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Geared towards comic book and genre fans, Agent DVD Insider scoops DVD and Blu-Ray release announcements and news, along with commentary from industry experts and fellow comic fans.


Agent DVD Insider
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6 Jun, 2017

Exclusives for 'Beauty,' 'Bambi'


Retailers June 6 offered exclusive versions of Disney's Bambi: Signature Collection and live-action Beauty and the Beast.

For Beauty and the Beast, Best Buy offered exclusive Steelbook packaging with the Blu-ray combo pack. The new Bambi Blu-ray came with special lenticular box art.

Target offered special 32-page storybook packaging with the Blu-ray for both.

Walmart offered an exclusive DVD movie called You're Gonna Miss Me, starring John Schneider.

Best Buy offered a sale by which shoppers could save $5 when buying more than $25 of select titles.


30 May, 2017

Walmart Prepping for Dad's Day With Free Can Coolers

Walmart display of "Bromantic Comedies"
Walmart display of "Bromantic Comedies"

Walmart set up a display of DVDs with specially themed Father's Day packaging and a free can cooler. The guy-friendly comedies from Warner ranged from $5.96 to $9.96 and were touted with a sign that said "Celebrate Dad with these 'bromantic' comedies." Titles included Oceans 11-13, We're the Millers, Horrible Bosses 2-Film Collection, Blazing Saddles, Vacation and more. The display took up one end of the usual $9.96/$12.96 kiosk.

Best Buy offered a $5 savings with the purchase of two Blu-ray or DVD collections from a display of select titles.

FOr preorders, Best Buy is offering a Steelbook case with the Blu-ray of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and a lenticular cover with Disney's Bambi: Signature Collection. Both titles will be released June 6.


24 May, 2017

Claws Out for 'Logan' Exclusives

'Logan' Blu-ray exclusives at Target, Walmart and Best Buy
'Logan' Blu-ray exclusives at Target, Walmart and Best Buy

Each of the big three retail chains had its own exclusive Blu-ray edition of Fox's Logan to mark Hugh Jackman's supposedly final bow as Wolverine.

Target offered the Blu-ray with a 36-page "WPONX" photo book for its packaging.

Best Buy offered Steelbook packaging for both the Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray combo packs.

Walmart offered the Blu-ray and UHD editions with nine movie picture cards (one for each film in which Jackman appeared as Wolverine), with the backs of the cards forming part of a larger Logan poster.


18 May, 2017

'James Bond' Lawsuit Tests Boundaries of Common Sense


A so-called James Bond fan has apparently decided to test the patience of the legal system by claiming a boxed set of Bond films was advertised as complete when it really wasn’t.

Plaintiff Mary Johnson filed suit against MGM and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in the state of Washington in April claiming that two DVD/Blu-ray boxed sets — a 50th anniversary collection of 22 films released in 2012 and a 23-film set from 2015 — falsely claimed to include “'All of the Bond films gathered for the first time in this one-of-a-kind box set — every gorgeous girl, nefarious villain and charismatic star from Sean Connery, the legendary actor who started it all.”

That matter now finds itself in the court of U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez, where MGM is seeking a dismissal.

Johnson’s beef apparently is that the boxed sets in question included only the James Bond adaptations produced by EON Productions, the creators of the official Bond films since they debuted with Dr. No in 1962 with Sean Connery as author Ian Fleming’s suave superspy.

Spectre, the 24th EON adventure, was released in 2015 and starred Daniel Craig.

Over the years, various attempts by other producers to cash in on the James Bond phenomenon have popped up. A Bond parody loosely based on Casino Royale was released in 1967, and only because the producers happened to get their hands on the rights to Fleming’s first Bond book before the EON producers came along. A remake of 1965’s Thunderball called Never Say Never Again was released in 1983, and while it was touted as Connery’s return to the role of Bond, EON had nothing to do with it; the producer only had the rights to the story because he had worked with Fleming on a Bond movie project before EON came along, and when that fell through he was subsequently granted the legal right to the elements of that story, which he shopped around hoping to kick-start his own Bond franchise, to no avail.

