CW Movie ‘The Waltons’ Homecoming’ Due on Digital and DVD Dec. 14

The Waltons’ Homecoming, a feature-length film commemorating the original holiday film that launched the long-running family drama series “The Waltons,” will be available on digital and DVD Dec. 14 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment following its broadcast premiere on The CW Nov. 28.

The film stars Logan Shroyer (“This Is Us”) as John Boy Walton, Bellamy Young (“Scandal,” “Prodigal Son”) as Olivia Walton, Ben Lawson (“Firefly Lane”) as John Walton Sr., and Richard Thomas (“The Americans,” “The Waltons”) reprises his role as the adult John Boy and narrator.

The Waltons’ Homecoming is set in the 1933 Depression Era and is told through the eyes of John Boy, the 17-year-old eldest child of John and Olivia Walton. His mother expects John Boy to help her raise his sisters and brothers, and his father expects him to follow in his footsteps to help support the family but secretly, John Boy wants to be a writer. Times are hard enough in 1933, but to make matters worse, it looked to be the Waltons’ first Christmas without John Sr. When Olivia receives a letter that John Sr. is planning to make it home for Christmas after all, the family is thrilled and races to prepare for his homecoming. But when a storm threatens his arrival on Christmas Eve and John Sr. is nowhere to be found, Olivia sends John Boy out into the night to find his daddy — a journey that will change John Boy’s life forever.

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The Waltons’ Homecoming also stars Marcelle LeBlanc as Mary Ellen Walton, Christian Finlayson (The Gifted) as Jason Walton, Tatum Sue Matthews as Erin Walton, Samuel Goergen as Jim Bob Walton, Callaway Corrick as Elizabeth Walton, Alpha Trivette as Grandpa Walton,  Rebecca Koon (“The Walking Dead”) as Grandma Walton, Jacinte Blankenship (Just Mercy) as Rose Dooly, Arianna Rosario (West Side Story) as Maggie Sikes, with special appearances by legendary musicians and singers Marilyn McCoo as Sister Harriet and Billy Davis, Jr. as Brother William.

Warner Celebrating Clint Eastwood on His 50th Year of Partnering With the Studio

As Clint Eastwood enters his eighth decade in the movies, WarnerMedia and Warner Bros. are celebrating the actor/producer/filmmaker with a series of initiatives, including Blu-ray and digital releases, a nine-episode docuseries, an HBO Max spotlight page, a curated exhibit of props and costumes spanning his 50-year association with Warner Bros., a theatrical re-release of select Eastwood films, and Clint Eastwood programming on Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

This year marks the 50th year of Eastwood’s partnership with Warner Bros. (“Dirty Harry”). Eastwood’s most recent film Cry Macho was released theatrically and on HBO Max on Sept. 17.

From Sept. 9 through Oct. 31, HBO Max will launch a spotlight page featuring select Clint Eastwood films, including the recently-released Cry Macho and seven episodes of the “Clint Eastwood — A Cinematic Legacy” docuseries.

WarnerMedia will launch “Clint Eastwood — A Cinematic Legacy” in Dallas, an exhibition of props and costumes from 50 years of filmmaking at Warner Bros. along with memorabilia from Clint Eastwood’s personal collection. Items include the Gran Torino car from the 2008 film Gran Torino, boxing gloves from 2004’s Million Dollar Baby, Bradley Cooper’s costume from 2014’s American Sniper, the saxophone from 1988’s Bird, Clint Eastwood’s director’s chair, and more.  The exhibition runs from Oct. 6 until Nov. 29 at the AT&T Global Headquarters Showcase in Dallas.

Oct. 16 and Oct. 23, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will air Clint Eastwood programming including feature films and two episodes of the docuseries per night.

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This fall, CNN will feature editorial content highlighting Eastwood’s career and the docuseries.

Also this fall, in select theaters, Warner Bros. will re-release six of Eastwood’s classic films theatrically, each one paired with an episode from the docuseries that highlights the feature film. The films include American Sniper, Gran Torino, Dirty Harry, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Unforgiven and The Bridges of Madison County.

