trailer.

Aliens, a sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien, does not include any new bonus materials, but does include legacy featurettes and commentaries.

‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ No. 1 in U.K. Home Entertainment Sales Debut

Disney’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny topped the U.K. home entertainment sales chart with 78,000 digital unit sales for the week ended Sept. 6. 

The fifth and final installment in the franchise is the follow-up to 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and is again headlined by Harrison Ford.

Last week’s No. 1, Disney/Pixar’s Elemental, dropped to No. 2, while Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s summer comedy No Hard Feelings remained at No. 3.

Paramount Home Entertainment’s Transformers: Ride of the Beasts finished at No. 4, just ahead of former chart-toppers Sony’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (No. 5), Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Fast X (No. 6) and The Super Mario Bros. Movie (No. 7).

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Warner Bros. Discovery’s The Flash returned to the Top 10, up 21 spots to No. 8 on digital downloads only.

Rounding out the week’s top 10 was Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid at No. 9 and Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 4 at No. 10.

The Official Film Chart Top 10 – Sept. 6, 2023

Last Week Position Movie Distributor
NEW 1 INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY WALT DISNEY
1 2 ELEMENTAL WALT DISNEY
3 3 NO HARD FEELINGS SONY PICTURES HE
2 4 TRANSFORMERS – RISE OF THE BEASTS PARAMOUNT
4 5 SPIDER-MAN – ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE SONY PICTURES HE
5 6 FAST X UNIVERSAL PICTURES
6 7 THE SUPER MARIO BROS MOVIE UNIVERSAL PICTURES
29 8 THE FLASH WARNER HOME VIDEO
7 9 THE LITTLE MERMAID WALT DISNEY
9 10 JOHN WICK – CHAPTER 4 LIONSGATE

© Official Charts Company 2023

Disney+ to Bow New 4K Restoration of Walt Disney’s 1950 Animated Classic ‘Cinderella’ Aug. 25

Disney+ July 12 announced it will release a new restoration of Walt Disney’s 1950 animated classic Cinderella on the Disney+ streaming service on Aug. 25 during World Princess Week, as part of its centennial salute to Walt Disney Animation Studios and the ongoing Disney100 celebration.

The restoration marks the first time that the film will be available to stream in 4K (on a 4K UHD television), and is the culmination of a multiyear effort involving the Walt Disney Studios Restoration and Preservation team, working closely with key players from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

The result claims to capture “the film’s original grandeur, authentic to the artistic ambitions of the studio’s creative team.” The restored film had its festival premiere earlier this year at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it had won a Golden Bear Award 52 years earlier in its international debut.

Kevin Schaeffer, director of restoration for Walt Disney Studios, said the restoration process included pulling the original nitrate negative from the Library of Congress, and scanning the successive exposure color records in 4K. A so-called “cleaning pass” removed dirt and as many artifacts as possible. To make sure the restoration process didn’t lose any of the detail or artistic choices of the filmmakers, Schaeffer said the team turned to Disney Animation experts, including Michael Giaimo and Eric Goldberg.

Their input, and others, proved to be a winning combination. Working with Dorothy McKim (special projects and 2D animation producer for Walt Disney Animation Studios), and Bob Bagley (digital imaging manager for Disney Animation), the team was able to restore and preserve the rich colors, contrast, and accuracy of the original cels (a transparent sheet of celluloid) and artwork.

“Working with our restoration team along with internal technical experts, outside vendors (like Mike Underwood at Picture Shop Hollywood) and advisors from Walt Disney Animation Studios, we were able to make this 1950 classic look and sound better than ever,” Schaeffer said in a statement.

Originally released in 1950, Cinderella was hailed for its stylish and experimental look, sophisticated and expressive animation, and delightful storytelling. It was a major box office hit at the time of its initial release, earned three Oscar nominations, and rescued the Walt Disney Studios from a dire financial situation brought on the challenges of the war years. The film was directed by Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske and Clyde Geronimi.  The voice cast features Ilene Woods, Eleanor Audley, and Verna Felton. The songs are by Mack David, Jerry Livingston and Al Hoffman.

