Thursday, March 3, 2016

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger Upstaged By Disney Store Apr. 5 Pre-Orders For DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions Of Director J. J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The cat is out the bag as to the street date for the biggest grossing film of all time … and it appears to be the result of a breakdown in communication among the various operating groups within the Walt Disney Studios organization.  

The release date will be Apr. 5 for director J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

The ARR works out to 109 days and domestic ticket sales currently stand at an out-of-this-world $926 million. 

Planned for release on that first street-date Tuesday in April will be a stand-alone DVD edition and a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.   As of this time, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has not announced any plans for supporting the newly launched 4K Ultra HD format, but this would be a very obvious candidate to get that ball rolling.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Here’s how the home entertainment group was blindsided by their online cousins at the Disney Store.   If you go to and after the site loads, just click on “products” and then click on “movies” … and voila!   Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is available to pre-order with a ship date of Apr. 5.

Since such news travels at the speed of light, the Stars Wars community was all over that offer in a matter of milliseconds.   And since the world of home entertainment is an extremely competitive one, it was only a matter of moments before other online retailers quickly jumped into the pre-order frenzy. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Target, for example, began immediately taking pre-orders for an Apr. 5 ship date with an offer of “exclusive packaging.” 

All of this took place before the PR machine over at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment could generate an official announcement.

That official announcement was made at noon eastern time (9:00AM on the west coast) on Thursday, March 3, which confirmed both the SKU configuration and the street date of Apr. 5.    

This announcement was timed to allow Disney CEO Bob Iger the opportunity to reveal the home entertainment release date to the company’s stockholders at the annual meeting in Chicago — you have to wonder if Mr. Iger’s office will be having a little chat with those at the Disney Store for stealing a bit of his thunder.

Bonus features include a documentary titled Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey, seven production featurettes — “The Story Awakens: The Table Read,” “Building BB-8,” “Crafting Creatures,” “Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight,” “John Williams: The Seventh Symphony,” “ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force” and “Force For Change” — plus deleted scenes.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Paramount Home Media To Release DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions Of Writer/Director Sean Anders' Daddy's Home On Mar. 22

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media has selected Mar. 22 as the street date for both DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions of writer/director Sean Anders’ smash comedy hit, Daddy’s Home.

The ARR is a sizzling fast 88 days to market and domestic box office receipts were a rockin’ $147.7 million.

2015 was a good year for Will Ferrell on the comedy front.   Both Get Hard and Daddy’s Home were commercial successes — although the critics tended to lambast both films (heck, what do they know … funny is funny).   Ferrell is either very good, or “disappointing,” but this second teaming with Mark Wahlberg left no doubt that they are a winning combination (The Other Guys pulled in $170 million during its theatrical run back in the summer of 2010).

As to bonus goodies, they are all exclusive to the Blu-ray SKU.   Look for deleted and extended scenes, a blooper reel and seven featurettes — “The Making of Daddy’s Home,” “Daddy-Off,”  “Daddy Daughter Dance,” “Halftime Stunt,” “Tony Hawk: Skater Double,” “Child’s Play” and “Hannibal Buress: The Perfect Houseguest.”

Daddy’s Home is not the only new DVD selections added to the release calendar by Paramount Home Media this past week.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Apr. 26 marks the farewell to Betty White and her friends with the three-disc release of Hot in Cleveland: Season Six, which is also being presented as a 17-disc all-in collection — Hot in Cleveland: The Complete Series.

May 3 will see the DVD release of Nickelodeon’s Let's Learn: S.T.E.M. (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math), Volume 2, which includes six fun-filled episodes from Nick’s popular kid-friendly series — Blaze and the Monster Machines, PAW Patrol, Team Umizoomi, Dora the Explorer, Blue's Clues and Bubble Guppies.

And speaking of Molly, Gil and friends — the Bubble Guppies — May 10 is the street date for Nickelodeon’s latest, Bubble Guppies: Fun on the Farm — featuring five adventures — “Have a Cow!,” “The Bubble Bee-athalon!,” “Bubble Kitty,” “The Spring Chicken is Coming” and “The Cowgirl Parade.”

Also streeting on May 10 is the double-disc Comedy Central presentation of Jim Gaffigan Show: Season One, plus full-series DVD releases of Have Gun Will Travel: The Complete Series (a 35-disc collection) and Untouchables: The Complete Series (a 31-disc set).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Vinegar Syndrome Restores Director Carlos Tobalina's 1969 Sexploitation Classic Infrasexum For DVD On Mar. 29

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
OMG, this sort of thing doesn’t happen everyday of the week.   So here it is, Vinegar Syndrome has not only found the original 35mm camera negative to actor, writer and director Carlos (aka: Troy Benny) Tobalina’s 1969 sexploitation gem, Infrasexum, but they’ve gone and made a 2K restoration of the film.   

The debut date on DVD for this lost sexploitation classic — yes, it is a classic in that was shot on 35mm (if you haven’t seen director Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights, then you might not understand why this is a big deal) —will be Mar. 29.

