July 14, 2020
With the world’s No. 2 home entertainment market — and second-largest subscriber base for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video — the United Kingdom represents both opportunity and challenge for U.S. studios.
With the U.K. slowly embracing a return to normal following the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, the British Association for Screen Entertainment — with a mandate to “champion growth across the home entertainment market” — has released its quarterly “FindAnyFilm.com” video showcasing new and pending movie/TV show releases available in retail channels.
The website is similar to Movies Anywhere in the U.S., an agnostic platform aimed at jumpstarting digital home entertainment retail, except that it also aggressively pushes packaged media, including Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K UHD Blu-ray, and cinema.
“It’s a trailer we make every quarter, detailing new [disc] titles coming to market in the U.K.,” BASE’s Andy Neilson said in an email.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has seized the moment, aggressively marketing erstwhile theatrical releases on FindAnyFilm. Veteran studio boss Eddie Cunningham cut his teeth as chairman of U.K. operations and regional managing director for Australia, New Zealand and the Nordic countries.
Headlining the video is Universal Pictures’ Trolls World Tour, the scuttled theatrical release that exploded in popularity (and revenue) in the U.S. due to early release on premium video-on-demand. The sequel streets in the U.K. on July 27. The title generated more than $100 million in three weeks release, prompting Universal to declare it would continue PVOD distribution going forward.
Other promotional titles include Universal’s The High Note, which streets in the U.S. on packaged media Aug. 11, Military Wives, which hits retail channels on Aug. 18, The King of Staten Island (Aug. 25), and Dark Waters, which was released in March. Other featured title: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Fantasy Island, which hit the street in the U.S. on May 12.