Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Scoob! again took the top spot on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Aug. 1.
The CG-animated film based on the classic “Scooby-Doo” cartoon and other Hanna-Barbera characters had debuted in the top spot on both charts a week earlier.
Staying as the No. 2 seller on both charts, in its fourth week, was Universal Pictures’ Trolls World Tour.
Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog jumped back up to the No. 3 spot on both charts in its 11th week.
Rounding out the top five on the overall disc sales chart were Warner’s The Mule at No. 4 and Lionsgate’s Capone at No. 5.
Capone was the No. 4 Blu-ray seller, followed by Lionsgate’s Survive the Night (which was No. 14 overall).
The top new releases for the week were Paramount’s NCIS: The Seventeenth Season DVD at No. 9, at Well Go USA’s Gundala, which was No. 15 on both charts.
Universal’s DVD-only release of the Kevin Bacon-starring thriller You Should Have Left didn’t crack the top 50 sellers, but still managed to land at No. 2 on the DEG’s weekly Watched at Home transactional chart, an indicator of the title’s strength as a digital seller.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has announced that 300, filmmaker Zack Snyder’s 2006 action film set during the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 B.C., will be released Oct. 6 in a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc combo pack at a suggested retail price of $24.99.
The film, based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, will also be available in 4K through digital retailers on that day.
The movie derives its name from the 300 Spartan warriors led by the heroic King Leonidas who challenged Xerxes and his massive Persian army at the ancient Battle of Thermopylae. Facing insurmountable odds, they fought to the death to defend their honor and freedom, inspiring all of Greece to unite against the enemy.
300 earned $210.6 million in North American theaters, with a worldwide box office gross of $456 million.
The combo pack includes a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with the film in 4K with HDR as well as a regular Blu-ray Disc of 300. The Blu-ray Disc will include more than three hours of previously released special features, including commentary from Zack Snyder. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc will feature a Dolby Atmos soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos-enabled AV receiver and additional speakers, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar, are required. Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Scoob! remained in the top spot on the Redbox kiosk disc rental chart the week ended Aug. 2. The animated film was released on disc July 21 after a premium VOD run.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s You Should Have Left was the No. 2 disc rental and debuted at No. 1 on the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital rental transactions.
Warner’s direct-to-video Deep Blue Sea 3 was the No. 3 title on Redbox’s kiosk disc rental chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red kiosks. Redbox offers early availability of the disc, which will be widely released Aug. 25.
Lionsgate’s Survive the Night was the No. 4 title on the disc rental chart and No. 10 on the digital chart.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Trolls World Tour, the top On Demand title the previous three weeks, slipped to No. 2 on that chart. It was No. 5 on the disc chart.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Rick and Morty: Season 4 on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Sept. 22.
The discs will include all 10 episodes from the latest season of the Adult Swim series about a mad scientist and his grandson who embark on crazy interdimensional adventures.
Extras include the an “Inside the Episode” featurette for every episode, as well as “A Day at ‘Rick and Morty’: Inside Season 4,” “Creating Snake Jazz,” “Directing Rick and Morty,” “Samurai and Shogun,” “Prop Process,” “Character Creation” and “Animation Challenges.”
The Blu-ray will include the episodes in full 1080p HD video with DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1, as well as a digital code for the episodes. The digital code will be valid only in the United States.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Scoob! debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended July 25.
The CG-animated film based on the classic “Scooby-Doo” cartoon and other Hanna-Barbera characters had been slated for a theatrical release but due to the coronavirus pandemic was instead released through premium VOD, and was finally released on disc July 21.
The No. 2 seller on both charts, in its third week, was Universal Pictures’ Trolls World Tour. The DreamWorks Animation sequel had been the top disc seller the previous two weeks.
Another newcomer, Lionsgate’s Capone, debuted at No. 3 on the overall disc chart and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart. The film from director Josh Trank stars Tom Hardy as legendary mobster Al Capone in the waning years of his life.
The No. 3 Blu-ray was Warner’s Batman Beyond: The Complete Series.
The No. 4 overall disc seller and No. 5 Blu-ray was Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog.
The No. 5 overall seller was Warner’s The Mule, followed by Paramount’s Top Gun at No. 6.
Other newcomers in the top 20 included Lionsgate’s Survive the Night at No. 7 on both charts, and Shout! Factory’s Resistance at No. 8 overall (No. 6 on the Blu-ray chart).
Criterion Collection’s Marriage Story, the disc release of the Oscar-winning Netflix movie, was No. 8 on the Blu-ray Disc sales chart.
Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 46% of first-week Scoob! sales, compared with 48% for Capone, 45% for Survive the Night and 49% for Resistance. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray comprised 5% of total Scoob! sales.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release We Bare Bears: The Movie on DVD Sept. 8. The movie is currently available to own through digital retailers.
Based on the hit Cartoon Network series “We Bare Bears,” the TV movie finds the bears’ love of food trucks and viral videos catching the attention of the menacing Agent Trout from the National Wildlife Control, who pledges to restore the “natural order” by separating them forever. Seeking refuge in Canada, the Bears embark on an epic road trip filled with new friends, dangerous obstacles and massive parties.
Bobby Moynihan and Demetri Martin return as the voices of the bears, with recurring guest stars including Patton Oswalt, Ellie Kemper, Charlyne Yi and Jason Lee.
Bonus features include commentary, the movie pitch, deleted scenes, early sketches, and animatics and pencil tests.
“We Bare Bears” premiered in 2015 and has earned numerous awards including a BAFTA Children’s Award, a Jury Award for Best TV Series at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, and several Annie Awards.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Oct. 13 will release Blu-ray Disc and digital editions of Batman: Death in the Family, a compilation of animated shorts based on DC Comics characters that includes the studio’s first interactive film presentation.
The centerpiece of the compilation is the extended-length Death in the Family, based on the landmark 1988 Batman comic book storyline in which readers were given a chance to vote via telephone poll about whether or not to kill off the second Robin, Jason Todd.
Produced, directed and written by Brandon Vietti, the interactive Blu-ray presentation allows viewers to guide the storyline through their remote control, with numerous plot twists and several possible endings. Viewers can also choose to allow the story to tell itself, as there is an option to let the Blu-ray decide its own path.
“Batman: Death in the Family is essentially a comic book come to life,” Vietti said. “We’ve paid homage to the 1988 interactive experience of DC’s ‘A Death in the Family’ comics release by giving fans a unique opportunity to craft their own story through a branching tool that can lead in multiple directions. The viewer gets to choose these characters’ paths, and each choice paves an alternate future for all of the characters and, ultimately, the story.”
The animated Death in the Family short is based not only on the original comic book run, but also Vietti’s 2010 Batman: Under the Red Hood animated movie, which is based on a comic book storyline in which Jason Todd returns.
“From the very first navigation card, we wanted to give the audience an impression of what they’re getting into, but then also give them something unexpected — maybe even something they’ll regret, so they have to think twice about every future choice they make,” Vietti said. “Branched storytelling has to be stronger than just the gimmick of the choices — it has to be rewarding and offer new and worthwhile insights into the characters. It needs to involve you, and keep you searching for the next twist. So we sought to subvert expectations and do something very different.”
The digital version of Death in the Family is presented in a non-interactive format pre-assembled under the title Under the Red Hood: Reloaded, and three other non-interactive versions as bonus features: Jason Todd’s Rebellion, Robin’s Revenge and Red Hood’s Reckoning. Considering the various configurations, the Blu-ray also offers approximately five minutes of story content not included in the digital version.
The Death in the Family Blu-ray and digital editions will also include four additional “DC Showcase” animated shorts that were previously released in 2019 and 2020 as bonus material with earlier DC Universe animated movies: Sgt. Rock, Adam Strange, Death and The Phantom Stranger.
Originally attached to Batman: Hush, Sgt. Rock finds battle-weary Sgt. Rock (Karl Urban) thinking he has seen everything that World War II can dish out. But he is in for the surprise of his life when he is assigned to lead a company consisting of legendary monsters into battle against an unstoppable platoon of Nazi zombies.
Inspired by Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman,” Death tells the story of Vincent, an artist with unresolved inner demons who meets a mysterious girl who helps him come to terms with his creative legacy and eventual death. Death was originally included with Wonder Woman: Bloodlines.
Attached as a bonus feature on the release of Superman: Red Son, The Phantom Stranger finds the enigmatic DC mystery man (voiced by Peter Serafinowicz) simultaneously playing both omniscient narrator and active character in a story of supernatural comeuppance for evil doers set in the 1970s.
Adam Strange, originally released with Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, tells the story of a rugged asteroid mining colony where the town drunk turns out to be legendary space adventurer Adam Strange, whose heroic backstory is played out in flashbacks as he struggles to save the very people who have scorned him for so long.
The ‘R’-rated Blu-ray Disc will include audio commentaries by “DC Daily” hosts Amy Dallen and Hector Navarro on Sgt. Rock, Adam Strange, Death and The Phantom Stranger, plus the Under the Red Hood: Reloaded version of Death in the Family.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Scoob! took over the top spot on the Redbox kiosk disc rental chart the week ended July 26. The animated film was released on disc July 21 after a premium VOD run.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Trolls World Tour stayed at No. 1 for a third consecutive week on the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital rental transactions. It was No. 3 on the disc chart.
