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.
Best Buy heavily touted several upcoming releases in its March 9 ad circular, offering 100 My Best Buy bonus points with the advance purchase of several upcoming Blu-rays for $19.99 each. Titles include Sony Pictures’ American Hustle (March 18), Disney’s Frozen (March 18), Paramount’s The Wolf of Wall Street (March 25), Paramount’s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (April 1) and Universal’s Ride Along (April 15).
Best Buy also offered $7 off the e-book of The Book Thief with the purchase of the new Blu-ray of the film version, available from Fox.
Target, which seemed to quickly sell out of its exclusive deluxe Blu-ray editions of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, altered its promotion to give buyers of the film a free six-pack of Pop-Secret popcorn.
For Universal’s new animated film Barbie: The Pearl Princess, Target offered a free Barbie mini doll with the purchase of the film or the transforming Pearl Princess doll.
Walmart had exclusive availability of the Anchor Bay family film Against the Wild.
Target's 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' exclusive set
Any momentum films might have coming after the Oscars will be completely overshadowed by the Friday, March 7, arrival of Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The top-grossing film at the domestic box office from 2013 is receiving huge retail attention and arrives with a variety of exclusives from which consumers can choose.
Walmart is offering special DVD ($19.96) and Blu-ray ($24.96) double features containing Catching Fire with the first film, in addition to standalone copies of the sequel.
Helping to promote the Catching Fire home video release, several Walmarts will host stars from the film at fan events starting at 11 p.m. local time March 6. Actress Willow Shields (who plays Primrose Everdeen in the films) will at a Walmart in Orange, Calif.; Meta Golding (Enobaria) and Bruno Gunn (Brutus) will be at a Walmart in Elgin, Ill.; Stephanie Leigh Schlund (Cashmere) and Lynn Cohen (Mags) will appear at a Walmart in Secaucus, N.j.
Best Buy offers Catching Fire with a collectible Blu-ray steelbook case for $22.99, in addition to an en exclusive steelbook of the first film for $17.99. Cost is $27.99 for both when purchased together. The purchase of either steelbook includes $8 in Fandango cash for a ticket to the new film Divergent in theaters.
Target offers the Catching Fire Blu-ray with a bonus disc containing 45 minutes of exclusive extras, as well as a collectible booklet for $22.99. The first film is available for $11 on DVD and $13 on Blu-ray.
Target is also gearing up for the upcoming theatrical release of Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with endcap displays of new “Captain America” toys in the toy aisle, complete with DVDs of the first film.
Target's 'Thor: The Dark World' Loki Cover
Each of the major retail chains offered its own exclusive promotion for Disney’s Thor: The Dark World Blu-ray release.
Best Buy offered the 3D combo pack with a steelbook case. Target offered the 3D edition with an exclusive Loki slipcover, as well as a one-month free trial subscription to the Marvel Unlimited service, which offers access to more than 13,000 digital comic books. Walmart offered an exclusive Loki featurette watchable through its Vudu streaming service.
The Walmart promotion indicated it was available with the 3D combo pack, although the stickers touting it were on the regular single-disc Blu-rays (not that it mattered; the code to access the featurette was on the sticker, not inside the package).
Amazon offered exclusive Thor: The Dark World featurettes with its digital edition of the film.
The other big film released during the week, Warner’s Gravity, didn’t offer much in the way of exclusives, although Walmart had the DVD with special box art.
Walmart also had the first volume of Warner’s “Teen Titans Go!” on DVD a week before its March 4 street date, offered at $12.96.
Best Buy's 'Game of Thrones' covers
A light week of new releases Feb. 18 offered almost no new theatricals on disc, with the biggest title being HBO’s third-season Blu-ray and DVD of “Game of Thrones.”
Target offered the Blu-ray with a bonus disc containing 90 minutes of exclusive content, including interviews with cast members and author George R. R. Martin, who wrote the books upon which the series is based. Target also touted paperbacks of Martin’s “Thrones’ books.
Best Buy offered a choice of three exclusive Blu-ray covers, each bearing the sigil of one of the families fighting for power on the show. Best Buy also offered a $50 savings off an HTC One with two-year activation, with the purchase of the third-season of “Game of Thrones.”
Walmart's 'Jungle Book' with lunch bag
Retailers trotted out the goodies to encourage shoppers to come to their stores to pick up the new “Diamond Edition” of Disney’s The Jungle Book.
Best Buy offered a free Jungle Book twist-drum toy, valued at $5, with purchase of the film. Walmart offered the Blu-ray combo pack of The Jungle Book with a lunch bag. And Target offered the Blu-ray of the Disney classic packed with a storybook and CD.
Target also had an endcap display of Lionsgate DVDs such as The Hunger Games and the “Twilight” movies with $8 Fandango coupons for a theatrical ticket to Divergent.
In Walmart’s new-release section, one slot was devoted to cards for a Vudu purchase of Thor: The Dark World, touting immediate digital availability of the film (as opposed to the Feb. 25 Blu-ray and DVD release). Walmart also had the Beware the Batman Vol. 1 DVD a week early.
