Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New Theatrical Release Market On Pace To Deliver 600 New Films During 2015

With the statistical mid-year (both in terms of the calendar and release-wise) just behind us, it is worth taking a snapshot of where the New Theatrical release market is … and is likely to be heading.

Using full-year and year-to-date comparisons for 2009 through 2014 (as a baseline), the new theatrical release market has averaged 51.7 percent of the overall annual output at this point on the release calendar.  

For 2015, the new theatrical release market has generated 311 new films to date (with a reported box office gross), which yields a full-year projection of 601 (this would be the fourth year in a row that annual output has been in excess of 600 new theatrical releases.

For the “hit” arena — films that gross in excess of $25 million — the industry is right on target to deliver 104 films of this ilk.   That’s about the optimum when you factor in available theatrical seating and the number of release weeks that occur each year (52).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Monday, July 13, 2015

Paramount Home Media Entertainment To Release The D Train On DVD And Blu-ray On Aug. 18

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media announced this past week that the directing and writing team of Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul will have their independent theatrical release of The D Train, starring Jack Black and James Marsden, released on Aug. 18 as both DVD and Blu-ray editions.

The IFC Films release scored both a strong buzz and solid reviews from its Sundance Film Festival debut in mid-January of this year and it was jumped into a pre-summer theatrical release to take advantage of the media hype.   Screens quickly evaporated as the big summer blockbusters arrived in late May, so the box office was cut short at $660,994.     

With Paramount’s distribution muscle, The D Train should score some very solid numbers and reach the audience it fully deserves.   For the record, the ARR comes in at 116 days.

This isn’t your standard Jack Black comedy.  Let’s get that out there right up front.   Yes, it is a comedy — and damn funny; a little on the dark side — but there is a lot more going on here than any short synopsis or 90-second theatrical trailer can convey.   If you are a fan of Jack Black, then The D Train will certainly please.

If not a fan of Mr. Black, you’re going to like this one anyway as it deals with sex, losing, celebrity, depression, dependency and just trying to fit in.   A little uneven in spots, but well deserving of all the positive buzz that it generated coming out of Sundance … and well worth a look come Aug. 18 when it hits retail and rental as both DVD and Blu-ray product offerings.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyJack Black is Dan Landsman, a middleclass schlub with a wife (Kathryn Hahn) and a couple of kids, who has wheedled his way into the chairmanship of his high school’s 20th anniversary gathering.   It’s not going well and his leadership is less than awe-inspiring.  
But as luck would have it, he spots fellow alumni Oliver Lawless (James Marsden) on television one evening in a suntan lotion commercial and the little wheels in his head start going click-click-click.   

OK, you’ve likely seen countless high school movies with the standard scene of the “stars” (lead actors) walking down a busy hallway with lockers and classroom doors on either side.   From High School Confidential and Rebel Without a Cause in the 1950s, Grease in the ‘70s and even The DUFF this year, each repeated the same classic scene — stars walking and talking and extras milling around in the background (hit your mark, don’t look at the camera).  
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey 
Dan was, when he was in high school, one of the “extras.”  He can finally be somebody, if he can get this “A-list” celebrity to attend the reunion!   He concocts an elaborate plan to get himself to Los Angeles, hook up with Oliver and recruit him.   But what happens next changes everything.

The D Train doesn’t go off the rails and doesn’t become something that it is not.   It is a comedy, but once the set-up is in place it doesn’t take the “mainline” to its destination.   And that is refreshing.

Bonus features include deleted scenes and a gag reel.

Indican Pictures Will Release Documentary Filmmaker Hope Hartman's Book Club On DVD This Coming Aug. 4

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Indican Pictures will be bringing documentary filmmaker Hope Hartman’s award-winning and awe-inspiring story about eight women and seventy-years of friendship, to the home entertainment market place on Aug. 4 with the DVD debut of the Book Club.

Inspiration comes in mysterious ways.   In the case of Hope Hartman, she was driving along one day and while listening to the radio she became fascinated with the story of eight women who meet during the dark days of World War II and formed a book club.   The group discovery and reading of books proved to be only secondary, it was the bond of friendship and support over the years that held together — especially during difficult times.

