Samba TV: Classic Titles, Led by ‘Elf,’ Top Christmas Movie Viewership

When it comes to Christmas-themed movies, Warner Bros. Pictures’ 20-year-old Elf, starring Will Ferrell, James Caan and Zoey Deschanel, remains the most popular this season with 9 million views across U.S. household televisions from Nov. 10-Dec. 10, according to new data from Samba TV.

During that time period, U.S. households overwhelmingly tuned in to Christmas movies airing on linear television or streaming platforms, despite the strong original holiday content catalogs built by numerous streaming services this year. This season has also seen various platforms break into original holiday programming, offering their own movies for streaming audiences.

The most in-demand movie genre this holiday season is comedies, comprising all 10 of the most-watched movies of the season, with households preferring laughs over tear-jerkers or romance in the run-up until Christmas.

Elf saw a 14% spike in viewership from the same period in 2022. Households with children preferred to catch new holiday movies via streaming platforms, overindexing with new original films. Meanwhile, older viewers tended to favor the Christmas classics versus the national average and were more likely to skip the new releases on streaming platforms.

“The data shows interesting diversity as to who watches holiday movies,” Ashwin Navin, co-founder/CEO of Samba, said in a statement. “Streaming platforms win in 2023 with large catalogs that satisfy diverse holiday tastes and have offered a mix of tried and true classics as well as new content.”

Following Elf, 7.9 million watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and 7.1 million watched Home Alone. By comparison, only one new streaming holiday movie (Best. Christmas. Ever!) surpassed 2 million households within the same time period. Many of the holiday classics aired on a mix of linear TV networks and streaming platforms, which bolstered their popularity.

Led by the aforementioned Best. Christmas. Ever!The Family Switch (Netflix) and Candy Cane Lane (Prime Video) were standouts among the new streaming holiday movies, driving 2.3 million, 1.9 million, and 1.9 million household views, respectively. Candy Cane Lane, starring Eddie Murphy, was the top-performing new streaming movie outside of Netflix’s catalog throughout the time period measured. These three original films were the only new holiday movies on streaming platforms to surpass 1 million households within that time frame.

Across all six of the new streaming movies that ranked within the top 20 overall, households with kids below the age of 19 overindexed compared to the average U.S. household. The highest overindex among households with children aged 10-19 was EXmas, according to Samba TV.

Adults aged 55-64 overindexed on 12 of the 14 holiday classics analyzed, but only one of the new streaming holiday movies. The highest overindex among this group was It’s a Wonderful Life at (plus 23%).

White households overindexed on every one of the top 20 holiday movies surveyed except for one (Candy Cane Lane). Meanwhile, Asian audiences did not overindex on any holiday movie, Hispanic households overindexed on only two (Family Switch and The Nightmare Before Christmas), and Black households overindexed on only four (Candy Cane Lane, Best. Christmas. Ever!, The Naughty Nine and Die Hard).

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The highest overindexing movie among Black households was Candy Cane Lane.

Finally, geography played a role in what Christmas movies households watched. Households in Boston overindexed on 19 out of the top 20 holiday movies on both classics and new streaming releases, while Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh households overindexed on 17 each. Meanwhile, warmer designated market areas such as Dallas and Los Angeles underindexed on viewership of all of the top holiday movies.

Top Streaming/VOD Holiday Movies by U.S. Household Viewership

 

Movie

Category

(Blue = New)

11.10.23 – 12.10.23

U.S. HH Viewership

1

Elf

Older

  9 million

2

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Older

  7.9 million

3

Home Alone

Older

  7.1 million

4

The Santa Clause

Older

  4.3 million

5

Four Christmases

Older

  3.5 million

6

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Older

  2.5 million

7

Best. Christmas. Ever.

New

  2.3 million

8

The Holiday

Older

  2.3 million

9

Family Switch

New

  1.9 million

10

A Christmas Story

Older

  1.9 million

11

Candy Cane Lane

New

  1.9 million

12

It’s a Wonderful Life

Older

  1.7 million

13

Die Hard

Older

  1.4 million

14

Love Actually

Older

  1.4 M

15

The Polar Express

Older

  1.1 million

16

Genie

New

  934,000

17

The Naughty Nine

New

  834,000

18

Scrooged

Older

  795,000

19

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Older

  783,000

20

EXmas

New

  751,000

Top New Holiday Movies by Streaming Platform

Streaming Platform

Movie

11.10.23 – 12.10.23

U.S. HH Viewership

Netflix

Best. Christmas. Ever.

