‘Lego Movie 2’ Due on Digital April 16, Disc May 7 From Warner

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part will arrive on digital April 16 and 4K UHD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack and special-edition DVD May 7 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The sequel reunites the heroes of Bricksburg in a new adventure to save their city. Reprising their starring roles from the first film are Chris Pratt (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” Jurassic World) as Emmet; Elizabeth Banks (“The Hunger Games” movies, Love & Mercy) as Lucy, aka Wyldstyle; Will Arnett (“The Lego Batman Movies,” TV’s “Arrested Development”) as Lego Batman; Alison Brie (TV’s “Glow,” TV’s “Community”) as Unikitty; Nick Offerman (“Fargo,” TV’s “Parks and Recreation”) as MetalBeard; and Charlie Day (the “Horrible Bosses” movies, TV’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadephia”) as Benny. They are joined by Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) and Stephanie Beatriz (Short Term 12, TV’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) as new characters Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi and General Mayhem, respectively, and Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids, TV’s “Big Mouth”) as Mom.

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The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc will feature a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

Bonus features on the 4K Blu-ray and Blu-ray include:

  • the “Everything Is Awesome” sing-along;
  • commentary by filmmakers;​
  • “They Come in Pieces: Assembling The Lego Movie 2,” a featurette highlighting voice talent, including Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett and Tiffany Haddish;
  • the animated short “Emmet’s Holiday Party: A Lego Movie Short”;
  • “Lego Sets in Action,” animations of the Lego product tied to the movie;
  • “Lego Designers,” in which toy designers highlight key play sets in the movie product line;
  • outtakes and deleted scenes;
  • “Super Cool Music Video,” a music video by Beck featuring Robyn and The Lonely Island; and
  • theatrical promotion spots.

 

The special edition DVD contains all those special features except for the sing-along.

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.

Curation, Community, Differentiation Key to DC Universe Streaming Service, Says Warner Exec

Curation, community and differentiation are key to the success of the just-launched DC Universe streaming service, said Katie Soo, SVP and head of marketing at Warner Bros. Digital Networks.

Soo participated in a keynote conversation with Celiena Adcock, industry manager, entertainment, and head of streaming at Facebook Feb. 5 during the Digital Entertainment World conference in Marina del Rey, Calif.

“There are so many pieces of content out there right now; I think Netflix launched 900 new original pieces of content this year,” Adcock joked. “We can’t even watch that all in three years if we watched something new every day.”

That’s where curation comes in, noted Soo, who runs marketing for Warner’s direct-to-consumer portfolio including DC Universe. The streaming service features stories and characters from the DC comic book world, including such new shows as “Titans,” “Young Justice” and “Doom Patrol” (launching this month). The service is $7.99 a month or $74.99 for the year.

“There’s curation of experiences around a specific brand of content and then there’s the experience of the curated content itself,” Soo said.

On the experiential side, DC Universe launched at San Diego Comic-con with immersive rooms.

“We built a half a dozen immersive experiences bringing each of the shows to life and it was fascinating,” she said. “What ended up happening was there was so much excitement and buzz around just being in these experiences. Just to give you a snapshot, we had a Harley Quinn room for one of our upcoming shows and people put on these suits and went into the Arkham cell and picked up a bat and just started breaking things, and it was fascinating to see the behavior.

“People lined up for four hours just to do it and that in itself is a curation example because those guys left the experience, went and told their friends and then went and downloaded the app.”

Product differentiation is also key in finding consumers.

“It’s all about differentiation, product differentiation,” Soo said. “When you take something like DC Universe, we launched a comic book reader, very much lean back, the first of its kind patented technology, and that becomes a differentiator for the service.”

What also set DC Universe apart are other products that the service offers.

“I think a lot of the time, when you think of traditional streaming services, you think about content, and just streaming content,” Soo said. “I think one of the key differentiators we have is also we have a commerce piece, collectibles of the things that fans love. It’s a one-stop-shop. DC is a destination. It’s a home.”

Building that home is also key, she said.

“I think it’s really important to create a community and a space that feels like a destination, that brings people together but is also safe, [a place] that they don’t feel like they can’t be themselves,” she said.

‘Smallfoot’ to March to Digital Dec. 4, Disc Dec. 11 from Warner

The animated Smallfoot will come out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Dec. 4 and Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD Dec. 11 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The film, featuring music by Zendaya and Common, turns the Bigfoot legend upside down when a bright young Yeti (voice of Channing Tatum) finds something he thought didn’t exist — a human. News of the “smallfoot,” Percy (voice of James Corden), throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village. The film also features the voice talent of Zendaya, Common, LeBron James, Danny DeVito, Gina Rodriguez, Yara Shahidi, Ely Henry and Jimmy Tatro.