Neither of these two films was included with the boxed set, to the surprise of no one who would consider themselves a true Bond fan. Various consolidations and legal maneuvers over the years have put these films into the MGM library and EON can basically do what they want with them, but they chose not to include them in the mega-set of Bond films. Understandable, for sure, given their rival status, though it would have been cool for the set to include them, given that those two tend to fall out of print easily and copies can get pricey on the secondary market.

Johnson’s attorney, Alexander Kleinberg, would have the case turn on the definitions of “all” or “every.” But really, let’s look at the heart of the advertising in question — what constitutes a “Bond Film.”

The 1967 Casino Royale, as stated earlier, is a spoof. So what’s its status as a “Bond Film”? Well, the plot involves an older spy named James Bond, played by David Niven, returning to duty only to find that a younger sex maniac (a clear reference to the Connery version of the character) is running around soiling his good name. To foil an evil plot, Niven is given control over the secret service and gives every agent the code name “James Bond” to confuse his enemies. So here, we basically have an admission within the film itself that it’s not a Bond film, as it acknowledges that Niven or anyone else in the film is not meant to be the same character as Connery’s Bond, who is the focus of the “Bond Films.”

So, where does that leave Never Say Never Again, which is more serious in tone and has Connery back as 007? While Connery’s involvement leads many fans to accept the film into their canon, it’s really as much of an anomaly to the franchise as the Casino Royale farce. Again, if we consider that the “Bond Films” are meant to be a portrayal of one character’s timeline, then Never Say Never Again fails to meet that standard. The Bond Connery played is the same person George Lazenby played when Bond got married, and the same character Roger Moore played when he visited Bond’s wife’s grave, and the same person Timothy Dalton played when he referenced his marriage as a pain in his past, etc. Connery’s Never Say Never Again Bond lacks this specific backstory. So Never Say Never Again isn’t so much a “Bond Film” as it is an action movie with a character named James Bond.

Certainly, the Daniel Craig Bond is a reboot of the character, and thus also doesn’t share the backstory of his predecessors. But by then the character rights had unified under EON, who pretty much earned the right to determine what counts as a “Bond Film” and what doesn’t. And obviously, any movie they didn’t make wasn’t going to count.

One of the arguments made by Kleinberg was that the packaging required the purchaser to be a Bond expert to know the two non-EON movies weren’t going to be included. How such a non-Bond fan would similarly even notice the movies not being in the set is anybody’s guess, but I suppose such silly strains on logic are the realm for lawyerly endeavors.

For her part, Johnson is seeking class-action status on the case on behalf of anyone who bought the boxed sets thinking the other two films would be included. She claims that were it not for her belief those two movies would be included based on the labeling, she wouldn’t have paid $106.44 to Amazon.com for the set. Her suit cites legalese about false advertising having cause an “injury” to the plaintiff’s business or property. I suppose they mean she’s out the hundred bucks, although Amazon’s return policies are pretty lenient, so I’m sure she could have just sent the set back for a full refend. Of course, they'd still argue the inconvenience was the injury.

What’s really amusing is how the lawsuit cites both of the boxed sets, as if she bought the first one, didn’t like that it was missing the movies she wanted, and then three years later bought the re-released version with the additional film and still couldn’t figure out what was actually being sold, as if MGM fooled her twice.

Yes, I get she was probably fully aware of what MGM was doing with the sets to begin with and she thinks she’s “standing up for the little guy” against "the big bad corporate studios” and she envisions herself as a hero for all those who fell for MGM’s insidious trap.  But come on, this is beyond ridiculous.

The whole argument is based on what a “reasonable” person would think is in those boxed sets, which MGM’s lawyers pointed out listed the actual included films on the box. In a motion to dismiss MGM argued that “no reasonable purchaser would expect that a box set would contain films that are not included on the list of titles clearly printed on its packaging."