2.3 million

Amazon Prime Video

Candy Cane Lane

1.9 million

Peacock

Genie

934,000

Disney+

The Naughty Nine

834,000

Freevee

EXmas

751,000

Hulu

*also on Disney+

Dashing Through the Snow

618,000

Apple TV+

Hannah Waddingham – Home for Christmas

146,000

Barbie

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Warner;
Comedy;
Box Office $635.68 million;
DVD $19.99, Blu-ray $24.99, UHD BD $29.99;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for suggestive references and brief language.
Stars Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Ariana Greenblatt, Kate McKinnon, Will Ferrell, Michael Cera, Issa Rae, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ncuti Gatwa, Scott Evans,Rhea Perlman, Helen Mirren.

The Barbie doll, when introduced by Mattel in 1959, was initially intended as a platform to sell clothes and accessories for girls to dress it up. Other characters followed, and backstories were created as Barbie’s circle of friends and family grew, but the driving force for their popularity remained the ways the girls playing with them could unlock their own imaginations. This is reflected in many of the “Barbie” animated movies that project the characters into various preexisting fairy tales and other adventure stories.

For a live-action film based on Barbie, director Greta Gerwig could have chosen any number of approaches, not the least of which would have been a conventional narrative depicting the lives of the “Barbie” characters as if they were real people working in the fashion industry or something mundane. But Gerwig has made a career of bucking convention, so her vision of Barbie is something much more complex — a movie about the doll’s relationship with the real world.

Interestingly, her screenplay (co-written with her partner, Noah Baumbach) employs a story structure that pays homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey of all things, and not just with a prologue that directly parodies Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi classic.

As fourth-wall-breaking narrator Helen Mirren explains, the introduction of Barbie shifted the landscape of playing with dolls away from girls practicing for motherhood to fostering ambitions of achieving any goal in life despite background or hardship.

And thus it is that the Barbies seem to exist in their own pocket dimension in which women run society, but all the variants of “Barbie” and “Ken” and other associated characters represent that type of doll in the real world, and some sort of metaphysical psychic link between them can influence what happens in either reality.

Actually, though, any attempt to parse logic from the cause-and-effect of how Gerwig’s Barbie universe works is a futile gesture, as even the characters in the film joke about how warped the story’s reality is. It’s only the genuine emotional connection the characters have with each other that provides structure to the various story arcs and keeps it all from spinning out of control — an impressive achievement of directorial balance on Gerwig’s part.

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In Barbieland, a fantasy realm dominated by plastic and pink, where the backdrops are painted and all the buildings are designed like Barbie playsets, Margot Robbie plays the “stereotypical” Barbie — the Barbie that first comes to mind when one thinks of Barbie. Her life is an idiosyncratic routine of perfect days enjoying visits with the various professional Barbies and hanging out at the beach with Ken (Ryan Gosling). Nights are filled with disco parties.

The various Kens only exist to seek the attention of the Barbies, and seem to have no other purpose. Where they actually live is a question raised but never actually answered, since the Barbies don’t really care.

When Robbie’s Barbie begins to experience anxiety and symptoms of aging imperfectly, she is told she must venture into the real world to confront the girl playing with her in this manner. Gosling’s Ken joins her on this convoluted journey, and while Barbie finds those responsible for her unwanted emotions, Ken discovers a world in which men have purpose and respect.

When Barbie is taken back to Mattel headquarters, because that’s the kind of Meta this movie is, Ken returns to Barbieland with the intention of introducing the patriarchy and improving his and the other Kens’ lot in life.

And thus Barbie and some newfound friends must return home to restore balance to the matriarchy that Barbieland has always known.

In framing Barbie as both an individual living in her own reality and a concept with influence in the real world, Gerwig has crafted a film that tries to meet several conflicting expectations for what a Barbie movie could be.

