20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment dropped in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children for delivery to the home entertainment market place on Dec. 13 and that will be that for 2016.
And in doing so turned the page to the 2017 campaign with the announcement this past week of two recent theatrical releases that will be heading home in January. These are not their first product selections for Q1’17 as they were out in November with some long leads for TV-on-DVD collections — Bones: The Complete Eleventh Season arrives on Jan. 3; Sleepy Hallow: The Complete Third Season, same date; and Homeland: The Complete Fifth Season is set for Jan. 10 — but these are their first theatrical titles to get marching orders for early in the New Year.
Streeting first on Jan. 10 is the Nate Turner slave rebellion film, Birth of a Nation, which managed to hit the controversy button not once, but twice on the run-up to its theatrical rollout.
First, the title, which was borrowed from D.W. Griffith’s 1915 racially-charged KKK-themed film, and seemed to be a deliberate and very provocative choice by the film’s star, director and producer, Nate Parker. That decision turned a major chunk of the potential audience off, especially during a very emotional election year.
Next, smack dab in the middle of the promotion of the film — which garnered Oscar-worthy reviews coming out of Sundance — a 1999 rape accusation bubbled to the surface that involved Parker when he was a student at Penn State.
Rape and the controversial title, despite glowing reviews, combined to do the film in — ticket sales were a lackluster $15.9 million.
Birth of a Nation arrives with an ARR of 95 days and is configured as a stand-alone DVD SKU, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.
Bonus features common to all three consumer product choices include commentary from actor/director/producer Nate Parker and documentary filmmaker Bengt Anderson’s feature-length documentary, Rise Up: The Legacy of Nat Turner.
Exclusive to the Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD editions are deleted scenes, two featurettes — “The Birth of a Nation: The Making of a Movement” and “Celebration of Independent Voices” — the short film, #AmeriCAN (with optional commentary) and a spoken word presentation titled “Free God.”
The following week, Jan. 17, director Greg Mottola’s Keeping Up with the Joneses will be hitting retail as a three-SKU product offering — DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.
The ARR is a quick-to-market 88 days and ticket sales for this Zach Galifianakis comedy were a disappointing $14.8 million.
Bonus features are a quartet of deleted scenes and two production featurettes — “Spy Game” and “Keeping Up with Georgia.”