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On Nov. 5, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release “Clint Eastwood — A Cinematic Legacy,” a nine-episode docuseries exploring Eastwood’s 50 years of filmmaking at Warner Bros. Episodes include:

  • Episode 1 –      “A Director’s Vision”
  • Episode 2 –      “The Heart of a Hero”
  • Episode 3 –      “Witness to History”
  • Episode 4 –      “Reinventing the Western”
  • Episode 5 –      “An Actor’s Director”
  • Episode 6 –      “No Holds Barred”
  • Episode 7 –      “Fighting for Justice”
  • Episode 8 –      “Courage Under Fire”
  • Episode 9 –      “Triple Threat”

 

The “Clint Eastwood – A Cinematic Legacy” docuseries will be available digitally and will also be available in select Blu-ray collections, including:

  • “Clint Eastwood 50th MGM 4-Film Collection” (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Hang ‘Em High)
  • “Clint Eastwood 50th 5-Film Collection” (Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact, The Dead Pool)
  • “Clint Eastwood 50th 4-Film Collection” (The Mule, Gran Torino, American Sniper, Sully)
  • “Clint Eastwood 50th 2-Film Collection” (The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider)
  • “Clint Eastwood 50th 10-Film Collection” (Kelly’s Heroes, Where Eagles Dare, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider, Heartbreak Ridge, Unforgiven, Dirty Harry, City Heat, Gran Torino, American Sniper)

‘Tom and Jerry’ Preschool Series Gets Greenlight for HBO Max and Cartoon Network

The first-ever preschool “Tom and Jerry” animated series “Tom and Jerry Time,” produced by Warner Bros. Animation, has been greenlighted as part of WarnerMedia Kids & Family’s new Cartoonito preschool programming block, debuting on HBO Max and Cartoon Network.

Combining comedy with key early learning concepts, “Tom and Jerry Time” aims to teach young viewers the skills they need to explore the world around them, according to the studio.

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“Based on the beloved classic that so many parents grew up with, ‘Tom and Jerry Time’ introduces a whole new generation to these iconic characters with a fresh and original take,” Amy Friedman, head of kids and family programming at Warner Bros., said in a statement. “For our youngest audience, Sam Register and his team at Warner Bros. Animation managed to keep all the playful hijinks, drop all the cartoon violence, and add the most delightful early childhood learning through song and story.  It’s playful — with a purpose — and we think parents and their little ones will love watching and learning together.”

Presented as a series of animated musical shorts, “Tom and Jerry Time” turns the world created by the cat-and-mouse rivalry into a cartoon classroom. Preschoolers will be introduced to their comical mischief — chasing, pranking and outsmarting each other — while also learning key social and emotional skillsets, lessons in independence, early math and literacy skills, and other key preschool educational concepts, according to the studio.

Sam Register (Looney Tunes Cartoons) is executive producer. Will Finn (Tom and Jerry in New York) serves as showrunner and co-executive producer with Denise Downer (Stillwater) on board as story editor.

‘Middle-Earth Ultimate Collector’s Edition’ Due on 4K Ultra HD Nov. 16

The Middle-Earth Ultimate Collector’s Edition, timed to the 20th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, will come out on 4K Ultra HD Nov. 16 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The $249.99, 31-disc collection of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth saga contains new special features along with the theatrical and extended versions of the six films from New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures — The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies as well as The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

It comes in “Puzzle Box” packaging and includes a 64-page booklet featuring costumes, photography and production notes from the film, and art cards featuring travel posters and images from iconic locations throughout Middle-Earth including The Shire, Lake-Town, Erebor, Anduin, Rohan, Minas Trith and Rivendell.

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Also included are the original Cannes Film Festival presentation reel, and footage from the recent Alamo Drafthouse cast reunion, featuring director Peter Jackson along with cast members Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Ian McKellan, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortenson, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler and Elijah Wood.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs will feature Dolby Vision HDR and a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. All six films also come on Blu-ray discs remastered from the 4K master. The 4K remastering process was overseen by Jackson.

Update (10/12/21): Release date changed from Oct. 26 to Nov. 16.

‘Sex and the City’ Series and Movies Due in Blu-ray Boxed Set Nov. 2

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release all six seasons of the HBO comedy series “Sex and the City” plus both feature films based on the show as a Blu-ray Disc collection for the first time on Nov. 2.

“Sex and The City: The Complete Series + 2 Movie Collection” features 96 episodes of the series plus Sex and the City: The Movie and Sex and the City 2 in one boxed set. It arrives in time for the next chapter “And Just Like That …,” which debuts on HBO Max later this year.