Hartman made up her mind right then and there and this was a story worth exploring and the result was her introduction to the ladies of the “Book Club.”  Their story unfolds in her film of the same name, simply titled Book Club, and begins in the Washington D.C. area during World War II.   Their husbands were all involved in the war effort and these eight women decided to form a small social group to discuss books and the events of the day.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyOver the years work, vacations and even life in general was planned around their book club meetings.   The somehow hung together, through widowhood, family tragedies — through good times and bad.  They became their own support group.   

Filmmaker Hope Hartman has deftly blended sessions with the ladies with vintage home movies and photographs of them over the years to tell their tale.  As a result, the Book Club is a real treat — you’ll smile, laugh and maybe even shed a tear or two.    

So come and join these ladies and their book club; enjoy a lunch, a little wine and eight lives that have celebrated life, love, sadness and joy over the years.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Goes With Aug. 11 As The Street Date For DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions Of Reese Witherspoon's Hot Pursuit

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment was at it again this week with more announcements of film vault treasures making their long-awaited march to DVD, plus details about the DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack push for director Anne Fletcher’s action-comedy, Hot Pursuit.

First the new comedy theatrical release of Hot Pursuit, starring Reese Witherspoon as Rose Cooper, a San Antonio police officer with a penchant for screwing everything up.   The street date is Aug. 11, which yields a swift-to-market 95 days.   Ticket sales were descent at $32.3 million.

Her latest misfire, the tasing of the mayor’s son for calling “shotgun,” has put her dangerously close to being on the street.  However, redemption is at hand as she is given one last opportunity to show that she is up to the job.  It is simple enough, just help detective Jackson (Richard T. Jones) bring in cooperating mob informants Felipe and Daniella Riva (Sofía Vergara).   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Aaaaahhh, that went well!!   OK, in all fairness it wasn’t her fault, but everything went south and poor Rose finds herself on the run with the ditzy Daniella … with double-crossing cops the least of her problems!

Reese Witherspoon, fresh from a much-deserved Best Actress Oscar nomination for Wild (she was robbed), seems to be all over the board with her film choices of late.  While Hot Pursuit is funny and enjoyable enough, it really doesn’t advance her film career.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIn any case, bonus nuggets include the featurette titled “The Womance,” with two additional featurettes — “Say What?” and “Action Like A Lady” — plus an alternate ending being exclusive to the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack SKU.

On the TV series front, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced this past week that both DVD and Blu-ray editions of The Following: The Third and Final Season has been given an Oct. 13 street date.

All 15 episodes from the final season of this Kevin Bacon thriller will be presented as a four-disc DVD collection or as a three-disc Blu-ray set.  Bonus features include four featurettes —  “When Heroes Lie,” “Evil Has Many Faces,” “Ryan and Romance” and “The Art of the Crime Scene” — a gag reel, deleted scenes and video from the 2014 New York Comic-Con Panel. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyOn the film vault release front, July 21 is the street date for four-disc, 12-film collection showcasing the films of Big Band-era singer-turned-actor Dick Foran.  Titled Dick Foran Western Collection, the 12 films in the mix are: Moonlight on the Prairie (1935 with Sheila Bromley), and four of his Westerns from his very busy film work year of 1936 — Song of the Saddle (released just weeks after his appearance in The Petrified Forest as Boze Hertzlinger), Treachery Rides the Range (also-starring Paula Stone), Trailin' West (reteamed with Paula Stone just four months later) and California Mail (Thanksgiving of 1936 with Linda Perry).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyFrom 1937, another very busy year for Dick Foran, we have Guns of the Pecos (opposite Land Beyond the Law (Linda Perry returns), The Cherokee Strip (Jane Bryan and Helen Valkis (aka: Joan Valerie) are his co-stars), Blazing Sixes (reteamed with Helen Valkis), Empty Holsters (with newcomer Patricia Walthall), The Devil's Saddle Legion (Anne Nagel returns) and lastly, Prairie Thunder (with Ellen Clancy (aka: Janet Shaw)).
Anne Nagal),

On July 28, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has added three new Wallace Beery films — all co-starring Marjorie Main — to its DVD release schedule.  These are: Barnacle Bill (1941, Virginia Weidler) Bad Bascomb (1946, Margaret O'Brien) and Big Jack (1949, Richard Conte, Edward Arnold and Vanessa Brown).