The Blu-ray Combo Pack, which features a Blu-ray disc, a DVD and a digital version of the movie, includes an interactive sing-along that lets viewers follow the words of their favorite songs from the film. Other bonuses include:

  • the “Super Soozie” Mini Movie, with custom animation featuring the yeti toddler Soozie;
  • Migo in “The Secret of the Yeti Stones,” a featurette with Tatum;
  • “Yeti or Not, Here They Come! Imagining Smallfoot,” a making of featurette;
  • the Nial Horran “Finally Free” music video;
  • the Cyn “Moment of Truth” music video;
  • the “Wonderful Life: In 28 Languages, Sung Around the World” music video; and
  • theatrical promos.

 

DVD bonus features include “Yeti or Not, Here They Come! Imagining Smallfoot.”

The Meg

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 11/13/18;
Warner;
Action Thriller;
Box Office $143.01 million;
$28.98 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray, $44.95 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for action/peril, bloody images and some language.
Stars Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, Page Kennedy, Robert Taylor, Sophia Cai, Jessica McNamee, Masi Oka, Cliff Curtis.

Despite its general faithfulness to the man-versus-monster formula, The Meg turns out to be a fun romp thanks to a likeable cast and the filmmakers treating the absurd premise with the appropriate level of gravitas without going over the top.

The film is based on a 1997 novel about a long-extinct giant shark called a megalodon emerging from an isolated section of the ocean to terrorize modern times. In adapting the story, director Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) manages to blend the research premise of Deep Blue Sea with the imperiled tourist angle of Jaws, and add a healthy dose of modern visual effects to deliver an effective if not always engrossing action thriller. The film looks great, and the Blu-ray really nails the beautiful blues of the ocean vistas, even if the CGI becomes a bit too noticeable at times.

The plot involves a deep-sea research platform sending a submarine to explore a hidden realm of the Marianas Trench previously cut off from the rest of the ocean thanks to some mostly convincing pseudo-science. Soon enough, the sub is attacked by a large creature and trapped, leading the station to call in deep-sea rescue specialist Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham). There’s some rumbling about Jonas being nuts because he claims a giant creature screwed up a previous rescue, but that’s mostly some conflict to build tension among the human crew.

Suffice it to say, Jonas’ rescue attempt allows the creature to get past the trench’s natural barrier, which let it evolve in its own unique ecosystem for millions of years, and up to the surface, where there are plenty of delicious boats and beachgoers it can play with. And since the megalodon is basically a giant shark 10 times bigger than a great white and capable of biting a humpback whale in half with one chomp, the platform’s financier (Rainn Wilson) and his team are eager to blow it up before it can do much harm.

The Meg isn’t overly reverential of previous shark movies, though audiences familiar with them will certainly recognize the foibles of this crew’s attempts to stop the threat. Attacks are played for either shock or humor, depending on who is getting swallowed whole, and there are even quieter moments that allow the characters to express some emotion as they deal with their colleagues, friends and family members getting killed.

Statham’s Jonas character is of a certain aquatic adventurer archetype that one could imagine another franchise entry subjecting him to any number of quests along the bottom of the ocean that don’t necessarily involve him fighting giant sea monsters, though it’s pretty much a given that any sequel would put him up against another menacing beast. The original book’s author, Steve Alten, has written a series of sequel and prequel novels about prehistoric carnivores, so when the time comes to cash in on The Meg’s box office success with a follow-up movie, the filmmakers will have no shortage of source material from which to pick.

The Blu-ray arrives rather light on bonus materials, sporting just two decent featurettes: the 12-minute “Chomp on This: The Making of The Meg,” covering the production as a whole, and the 10-and-a-half-minute “Creating the Beast,” which focuses on the shark.

Movies Anywhere also offers a two-minute promotional video about filming in New Zealand.

Warner Reorganizes PR and Marketing Teams

Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group has undergone a reorganization of its public relations and marketing teams, cutting 15 jobs in New York and Los Angeles and promoting some executives, according to reports.

Variety broke the story about the cuts.

Warner is consolidating the marketing and public relations teams under Blair Rich, president of worldwide theatrical and home entertainment marketing, Variety reported, noting that the cuts were not related to the AT&T-Time Warner merger.

The studio is combining domestic and international publicity units under Michelle Slavich, head of global publicity and strategy.

“Back in January, we announced a restructure of our film and home entertainment businesses to enable us to remain competitive while facing an evolving business environment that grows more global every day,” Rich wrote in a memo to staff, Variety reported.

Dana Nussbaum will oversee theatrical media, Deadline reported, and will more closely align it with the home entertainment media unit. As part of the move, Jack Walker has been promoted to SVP, media and digital marketing, home entertainment, reporting to Nussbaum and Jessica Schell, EVP and GM, film at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, according to Deadline. Walker will work with Andrew Hotz, who oversees theatrical digital marketing and media, and Jeff Brown, who oversees home entertainment television, Deadline reported. Walker had previously reported to Schell and Brown.

