Final Season of ‘Gotham’ on Disc June 11

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Gotham: The Complete Fifth and Final Season and Gotham: The Complete Series on Blu-ray and DVD June 11.

The final season of the series focuses on Bruce Wayne’s ultimate transformation into Batman while Jim Gordon struggles to hold together a city on the edge of chaos. The cast includes Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Chris Chalk and Shane West. The final episodes are slated to air in April on Fox.

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The season five set will include 12 episodes plus deleted scenes, the behind-the-scenes featurette “Modern Mythology,” and highlights from the show’s 2018 panel at New York Comic Con.

The Blu-ray will include digital copies of the episodes.

Merchandising: Retailers Switch Up ‘A Star Is Born’ Box Art

The retail exclusives for the Feb. 19 home video release of Warner’s A Star Is Born focused on variants of the box art.

Wide-release box art for A Star Is Born DVD (left) and Blu-ray
Target’s A Star Is Born Blu-ray box art

Target offered a version of the Blu-ray combo pack with special box art and the exclusive featurette “A Star Is Born: Backstage Pass,” at $26.99.

The standard DVD and Blu-ray releases already include a making-of featurette, bonus song performances, and music videos.

In addition, Target gave shoppers a $5 gift card with the purchase of both the movie and the film’s CD soundtrack, which was priced at $11.99 and included an exclusive poster.

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Best Buy delivered its usual Steelbook edition of the film, offered for both the standard Blu-ray ($29.99) and the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack ($34.99).

Best Buy A Star Is Born Steelbooks
Walmart’s A Star Is Born DVD

Likewise, Walmart dipped into its usual bag of tricks for an exclusive, choosing to offer a slimmed-down DVD variant with different artwork but without the bonus disc included with the wide release containing the behind-the-scenes material. The only extras included with the Walmart version are the music videos, for $16.96. By comparison, the regular DVD with the additional extras is listed on Walmart’s website and priced at other stores at $17.99.

 

Eastwood’s ‘The Mule’ Coming to Digital March 19, Disc April 2 from Warner

The Mule, from star and director Clint Eastwood, travels to digital (including Movies Anywhere) March 19 and 4K UHD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack and DVD April 2 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The film also stars Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born, American Sniper), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, What’s Love Got to Do With It), Michael Peña (American Hustle, Cesar Chavez), Dianne Wiest (Hannah and Her Sisters, Bullets Over Broadway) and Andy Garcia (Ocean’s Eleven, The Godfather: Part III). It follows Earl Stone (Eastwood), a man in his 80s who is broke, alone and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. Unbeknownst to Earl, he’s just signed on as a drug courier for the cartel, and eventually, he hits the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates (Cooper).

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Special features on the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray include “Nobody Runs Forever: The Making of The Mule” (also on the DVD) and Toby Keith’s “Don’t Let the Old Man In” music video.

‘Justice League vs. The Fatal Five’ Given Release Dates by Warner

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the animated Justice League vs. The Fatal Five digitally March 30, and on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray April 16.

The latest entry in the DC Universe movie series is a throwback to the style of the “Justice League Unlimited” animated series, and features the return of Kevin Conroy, Susan Eisenberg and George Newbern as the voices of Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman, respectively.

The story involves the Justice League combatting a threat from the future in the form of the Fatal Five. They’ll need the help of budding Green Lantern Jessica Cruz (Diane Guerrero) and the peculiar Star Boy (Elyes Gabel), an ally from another time.

The voice cast also includes Peter Jessop, Matthew Yang King, Sumalee Montano, Philip Anthony Rodriguez, Daniela Bobadilla, Kevin Michael Richardson, Noel Fisher, Tara Strong and Tom Kenny.

Extras include an audio commentary with the filmmakers; the featurette “Battling the Invisible Menace,” about how dealing with anxiety and depression can mark the difference between being a hero and a villain; the featurette “Justice League vs. Fatal Five: Unity of Hero,” about the diversity of the pantheon of DC heroes; a sneak peek at the upcoming animated movie Batman: Hush; the “Justice League Unlimited” episode “Far From Home”; and the “Legion of Superheroes” episode “Man of Tomorrow.”

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of Justice League vs. The Fatal Five will feature Dolby Vision HDR and a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

‘Aquaman’ Swimming to Home Video in March

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the DC Comics adaptation Aquaman through digital retailers March 5, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray March 26.

