Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment's Downton Abbey Makes Quick Trip Home On July 05

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Once is simply an occurrence.   Twice, perhaps, a coincidence.   When something happens three times in quick order, that’s a trend.

That’s what we have with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment in the post-Covid, return-to-normal theatrical distribution world.   Unless it is a blockbuster, new theatrical releases are being transitioned in 46 days to the home entertainment packaged media marketplace.   This, in order to set up a day/date with the Peacock streaming platform.

This process began in January with the theatrical launch of 355 on Jan. 7.   $14.6 million in ticket sales and 46 days later it heads home.   The same with Redeeming Love, Marry Me, The Northman (which we thought odd since it pulled in $34.1 million), Firestarter (announced last week) and now, this week, director Simon Curtis’ Downton Abbey: A New Era.

A three-SKU product launch has been targeted for July 5, which yields an ARR of just 46 days for a film that has generated $40.4 million in domestic box office receipts.

The moment Downton Abbey: A New Era begins streaming, a pristine master is delivered to pirates to openly compete with the studio’s own DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD product offerings.   Why not give home entertainment a 46-day window as well?

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
In the world of retail, there has traditionally been the mantra of “Promo, Better, Best” distribution.   Best, for the movie-business, is theatrical where each person paying to see the film is accounted for.  

Better, would be packaged media, where each sale is recorded — sure, there could be multiple viewings, but the studio has collected the revenue from each SKU moved into the marketplace.

Finally, Promo, the streaming of the film, which puts it out there for multiple viewings, code sharing and piracy.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
In the publishing world, hard cover, paperback … download.   You simply don’t do it the other-way-around to maximize profits.

It is a fair question.  Will the Peacock streaming service, or for that matter, any studio-based streaming service, lose subscribers if new theatrical releases are delayed 92 days?  

With that said, Downton Abbey: A New Era arrives on July 5 as Combo Pack editions for the 4K Ultra HD (with Blu-ray) and Blu-ray (with DVD) formats, plus a stand-alone DVD purchasing option.

Bonus treats include commentary from director Simon Curtis (The Art of Racing in the Rain, Goodbye Christopher Robin, Woman in Gold, My Week with Marilyn) and a half-dozen featurettes — “Good to be Back,” “Return to Downton Abbey: The Making of a New Era,” “Creating the Film within the Film,” “Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia,” “A Legendary Character” and “Spill the Tea (Time).”



The Criterion Collection Has Revealed Its September Of 2022 Film Restoration Slate • Blow Out Gets 4K Ultra HD Edition On Sept. 06

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The Criterion Collection announced its September slate of new film restorations destined for home entertainment packaged media release during the month, which is toplined by the 4K Ultra HD debut of auteur filmmaker Brian De Palma’s 1981 political cover-up thriller, Blow Out, starring John Travolta and Nancy Allen … blessed with a very creepy performance by John Lithgow.

This 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack edition will be available on Sept. 6.

Bonus nuggets include De Palma’s 1967 film Murder à la Mod with future Phantom of the Paradise star, William Finley, an interview with De Palma hosted by fellow filmmaker Noah Baumbach, a view session with Nancy Allen and tell-all video session with Steadicam operator Garrett Brown.

Also heading home in September from Criterion is director Darius Marder’s 2020 Best Picture nominee, Sound of Metal.   This is another one of those screwy Amazon releases, where it opens theatrically, but Amazon is reluctant to speak about the box office gross.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

For the record it opened on Nov. 20 (on Dec. 4 it began streaming on Amazon) and the estimated box office take was $102,076 … that yields as ARR of 676 days (based on the Criterion street date).

With that said Criterion will be serving up a three-SKU helping on Sept. 27.   Planned for release are stand-alone DVD and Blu-ray editions, along with a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack purchasing option.

Filling out the release calendar are Take Out (Sept. 13, Blu-ray only), Exotica (Blu-ray and DVD) and a Blu-ray edition Le Corbeau (both on Sept. 20) … and arriving on Sept. is Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 4, a six-film collection showcasing the likes of Sambizanga, Prisioneros de la Tierra, Chess of the Wind, Muna Moto, Two Girls on the Street, and Kalpana (this is configured as a 3 Blu-ray/6 DVD Combo Pack).


Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Prepares 4K Ultra HD Edition Of Director Martha Coolidge's Real Genius For Delivery On Sept. 13

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment announced this past week that director Martha Coolidge’s summer of 1985 comedy, Real Genius, has been given a new 4K film restoration (from the original camera negative and approved by filmmaker Martha Coolidge) and will be available as a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack edition on Sept. 13.

Newcomer Val Kilmer stars … this was only his second film appearance, with his iconic performance as Ice in Top Gun to follow in 1986, as Jim Morrison in The Doors in 1991 … Doc Holliday in Tombstone (1993), Batman Forever (as Batman) and Heat (both in 1995) and more, many more, including his return as Ice in the 2022 box office smash, Top Gun: Maverick.

Others in the cast include William Atherton (as Thornburg in Die Hard and Die Hard 2, plus such films as The Day of the Locust, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Ghostbusters, The Pelican Brief, etc.), Gabriel Jarret, Jonathan Gries (Get Shorty, Napoleon Dynamite … as Broots in The Pretender television series), Michelle Meyrink … as Suzi in Coolidge’s Valley Girl) and Patti D'Arbanville (Rancho Deluxe, Big Wednesday … as Lt. Cooper in the New York Undercover TV series).

Bonus features include commentary with director Martha Coolidge, a television cut of the film, the “Balloon Chair” deleted scenes and a montage of outtakes.


Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Names Aug. 09 As The Street Date For Director Michael Mann's Heat As A 4K Ultra HD Release

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has assigned Aug. 9 as the street date for a 4K Ultra HD/2 Blu-ray Combo Pack edition of director Michael Mann’s 1995 epic heist thriller, Heat, starring Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight and The Godfather Part II alumni, Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro.

Bonus features include commentary with Michael Mann, Christopher Nolan’s “Academy Panel” featuring Michael Mann, Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, deleted scenes, the three-part “The Making of Heat” and two additional featurettes — “Pacino and De Niro: The Conversation” and “Return to the Scene of the Crime.”