And finally — for this week — Warner Bros. used the Comic-Con venue to tease a re-mastered, extended edition of the 1999 film release of The Iron Giant, which will be seen in theatres this fall thanks to a partnership with Fathom Events, with the studio offering the updated version of the film via digital outlets following the Sept. 30 and Oct. 4 theatrical showings.

“We can’t wait to bring this family favorite back to its home on the big screen,” said Fathom Events CEO John Rubey. “The Iron Giant is meant to be seen and heard in movie theatres and this is a great chance for fans new and old to enjoy this classic, re-mastered with new scenes.”

Mill Creek Entertainment Adds Animated Johnny Test Collection To Its Sept. 1 DVD Release Calendar

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Just when you thought that Mill Creek Entertainment’s September release calendar was all locked and put to bed, they are back with a special Sept. 1 DVD release announcement.

Already in place for delivery on Sept. 1 are director Brooks Benjamin’s Bandit and the Saints of Dogwood, the double-disc, nine part series Monument Men: The Road to Rushmore and the five-part DVD debut of U.S. Cavalry: History of America's Mounted Forces.

Now comes word that a whopping nine-disc, 91-episode collection of Johnny Test: Seasons 1 - 5 will also be making the rounds on DVD come Sept. 1.    

Over 34 hours of manic adventures featuring Johnny Test and his talking-dog sidekick, Dukey, plus his ultra-smart twin sisters Susan and Mary.    

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyBut it doesn’t end there … Mill Creek Entertainment has sweetened this animated package with eight bonus episodes plucked from such series as The Adventures of Nanoboy, Gadget Boy, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors and more!

For more information on Johnny Test: Seasons 1 – 5, plus other September new-to-DVD and Blu-ray releases, please visit Mill Creek Entertainment at

Bloody Knuckles On DVD And Blu-ray On Oct. 20 From Artsploitation Films

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Beast with Five Fingers meets Idle Hands in writer/director Matt O’Mahoney’s gleeful horror romp, Bloody Knuckles, which will be heading home as both Blu-ray and DVD SKUs on October 20 from Artsploitation Films.

Travis (Adam Boys — Angel of the Skies, Leprechaun: Origins) is the creative force behind “Vulgarian Invasions,” an underground comic book in which he takes great pleasure in offending any and all who cross his path.   When questioned about his lack of restraint — you know, one of those “just because you can, should you” questions — he just shrugs it off.

Well, our boy should have checked in with Leonard Fong (Kasey Ryne Mazak — This Means War, Godzilla), the head of the Golden Dragons crime syndicate, who came across “Vulgarian Invasions” and saw what he believed to be a lampooning of himself (some nasty stuff) in the latest issue.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Fong’s a man of action and that doesn’t mean writing a nasty letter to the editor or filing a defamation lawsuit.   Nope, he simply sends out his henchmen, who kidnap Travis and haul him in front of Fong, who then promptly has his drawing hand lopped off with a circular saw.   Message delivered!

Poor Travis, dumped in an alley, his publishing empire at an end and his severed hand banished to the sewers of Vancouver.   But just when all seems lost two things happen that bring “Vulgarian Invasions” back to life. 
First, he has a fan-boy in the form of the leather-clad, self-styled gay superhero, Homo Dynamous (Dwayne Bryshun), who was inspired by Travis’ work and would love to set things “straight.”   Secondly, the missing hand is resurrected from the muck and is back with a vengeance — typing out invectives on Travis’ computer.

From then on it is an all-out blood bath and Fong and his Golden Dragons are just meat for the grinder!   Bloody Knuckles is “bloody-good” fun … and will be available just in time for the Halloween-season!!!

Bonus features include cast and crew interviews and a Q&A session.

Wild Eye Releasing Sets Oct. 27 For The DVD Debut Of The Horror Network

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Wild Eye Releasing will be serving up scares aplenty on Oct. 27 — to get you into that Halloween spirit — with the DVD debut of The Horror Network.

This anthology collection features five tales of terror and they’ve been arranged in such a way as to first put the viewer on edge and then to progressively turn up the scare meter all the way up to ten (and beyond)!

The first segment, titled 3:00 AM and directed by Lee Matthews, focuses on Georgia (Charlotte Armstrong), a young woman who is clearly on edge to begin with, is awakened in the middle of the night to a series of nuisance phone calls.  She’s alone and the strange calls are unsettling, but there is something more sinister going within the walls of her dwelling.

