My Two Cents
So... a friend of mine asked me last night on social media what impact the pandemic was having on physical media sales so far this year. Specifically, he wanted to know if there had been any kind of a bump in disc sales resulting from all of the coronavirus lockdowns, what with so many people suddenly forced to stay at home.
I knew, of course, what we’ve been seeing here at The Digital Bits in terms of those trends—also what we’ve been hearing from you guys, our readers, as well as our retail sources. But the question got me thinking. And then I really wanted to know: Do the actual sales numbers reflect our assumptions? Or might something be happening because of the pandemic that’s surprising in terms of physical media sales?
With that in mind, I started digging. Before long, I found myself neck deep in data—actually a pretty good place to be if you really want to get to the bottom of questions like this.
I turned to a pair of sources that are always reliable: The Digital Entertainment Group’s excellent (and quarterly) Home Entertainment Reports, and also Media Play News’ in-house home entertainment market research. [Read on here...]
All right, we’ve got a couple things to report on for you today here at The Digital Bits.
First, European retail sources have begun sending us information suggesting that a trio of additional Paramount catalog titles is on the way to physical 4K Ultra HD later this year, at least in Europe. Those titles are: Collateral (2004), Beverly Hills Cop (1984), and Coming to America (1988). I’ve asked Paramount for confirmation that they’re coming to disc here in the States as well. I’ll post an update here when and if they respond.
Also today, call this one Rumor Mill worthy: MGM’s physical media distribution deal with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment officially expired on 6/30, and word on the street within the industry is that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will now pick up those rights. There’s been no official announcement of this, and as yet no news reporting on it from the other industry trades, but that’s what we’re hearing through the grapevine. More on that as it comes in too. [Read on here...]
We’re rounding out the last weekday before the 4th of July holiday here in the States with just a little bit more release news.
First, an update: Lionsgate’s Ghost in the Shell (1995) 4K Ultra HD release is officially due on 9/2 (SRP $22.99). And it will include Dolby Vision HDR (along with regular HDR10) and Dolby Atmos audio. Pre-orders are just starting to appear around the Net, so we’ll update you here when we have an Amazon.com link and also final cover artwork.
Also, Blue Underground has announced that they plan to release Harry Kümel’s 1971 erotic vampire film Daughters of Darkness on 4K Ultra HD sometime this fall. The package will include the film in 4K and Blu-ray, along with a soundtrack CD. [Read on here...]
Before we get to the headline of today’s post, we have another new Blu-ray review...
Now then, a while back here at The Bits I reviewed with great surprise HBO’s Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season on 4K Ultra HD (you can find that here) and I was really taken aback by how good the upsampled image quality was. It was a genuine revelation.
But then, while HBO did release the final season of Game of Thrones on the format (day and date with the Blu-ray and DVD), that was it. No sign of further seasons in 4K whatsoever. Until now. [Read on here...]
We have a bit more 4K Ultra HD news for you today...
But first, another new disc review: Tim has given Calvin Floyd’s In Search of Dracula (1975) a review on Blu-ray Disc, from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. The film stars Christopher Lee.
Now then, that 4K news... Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially set Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash for release on 4K Ultra HD on 9/22 (SRP appears to be $30.99). Audio will be Dolby Atmos with HDR10 high dynamic range.
Extras will include audio commentary with writer/director Damien Chazelle and J.K. Simmons, An Evening at the Toronto International Film Festival with Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, and Damien Chazelle, Timekeepers: Famous Drummers Discuss Their Craft and Passion for Drumming, the Whiplash Original Short Film with optional commentary, a deleted scene, and the film’s theatrical trailer. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]