Winner of seven Emmy Awards, and the first cable show to win Outstanding Comedy Series, “Sex and the City” celebrates the bond of female friendship. It stars Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw, a New York-based writer who explores and experiences the unique world of Manhattan’s dating scene, chronicling the mating habits of single New Yorkers. The series also stars cast regulars Kim Cattrall as PR executive Samantha Jones, who’s seen — and done — it all; Kristin Davis as Charlotte York, still trying to hold on to the idea of happily ever after; and Cynthia Nixon as corporate lawyer and mother Miranda Hobbes, a pragmatist trying to balance the idea of love with the realities of life.

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The release includes more than three hours of previously released special features, including “Inside Sex and the City,” “Meet the Cast of Sex and the City,” “The Writers of Sex and the City,” “The Fashion of Sex and the City Sex and the City: Real New Yorkers,” and many more.

Sex and the City: The Complete Series, Sex and the City: The Movie and Sex and the City 2 are also available to own on digital via purchase from digital retailers, and to stream on HBO Max.

Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Outsiders’ Coming to 4K Ultra HD Nov. 9 With Extended Edition

Warner Bros., StudioCanal and American Zoetrope are restoring Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 American coming-of-age drama The Outsiders in 4K and releasing it in an extended edition, The Outsiders: The Complete Novel, theatrically and on 4K Ultra HD disc.

Created to give fans more of the action that took place in S.E. Hinton’s celebrated book, Coppola’s latest, definitive version includes new music, as well as several scenes cut from the theatrical version which were reconstructed from original camera negatives, according to the studio.

Warner Bros. will release The Outsiders: The Complete Novel theatrically in the United States and Canada beginning Sept. 26. Warner Bros. will also make both it and the original version available in a 4K Ultra HD Collector’s Edition and on digital platforms starting Nov. 9. It will be available on HBO Max Nov. 16 and will also air this fall on Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

The Outsiders: The Complete Novel came about after meeting students over the years who repeatedly asked me why certain scenes from S.E. Hinton’s wonderful book were missing from the theatrical version,” Coppola said in a statement. “These questions reminded about my inspiration for the film — in 1980, a contingent of 12- to 14-year-old students wrote and asked me to make it. I listened to those young fans back then, and I continue to listen to young people now and believe in their opinions, so this complete film version of the novel is for them.”

Studiocanal is handling the release internationally and will release The Outsiders: The Complete Novel theatrically in the United Kingdom, and will make both it and the original version available in a 4K Ultra HD Collector’s Edition and on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms Nov. 8.

Based on the 1967 best-selling young-adult novel by S. E. Hinton, The Outsiders starred then-unknown young actors in many of their first break-through roles, including C. Thomas Howell (E.T. — The Extra-Terrestrial), Rob Lowe (“The West Wing,” “Parks and Recreation”), Emilio Estevez (St. Elmo’s Fire, The Breakfast Club, Young Guns), Matt Dillon (Crash, There’s Something About Mary), Tom Cruise (Top Gun, “Mission: Impossible” series, Jerry Maguire), Patrick Swayze (Dirty Dancing, Point Break, Ghost), Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid, “Cobra Kai”) and Diane Lane (Unfaithful, Under the Tuscan Sun).

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The film takes place in ’60s Oklahoma, centering on two rival teen gangs: the “Greasers,” a class term that refers to the young men on the East Side, the poor side of town, and the “Socs,” short for Socials, who are the “West-side rich kids.” The life of teenager Ponyboy (Howell) is changed forever one night when a scuffle with his friend Johnny (Macchio) inadvertently leads to the death of a rival gang member, and the boys are forced to go into hiding to avoid arrest. Soon Ponyboy and Johnny, along with Dallas (Dillon) and their other Greaser buddies, must contend with the consequences of their violent lives. While some Greasers try to achieve redemption, others meet tragic ends.

“For The Outsiders: The Complete Novel as well as the original theatrical version, we wanted to create and maintain the highest level of visual quality possible for these restorations,” said James Mockoski, film archivist and restoration supervisor at American Zoetrope. “We took the unusual path of locating all the various elements that went into creating the film’s most elaborate visual effects sequences and re-scanned them. Luckily, Mr. Coppola is an archivist at heart and he kept every piece of film he shot, so we were able to unify scenes from the film using the original camera negative as much as possible. It was important to Mr. Coppola to give this release its best quality presentation, and no one has ever seen this film looking as beautiful and pristine as it does now.”

Season Six of ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’ Coming to Disc Nov. 9

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Sixth Season on Blu-ray and DVD Nov.9.