Lynne Frank, president, international marketing and worldwide planning and operations for Warner Bros. Pictures, will be leaving the studio at the end of the year to pursue new professional opportunities, the studio announced Oct. 23.

Also leaving are EVP of international publicity Lance Volland and Ernie Johnston in promotions and field publicity, according to Deadline.

‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ to Debut on 4K Ultra HD Dec. 18 From Warner

As part of the 50th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the groundbreaking science fiction epic on 4K Ultra High Definition Blu-ray in premium collectible packaging Dec. 18.

The classic returned to U.S. theaters in May following the debut of an “unrestored” 70mm print at the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival. The film is playing throughout the summer at select theaters. For the first time since the original release, new 70mm prints were struck from pristine printing elements made from the original camera negative. A longtime admirer of the Kubrick, director Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk, Interstellar, Inception) worked closely with the team at Warner throughout the mastering process. Building on the work done for the new 70mm prints, the 4K UHD with HDR presentation was mastered from the 65mm original camera negative. The 4K UHD also includes both a remixed and restored 5.1 DTS-HD master audio track, as well as the original 1968 six-track theatrical audio mix (formatted for 5.1 DTS-HD master audio).

2001 to me is the most cinematic film that has ever been made and it has been an honour and a privilege to be able to share the film with a new generation,” Nolan said in a statement. “4K UHD allows the closest recreation of viewing the original film print in your own home. Kubrick’s masterpiece was originally presented on large format film and the deeper color palette and superior resolution comes closest to matching the original analogue presentation.”

Originally released in the 70mm Cinerama roadshow format on April 4, 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey was directed and produced by Kubrick and written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, inspired by Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel.”

The 2001: A Space Odyssey 4K UHD Blu-ray with premium packaging ($41.99) includes the feature film in 4K resolution with HDR (including Dolby Vision HDR), a remastered Blu-ray disc, a Blu-ray disc with the special features in HD, and a digital version of the feature film. The premium packaging also includes a collectible booklet and art cards featuring iconic images from the film.

The remastered Blu-ray Disc will also be available as a standalone product at $19.98.

2001: A Space Odyssey is also available for purchase in 4K UHD from select digital retailers, including iTunes, Google and Vudu on October 30.

The 2001: A Space Odyssey 4K UHD contains the following 4K and Blu-ray elements:

  • 4K UHD Blu-ray with Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
  • Remastered Blu-ray with Commentary from Dullea and Lockwood
  • “The Making of a Myth”
  • “Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001
  • “Vision of a Future Passed: The Prophecy of 2001
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey – A Look Behind the Future”
  • “What Is Out There?”
  • “2001: FX and Early Conceptual Artwork”
  • “Look: Stanley Kubrick!”
  • a Nov. 27, 1966 Interview with Stanley Kubrick (audio only)
  • the original Theatrical Trailer
  • a premium booklet
  • art cards

The 2001: A Space Odyssey Blu-ray disc contains the remastered Blu-ray with commentary from Dullea and Lockwood.

Update: This story previously posted June 21, 2018, has been altered to reflect a change in street date from Oct. 30 to Nov. 20, later changed to Dec. 18.

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Coming to Digital Nov. 6, Disc Nov. 20 From Warner

The romantic comeday Crazy Rich Asians is coming out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Nov. 6 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD Nov. 20 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The film has earned $169.6 million in theaters.

The international cast of stars includes Constance Wu (TV’s “Fresh Off the Boat”), Gemma Chan (TV’s “Humans”), Lisa Lu (2012), Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8, Neighbors 2), Ken Jeong (the “Hangover” films) and Michelle Yeoh (TV’s “Star Trek: Discovery,” Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). The ensemble also includes Henry Golding, making his feature film debut, Sonoya Mizuno (La La Land), Chris Pang (TV’s “Marco Polo”), Jimmy O. Yang (TV’s “Silicon Valley”), comedian Ronny Chieng (TV’s “The Daily Show”), Remy Hii (TV’s “Marco Polo”), Nico Santos (TV’s “Superstore”) and Jing Lusi (TV’s “Stan Lee’s Lucky Man”).

Based on the bestseller by Kevin Kwan, the film follows New Yorker Rachel Chu (Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Excited about visiting Asia for the first time but nervous about meeting Nick’s family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick has neglected to mention a few key details about his life. Not only is he the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families, but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being on Nick’s arm puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother (Yeoh) taking aim.

