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.
Target's 'Chappie' Steelbook
Retailers offered a few exclusives for the June 16 Blu-ray release of Sony Pictures' 'Chappie.'
Target offered the sci-fi film with a steelbook Blu-ray case.
Best Buy offered Chappie with an exclusive bonus disc containing a featuring deconstructing the action scenes with the visual effects team. Best Buy also offered a deal in which those who bought a PlayStation 4 could get the Chappie Blu-ray and a digital copy of The Order: 1886 for free.
Walmart had the exclusive DVD of the family film The Secret Handshake, starring Kevin Sorbo and Amy Grant.
Best Buy's 'Kingsman' with comic book
The retail focus among the June 9 new releases was all on Fox's Kingsman: The Secret Service. The espionage actioner landed on shelves with an assortment of offers to entice consumers.
Best Buy's exclusive cornered the collectible market, offering the Kingsman Blu-ray with a pack-on version of the comic book upon which the film is based.
Walmart offered Kingsman with a free copy of the movie Chronicle, redeemable through the Vudu digital movie service.
Target offered shoppers the chance to buy a select DVD for $1 with the purchase of Kingsman. Users of Target's Cartwheel app could also save an additional 10% on the film on DVD or Blu-ray.
Among other titles, Target offered Magnolia's Serena with a bonus DVD containing cast interviews, alternate scenes and more.
Best Buy offered a selection of Universal Blu-rays with $7.50 in movie cash for Jurassic World in theaters.
Walmart offered the exclusive DVD of Thomas & Friends: Whale of a Tale & Other Sodor Adventures, which is widely available digitally.
Fans of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water had plenty of options for retail exclusives when the title hit shelves June 2.
Target offered the Sponge Out of Water Blu-ray combo pack (not 3D) with "Invincibubble" packaging and a removable bubble wand, plus free popcorn and juice at the Target Café.
Best Buy offered the Sponge 2D Blu-ray with a "SpongeBob" beach ball, while Walmart offered the Blu-ray in a gift set with pez dispensers.
Best Buy offered a $10 gift card with the purchase of Sony Pictures' Justified: The Final Season along with any previous season. Target offered the DVD of the final season, as well as DVDs of earlier seasons, with exclusive box art.
Target also offered an exclusive steelbook edition with special artwork of the first season of HBO's True Detective.
Walmart offered early availability of the DVD of Alchemy's Welcome to Me, starring Kristen Wiig, for $12.94. The title won't be widely available until June 16.
Where's the 'Sons of Liberty' Blu-ray at retail?
Slow weeks for new disc releases, such as May 26, give retailers a chance to step back and push older titles, though they also call attention to the short shrift given to new titles that aren't major hits or recipients of wide media coverage.
Other than Universal's Seventh Son, availability of some of the other new titles was spotty at the major retailers. Most of the new titles were available in some format or another, but among the brick-and-mortar stores only Best Buy offered the Blu-ray version for most of the new titles. In fact, Best Buy's weekly ad circular doesn't even list prices for new titles other than the Blu-ray version. The exception this week, strangely, was Lionsgate's Sons of Liberty, which received only a DVD mention in Best Buy's weekly ad.
Likewise, Target shelves had only the DVD version of Sons of Liberty.
Walmart, on the other hand, had only the DVD versions for most of its new releases on shelves, a disappointing trend for the top retailer of physical media. It certainly doesn't help grow the perception of Blu-ray beyond a niche, prestige format if half the potential shopping base is never exposed to the possibility of buying the Blu-ray version. There's a reason Blu-ray enthusiasts will generally steer clear of Walmart unless seeking out a specific exclusive.
Best Buy spent a lot of its ad space promoting preorders, this week focusing on Sony Pictures' Chappie with exclusive content and Paramount's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water with an exclusive beach ball.
Single-disc 'American Sniper' DVD at Walmart
Retailers offered a few modest exclusives to lure buyers of Warner's American Sniper on disc upon its release May 19.
Best Buy offered exclusive box art and the exclusive featurette "Bringing the War Home: The Cost of Heroism," available via the CinemaNow digital streaming service.
Target offered an exclusive steelbook case of the Blu-ray combo pack, while Walmart offered a single-DVD edition with special box art and no bonus features, instead of the widely available two-disc DVD special edition, which Walmart has done before on Warner titles. Again, by not offering the widely available edition, some Walmart shoppers might be picking up the DVD without ever realizing there is another version available with bonus material they might want to see at a comparable price.