Hollywood International Pictures handled the theatrical distribution of the film during the summer of 1969 and, as legend has it, was so concerned that they’d get busted for distributing porn, they went out and pulled a page right out of the playbook of filmmaker and publicity generator William Castle and had patrons sign a release form declaring that they were, among other things, “of legal age,” fully aware that “the film is for adults only” and, get this, “I am not a person who would be offended or displeased by seeing sex acts on the screen, and I promise not to complain about witnessing such acts.”  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIt’s 1969, a hot summer evening, the marquee says INFRASEXUM (in those big plastic red letters), the theatrical poster screams “The Ultimate in Adult Entertainment!” and before you can enter the theatre you have to sign a release form stating that you will not be offended or displeased by seeing sex acts on the screen.   Who could say no to that!!!  

With such promotional credentials — and “historical” underpinnings — who can possibly say no to Vinegar Syndrome’s Infrasexum on DVD on Mar. 29, especially with Maria Tia (a Tobalina regular during the early 70s — I Am Curious Tahiti, The Last Tango in Acapulco, Affaire in Rio de Janeiro, etc.) and The Stewardesses’ Janet Waas as members of this well-endowed cast.

Wild Eye Releasing Tabs May 10 As The DVD Debut Date For Writer/Director Mike Reeping's Futuristic Active Shooters

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Wild Eye Releasing announced this past week that writer/director Mike Reeping’s mixed-genre futuristic thriller, Active Shooters, will be making its DVD debut on May 10.

In the not-too-distant future a major city has descended into a state of anarchy, driven by corruption and greed.  Gangs rule the streets and virtually no one in authority — in our unnamed metropolis — can be trusted, including those employed to “serve and protect.”  

That’s your set-up … the remnants of civilization are there, but things on the street are rapidly devolving into chaos.   So how does one go about bringing down the “Mr. Big” that is profiting from all of this?   Simple, fight chaos with chaos of course!

Imagine Blade Runner, but only with a dimmer view of the future, but not quite to the point of New York City as envisioned by John Carpenter back in 1981 with Escape from New York.   Clearly, filmmaker Mike Reeping knows these legendary cityscapes quite well as they are the inspiration for the creation of his dystopian metropolis.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It is here that we are introduced to four seedy brothers (scruffy musketeers, if you will), who are the equivalent of the “Orphans” from The Warriors.   So low in the pecking order of things that no respectable gang would have them as members, which makes them the perfect recruits to uncover the identity of who is behind all of the drugs, the murders and the corruption.

The brothers are Jayson (Tom Reeping), Elliot (Jesse-Lee Lafferty), Jesse (played by director Mike Reeping) and the mysterious Eddie, who fancies himself a ninja. They are perfect; unlikely to be moles … and they are expendable. 

Dealt the same fate as Snake Plissken (Escape from New York), the four brothers are injected with bio time bombs and given their assignment (an assignment with no restrictions) and then it is tick, tick, tick … solve the mystery or die!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The production values in Active Shooters belie the budget as filmmaker Mike Reeping cleverly uses green screen and composite shots that have been seamlessly blended in post-production — the future is not pretty, but it is very detailed!   

An excellent example of this creative filmmaking is the alluring KateLynn Newberry (Meltdown, Rachel's 9th Inning, etc.), who has been “replicated” again and again as a robot hooker (think: Daryl Hannah as Pris from Blade Runner) who figures prominently in the story.

Arrow Video Sets Apr. 19 For A Restore Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Edition Of Auteur Filmmaker Larry Cohen's The Stuff

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Arrow Video, with sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has tabbed Apr. 19 as the release date for a newly prepared 2K restoration — from the original camera negative — of auteur filmmaker Larry Cohen’s 1985 “what’s eating you” sci-fi treasure, The Stuff.

Larry Cohen is a cult icon to film fans.  He could do blaxploitation with the best of them (Black Caesar, Hell Up in Harlem), but his real claim to fame has been his horror and sci-fi gems, which include the It’s Alive trilogy and two very special films with Michael Moriarty (they would ultimately team for four, plus an episode of Anchor Bay Entertainment’s Masters of Horror anthology series) during the early 1980s.   Q (aka: Q: The Winged Serpent) was the first in 1982, and The Stuff followed in 1985.

Moriarty is an ice cream “hit man” named Mo, who has been recruited by members of an ice cream cartel to find out who is behind a new brand called “The Stuff,” a frothy concoction that is sweet, filling and yet has no calories.   It’s killing ice cream sales!

With the help of a kid (Scott Bloom) and Mo’s main squeeze, Nicole (Andrea Marcovicci), he discovers that “The Stuff” is a parasite that turns those who eat too much of it (which is pretty much everyone since it is addictive) into crazed zombies who are eventually just an empty skin suit.   
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

They discover its origin, plot to destroy it … but there an unseen betrayal in the works that could keep “The Stuff” in circulation well after its expiration date!!

Bonus nuggets include a making-of featurette titled “Can’t Get Enough of The Stuff” and a documentary on the film featuring writer/director Larry Cohen, producer Paul Kurta, f/x guru Steve Neill and actress Andrea Marcovicci.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment Sets April Blu-ray And DVD Dates For The Forest; Ride Along 2 And Krampus

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Universal Studios Home Entertainment was very busy this past week with announcements for not one, but three recent box office successes that will making their way from your local multiplex to the home entertainment market place.