Gerwig’s Barbie is presented as both iconic and problematic. The behind-the-scenes interviews with Gerwig included with the home video extras show a director who reveres the nostalgia of what Barbie meant to her childhood, while the film’s story seems to lament that the lessons gleaned from Barbie’s worldbuilding didn’t reflect her worldview.

So we get the lavishly designed, fantastic-looking Barbieland sets of life-sized dollhouses that give the film most of its visual flair. We get intricate musical numbers that speak to the stream-of-consciousness fantasy nature of Barbieland’s existence. But we also get a treatise on the relationship between feminism and the patriarchy, using Ken’s journey to satirize a kind of over-the-top interpretation of toxic masculinity. The end result isn’t so much a film about Barbie as it is Metaphor: The Movie.

Regardless of what the filmmakers’ intent was, the exploration of these competing attitudes blended with a storytelling style that borders on expressionism gives the viewer some leeway to imprint whatever message they want to take away from the film, which may account for its massive success despite complains of overt political messaging. Ultimately, the film is as much a comedy poking fun at the Barbie brand’s eccentricities as it is a loving tribute to its legacy.

The aforementioned Barbie home video extras include six bonus featurettes totaling 45 minutes of typical behind-the-scenes material.

The 12-minute “Welcome to Barbie Land” covers the creation of the real-life Barbie Dream Houses, and the seven-and-a-half-minute “Playing Dress-Up” focuses on the costumes. The six-and-a-half-minute “Becoming Barbie” deals with how Robbie and other performers approached playing the legendary doll, while the five-minute “All-Star Barbie Party” marvels at the assembled cast. “Musical Make-Believe” is a nine-minute featurette about the film’s musical sequences. Finally, the five-minute “It’s a Weird World” examines Kate McKinnon’s quirky “Weird Barbie” character.

The extras are offered with both the digital and disc versions of the film. However, the disc versions aren’t offered as multidisc combo packs, with the 4K and regular Blu-ray versions configured separately (though each includes access to a digital copy, while the DVD version does not).

 

Strays

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Universal;
Comedy;
Box Office $23.99 million;
$19.98 DVD, $24.98 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for pervasive language, crude and sexual content, and drug use.
Stars Will Forte. Voices of Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher, Randall Park, Rob Riggle.

The raunchy animal adventure Strays takes aim at countless dog movie tropes with often hilarious results. But the film is also surprisingly effective at wringing some emotional resonance out of its premise.

Will Ferrell voices Reggie, a scruffy border terrier with unconditional love for his owner, Doug (Will Forte). However, Doug despises the idea of taking care of a pet, and only kept the pup to spite an ex-girlfriend who dumped him for cheating on her. When Doug dumps Reggie in a city three hours away, Reggie is determined to return home.

After a few local dogs hear the naïve Reggie’s story, they convince him that he’s been abandoned, leading Reggie to devise a new quest — to return home to teach Doug a lesson by biting off his genitals.

Reggie’s ad hoc pack includes Bug (Jamie Foxx), a tough-talking Boston Terrier; Maggie (Isla Fisher), a glamorous Australian Shepherd whose owner now prefers smaller social-media friendly dogs; and Hunter (Randall Park), a Great Dane who works as a therapy dog at a senior center.

The crux of the film involves the foul-mouthed dogs talking to each other with CG effects to make their lips move, giving the film the feeling of a crude version of Lady and the Tramp. The road trip aspect gives the film an air of Homeward Bound as well, while a couple of well-placed cameos spoof more-recent dog movies such as A Dog’s Purpose.

The jokes don’t always land, but the filmmaking is earnest enough in its intentions to connect with dog lovers who should appreciate the affection the movie has for man’s best friend.

The Blu-ray includes a fun commentary with director-producer Josh Greenbaum and screenwriter-producer Dan Perrault, in which they discuss many of the tricks used to get the dogs at the center of the story to perform as needed to move the story along. For many scenes they just filmed the dogs being dogs and wrote around it.

 Also included are six featurettes totaling 35 minutes of behind-the-scenes material.