Lionsgate’s Survive the Night was the No. 2 title on Redbox’s kiosk disc rental chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red kiosks. It was No. 4 on the digital chart.
Redbox’s own Becky slipped to No. 4 on the disc rental chart.
Lionsgate’s Force of Nature was No. 5 on both the disc and digital charts.
Universal Pictures’ The Invisible Man was No. 3 on the digital chart and No. 6 on the disc chart.
Best Buy July 28 began selling a new Steelbook edition of 2017’s Wonder Woman. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment was likely planned as a promotional tie-in to its sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, which was originally slated to come out this summer but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and is now tentatively slated for October.
The new Wonder Woman Steelbook is priced at $29.99.
There were several challenges when making the third installment in the “Deep Blue Sea” feature franchise, including overcoming the usual difficulties with shooting on water (a la Steven Spielberg’s legendary struggles with Jaws) and coming up with a new premise that didn’t involve an underwater lab, as the two previous movies had.
Global warming came to the rescue on the script. Screenwriter Dirk Blackman did some research on small islands sinking as the oceans rise and had a moment of inspiration.
“I thought, ‘Let’s sink the town,’” he said during a July 24 online panel at Comic-Con@Home for the July 28 digital and Aug. 25 Blu-ray combo pack and DVD release of Deep Blue Sea 3 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
The film follows Dr. Emma Collins and her team, who are spending the summer on a sinking island studying the effect of climate change on great white sharks. Their routine is disrupted when a team led by her ex-boyfriend and marine biologist Richard shows up looking for three rogue bull sharks.
Director John Pogue discussed the logistics of shooting four major underwater action sequences at the South African location.
“We figured out a way to be 360 with our water set so that we could have all of the sets gathered around this cove and most of the rest of everything else was made up digitally,” he said.
The underwater scenes got an assist from some professionals.
“There are so many additional safely issues with shooting around water, from what can happen with electricity to people falling in, so safety was paramount,” Pogue said. “We were very fortunate in that we had this incredible South African team called the Frog Squad that do underwater projects all over the world. They are essentially South African SEALs that also make movies.”
The actors spent time training and getting scuba certified before the shoot, noted Emerson Brooks, who plays Shaw, a sort of brother/father figure for Emma.
“I think all the training that we did, all the real underwater experience … that really added to it, that put you in it, certainly,” added Tania Raymonde (Emma).
The water in the winter in South Africa was cold, and “we were always wet, always wet,” she recalled.
Shooting in water posed challenges for the director as well.
“I think about 30 % of the time it went as planned— so many things would break,” Pogue said. “The communication underwater is super challenging. You’re basically talking to 20 people with a giant underwater megaphone that no one can really understand.”
Mumbling like the teacher a “Charlie Brown” special, Nathaniel Buzolic (Richard) demonstrated what the actors could hear underwater.
“There was this underwater megaphone that looked like something from the Victorian era, which is like a box with a string on it that was threaded all the way down into the water,” added Raymonde. “Once you suit up and you’ve got your regulator and they make sure you’ve got air in the tank and check all your levels and you’ve got everything on and you go under, it’s kind of a pain to get back up to the surface, take everything off, go get notes from John and come back in. So once we were in the tank and underwater, we were pretty much underwater and stuck and that was it. … And when you’re under there, you don’t hear anything because your regulator is so loud. Every time you take a breath there are bubbles everywhere, you can’t hear anything.”
The Frog Squad helped interpret by using a sort of “sign language,” she said.
“[The process] definitely influenced the tone of the movie in that there’s a more realistic as opposed to a controlled, stylized feel to the movie, where we’re trying to sort of use those happy accidents that happen as a result of this chaos,” Pogue said.
He credited the cast for being game to go the extra mile in shooting the action sequences.
“During the casting process, one of the things that we talked about was, given the resources that we’ve got, that you’re going to have to do your own diving and your own stunts,” he recalled. Deep Blue Sea 3 wasn’t “one of those movies where we just sort of stop everything and bring in your double,” he said.
“In many of the key sequences, it was very important that we see your faces, we see you experiencing what’s happening in the action,” he said.
Bren Foster, a martial arts expert who plays Lucas, noted the action on land was equally intense.
“You kind of bring it above the water, and all hell breaks loose,” he said.
Inspired by another shark movie The Deep, screenwriter Blackman added a fight.
“I don’t expect to see a fight, necessarily, in a shark movie, so we have a fight,” he said.