This past week Universal Pictures Home Entertainment announced street dates for two new theatrical releases that will be heading to the home entertainment marketplace during the month of May.
First up on May 9 is director James Foley’s Fifty Shades Darker, which will be hitting retail outlets as a three-SKU product offering. Consumers — and voyeurs — will be able to choose between 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and DVD editions.
This latest film adaptation in writer E.L. James’ best-selling trilogy arrives with an ARR of 88 days and domestic ticket sales currently stand at $112.9 million (the 2015 release of Fifty Shades of Grey pulled in $166.2 … look for the final installment, Fifty Shades Freed to be in theatres around Valentine’s Day next year).
Dakota Johnson (How to be Single, The Five-Year Engagement, etc.) is back as Anastasia, who decided at the end of Fifty Shades of Grey that Christian (Jamie Dornan) wasn’t quite her cup of tea. She got over that (otherwise there’s no trilogy), but there are new rules … there are also two problems that have surfaced in this connecting episode.
First, publisher Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson) wants in the on the action with Anastasia, and second, a woman named Leila (Bella Heathcote) — a blast from Christian’s past — has become a stalker. How all of these conflicts are to be resolved will certainly play out in Fifty Shades Freed.
Bonus goodies include theatrical and unrated viewing options (an extra 14 minutes worth of footage), deleted scenes, a pair of featurettes — “Writing Darker” and “Dark Reunion” — and a tease for the aforementioned Fifty Shades Freed. Exclusive to the Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD SKUs are four additional production featurettes — “A Darker Direction,” “New Threats,” “The Masquerade” and “Intimate with Darker.”
Also added to the release docket by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment this past week is director Peter Chelsom’s two-planet romantic tale, The Space Between Us.
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and DVD editions will be ready for viewing on May 16. That mid-May street-date Tuesday yields an ARR of 102 days … domestic ticket sales were disappointing at just $7.8 million.
Gardner Elliot (played by Asa Butterfield) is human, but not of this earth. His mother, an astronaut on a mission to Mars, arrived there pregnant and gave birth to him on that very alien planet … it is now 16 years later and, although human, the low gravity of Mars has made him rather frail (lacking bone density).
He returns to Earth, but soon discovers that he cannot survive for long on the planet and sets out on a mission to discover — with the help of a streetwise chatroom teen by the name of Tulsa (Britt Robertson) — who his father is before time runs out.
Bonus goodies include commentary from director Peter Chelsom (Town & Country, Shall We Dance), the featurette titled “Love,” an alternate ending and deleted scenes.