The general making of the film is told in the six-and-a-half-minute “The Ultimate Treat: Making Strays”; the five-and-a-half-minute “Training to Be Stray” focuses on how the filmmakers got the dogs to perform;  the six-and-a-half-minute “Poop, Booms, and Shrooms” deals with some practical on-set visual effects; “Talk Like a Dog” is a seven-minute video about the voice cast; “Will Forte, Stray Actor” is a tongue-in-cheek six minute profile of the man behind the film’s primary human character; and “A New Best Friend” is a three-and-a-half-minute piece in which the actors talk about their own dogs, and Greenbaum discusses how he adopted one of the puppies that played young Reggie after their scenes were filmed.

 

Netflix Partnering With GM for Super Bowl LVII Commercial Touting Electric Vehicles

General Motors and Netflix have partnered for a Super Bowl LVII commercial (“EVs on Screen”) touting electric vehicles in Netflix programming. 

In the 60-second and 30-second spots, viewers will see Will Ferrell enter the world of some of the biggest Netflix shows and movies, including Army of the Dead and “Squid Game,” among others. The ad, which begins airing this week and on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 12) on Fox showcases how EVs will show up on screen while highlighting the wide range of EVs GM plans to offer.

In 2021, GM began manufacturing electric vehicles as part of a campaign to lead an all-electric car future. Netflix will increase the presence of GM-branded EVs in Netflix-produced shows and films, where relevant, while also taking steps to enable more sustainable productions.  

“We want to make EVs famous on streaming, small and silver screens to build an EV culture through storytelling that incorporates the experiences of driving and owning an EV,” Deborah Wahl, GM global chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

Wahl said Netflix’s compelling storytelling, commitment to sustainability and track record of sparking conversations that shape cultural trends makes for a good marketing partner.

“We are united in creating a better, more sustainable future for  our world as we bring everybody in on EVs,” she said.

Netflix said it would content creators better understand how EVs can complement and enhance their stories. Over the course of the next year,  GM EVs will be seen in select Netflix shows and films, including “Love is Blind,” “Queer Eye” and “Unstable,” which will feature the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, GMC Hummer EV Pickup and Cadillac LYRIQ respectively. 

“From the TikTok dance trends inspired by ‘Wednesday,’ to discussions about climate change with Don’t Look Up, we know that entertainment can drive fandom and inspire connections,” said Netflix Chief Marketing Officer Marian Lee. 

In addition to an increased the presence of GM EVs in programming, Netflix said it would take action to become more sustainable behind the camera within its productions by optimizing energy use, then electrifying it, and decarbonizing the rest. 

2003 Will Ferrell ‘Elf’ Movie Tops U.K. Christmas Home Entertainment Movie List

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s 2003 holiday comedy classic Elf topped the U.K. home entertainment sales chart the week ended Dec. 21, to become the country’s No. 1 Christmas movie in 2022.

The movie, starring Will Ferrell, the late James Caan and Zoey Deschanel, among others, ended the retail period No. 1 for the fifth week, and second time in 2022. The movie kept Paramount Home Entertainment’s record-breaking Top Gun: Maverick at No. 2.

New Warner release Black Adam entered the chart at No. 3, followed by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s animated release of The Grinch at No. 4, Downton Abbey: A New Era (No. 5) and Jurassic World Dominion (No. 6).

Warner’s biopic Elvis finished No. 7, followed by perennial holiday release The Polar Express (No. 8), followed by a new entry, the David Bowie documentary Moonage Daydream, and Warner’s Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore at No. 10.

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The Official Film Chart Top 10 – Dec. 21, 2022

Rank Previous Week Movie Distributor
1 2 ELF WARNER
2 1 TOP GUN: MAVERICK PARAMOUNT
3 NEW BLACK ADAM WARNER
4 6 THE GRINCH (2018) UNIVERSAL
5 4 DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA UNIVERSAL
6 5 JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION UNIVERSAL
7 3 ELVIS WARNER
8 12 THE POLAR EXPRESS WARNER
9 NEW MOONAGE DAYDREAM UNIVERSAL
10 7 FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE WARNER

© Official Charts Company 2022

Apple Announces Titles on Upcoming Film Slate Headed to Theaters, Apple TV+

Apple has unveiled a glimpse at its slate of Apple Original Films set to premiere globally in theaters and on Apple TV+ over the next year.