Best Buy offered a collectible Blu-ray steelbook case and a free LED keychain with preorders of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, due March 7.
Best Buy's 'Justice League: War' with figurine
Animated superhero movies are the perfect fodder for retail exclusives, so it’s not surprising that Warner’s Justice League: War would attract major promotional attention from the three big chains.
Best Buy offered an exclusive edition of the Blu-ray combo pack with a limited-edition Superman figurine, priced at $1 more than the regular edition. Target offered Justice League: War in steelbook packaging, while Walmart had early availability of a two-DVD limited edition version that won’t be widely available until March 18.
Walmart also offered a DVD version of Fox’s Free Birds with no extras for $14.96. This is especially interesting considering the only extra listed on the regular $19.96 DVD is a music video.
In addition, Walmart had exclusive availability of a family film called My Dog the Champion from Anchor Bay.
Lionsgate’s Escape Plan was offered at Target on DVD for just $10, part of a sale featuring many recent DVDs at the same price, including Captain Phillips, Fast & Furious 6 and Man of Steel.
Walmart's 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' lunchbox packaging
New releases are starting to rain down like meatballs, and with them a plethora of retail exclusives from which to choose.
Those shopping for Sony Pictures’ Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 had plenty of choices from the major retailers. Best Buy offered the Blu-ray of the film with a Barry Strawberry plush toy. Walmart gave away a Cloudy 2 lunch box. And Target packed the Blu-ray with a bonus disc containing an “All Access at Cloudy Labs” behind-the-scenes featurette.
Target also offered a coupon for a free popcorn and soda at the Target Café with a Cloudy 2 purchase.
The other big title in terms of goodies was Paramount’s Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa. Best Buy included a bonus disc containing an “Origin of Bad Grandpa” featurette with a new Johnny Knoxville interview, and offered DVDs of the first two “Jackass” films for $2.99 each with purchase of the new film. Target packed the Blu-ray with a bottle opener. And Walmart offered a DVD two-pack of the new film with Jackass 3, as well as an exclusive version of the standalone DVD with a digital copy.
Target is also taking preorders for the Blu-ray combo pack of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (due March 7), offering a bonus disc with 45 minutes of exclusive content and a free fabric poster valued at $9.99.
Disney's 'Cloud 9' DVD is available exclusively at Walmart
Walmart Jan. 21 had exclusive availability of the Disney Channel original snowboarding movie Cloud 9 just a few days after its Jan. 17 premiere. The Disney DVD was priced at $14.96.
Best Buy offered Sony Pictures’ Captain Phillips Blu-ray combo pack with exclusive steelbook packaging at the same price as the regular Blu-ray combo pack ($24.99).
In addition, some Best Buy stores offered a “Reward Yourself” deep-discount display touting DVDs for as low as $2.99 and Blu-rays for $4.99.
Target had exclusive availability of JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time, a new animated movie from Warner Home Video featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the other members of the Justice League fighting an evil scheme by the Legion of Doom. Target listed the title at $12.99.
Curiously, while Target listed Sony Pictures’ Blue Jasmine Blu-ray in its weekly ad circular, a couple of stores in the Southern California area only put the DVD version on shelves.
Target's 'Butler' Bundle
A flood of new releases arrived on shelves Jan. 14, with the biggest probably being Lee Daniels’ The Butler, the civil rights drama distributed by Anchor Bay. It’s certainly one of the only new titles with any exclusive promotions at retail.
Target offered The Butler with an exclusive bonus disc containing a television special featuring the cast from Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network.
Walmart’s copies of The Butler on both DVD and Blu-ray came with a bonus disc containing a look at the making of the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Best Buy offered a $5 discount when The Butler Blu-ray was purchased at the same time as another Anchor Bay drama, Fruitvale Station.
Best Buy also touted catalog action-movie Blu-rays containing $7.50 movie coupons for the theatrical release of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
Walmart had exclusive availability of Phase 4’s Western Ambush at Dark Canyon, with the DVD packed with a CD soundtrack of songs from star Kix Brooks.
Barnes & Noble stores offered a buy-two-get-one-free deal on Blu-rays, DVDs and music, including boxed sets.
Some of the first exclusives of the new year involve the new DVD releases for “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures” from Phase 4. While two volumes of the cartoon were released to general retail (The Adventure Begins and All You Can Eat), Target and Walmart each had its own exclusive volume to sell. Walmart sold Pac Is Back for $9.96, while Target had Let the Games Begin for $12.99.
Target also offered as an exclusive a special boxed set of all four seasons of “Duck Dynasty,” $34.99 for the DVD and $37.99 for the Blu-ray. Interestingly, the standalone fourth season was available only on DVD in stores and only on Blu-ray online.
As for exclusive add-ons, Target’s copies of the first season of “The Following” on DVD and Blu-ray included a bonus disc of “The Twisted Journal of the Followers.”
Walmart had exclusive availability of Anchor Bay’s military documentary Murph: The Protector, at $9.96 on DVD and $14.96 on Blu-ray.
Best Buy offered a $5 savings when the Blu-ray of Runner Runner was purchased with another recent Fox title, Don Jon.