Kleinberg’s arguments against dismissal were filed May 15. The studio's attorney, John Devlin, has also asked the judge to at least deny the case’s class-action status on the grounds that the class definition, which would include anyone who purchased the discs, is "impermissibly overbroad." Naturally, Kleinberg disagreed, wanting the preserve the ability to achieve class certification in a wide variety of false advertising cases.

A hearing on the motion to dismiss is slated for May 26.

The full filing can be found in The Hollywood Reporter’s recounting of the story here.


16 May, 2017

A 'Cage' of Retail Exclusives

Best Buy's 'xXx: Return of Xander Cage' Steelbook cover art
Best Buy's 'xXx: Return of Xander Cage' Steelbook cover art

Several retailer exclusives popped up May 16, including for the week's top new title, Paramount's xXx: Return of Xander Cage.

Target offered the Blu-ray combo pack of the sequel with an exclusive bonus disc containing 30 minutes of additional content.

Best Buy offered Steelbook packaging with both the Blu-ray combo pack and the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

A 3D Blu-ray version of Xander Cage was offered through several retailers' online stores, though that version, which Paramount didn't really announce or promote, wasn't available on physical shelves.

Also drawing some exclusives attention was Warner's re-release of the 2009 direct-to-video animated Wonder Woman to tie into the upcoming live-action theatrical film. Target offered the Blu-ray with Steelbook packaging and Best Buy offered it with character art cards.

Walmart has an exclusive early window on the final season of "Duck Dynasty" on DVD, which won't be widely available until July 25.


9 May, 2017

Retailers Go 'Darker' With Exclusives

'Fifty Shades Darker' exclusives from (L-R) Best Buy, Target and Walmart
'Fifty Shades Darker' exclusives from (L-R) Best Buy, Target and Walmart

Retailers enticed consumers with several options for exclusive editions of Universal's Fifty Shades Darker upon its May 9 home video release.

Target offered the steamy sequel as an "Ultimate Deluxe Edition" Blu-ray, which included wine charms, a wine stopper and napkins, plus 30 minutes of exclusive bonus content. Target also offered the regular Blu-ray with the half-hour of exclusive bonus content. Target set up a 'Fifty Shades' display at the front of stores in a corrugated stand that also touted movies appropriate for Mother's Day.

Walmart's special Blu-ray edition of Fifty Shades Darker came with special packaging containing a photo book.

Best Buy offered the Blu-ray with a Steelbook case.


25 Apr, 2017

The 'La La Land' Retail Waltz

(L-R): Exclusive 'La La Land' covers at Target, Walmart and Best Buy
(L-R): Exclusive 'La La Land' covers at Target, Walmart and Best Buy

The big retail chains gave consumers their choice of three exclusive versions of the Blu-ray for Lionsgate's La La Land, with special box art for each.

Target offered an exclusive three-disc special-edition Blu-ray with 30 minutes of additional content on the third bonus disc. Target also offered a $5 gift card with the purchase of both La La Land on Blu-ray and the film's soundtrack.

Walmart similarly offered a three-disc version of the Blu-ray.

Best Buy offered the Blu-ray with a Steelbook case.

Best Buy also offered Steelbook packaging with the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of Sony Pictures' Underworld: Blood Wars.


18 Apr, 2017

A Bigger Fatter Exclusive

Target 'Teen Titans: The Judas Contract' Steelbook Blu-ray
Target 'Teen Titans: The Judas Contract' Steelbook Blu-ray

Among the few exclusives offered for the April 18 new releases, Walmart had a deal for Universal's new Bigger Fatter Liar DVD.

The direct-to-video film is a follow-up to 2002's Big Fat Liar. Walmart offered a two-pack containing the DVDs of both films.

For Warner's new animated Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, Target offered the regular Blu-ray with Steelbook packaging.

A gift set of Teen Titans containing a figurine was widely available, and curiously seems to have been the only Blu-ray version of the movie offered at Amazon.com upon its debut. The regular Blu-ray was relegated to second-hand Marketplace sellers. Marketplace sellers also had the Steelbook for about $40, almost three times the shelf cost at Target, where the Steelbook mostly sold out quickly.