The 2022 slate features filmmakers and stars including Alfonso Cuaron, Antoine Fuqua, Dakota Johnson, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Ryan Reynolds, Will Ferrell, Octavia Spencer, Bill Murray, Russell Crowe and many more.

Cha Cha Real Smooth, winner of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Dramatic Audience Award, will premiere globally on Apple TV+ June 17. In the film, writer-director Cooper Raiff also stars as a recent college graduate stuck back at home with his family and working as a party-starter for bar and bat mitzvahs who strikes up a unique friendship with a young mom (Dakota Johnson) and her teenage daughter.

Additional Apple Original Films set to debut this summer include a documentary executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and directed by Reginald Hudlin about the career and life of the late Sidney Poitier; and Luck, a new animated feature from Skydance Animation about the unluckiest girl in the world, starring Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Eva Noblezada, Simon Pegg, Flula Borg, Lil Rel Howery, Colin O’Donoghue, John Ratzenberger and Adelynn Spoon, premiering Aug. 5.

This fall comes the premiere of the feature documentary Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong, a look at the master musician’s life and legacy as a founding father of jazz, produced under Apple’s first-look agreement with Imagine Documentaries; Raymond & Ray, which follows half-brothers Raymond and Ray (Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke) who have lived in the shadow of a terrible father; and Peter Farrelly’s The Greatest Beer Run Ever, a new dramedy starring Zac Efron and Russell Crowe based on the true story of John “Chickie” Donohue, who in 1968 left New York to track down and share a few beers with his childhood buddies now in the Army — fighting in Vietnam. The documentary feature The Sound of 007 will also make its global debut this fall, to mark the 60th anniversary of the James Bond film series.

For the holidays comes Spirited, a modern musical rendition of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story “A Christmas Carol” starring Ryan Reynolds, Will Ferrell and Octavia Spencer.

Available before the end of 2022 is Antoine Fuqua and Will Smith’s new film Emancipation, which tells the story of a man who escapes from slavery.

Also coming soon is the premiere of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Killers of the Flower Moon. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, John Lithgow and more, the film follows the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror.

Matthew Vaughn’s next spy thriller, Argylle, featuring an ensemble cast that includes Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, Dua Lipa and Ariana DeBose with John Cena and Samuel L. Jackson, will also soon be added to Apple’s lineup, as will Sharper, a New York City-set suspense-thriller from writers Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka starring Julianne Moore, Sebastian Stan, Justice Smith, Briana Middleton and John Lithgow, and Tetris, starring Taron Egerton, which follows the extraordinary journey of one of the most iconic computer games in the world.

Also due are Ridley Scott’s Napoleon, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the French military leader and emperor alongside Vanessa Kirby as Josephine; a pair of complementary documentaries entitled Number One on the Call Sheet, celebrating Black leading women and men in Hollywood; Ghosted, a high concept romantic action adventure film starring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas; Skydance Animation’s Spellbound, which follows a young girl who sets out to break the spell that has divided her kingdom in two; and The Beanie Bubble, inspired by the story behind one of the biggest speculative crazes in American culture in the 1990s and starring Elizabeth Banks, Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Snook and Geraldine Viswanathan.

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Apple Original Films is also currently in development on Adam McKay’s Bad Blood, about the rise and fall of Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, with Jennifer Lawrence producing and starring as Holmes; the genre-bending film Bride, produced by and starring Scarlett Johansson; Snow Blind with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star; a new Sue Mengers biopic starring  Jennifer Lawrence; Dolly, a new feature film written by Vanessa Taylor and Drew Pearce with Florence Pugh attached to star; an adaption of Judy Heumann’s bestselling memoir Being Heumann from Siân Heder; an Audrey Hepburn biopic; and a thriller with George Clooney and Brad Pitt, written and directed by Jon Watts, about two lone fixers who are assigned to the same job.