The sixth installment in the interconnected series of films based on DC Comics, Aquaman picks up with the title character’s adventures after his appearance in 2017’s Justice League. While Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) is content on using his abilities to help people, he is summoned to Atlantis by Mera (Amber Heard), who urges him to assert his birthright as the true king of the undersea kingdom to prevent his half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) from waging a war against the surface world. To do this he must set off on a quest across the realms of the seven seas to recover the ancient artifact that will allow him to unite the oceans and fulfill his destiny as Aquaman.

The cast also includes Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman, Temuera Morrison and Ludi Lin.

Directed by James Wan, the film has earned $325 million at the domestic box office, and $1.1 billion worldwide.

All versions of Aquaman will include a three-minute preview of Shazam, the upcoming live-action adaptation starring Zachary Levi as the DC superhero, due in theaters April 5.

The Blu-ray and DVD editions of Aquaman will also include scene study breakdowns and several featurettes: “Going Deep Into the World of Aquaman,” “Becoming Aquaman,” “James Wan: World Builder,” “Aqua Tech,” “Atlantis Warfare,” “The Dark Depths of Black Manta,” “Heroines of Atlantis,” “Villainous Training,” “Kingdoms of the Seven Seas,” “Creating Undersea Creatures” and “A Match Made in Atlantis.”

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of Aquaman will feature Dolby Vision HDR and a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

‘Adventure Time’ Complete Series DVD Due April 30

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time: The Complete Collection April 30, a 22-DVD set that includes all 238 episodes of the animated show and a new bonus disc.

The series follows the adventures of a boy named Finn (voiced by Jeremy Shada) and his dog Jake (John DiMaggio) in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo.

The collectible packaging will include a 25-page storybook featuring a centerpiece pop-up with custom illustrations showcasing the show’s characters.

Exclusive extras include “Sonic Sounds From Ooo,” a 13-minute featurette about the show’s music; “Farewell Tour,” a retrospective with the show’s creators and cast; animatics; music videos; live performances from the cast and friends of the series at San Diego Comic-Con; and the “Diamonds and Lemons” Minecraft episode. The DVD set will also include bonus material from previous DVD releases.

A soundtrack featuring 160 songs spanning the entire series will be available for digital download and streaming May 3. In addition, the multi-format Shmow-zow! The Ultimate Soundtrack Box Set will be available for preorder starting May 3 and will include vinyl, CD, cassette and a custom illustration by Mondo.

Cartoon Network is commemorating the 2010-18 show with a fan-generated music video for the theme song “Come Along With Me.” Created in collaboration with the nonprofit The Art of Elysium, the project encouraged youth and teens to use their own individual artistic creativity to animate more than 1,200 different cels that were joined to animated the video.

Reign of the Supermen

Completing the adaptation of the classic 1990s “Death of Superman” comic books, Reign of the Supermen pays off the storyline began in last year’s The Death of Superman with some solid action sequences and some nice character moments that will be appreciated by fans of the DC Universe animated movies.

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 1/29/19;
Warner;
Animated;
$24.98 Blu-ray, $39.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sequences of action violence.
Voices of Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Cress Williams, Cameron Monaghan, Patrick Fabian, Tony Todd, Charles Halford, Jason O’Mara, Rosario Dawson, Shemar Moore, Nathan Fillion, Christopher Gorham, Nyambi Nyambi.

As the second part of a two-film event, Reign of the Supermen provides a worthy conclusion to the storyline set up in last year’s The Death of Superman.

Six months after Superman seemingly died stopping an alien monster from destroying Metropolis, four new heroes have arrived in the city to claim the legacy of the Man of Steel. And since Superman’s body disappeared from his tomb, there’s some discussion in the media as to whether one of these new heroes actually is Superman.

The most likely candidate is the Cyborg Superman, who claims his robotic appearance is due to a Kryptonian healing technique.

Another candidate is the mysterious Eradicator, who isn’t big into sticking around and talking after eliminating the bad guys.

A third is Superboy, who is working for Lex Luthor as part of his efforts to rehabilitate the city. Lois Lane discovers he’s a clone of Superman created by Lex to fill the void left by the original Superman with a hero Lex can control.

And finally, there’s Steel, who isn’t a clone or robot or anyone claiming to be Superman, but a man in a super-powered suit with a rocket-powered hammer. He’s basically a Superman-inspired version of Iron Man (with a little Thor’s hammer mixed in).

As Lois continues to investigate what’s really going on, the Justice League’s launch of their new orbital headquarters is interrupted by an alien attack that only raises the stakes in discovering the true nature of the impostor Supermen.