The Blu-ray Combo Pack special features include commentary by director Jon M. Chu and novelist Kwan, “Crazy Rich Fun,” a gag reel, and deleted scenes. Special features in the DVD include “Crazy Rich Run.”

‘Uncle Drew’ Outrents ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ at Redbox

Uncle Drew, a sports comedy from Lionsgate that earned $42.5 million in North American movie theaters, saw higher rental demand at Redbox kiosks the week ended Oct. 1 than Walt Disney’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, which even with a domestic gross of $214 million was the poorest performer of the 11 “Star Wars” movies.

Both films were released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on Sept. 25.

Uncle Drew debuted at No. 2 on the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals, while Solo bowed at No. 3.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the latest installment in the blockbuster dinosaur franchise from Universal Pictures, remained at No. 1 for the second consecutive week on both the Redbox kiosk chart and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital purchases (EST) and rentals (TVOD).

The film, the fifth in the “Jurassic Park” series, grossed $416.6 million in the United States and Canada and another $887.1 million in other territories for a total worldwide gross of $1.304 billion.

One other new release debuted in the top 10 on the Redbox rental chart: the much-maligned Gotti, starring John Travolta as the notorious New York gangster. The crime drama, bowing at No. 7, had been slated for release in December 2017, but two weeks before the scheduled release date Lionsgate sold the film back to its producers – hence, the delay. Gotti was ultimately released for the home market on Sept. 25 by Vertical Entertainment, with Lionsgate still handling distribution.

Rounding out the top five on the Redbox kiosk charts were the Sandra Bullock-starrer Ocean’s 8 at No. 4 and Tag at No. 5, both released by Warner Bros.

On the Redbox On Demand chart, Ocean’s 8 remained at No. 2 for the second consecutive week while Uncle Drew debuted at No. 3, even though it was released digitally two weeks prior to its disc issuance.

Rounding out the top five on the Redbox digital chart were Tag at No. 4 and Gotti at No. 5, the latter up from No. 8 the prior week.

 

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ending October 1

  1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  2. Uncle Drew (new)
  3. Solo: A Star Wars Story (new)
  4. Ocean’s 8
  5. Tag
  6. Deadpool 2
  7. Gotti (new)
  8. Siberia
  9. Hereditary
  10. Adrift

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ending October 1

  1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  2. Ocean’s 8
  3. Uncle Drew
  4. Tag
  5. Gotti
  6. Deadpool 2
  7. Adrift
  8. Book Club
  9. Life of the Party
  10. Destination Wedding

 

Visit the Redbox website.

Buy or rent Redbox On Demand movies.

Warner Highlights Classic Cartoons, DTV Titles at Comic-Con

Classic cartoons and new direct-to-video titles were highlighted at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con International over the weekend by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and the Warner Archive Collection.

In the July 21 panel “This Is Your Life, Jonny Quest,” Warner Archive Collection podcaster D. W. Ferranti announced the upcoming release of the classic cartoon “Jonny Quest” on Blu-ray “mastered from the original broadcast masters, complete, uncut, nothing changed.”

Panelists noted the groundbreaking nature of the cartoon.

“It was quite a game changer in its day,” said animation historian Jerry Beck of the more than 50-year-old show. “There was nothing like it made for kids.”

“When you get into its DNA, everything after ‘Jonny Quest’ in terms of adventure cartoons and animation, it’s all post ‘Jonny Quest,’” added animation producer Spike Brandt. “’Jonny Quest’s’ influence is undeniable and it’s huge. Without ‘Jonny Quest,’ you don’t get ‘Rick and Marty.’”

Fellow producer Tony Cervone summed up the fan enthusiasm, noting “when you’re a 9-year-old boy, you’re just like … robots and mummies and dinosaurs and explosions and kids flying and so many guns!”

Panelists also showed clips from and talked about the show’s many incarnations from the 1960s through the 1990s, including a crossover movie featuring the Tom and Jerry characters.

Warner Archive podcasters Matt Patterson and Ferranti also appeared on a “Warner Archive’s Toonstock” panel moderated by Gary Miereanu that featured voice actor John DiMaggio. Panelists discussed DiMaggio’s portrayal of Aquaman in Batman: The Brave and the Bold and hosted a sing-along to the episode “Mayhem of the Music Meister.”

Scooby-Doo and the Gourmet Ghost

Warner also highlighted the Blu-ray boxed set of Batman: The Animated Series, due in late 2018, with producers, voice director and cast; premiered Scooby-Doo and the Gourmet Ghost, due on digital Aug. 28 and DVD Sept. 11, with a panel of voice talent; premiered Super Hero Girls: Legends of Atlantis, due Oct. 2 on digital and DVD; and premiered and hosted a panel of talent for LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Aquaman — Rage of Atlantis, due on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and digital July 31.

Super Hero Girls: Legends of Atlantis