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 Bey's 'Batman: Bad Blood' and 'Snow White' exclusives
At least three of the major Feb. 2 new releases were offered with retail exclusives presenting some sort of packaging variant.
Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Signature Edition Blu-ray came in special storybook packaging at Target, while Best Buy had the re-release of the animated classic with a slip-cover adorned with lenticular artwork.
Warner sent the direct-to-video animated movie Batman: Bad Blood to retailers with three configurations: a DVD, a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and a deluxe Blu-ray combo pack with a Nightwing figurine. Best Buy offered the deluxe edition with a pack-in Batman: Battle for the Cowl graphic novel. Target offered the Blu-ray combo pack with a steelbook case.
Best Buy also offered Lionsgate's The Last Witch Hunter Blu-ray in a steelbook case.
As part of its incentives for pre-orders, Best Buy offered $5 in My Best Buy membership rewards for several titles, as well as special exclusives for each. Lionsgate's The Hunger Game: Mockingjay — Part 2 and Fox's Spectre Blu-rays will come with steelbook cases; Disney's The Good Dinosaur Blu-ray will come with lenticular packaging; and Fox's The Peanuts Movie will include a Snoopy toy. The membership rewards deal also includes Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Retailers were quick to attach exclusives to Sony Pictures' Goosebumps upon its Jan. 26 DVD and Blu-ray release, but PBS's Downton Abbey: Season 6 also got some love.
For Goosebumps, Best Buy offered the Blu-ray combo pack (not the 3D version) with a pack-on "Goosebumps" book, A Shocker on Shock Street.
Target offered Goosebumps with a $7.50 coupon for movie tickets. Walmart offered a DVD triple-feature that grouped Goosebumps with Jumanji and Zathura.
For the final season of "Downton Abbey," Target offered the DVD and Blu-ray with a free notepad with character quotes. Barnes and Noble offered the DVD and Blu-ray with a pack of notecards on "Downton Abbey" stationery.
Walmart is touting the digital release of the James Bond movie Spectre with a combo deal attaching access to the film via Vudu.com with DVD versions of previous Bond films. Spectre with Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall was offered at $22.96 each combo, with Spectre and the whole Daniel Craig collection offered at $27.96.
Target offered recent DVD releases Minions and Hotel Transylvania 2 for $10 each.
Target's 'Straight Outta Compton' Steelbook
Fans of Universal's Straight Outta Compton had a choice of several retailer exclusives when they went to pick up their copy on Blu-ray.
Target offered the Blu-ray in a steelbook case, plus a $5 gift card when the movie was purchased in conjunction with the CD soundtrack (offered at $13.99).
Best Buy offered a free T-shirt with the purchase of the film on Blu-ray. In a slight switch from Target's soundtrack deal, Best Buy offered a $5 discount with the joint purchase of both the Blu-ray and the CD (also at $13.99).
Walmart touted an exclusive special-edition of the Blu-ray with 30 minutes of additional bonus content available through its Vudu.com streaming service.
Both Target and Walmart neglected to offer in stores some of the new TV on disc titles, such as Universal's 12 Monkeys: Season One and Continuum: Seaosn Four. Both were readily available at Best Buy.
Best Buy's 'Hotel Transylvania 2' Blu-ray with Squishy Blobby toy
The Jan. 12 new releases offered plenty of retail exclusives for consumers, most notably with Sony Pictures' Hotel Transylvania 2 and Universal's Mr. Robot: Season 1.
For Hotel Transylvania 2, Best Buy offered a pack on Squishy Blobby toy with the film's Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray combo packs. Best Buy also offered a $5 discount with the puchase of both "Hotel Transylvania" movies (with the Blu-ray combo pack of the first one for $14.99).
Target offered the BLu-ray combo pack of Hotel Transylvania 2 with glow-in-the-dark stickers, and gave free popcorn and a medium soda at the Target café with the purchase of any version of the film on disc.
Walmart had a Hotel Transylvania 2 Blu-ray combo pack gift set with a lunch box.
Target's version of the "Mr. Robot" DVD included 20 minutes of exclusive bonus material, while Best Buy offered the Blu-ray of the show with a free decal.
Paramount's Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension didn't seem to be available at Target, with the horror sequel not even showing up on the chain's website on its first day of availability.
Also interesting, Amazon.com didn't seem to have any copies of Fox's The Martian on DVD, referring instead to Amazon Marketplace sellers. Amazon does have the 4K UHD version of The Martian listed for a March 1 release.
Best Buy's 'True Detective' Season 2 Alternate Blu-ray Covers
While most of the new releases for Jan. 5 didn't inspire much in the way of retailer exclusives, there were a few deals and add-ons to be found.
Best Buy offered alternate covers for HBO's True Detective: The Complete Second Season, giving consumers a choice of picking up the Blu-ray with either Vince Vaughn or Colin Farrell adorning their copy.
Walmart offered add-ons for a few Sony Pictures titles. For Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser ($12.96 on DVD), Walmart had a DVD two-pack of both "Joe Dirt" films for $14.96, and Joe Dirt 2 with a pack-on T-shirt, also for $14.96. The previous week's The Perfect Guy could be had as part of a $24.96 three-film set that also included Obsessed and No Good Deed.
In terms of general marketing, Sony Pictures bowed The Walk VR Experience App, letting iPhone and Android users simulate the high-wire act atop New York's World Trade Center depicted in the film. The disc includes an online discount code for $15 off a pair of $100 MergeVR goggles.