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Apple has landed overall deals for feature films from studios and production companies including Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions, Adam McKay’s Hyperobject Industries, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way, Richard Plepler’s Eden Productions, Siân Heder, Tracy Oliver, A24, Imagine Entertainment, Skydance Animation and Skydance Media.

Warner’s ‘Elf’ Climbs Atop Official U.K. Film Chart

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Elf climbed to No. 1 on the U.K. home entertainment Official Film Chart through Dec. 2. The 2003 movie starring Will Ferrell finished atop the weekly chart for the first time since the chart’s inception in 2018.

Disney’s live action remake of Mulan dropped to No. 2 after two weeks on the top rung. Last Christmas (Universal) held on at No. 3 as The Greatest Showman (20th Century) climbed seven spots to No. 4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Lucasfilm) soared 10 spots to No. 5 following the release of a new 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc Steelbook edition.

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This week’s highest new entry was psychological thriller Unhinged (No. 6), starring Russell Crowe and Caren Pistorious. Entertainment One’s 1917 moved down one spot to No. 7, as did Jim Carrey in The Grinch at No. 8. Universal’s Trolls World Tour climbed seven spots to No. 9. Finally, Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis’ new festive rom-com, Happiest Season debuted at No. 10 on digital downloads only.

The Official Film Chart Top 10 – Dec. 2, 2020

Rank Last Week Title Studio
1 2 Elf Warner
2 1 Mulan Disney
3 3 Last Christmas Universal
4 11 The Greatest Showman 20th Century
5 15 Star Wars – The Rise of Skywalker Disney
6 New Unhinged Altitude Spirit
7 6 1917 eOne
8 7 The Grinch Universal
9 16 Trolls World Tour DreamWorks Animation
10 New Happiest Season eOne

© Official Charts Company 2020

Comedy ‘Downhill’ on Disc May 19

The comedy Downhill will arrive on Blu-ray Disc and DVD May 19 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. It is available now for digital purchase in 4K and HD.

A remake of the European film Force Majeure, Downhill stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell as a married couple whose lives are thrown into disarray as they are forced to reevaluate their relationship after barely escaping an avalanche during a family ski vacation in the Alps.

The cast also includes Zach Woods, Zoe Chao, Giulio Berruti, Kristofer Hivju and Miranda Otto.

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Blu-ray and digital extras include deleted scenes, an alternate opening, outtakes, and the featurettes “Origins of the Film” and “Locations.” The featurette “Casting the Stanton Family and Friends” is offered as a digital exclusive.

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Delta Air Lines Accused of Censoring In-Flight Movies

Delta Air Lines is denying it censors pay-per-view movies made available aboard its flights.

The issue emerged on social media this week when actress Olivia Wilde questioned on Twitter why a lesbian sex scene and the words “vagina” and “genitals” had been cut from her directorial debut, Booksmart.

The coming-of-age comedy about two high-school girls (Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein) attempting to ditch their studious ways is executive produced by Will Ferrell and Jason Sudeikis. It has generated about $25 million at the box office worldwide since its May theatrical release.

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“I finally had the chance to watch an edited version of Booksmart on a flight to see exactly what had been censored,” Wilde tweeted on Oct. 30. “Turns out some airlines work with a third party company that edits the movie based on what they deem inappropriate. Which, in our case, is … female sexuality?”

Olivia Wilde

Similar accusations against Delta surfaced regarding editing out gay references in the Elton John biopic Rocketman and the Chris Rock comedy Carol.

Delta, in a media statement, said it routinely offers edited and non-edited versions of movies on flights. It insisted it does not mandate any “homosexual content” be removed from in-flight entertainment.

“We value our inflight entertainment options as a means to reflect the diversity of the world,” the Atlanta-based carrier stated. “We are reviewing the processes of our third-party editing vendors to ensure that they are aligned with our values of diversity and inclusion.”

Booksmart was released into retail channels on Sept. 3 by Disney/Fox Studios.

‘The Illusionist,’ ‘Winter Passing’ and ‘Resurrecting the Champ’ Among Star-Studded Films Joining MVD Marquee Collection

The MVD Marquee Collection is adding five films from Yari Film Group to its lineup on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

Due June 25 are Resurrecting the Champ, Winter Passing and The Illusionist.