This introduction builds atmosphere …  3:00 AM is a warm up!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Next comes Edward, directed by Joseph Graham, and featuring Nick Frangione as a disturbed patient with Artem Mishin as Dr. Aleksey, his therapist.  It’s a one-on-one session, with the patient terrified and confused over recent events in his life, while his doctor works hard to uncover the reasons for his patient’s stress.   It’s a cautionary tale … perhaps some secrets need to remain just that, secrets.

Nerves!  If you want nerves on edge, then look no further than the hearing-impaired plight of Alice (Jenni-Lea Finch).   She stars in The Quiet, which shows how quickly a daily routine — in this case, the school bus ride — can come unglued and take one step by step into an alien world of terror.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Fourth in line is director Manuel Marin’s Merry Little Christmas, which is not at all “merry,” but it is a visual — very creepy — feast.   

And last we come to the most disturbing of all, director Brian Dorton's The Deviant One.   They say that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to creepy neighbors that reek of serial killer mannerisms, perhaps it is best to just say “hi” and decline that invitation to come over to spend some quality time.   

The Deviant One, the finale´ to The Horror Network is cringe-worthy and nightmare inducing … and as a bonus, there is an “Extended Cut” (no pun intended) available as a viewing option!

Director Gil Kenan's Remake Of Poltergeist Heads To DVD And Blu-ray From 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment On Sept. 29

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment used the backdrop of this year’s Comic-Con gathering to announce street dates for genre-themed in the studio’s current inventory that are destined for the DVD and Blu-ray market place in the coming months.

First to get a spot on the release calendar at Comic-Con is director Gil Kenan’s remake of Poltergeist, which has been handed marching orders for a Sept. 29 delivery to home entertainment as a three-SKU product offering.    These will be a stand-alone DVD edition, plus two Blu-ray SKUs — one with and one without a 3D viewing (premium for the 3D viewing option is ten bucks).

The ARR is 130 days and ticket sales were $47.1 million.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyBonus features that were revealed pre-convention consist of an extended cut (Blu-ray exclusive) and deleted scenes.  

The horror continues, literally, with the Oct. 6 release on both DVD (a four-disc set) and Blu-ray (three discs) editions of American Horror Story: The Complete Fourth Season … several featurettes will be included.

The studio didn’t stop there.   20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment teased a restored, special edition Blu-ray of Edward Scissorhands — the film will be marking its 25th anniversary.  The gift set will include collectible items and new bonus footage … the date is not set yet.

Also from 1990 and celebrating its 25th anniversary is Home Alone.   A collection featuring all five films in a limited collectible paint can container, with a slew of bonuses, was also being hyped during Comic-Con (street date forthcoming).
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Continuing with the collection theme, Oct. 13 marks the street date for the Die Hard collection, which will be packaged in a replica of Nakatomi Plaza.  It is titled the Nakatomi Plaza: Die Hard Collection and includes all five films on Blu-ray, with a bonus disc — “Decoding Die Hard” — five villain collectible cards and a 32-page behind-the-scenes booklet.

Lastly, Fox used Comic-Con to announce the third season of the History Channel series Vikings.  DVD and Blu-ray editions of Vikings: The Complete Third Season will be available on Oct. 6.   

The Blu-ray collection will include “extended versions” of all ten episodes and comes with the exclusive interactive feature titled, “The Guide to the Gods,” and two episode commentaries.    

Additionally, both the DVD and Blu-ray SKUs include a trio of featurettes — “Athelstan’s Journal,” “Heavy is the Head: The Politics of King Ragnar’s Rule” and “A City Under Siege: Creating and Attacking Paris.”

Universal Studios Home Entertainment Tabs Sept. 29 For DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of Grimm: Season Four

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Universal Studios Home Entertainment used this year’s Comic-Con convention to promote its selected Sept. 29 release date for both DVD and Blu-ray editions of Grimm: Season Four.

All 22 shape-shifting episodes will be available as either five-disc Blu-ray or five-disc DVD collections, with the Blu-ray SKU featuring UltraViolet.  

Bonus features include a gag reel, deleted scenes and a pair of production featurettes — “A Morphed Reality: Behind the Scenes of Grimm” and “Set Tour with Jacqueline Toboni” — with a “Grimm Guide” exclusive to the Blu-ray edition.