Leading the hit parade is director Jason Zada’s horror chiller, The Forest, which arrives as separate Blu-ray and DVD product offerings on Apr. 12 (VOD is on Mar. 22).

The ARR works out to 95 days and ticket sales during the film’s domestic theatrical run came to $26.4 million.

Bonus goodies include commentary from filmmaker Jason Zada, storyboards and the featurette titled “Exploring The Forest.”

Two weeks later, Apr. 26, Universal will be back with both Ride Along 2 and Krampus.   Planned for both films are Blu-ray and DVD SKUs.

Director Tim Story’s Ride Along 2, re-teaming Ice Cube with Kevin Hart, pulled in a solid $86.5 million and arrives at retail with an ARR of 102 days.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Bonus features include commentary from filmmaker Tim Story (Ride Along, Taxi, Fantastic Four, etc.), deleted scenes, a gag reel and four production featurettes — “Ride Along With Us,” “Behind the Scenes of Ride Along With Us,” “Kevin & Cube: Brothers-In-Law” and “Inside Black Hammer Vision.”

Running in tandem to retail with Ride Along 2 on Apr. 26 is writer/director Michael Dougherty’s tongue-in-cheek seasonal horror treat, Krampus … DVD and Blu-ray editions are in the works.

The ARR is 144 days and ticket sales during the Christmas holidays were an impressive $42.7 million.

Bonus features for Krampus include commentary from filmmaker Michael Dougherty (Trick 'r Treat), who is joined by co-writers Todd Casey and Zach Shields, alternate, deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel and the featurette titled “The Naughty Ones: Meet The Cast.”

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment Moves The Revenant To Home Entertainment — Including Day/Date For 4K Ultra HD — On Apr. 19

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Within an hour of the end of the dreadful 88th annual Oscar award gathering, 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment announced that The Revenant — which, quite surprisingly, failed to win Best Picture honors — would be making its DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD debut on Apr. 19.

Yes, that’s correct, Apr. 19, which includes a day-date release of the newly-launched 4K Ultra HD format (likely a Blu-ray combo pack).   

The ARR comes in at 116 days and domestic ticket sales currently stand at a solid $165.2 million.

There’s no reason to continue with a theatrical run as no one much cares about a Best Actor win for Leonardo DiCaprio — and his views on global warming — or another Oscar for Alejandro Iñárritu.   They likely were worthy of them, but these trinkets are not the sort of things that drive ticket sales.  

As to bonus features, it appears that a documentary titled “A World Unseen” is the only extra being provided by 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment … and that is limited to the Blu-ray SKU.

4K Ultra HD Format Arrives As Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Jumps The Gun With Early Launch

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, with little to no fanfare, appears to have jumped the Mar. 1 launch date of the new studio-backed 4K Ultra HD format with the Feb. 23 release of the previously announced quartet of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Chappie, Hancock and Salt.    

Plus there are two late arrivals to the mix, Pineapple Express and The Smurfs 2.  

All six releases are 4K/Blu-ray Combo Packs and the SRP for each is marked at $35.99.

As reported in last week’s edition of the DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will be releasing writer/director Peter Landesman’s Concussion as a 4K/Blu-ray Combo Pack on a day-and-date basis with the DVD and Blu-ray editions on Mar. 29. is also listing all ten of 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment’s initial 4K Ultra HD product offerings as being available as of Feb. 23, but the Fox Connect retail website continues to show the availability as Mar. 1.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Of note, also listed at the Fox Connect website, and confirmed by 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment, is the addition of a 4K/Blu-ray Combo Pack edition of director Steve Martino’s The Peanuts Movie.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThe street date is Mar. 8, which corresponds to the debut of DVD and two Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack SKUs (one with and one without a 3D viewing option).   The Peanuts Movie thus becomes the first day/date release for the new 4K Ultra HD, eclipsing Sony’s Concussion by three weeks.

Both Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Lionsgate Home Entertainment confirmed within the past few days that Mar. 1 will also be the availability date for their initial 4K Ultra HD product selections.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment is going with Ender's Game, The Expendables 3, The Last Witch Hunter and Sicario, while Warner Bros. Home Entertainment comes to the 4K Ultra HD party with The Lego Movie, Mad Max: Fury Road, Pan and San Andreas.

Norm Of The North On DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack From Lionsgate Home Entertainment On Apr. 19

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Assemblage Entertainment animated production of Norm of the North, with direction by Trevor Wall, will be getting a DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack push from Lionsgate Home Entertainment on Apr. 19.

The ARR for this tale of a polar bear named Norm (voiced by Rob Schneider), who head to the Big Apple to thwart an Arctic development scheme, works out to 95 days and the domestic box office haul was a disappointing $16.7 million.

Bonus features include deleted scenes, a trivia game, a featurette — “That's Funny!” — and a sing-along titled “Do the Arctic Shake!”