Resurrecting the Champ, directed by Rod Lurie (The Contender), stars Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Hartnett with Alan Alda, Kathryn Morris, Teri Hatcher, David Paymer and Peter Coyote. In the film, sportswriter Erik Kernan (Hartnett) wants nothing more than to discover a story great enough to make headlines. When he meets Champ (Jackson), a former boxing champion living on the streets, he knows he has a shot to save them both. Recording his newfound friend’s tale of triumph and defeat, Kernan gets his story and his fame. But as Champ’s tale falls under more scrutinizing eyes, Kernan learns what truly makes a story great is the quality of the man behind it. Bonus material includes a feature audio commentary from Lurie, a behind-the-scenes featurette, interviews with the cast and crew, and the original theatrical trailer.

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Winter Passing is an offbeat film about homecoming and reconciliation that features Zooey Deschanel, Will Ferrell, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Dallas Roberts, Michael Chernus, Anthony Rapp, Sam Bottoms and Rachel Dratch. When a book editor (Madigan) offers to buy the love letters of Reese Holden’s (Deschanel) parents, she returns home to recover them, only to find her widowed dad (Harris) golfing upstairs, sleeping outside and living with roommates — a pretty grad student (Amelia Warner) and a quirky wannabe musician (Ferrell). Bonus material includes a behind-the-scenes featurette and the original theatrical trailer.

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The Illusionist stars Paul Giamatti and Edward Norton along with Jessica Biel, Rufus Sewell, Eddie Marsan and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. In the film, acclaimed illusionist Eisenheim (Norton) has not only captured the imaginations of all of Vienna, but also the interest of the ambitious Crown Prince Leopold (Sewell). But when Leopold’s new fiancée (Biel) rekindles a childhood fascination with Eisenheim, the Prince’s interest evolves into obsession and the city’s chief inspector (Giamatti) finds himself investigating a shocking crime. As the Inspector engages him in a dramatic challenge of wills, Eisenheim prepares for his most impressive illusion yet. Bonus material includes a feature audio commentary from writer/director Neil Burger, “The Making of the Illusionist” featurette, the “Jessica Biel on the Illusionist” featurette and the original theatrical trailer.

Taking 18 years from the start of production to theatrical release, Shortcut to Happiness finally makes its debut on Blu-ray and DVD July 16. Originally titled The Devil and Daniel Webster, the film was to be the directorial debut of Alec Baldwin. With the film plagued by investor problems and rumored creative differences, Baldwin had his director credit removed from the film and replaced with the pseudonym Harry Kirkpatrick. Producer Bob Yari rescued the film from bankruptcy court and finished it without Baldwin’s participation. It received limited theatrical screenings in 2007. Years later, it aired on Showtime and Starz channels. Set in New York’s literary world, Shortcut to Happiness is a contemporary re-telling of the classic short story ”The Devil and Daniel Webster,” starring Baldwin, Dan Aykroyd, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kim Cattrall, Bobby Cannavale, Amy Poehler and Darrell Hammond. It follows Jabez Stone (Baldwin), a down on his luck writer who sells his soul to the devil (Love-Hewitt) in exchange for fame and fortune. When things don’t turn out as planned, Stone ultimately decides that he wants his old life again and enlists the help of Daniel Webster (Hopkins) in order to win his soul.

Finally, Sept. 17 comes Find Me Guilty from director Sidney Lumet (Serpico, Network, Dog Day Afternoon). Vin Diesel stars with Peter Dinklage, Annabella Sciorra, Alex Rocco, Ron Silver and Linus Roache in this true story. When police arrest 20 members of the Lucchese crime family, the authorities offer Jackie Dee DiNorscio (Diesel) a bargain: a shortened prison term if he’ll testify against his own. But the wisecracking DiNorscio has other ideas. Refusing to cooperate, he decides to defend himself at his own trial and proceeds to turn the courtroom upside-down, culminating in one of the most shocking verdicts in judicial history. Bonus material includes the “A Conversation with Director Sidney Lumet” featurette, the original theatrical trailer and three TV spots.