Displaying items by tag: Digital Entertainment Group

What a way to follow-up my state of the home video industry report circa CES 2020 yesterday!

The news is breaking this morning that Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures are going to be merging their physical media distribution operations. The combined venture will distribute Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD discs in North America over the next decade, beginning in early 2021.

The merger will first have to be approved by the United States Justice Department.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment president Eddie Cunningham will lead the new venture. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got some news and more perspective on CES and the state of physical media here at the start of 2020. But first, we have more new Blu-ray reviews for you...

First of all, Dennis provides another perspective on Todd Phillips’ Joker on BD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. He seems to have liked it a little more than I did. Do check out his thoughts.

Dennis has also turned in a look at Aaron Schimberg’s Chained for Life on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

And Tim has a review of Richard Franklin’s Road Games (1981), now available in a new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Scream Factory.

Speaking of Scream, the company has just announced that their forthcoming Blu-ray Collector’s Edition of My Bloody Valentine is going to include new 4K scans of both the original theatrical edition and also the Uncut version mastered from the original camera negative. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’re closing out the week with a trio of interesting stories... all of which have a long shadow.

First up is a report, from the Motion Picture Association of America, that reveals a shocking 50% decline in global physical media sales over the last five years. The market data comes from both the DEG (Digital Entertainment Group) and IHS Markit. The drop is in dollar amount, from $25.2 billion in 2014 to just $13.1 in 2018. And there is no sign whatsoever that physical 4K Ultra HD or any kind of 8K Blu-ray format is going to recover those losses. 4K, though popular with enthusiasts, is just 5.3% of current physical disc sales (regular DVD still accounts for nearly 60% of all disc sales worldwide). You can download the report here in PDF format.

This disc decline aside, overall home entertainment spending was up 16% last year, and the difference seems to be not individual digital media sales but rather cable subscriptions and subscriptions to online streaming services. The latter is obviously expected to continue growing in the years ahead, with Disney+, AppleTV+, and AT&T/WarnerMedia all launching new services. [Read on here...]

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We’ve got a couple things for you today, starting with a new batch of Blu-ray reviews...

First up is Tim’s take on Steve Mitchell’s King Cohen documentary from La-La Land Entertainment, along with his look at John Landis’ Schlock from Arrow Video. It continues with Jason’s take on Molly from Artsploitation Films and David’s thoughts on Welcome to the Dollhouse from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Now then... while we’re talking Blu-ray discs, we’re getting the first reports from Bits readers that their Revenge of the Creature/The Creature Walks Among Us replacement discs are starting to arrive from Universal, replacing the identical defective discs in their Universal Classic Monsters 30-Film Collection and Creature from the Black Lagoon: Complete Legacy Collection Blu-ray sets. So if you’ve requested a replacement from the studio (via the instructions we’ve posted at the end of those reviews) keep an eye on your mail, folks. [Read on here...]

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We’ve got another Blu-ray review for you today from Tim: A look at Warner Archive’s new Blu-ray release of Freebie and the Bean. You can find that here.

We’ve also updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. You’ll find that here.

Meanwhile, the big news today is that Criterion has just announced their April Blu-ray release slate, which is set to include Leo McCarey’s The Awful Truth (Cat #917 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Sergei Parajanov’s The Color of Pomegranates (Cat #918 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 4/17, and Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides (Cat #920 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Jim Jaramusch’s Dead Man (Cat #919 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 4/24. They’re also releasing Eclipse Series 46: Ingrid Bergman’s Swedish Years on DVD on 4/10, including The Count of the Old Town (1935), Dollar (1938), Intermezzo (1936), Walpurgis Night (1935), A Woman’s Face (1938), and June Night (1940). [Read on here…]

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We’re kicking things off today with more new disc reviews. Tim has turned in his thoughts on Scream Factory’s new RoboCop 2: Collector’s Edition and RoboCop 3: Collector’s Edition, both well worth a look on Blu-ray. I’ve also added my thoughts on Justin Kurzel’s Assassin’s Creed in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format from 20th Century Fox. It’s a better film than I expected and, more importantly, it’s an absolutely reference-quality 4K release. So if you’ve upgraded to the format, you definitely don’t want to miss it.

Now then, as expected, the FedEx man just showed up at the door with all four of Warner’s new Harry Potter 4K titles, as well as Fantastic Beasts 4K, and the BBC’s Planet Earth II 4K. So I’m going to dive right in and start reviewing those ASAP. Watch for them to be posted starting tomorrow. There are not enough hours in the day, let me tell you. [Read on here…]

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All right, we’re closing out the week at CES 2017 with a couple of additional bits of 4K and industry-related news.

But first, Disney and Marvel have just officially announced the Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo, Digital SD, DVD, and On-Demand release of Doctor Strange on 2/28. The Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere release is expected on 2/14. Extras on the Blu-ray versions will include audio commentary by director Scott Derrickson, 5 deleted scenes (Strange Meets Daniel Drumm, Kaecilius Searches for Answers, The Kamar-Taj Courtyard, Making Contact, and Lost in Kathmandu), 5 featurettes (A Strange Transformation, Strange Company, The Fabric of Reality, Across Time and Space, and The Score-cerer Supreme), a Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look, the Team Thor: Part 2 spoof (with Thor and his roommate, Darryl), and a gag reel. The Blu-rays will feature 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Per Disney tradition, the digital release will also include its own exclusive featurette (Through the Keyhole: The Science of the MCU). You can see the cover artwork for the Blu-ray versions left and below.  [Read on here…]

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[Editor’s Note: Be sure to follow us on Twitter @thedigitalbits @BillHuntBits and on Facebook here and here. And you can help support The Bits by pre-ordering Blu-rays and other items from Amazon through this link.]

All right, folks… today’s column here at The Digital Bits is going to be a long one, filled with no small amount of nostalgia.

The reason is this: Today marks the official 10th Anniversary of the Blu-ray Disc format. The first seven Blu-ray titles (from Sony, MGM, and Lionsgate) appeared in stores on this day back in 2006 (as it happens, 6/20/06 was a Tuesday). They included 50 First Dates, The Fifth Element, Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, xXx, Underworld: Evolution, and The Terminator. The first set-top Blu-ray player – Samsung’s BD-P1000 (SRP $999) – had been expected to street on 6/25, but actually arrived in stores on 6/19, just in time for the Tuesday software debut. Here at The Bits, I got my hands on the player and four titles that day – The Fifth Element, The Terminator, Lord of War, and Crash (those last two officially went on sale the following week).  [Read on here…]

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[Editor’s Note: Be sure to follow us on Twitter @thedigitalbits @BillHuntBits and on Facebook here and here. And you can help support The Bits by pre-ordering Blu-rays and other items from Amazon through this link.]

All right, I’m still working on that 4K coverage. The delay is not from lack of effort, I assure you. Samsung recently updated the UBD-K8500 player’s firmware, so I’ve been working to see what the result is in terms of player performance.

Meanwhile, we do have some great new 4K and Blu-ray news for you today: 20th Century Fox has just officially announced the 6/7 Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Ridley Scott’s The Martian: Extended Edition (the SRP appears to be $39.99 for either BD or 4K).  [Read on here…]

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[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

All right, I’ve finally had a week or so to process my experience of Ultra HD Blu-ray at CES 2016, so I wanted to offer a few thoughts and insights on it all – perspective filtered through my 20 years of experience working in and around this industry here at The Bits.  [Read on here…]

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