'Hitman: Agent 47' promotional image in Best Buy circular
With 2015 coming to a close, the new releases of the final week of the year went mostly unheralded at retail.
In fact, a Target store in Tustin even neglected to put Fox's Hitman: Agent 47 on its shelves, though it's not unheard of for clerks to forget to bring new releases to the floor. The action film comes with a pack-in comic book, a bonus heavily touted in Best Buy's weekly ad circular.
The week was primarily dominated by clearance sales.
Target touted clearance discounts on hundreds of video games, as well as discounts on recent hit DVD and Blu-ray movies.
Best Buy pushed fitness DVDs for $7.99 each, 3D Blu-rays for $12.99 each, TV DVD seasons for $9.99 each, and more categories.
'Force Awakens' preorder kit (left) and display at Best Buy
Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens was barely in theaters before retailers started taking preorders for Disney's eventual Digital HD release of the film.
Best Buy even had a seperate display for the preorder, which consists of a limited-edition package of three mini-posters from the film's marketing campaign. Best Buy's preorder price is $24.99.
Walmart offered the preorder package in its new-release section, for $24.96.
Best Buy is also taking preorders for HBO's Game of Thrones: The Complete Fifth Season for a $10 deposit. Fans can choose from exclusive covers depicting the house sigils for either the Martells or the Targaryens. The Blu-ray arrives March 15.
In addition, Best Buy is offering a $1.99 Minion scarf with the purchase of Universal's Minions, one of the "Despicable Me" movies or from a selection of 15 titles.
Target is offering a $10 gift card with preorders of Fox's The Martian on DVD or Blu-ray. The film arrives on disc Jan. 12. Target is also giving away $10 gift cards with the purchase of two movies from a select list.
Walmart has a special DVD gift set pairing Sony Pictures' War Room with other faith-based titles from the same production team: a two-pack of Courageous and Facing the Giants.
Walmart's 'Ted 2' gift set
With the holiday shopping season picking up, four big titles hit retail Dec. 15 and each had a variety of retailer exclusives to entice customers — Paramount's Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, Universal's Ted 2, and Fox's Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and the Fantastic Four reboot.
Each of the four was available with a special steelbook case — Rogue Nation, Scorch Trials and Fantastic Four at Best Buy and Ted 2 at Target. Best Buy also offered a steelbook of a collection of all five "Mission: Impossible" films for $39.99, and a steelbook of the first Maze Runner for $14.99. Shoppers who bought both "Maze Runner" steelbooks could save $5.
Best Buy offered Ted 2 with a tie-in promotional opportunity to buy a plush talking Ted doll for $4.99 with purchase of the film on Blu-ray. (the bear on its own is priced at $9.99).
Target offered photo-book packaging with the Blu-rays of Rogue Nation, Scorch Trials and Fantastic Four. Rogue Nation also came with an exclusive bonus disc containing featurettes about the film's stunts.
Walmart offered a DVD two-pack of the "Maze Runner" movies and a Blu-ray gift set of Ted 2 with a "Legalize Ted" T-shirt.
Best Buy ran a sale on HBO and BBC titles, with buyers receiving a $10 gift card for spending $50 or $25 for spending $100.
Amazon seemed to be having some inventory issues with Ted 2, Scorch Trials and Fantastic Four, listing Blu-rays (and the Ted 2 DVD) as available in a few days or as out of stock. This comes in the wake of Amazon dropping preorders for many Fox titles.
'Minions' Exclusives: Target's metal case, Walmart's water bottle set, Best Buy's lunchbag
It comes as little surprise that Universal's Minions and Marvel's Ant-Man would arrive at retail with a number of exclusive options.
Most of the buzz surrounded Minions, with the biggest deals coming from Target, which offered a number of exclusive packaging options for the Blu-ray combo pack (non-3D). Consumers could choose from three different box art variants for $18.99, or a deluxe metal case version for $22.99. The metal case touted 40 minutes of extra content and a $5 Minions-themed Target gift card. Target also had the Blu-rays of the two "Despicable Me" movies for $10 each.
Best Buy offered a free lunchbag with the purchase of a Minions Blu-ray, while Walmart offered a Blu-ray gift set containing the non-3D combo pack and a water bottle.
For Ant-Man, Best Buy had a steelbook case for the 3D Blu-ray, while Target offered online access to the featurette "Ant-Man: The Biggest Little Hero in the M.C.U."
Target also had the DVD and Blu-ray of Hannibal: Season Three with a collector's booklet, as well as a $14.99 Blu-ray two-pack of Home Alone and Home Alone 2 with a knit cap.
Best Buy's upcoming 'Fantastic Four' steelbook Blu-ray
The last month of the year begins with a light slate of new releases, but big promotions on preorders for upcoming titles.
Best Buy touted steelbook Blu-rays on preorders for upcoming titles such as Fox's Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Fantastic Four, and Paramount's Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation. Best Buy also has a lunch bag with Universal's Minions. The preorders are $19.99 each and come with $5 in Best Buy Rewards credits.
Best Buy also has a steelbook of the James Bond: The Daniel Craig Collection.
Another promotion at Best Buy involved Microsoft's Halo: Fall of Reach DVD and Blu-ray, with a 20% savings for Best Buy Gamers Club members.
Walmart had a special DVD two-pack of the first seasons Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's "Angry Birds: Stella" and "Piggy Tales."