Walmart had an early release window for Lionsgate's Isolation DVD, which is listed on Amazon as a June 20 wide release.


11 Apr, 2017

'Rogue One' Hangover Leaves Retailers Prepping for Easter

'Hidden Figures' display at Target
'Hidden Figures' display at Target

A week after the mega home video release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, retailers took a step back for the April 11 new releases. While more notable titles were available during the week, overt retailer exclusives were kept at a minimum. About the only spotlight for the new titles was a front-of-store corrugated display for Fox's Hidden Figures at Target.

A week earlier, all the big retailers had exclusive editions of Rogue One. The 3D exclusive editions offered by Target and Best Buy apparently sold out quickly, and a week later only the Walmart exclusive-packaging version of the Disney film was observed still being on shelves in a store check of some Southern California locations.

For Hidden Figures, Fox actually released two configurations of the Blu-ray combo pack. One was a simple Blu-ray case with a Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD code. The other came with a cardboard fold-out slipcover and The History and Inspiration movie companion booklet. According to Internet reports, Amazon shipped the simpler version without the booklet.

In addition, Best Buy offered he slipcover version with an exclusive e-book of the original Hidden Figures book upon which the film is based.

Retailers were more interested in running promotions for Easter tie-ins in the week leading up to the Sunday holiday. Target touted several sales, including big brands such as Disney films and Warner's "Harry Potter." The chain also had family DVDs and Blu-rays priced at $4, $10 and $13 levels

Best Buy didn't offer a weekly ad circular; some weeks it doesn't publish one. The chain did offer a $5 gift card with the purchase of $25 or more on select movies from its family and Easter displays.

Notably, a couple of high-profile HBO shows were released on disc April 11 but weren't seen at most stores. Neither Veep: Season 5 or Silicon Valley: Season 3 were seen at Target or Walmart on DVD or Blu-ray, with the websites for both chains listing the titles as unavailable in stores. A Best Buy in Costa Mesa, Calif., just had the Blu-ray of "Veep," while the Blu-ray for "Silicon Valley" was available only in select stores, according to the Best Buy website.


4 Apr, 2017

'Star Wars' Retail Blitz Centers on 'Rogue One'

(L-R): 'Rogue One' Blu-ray covers at Walmart, Target and Best Buy
(L-R): 'Rogue One' Blu-ray covers at Walmart, Target and Best Buy

Disney's home video release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dominated retail channels April 4, with exclusive versions offered at most of the major chains.

Target even took the opportunity to promote all its "Star Wars" products, devoting a whole page to the franchise in its weekly ad circular. The chain offered coupons for $10 off any "Star Wars" purchase of $50 or more, and $25 off any "Star Wars" purchase of $100 or more. Among the products offered was an exclusive six-inch AT-ACT driver action figure.

Target's exclusive Blu-ray edition of Rogue One included the 3D version of the movie in addition to the Blu-ray combo pack, which included the 2D movie on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. The exclusive packaging came with five interchangeable character covers and a bonus disc containing 10 minutes of exclusive featurettes: "Inside the Creature Shop" and "Digital Storytelling." Fans who preordered this version at Target.com also received a $5 digital gift card.

Best Buy's exclusive edition also included the 3D version as part of a Blu-ray combo pack in a Steelbook case. A Best Buy in Costa Mesa, Calif. was raffling off its Rogue One cardboard display to customers.

Walmart's exclusive Blu-ray had pop-out cover art featuring K-2SO and two Galactic Connexions trading discs.

The Disney store offered exclusive lithographs with preorders of the Rogue One Blu-ray.

Curiously, Amazon took down preorders for Rogue One weeks ago and listed the film as out of stock on its debut day. Availability of other Disney titles, such as Moana, was listed as out of stock or available only through third-party Marketplace sellers, leading to some speculation of a dispute between Disney and Amazon.

Rogue One home video display at Target

 

Rogue One display at Best Buy