Walmart's website also included the wrong box art for its exclusive DVD edition.
Target offered Orange Is the New Black: Season Two with an exclusive “Glamour in the Slammer” featurette. Best Buy offered a $10 savings with the disc purchase of both seasons of "Orange Is the New Black."
Best Buy also offered $5 pizza coupons with the purchase of select TV DVD titles, and a buy-one-get-one deal on select Blu-rays offered at $9.99 each.
Target's 'Fifty Shades of Grey' gift set
As Universal's Fifty Shades of Grey entered its first full week, retailers continued to make it their top promotional focus even among the May 12 new releases.
Best Buy offered a steelbook case with the Fifty Shades Blu-ray combo pack, while Target presented a deluxe-edition Blu-ray gift set with 30 minutes of additional bonus content and a journal and pen set. Target also had a Blu-ray combo pack with just the 30-minutes of exclusive extras without the journal.
Walmart had the Fifty Shades combo pack with an exclusive photo book and box art.
Fox’s Taken 3 may as well have been the only notable new release as far as the retailers were concerned April 21, which might be why the weekly ad circulars were more focused on selling catalog titles and promoting preorders for future hits.
While Taken 3 didn’t come with any retail exclusives, Best Buy did push its Blu-ray preorder for Warner’s American Sniper by offering exclusive bonus content when the title arrives May 19.
Target is offering a $5 gift card with preorders for Cinderella, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and Paddington at Target.com/preorder.
As is typical for DC Universe animated movie releases, Batman vs. Robin arrived April 14 with several retail exclusives.
However, the pattern usually associated with exclusives surrounding the DC titles changed slightly. First, Warner offered a wide-release version of a Blu-ray gift pack with a character figurine, usually reserved for a Best Buy exclusive. As a result, Best Buy spruced up its version of the gift pack, offering a Digital HD copy of Batman: Under the Red Hood and a digital comic book of Batman #1.
Target offered the Blu-ray combo pack in a steelbook case, while Walmart, which usually offers a DVD special edition of such titles, had no exclusive.
Target also touted preorders for American Sniper at Target.com/preorder, offering a Blu-ray steelbook case and a guarantee for guests to pay a lower price if the cost drops before the title is released.
Walmart's 'Interstellar' gift set
The only March 31 release with any notable exclusive promotion at the major retail chains was Paramount’s Interstellar.
Walmart offered a special gift set of the Christopher Nolan-directed sci-fi film, containing special packaging and a 48-page booklet.
Target offered exclusive steelbook packaging, while Best Buy offered exclusive bonus content — a half-hour panel discussion with Nolan and the cast.
New Blu-ray copies of the film at all locations included a special collectible Imax film cel containing a scene from the film.
'101 Dalmatians II' Blu-ray exclusive to Target
Target March 17 had exclusive availability of the Blu-ray version of Disney's animated sequel 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure. The 2003 film was a direct-to-video follow-up to the 1961 animated classic, and the new Blu-ray is timed as a companion to the "Diamond Edition" release of the original film earlier this year. The London Adventure Blu-ray was advertised in Target's weekly ad circular for $17.99 and upon its release was available only in stores and not listed on Target's website.
Among the other new releases, DreamWorks Animation’s Penguins of Madagascar received the most attention. All the retailers sold the special packaging configurations with wind-up penguin toys, though only Walmart varied the price.
Best Buy offered a $7.99 Penguins lunchbox, though lowered the price to $4.99 when purchased at the same time as a Penguins disc.
Target offered the Blu-ray combo pack with the exclusive featurette “Are You Smarter Than a Penguin?”
For Fox’s Exodus: Gods and Kings, Best Buy offered the 3D Blu-ray combo pack with 30 minutes of additional footage.
Sony Pictures’ Blu-ray of the Annie remake at Target came with a bonus disc of exclusive extras, plus a $5 savings when the Annie movie was bought at the same time as the soundtrack CD. Target’s version of the soundtrack contained two exclusive songs.
Best Buy touted a Facebook coupon with a $5 savings off the Annie Blu-ray.
Walmart offered the Annie Blu-ray with a plush toy of the dog Sandy.