Reign of the Supermen is not as character driven as its predecessor, but still offers some impressive action sequences, especially when the various Supermen have to fight each other. And there are some nice touches that play off moments from several of the previous DC Universe movies.

In fact, this probably should have been the basis for a Man of Steel sequel in the live-action DC films had they not muddled their Justice League storylines in their crash course attempt to catch up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen are distinct on their own, they also fit together nicely as a nearly three-hour epic, which is how they were shown in some Fathom events screenings prior to the disc release. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Warner release a Blu-ray that edits them into a single film, as was done with The Dark Knight Returns a few years ago.

The Reign of the Supermen Blu-ray offers an interesting 16-minute featurette about Lex Luthor that analyzes some of his best-known character traits and what makes him a good Superman villain. The disc also includes episodes from “Superman: The Animated Series” and “Justice League Unlimited” that deal with similar subject matter as the movie.

Finally, there’s a 10-minute preview of the upcoming animated movie Justice League vs. The Fatal Five, which appears to be a tie-in with the “Justice League Unlimited” continuity and style, and not a continuation of the DC Universe animated continuity (though Reign of the Supermen does provide a post-credits tease for where its storyline could be headed next).

Reign of the Supermen

Warner Releasing ‘Crimes of Grindelwald’ Digitally Feb. 15, on Disc March 12

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald digitally Feb. 15, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray March 12.

The film is the 10th entry in the “Wizarding World” franchise, a sequel to 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and a prequel to the “Harry Potter” films.

The Blu-ray and the 4K UHD Blu-ray combo pack will include a digital download of an extended cut of the film with more than seven minutes of additional footage.

The film was written by “Harry Potter” creator J.K. Rowling and directed by David Yates. The story involves Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) recruiting Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to stop the threat of the recently escaped magical criminal Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) from raising an army of pure-blood wizards to rule over non-magical beings.

The cast also includes Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, William Nadylam, Kevin Guthrie, Carmen Ejogo and Poppy Corby-Tuech.

Crimes of Grindelwald earned $158.5 million at the domestic box office.

Home video extras include an audio introduction by Yates, deleted scenes; the featurettes “J.K. Rowling: A World Revealed,” “Wizards on Screen, Fans in Real Life” and “Distinctly Dumbledore”; and “Unlocking Scene Secrets” featurettes including “The Return to Hogwarts,” “Newt’s Menagerie,” “Credence, Nagini and the Circus Arcanus,” “Paris and Place Cachée,” “Ministere des Affaires Magiques” and “Grindelwald’s Escape and the Ring of Fire.”

The 4K edition will feature Dolby Vision HDR and a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

DEG Honoring Dolby Vision, Sony Electronics and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment at CES

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group is set to honor Dolby Vision, Sony Electronics and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Jan. 8 at its annual industry event at CES in Las Vegas.

The trade group will use the reception to showcase its Achievement Awards honoring the best 4K UHD hardware and software products released during calendar 2018. Dolby Vision will also be honored by DEG leadership with the DEG Emiel N. Petrone Innovation in Entertainment Technology Award.

Named in memory of DEG’s founding chairman Emiel N. Petrone, DEG recognizes Dolby Vision, Dolby Labs’ imaging innovation developed in collaboration with a wide range of studios, creatives, and post-production partners. The technology has created new opportunities for the home entertainment industry.

Selected by a panel of product reviewers from the industry’s home theater enthusiast and business publications, the DEG: Excellence in 4K UHD Awards include Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc from Warner with the DEG: Excellence in 4K UHD Content Award.

DEG cited the title’s demonstrated excellence in 4K image capturing/transferring; HDR encoding; wide color rendering; and immersive audio.

The DEG: Excellence in 4K Product Award honored Sony Electronics for its Sony Master Series A9F OLED TV. For the Product Award, DEG cited Sony’s consistent delivery of “outstanding” audio/video performance, convenience and versatility.

“DEG member companies move quickly to meet consumers’ desire for more immersive home and mobile viewing experiences, and they regularly introduce consumers to new possibilities,” DEG CEO Amy Jo Smith said in a statement. “DEG is delighted to recognize Sony Electronics, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Dolby Laboratories as purveyors of best-in-class viewing experiences.”

BASE: 2018 U.K. Home Entertainment Revenue Grew 10%

The British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) Jan. 3 reported that the home entertainment market grew by 10% in 2018 from 2017, bringing the total value of the category to £2.34 billion ($2.9 billion).