The release includes all 15  one-hour episodes from the sixth season of the CW series, plus extra content including several featurettes, deleted scenes and a gag reel.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Sixth Season is also available to purchase from digital retailers.

In season six, having spent last season trying to track down the Loom of Fate, the Legends must now save history from a foe like none they’ve encountered in the past or future. The timeship Waverider’s crew have dealt with monsters, time anomalies, and most recently, villains from Hell, but this season they will face something even more challenging and bizarre — space aliens.

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Season Two of ‘Snowpiercer’ Traveling to Disc Nov. 9

Snowpiercer: The Complete Second Season will travel to Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 9 from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.

At the end of season one, the survivors of the revolution are trying to pick up the pieces and maintain a fragile peace amongst the now merged classes with Layton (Daveed Diggs) emerging as the train’s leader. Discovering Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean) is alive and headed their way on a rival train, Melanie (Jennifer Connelly) risks going outside to prevent him from invading Snowpiercer. While she’s out there, it’s revealed that Alexandra (Rowan Blanchard), Melanie’s daughter, who she thought had died, is alive and has become Wilford’s dedicated protegee. In season two, an entirely new power struggle emerges, causing a dangerous rift as people are divided between their loyalty to Layton and to Mr. Wilford, who has a new train, new technology and a game plan that keeps everyone guessing. While Layton battles Wilford for the soul of Snowpiercer, Melanie leads the charge on a shocking new discovery that could change the fate of humanity.

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Based on the critically acclaimed graphic novel series and the film from Academy Award winner Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), “Snowpiercer” season two stars Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind), Grammy and Tony Award winner Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, “Black-ish”) Sean Bean, Rowan Blanchard, Emmy nominee Alison Wright (“The Americans”), Mickey Sumner (Frances Ha, “Battle of the Sexes”), Iddo Goldberg (“Peaky Blinders,” The Zookeeper’s Wife), Katie McGuinness (Dirty Filthy Love), Tony Award winner and Grammy nominee Lena Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Annalise Basso (Bedtime Stories), Sam Otto (Jellyfish), Roberto Urbina (“Narcos”), Sheila Vand (Argo), and Steven Ogg (“The Walking Dead”).

“Snowpiercer” has been picked up for a fourth season, with season three set to premiere on TNT early next year.

The release includes 21 minutes of extra features, including “The Great Engineer: Bringing the Mysterious Mr. Wilford Aboard,” a behind-the-scenes featurette with the cast exploring the god-like Mr. Wilford; “Season 2 Overview,” an exclusive look at the second season with the cast; “Behind the Character: Mr. Wilford,” in which the cast discusses the mythical character of Mr. Wilford; “Season 2 Roundtable,” featuring the cast and crew; “Daveed Diggs Season 1 Recap,” in which the first season  is recapped through the POV of its main character Layton (Diggs).

DEG Panel: Transactional Business Strong Despite New-Release Slowdown

The home entertainment pie is getting bigger — and not just on the subscription streaming side, according to an Aug. 10 panel presented by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

“The story on SVOD services I think is really well told, and we’ve seen a lot of consumers come over through those subscriber numbers, but I don’t think there’s been much focus on consumers who’ve been coming into the transactional end of the business,” said Jim Wuthrich, president of home entertainment and content licensing at WarnerMedia.

After a year in 2020 that saw a big jump in at home entertainment viewing due to a pandemic, the transactional business — revenue from consumers who rent or buy titles either digitally or physically — has proven resilient, even though it has dropped from the pandemic highs of last year. Transactional spending was down 28.7% to an estimated $3.4 billion, from $4.8 billion in the first six months of 2020.

“I would say overall these numbers to me are remarkable,” said Michael Bonner, president of worldwide home entertainment at Universal Pictures.

Comparing the numbers to pre-pandemic 2019, transactional has grown its appeal, especially with catalog.

“We have evidence that the consumer adoption and engagement during the pandemic is up overall, and those levels are kind of maintaining,” Bonner said.

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“We had this big spike last year where consumers were looking for any content they could transactionally,” Wuthrich added. “This year we’ve come down, but we’re running against that big spike we had last year.

“The one drag that we’ve got for the first half of this year was really around new-release product because we don’t have a lot of new-release product.”

Still, Bonner noted that on a title-by-title basis, the new releases that have come out are performing well.

“If you look at it at on a title level, that product that is flowing in, it’s performing very well relative to historical,” he noted.