‘Mickey & Minnie: 10 Classic Shorts Vol. 1’ Headed to Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 7

Walt Disney Animation Studios will release Mickey & Minnie: 10 Classic Shorts Vol. 1 in a Blu-ray Disc combo pack (which includes a digital copy and a DVD) and standalone DVD Feb. 7.

The release is part of the planned releases coming in 2023 to celebrate Disney’s 100th anniversary.

The new collection gathers together 10 classic animated shorts for the first time, including the iconic “Steamboat Willie,” and features new introductions from Mickey and Minnie for each short.

“Steamboat Willie” is the first cartoon with synchronized sound, in which the character of Mickey Mouse was first introduced as a deckhand on a riverboat commanded by the tyrannical Captain Pete.

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Also included are “Brave Little Tailor,” featuring Mickey as a medieval tailor given a daunting task; “Mickey’s Delayed Date,” in which the tardy mouse relies on his faithful pup Pluto to get him to a dance with Minnie; “Hawaiian Holiday,” which finds Mickey and his pals vacationing on a beautiful island; and “On Ice,” in which, along with friends, Mickey and Minnie glide through a romantic date on a frozen river.

Bob Chapek: 86.8 Million Disney+ Subscribers; 137 Million With ESPN+, Hulu Through Dec. 2

Disney’s branded subscription streaming video service has topped 86.8 million subscribers on Dec. 2 since launching in November 2019, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek said Dec. 10 in opening comments on the media giant’s 2020 Investor Day.

Disney’s Direct-to Consumer segment, which includes ESPN+, Hulu and Disney+, has generated 137 million combined subscribers through Dec. 2. The tally includes 38.8 million Hulu subs and 11.5 million ESPN+ members. Disney will separately launch a Star and Star+ general entertainment streaming service outside the United States on Feb. 23, 2021. Star+ will launch in Latin America.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek

 

“We’re incredibly excited with all of our streaming services,” Chapek said. “The tremendous success we’ve achieved across our unique portfolio of streaming services … has bolstered our confidence in our acceleration toward a DTC-first business model.”

Kareem Daniel, head of media and entertainment distribution at Disney, said the streaming service would roll out about 10 Marvel series, 10 “Star Wars” series and 15 live-action, animation and Pixar series over the next few years.

“With these Disney+ originals, along with theatrical releases and library titles, we will be adding something new to the service every week,” Daniel said.

See also “Disney+ Set to Roll Out Slew of ‘Star Wars’ Spin-Off Series; Patty Jenkins Set to Direct Next ‘Star Wars’ Theatrical Movie”

Next year, Disney+ will be offered to about 20 million Comcast Xfinity X1 pay-TV subscribers, similar to Netflix and YouTube. It is also raising the Disney+ monthly fee by two Euros in Europe to €8.99.

“It will add a robust collection of our best original general entertainment films and series,” said Rebecca Campbell, chairman, international operations and DTC.

In the United States, beginning March 26, 2012 Disney+ will be priced at $7.99 a month, a dollar more than the launch price. Annual subscriptions will cost $79.99. A Disney Bundle, with Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, will be priced at $13.99.

Disney also announced a new agreement with Comcast that will bring Disney+ and ESPN+ to X1 set-top boxes and Flex platforms in the first quarter of 2021. Hulu became available on those platforms in the spring of 2020.

‘Cinderella’ Waltzes Into National Film Registry

In support of the upcoming 70th anniversary of Cinderella and the film’s induction into the National Film Registry, The Walt Disney Studios and the Library of Congress held a screening of the film along with a Cinderella Ball June 20 in Washington, D.C. The film is currently available on digital and Movies Anywhere and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD June 25.

Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Waltzes to Digital June 18, Disc June 25 for Its 70th

For its upcoming 70th anniversary, Cinderella will waltz into the Walt Disney Signature Collection on digital HD (including Movies Anywhere) June 18 and Blu-ray and DVD June 25.

Recently added to the National Film Registry, the animated classic centers on kind and hardworking Cinderella, who is ordered around by her cruel stepmother and her awful stepsisters. When an invitation to the royal ball arrives, Cinderella is left at home. Just when Cinderella believes all is lost, her Fairy Godmother appears and with a wave of her wand transforms her night.

Cinderella is the ninth title to join the Walt Disney Signature Collection, which includes Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Bambi, The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp, Peter Pan and The Little Mermaid.

The anniversary edition of Cinderella offers two new extras: Cinderella trivia and fun facts, hosted by Ruth Righi and Ava Kolker from Disney Channel’s “Sydney to the Max,” and “In Walt’s Words: Enhanced Edition,” a special edition of Cinderella featuring production details, original storyboards, archival photos, thumbnail sketches and transcripts throughout the feature film.

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Hours of previously released bonus materials celebrate the animation, music and impact of Cinderella, showcasing Walt Disney’s core group of animators, the art of Disney legend Mary Blair, the original demo recording of the film’s title song and Cinderella’s iconic glass slipper. They include:

  • Diane Disney Miller Cinderella film intro, in which Miller describes how Cinderella helped launch a studio renaissance;
  • “The Real Fairy Godmother,” about the real-life inspiration for the Fairy Godmother, Mary Alice O’Connor, wife of Disney layout artist Ken O’Connor;
  • “Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess Fairyland,” showing how Imagineers created a Fantasyland at Walt Disney World featuring each of the Disney princesses; and
  • “The Magic of the Glass Slipper,” in which world-famous shoe designer Christian Louboutin creates a very exclusive “Glass Slipper” in honor of the Disney classic.

Report: Amazon in Talks to Buy Majority Stake in Yankees’ YES Sports TV Network

Amazon and Sinclair Broadcast Group are reportedly in early discussions about a joint bid to acquire the New York Yankees’ YES regional sports TV network.

The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the situation, said Amazon and Sinclair would be acquiring the 80% stake currently owned by The Walt Disney Co. – and valued from $5 billion to $6 billion. The Yankees own the other 20%.

Other possible YES suitors include pay-TV operator Altice USA and investor group RedBird Capital.

Amazon, unlike Netflix, is no stranger to live sports. It currently streams NFL Thursday Night Football on Prime Video, in addition to other sports internationally.

The talks are in the preliminary stage and face several challenges, including Major League Baseball’s streaming video platform, MLB.tv, and existing pay-TV distribution deals between the Yankees and Comcast, Altice and Charter Communications.

Disney assumed control of Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network LLC following its $71 billion acquisition of select 21stCentury Fox assets. In addition to carrying Yankees baseball, YES airs the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets basketball games, among other content.

Fox owns 21 another regional TV sports networks across the country, valued at around $15 billion.

Disney’s ‘Christopher Robin’ Coming to Disc and Digital Nov. 6

The family film Christopher Robin will come out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) and on Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 6 from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

In the live-action adventure, A.A. Milne’s characters from the Hundred Acre Wood — Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Owl —venture into mid-century London to help grown-up Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) and remind him to appreciate the simple pleasures in life.

The film made $98.3 million in theaters.

Bonus features on Blu-ray combo pack (Blu-ray, DVD and digital) and digital include: “In Which … A Movie Is Made for Pooh ,” a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie; “In Which … Pooh Finds His Voice,” featuring voice actors; “In Which … Pooh and Walt Become Friends,”  exploring the legacy of Walt Disney’s first encounter with Pooh; and “In Which … Pooh and Friends Come to Life,” about the special effects of bringing the stuffed characters to life. The digital release includes the exclusive bonus feature, “In Which … We Were Very Young,” about the original teddy bear given to Christopher Robin Milne 98 years ago. Bonus features may vary by retailer.