The trade group said 63% of consumers rent or stream film and TV content, while 37% choose to buy and own content either on disc or download.

Among transactional retail, 59% of consumer spending is still attributed to physical content with DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray continuing to be a key drivers across the market.

The strength of new release movies, in particular, also drove performance in other areas, as evidenced by the performance of original soundtracks across the music category throughout 2018.

“The third consecutive year of growth in the video category underlines the fact that audiences remain engaged with a broad variety of home entertainment content and format options,” Liz Bales, CEO of BASE, said in a statement. “This serves as a testament to the innovation and energy that continue to drive the home entertainment category even as the high streetretail environment presents clear challenges in some areas.”

BASE said the growth of digital transactional surpassed all expectations in 2018, reaching a total market value of £400 million ($503 million), and electronic sellthrough (EST) up 36%.

The Greatest Showman (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment) topped digital sales with more than 770,000 copies sold since the April release date. Other top-selling titles included titles Avengers: Infinity War (Disney), selling near 400,000 copies, with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment) and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) both selling in excess of 270,000 digital copies each.

Overall, The Greatest Showman sold more than 2.68 million units, more than double the sales of the nearest competitor, with 72% of sales coming from physical formats.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment) ended the year in second place with 86% of (1.12 million unit sales) coming from disc.

The top-10 film franchises grew their market share 17% compared to 2017. Disney’s Avengers: Infinity War, Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther sold more than 2.5 million units combined. Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sold more than 800,000 copies across physical and digital formats.

Paddington 2 (Studiocanal)and Peter Rabbit (Sony) ended 2018 ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in sales. More than 74% of consumers bought Paddington 2 on DVD, helping Britain’s favorite marmalade-munching bear to reach number three in the standalone DVD sales chart.

Peter Rabbitwas the top children’s animated title with sales of 900,000 units across all formats. Disney’s Incredibles 2 finished second after a late November release, ahead of Coco and 2017 hit Moana at fourth. In CGI animation, StudioCanal’s Early Man proved that Aardman Animation still delights, and that stop-motion photography is not too old-school among consumers.

Among TV shows on disc, Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group) sold more than 160,000 units to top the disc chart.

Both seasons of Netflix’s The Crown (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) finished among the top-five TV titles of the year, with season two selling more than 90,000 units and season one selling 81,000 units.

Universal Pictures ended the year as the No. 1 studio in U.K. retail with 18.4% market share in disc, and 20.1% when adding digital. BASE attributed Universal success to a diverse release slate, in addition to a distribution deal with Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks Animation’s  back catalog.

Key successes included Darkest Hour, royal drama Victoria and Abdul, and horror hit, A Quiet Place. Franchise properties also performed well for the studio, with much-anticipated sequels like Mamma Mia! Here We Go AgainJurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Tom Cruise’s sixth outing in Mission: Impossible  Fallout (Paramount Pictures, distributed by Universal), and the final chapter for Mr. and Mrs. Grey in Fifty Shades Freed all performing strongly for the home entertainment studio.

Disney led the Blu-ray market with more than 24% volume share and 26% value share due to the performance of the studio’s continuing franchises. Disney also topped the 4K UHD chart, with half of the top 10 best-selling Ultra HD discs sold in 2018 belonging to either the Marvel or Star Wars franchises – with Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Last Jedi taking first and second place respectively.

In packaged media, Blu-ray accounted for 24.3% of disc market valueunderscored by 5.3% increase in average unit selling price – attesting to the fact that consumers are willing to invest more in a high-quality home entertainment experience.

Within the Blu-ray market, 4K UHD keeps growing, with more than 330 titles currently available on the super high-definition format and 4K disc sales now representing 13% of total Blu-ray spend.

Top-selling 4K titles included Blade Runner 2049 (Sony), with 27% of Blu-ray value generated by 4K sales and Ready Player One (Warner) at 20.2%Other top sellers included Deadpool 2 (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment), Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and The Greatest Showman, coming in at number six in the UHD chart.

“Today’s customers enjoy a multitude of options when it comes to keeping themselves entertained and clearly continue to find a huge amount of relevance in the video category which, more flexibly than ever before, caters to every need; whether that is watching on the go, building a digital library or securing the absolute best viewing experience premium formats now guarantee,” said Bales. “We face into the New Year with a clear desire to build on successes but also to ensure that the degree of choice available remains one of the category’s great strengths.”