Then there’s premium rentals and sales (PVOD, PEST), which the DEG does not track. That segment of the business, which some industry pundits say helped the transactional market grow for the first time in a decade last year, has continued its appeal.

“Our estimate is there’s $1 billion of consumer spend that’s not captured in the numbers that you’re presenting,” Bonner said. “And those numbers are not insignificant. We’ve seen tremendous engagement from consumers on that product that’s made available early in its window. Again, some of that is to be expected — given where the box office has been over the past year — but the numbers, they’re fantastic.”

Wuthrich sees a strong last half of the year, as new releases flow into the transactional pipeline.

“Going into the back half of year, we’re pretty bullish around it,” he said.

“I think in Q3 and Q4, we’re not quite out of the pandemic yet, so I think there’s still going to be heavy engagement in the home, so I think the numbers should be strong again,” Bonner said.

While moves to put titles on streaming services early — and, in the case of Warner, on HBO Max concurrently with theaters — may shrink demand in the transactional realm, there are customers for every segment of the entertainment marketplace, said panelists.

“When it’s widely available on a streaming service, it does take some of the demand, but it also adds in other ways,” Wuthrich said.

“The reality is studios are all kind of making tradeoffs in terms of how to put product through different consumer offerings earlier than ever,” Bonner added. “We’re all trying to figure that out.”

Each segment of the business is finding an audience, panelists said.

“We see spikes in demand across each of those new offerings,” Bonner said. “There are consumers and there’s an audience out there for each of these.”

Even the physical business is holding its own, Wuthrich said.

“We found there are still over 35 million households in the U.S. that are still transacting in physical,” he said, noting that Warner entered into a joint venture, Studio Distribution Services (SDS), with Universal to serve the continuing physical disc consumer.

“One of the reasons that people continue to buy physical media is it’s a habit. Another reason though is quality. You can’t beat the quality to the television of physical media, particularly around 4K with HDR,” Wuthrich noted. He added that physical consumers span all demos, young and old. Close to 60% is in the age range of 25-44, he said.

And retailers have maintained a lot of that shelf space for physical during the pandemic.

“I think longer term, this is a mature category, and you’ll see continued consolidation,” Wuthrich said. “I think of the retailers that have, particularly the large ones that have exited or shrunk the category, we see stabilization in that space. And that’s where it was particularly encouraging, at least some of our retailers held most of the space, even through COVID, even though there wasn’t a lot of new product that was flowing in. And it was because it was something that was desired by their customer. They were looking for distractions and such. So maybe they were only shopping for diapers and popcorn, but they were still going by and picking up physical.”

Warner Acquires Feature ‘The Fallout’ for HBO Max

Warner Bros. Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to the SXSW multiple-award-winning feature The Fallout for HBO Max.

Written and directed by Megan Park in her feature filmmaking debut, the film won the Grand Jury and Audience Awards for Narrative Feature, and Park won the Brightcove Illumination Award honoring a filmmaker on the rise at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. The film will release exclusively on HBO Max where available globally and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures in the balance of international markets.

The cast includes Jenna Ortega, along with Maddie Ziegler, Niles Fitch, Will Ropp, Lumi Pollack, John Ortiz, Julie Bowen and Shailene Woodley.

The story follows high schooler Vada (Ortega) as she navigates the emotional fallout she experiences in the wake of a school tragedy. Relationships with her family and friends, as well as her view of the world, are forever altered.

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“Making The Fallout was a journey I never expected to take and one that has changed me forever,” stated Park. “If by seeing this film just one teen feels less alone, less afraid, or somehow understood, that will make the journey worth every step.”

“What Megan Park has created with The Fallout is a sensitive and moving story, marking a stunning debut behind the camera, with an exceptional young cast led by a revelatory and powerful performance by Jenna Ortega and an emotionally impactful turn from Maddie Ziegler,” Carolyn Blackwood, COO of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, said in a statement.

“We shot the film during the height of COVID, and despite all the stoppages and setbacks, we knew we had to tell this story now. HBO Max is the perfect home for this film, and we are pleased to be working with the whole team at Warner Bros. to bring the film to audiences around the world,” stated producers Shaun Sanghani, David Brown, Rebecca Miller and Cara Shine.

The Fallout was produced by Shaun Sanghani of SSS Entertainment and David Brown of Clear Horizon alongside Rebecca Miller, Cara Shine and Todd Lundbohm. Joannie Burstein and Giulia Prenna also produced.