All right, we’re closing out the week with a trio of interesting stories... all of which have a long shadow.

First up is a report, from the Motion Picture Association of America, that reveals a shocking 50% decline in global physical media sales over the last five years. The market data comes from both the DEG (Digital Entertainment Group) and IHS Markit. The drop is in dollar amount, from $25.2 billion in 2014 to just $13.1 in 2018. And there is no sign whatsoever that physical 4K Ultra HD or any kind of 8K Blu-ray format is going to recover those losses. 4K, though popular with enthusiasts, is just 5.3% of current physical disc sales (regular DVD still accounts for nearly 60% of all disc sales worldwide). You can download the report here in PDF format.

This disc decline aside, overall home entertainment spending was up 16% last year, and the difference seems to be not individual digital media sales but rather cable subscriptions and subscriptions to online streaming services. The latter is obviously expected to continue growing in the years ahead, with Disney+, AppleTV+, and AT&T/WarnerMedia all launching new services. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Today’s Bits postings are a double-header, and this first one will be pretty substantial. I’ve unfortunately come down with the flu, so the last few days my functionality has been limited. But, I’m going to do a couple posts today to make up for it.

Before we begin, though, we’ve posted 4 new Blu-ray reviews here at The Bits in the last few days, including... Tim’s look at The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires from Scream Factory, Ecco and The Forbidden from Severin Films, and the Region B release of Dragonwyck (1946) from Powerhouse Films and Indicator. We also have Dennis’ look at Stan & Ollie on Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Enjoy!

So... first things first: We’ve confirmed with Warner Bros. that their new Burton/Schumacher Batman 4K releases will feature new Dolby Atmos audio mixes on both the 4K and the Blu-rays in the package. Those Blu-rays will be remastered too. High dynamic range will be HDR10 only on the 4Ks. And the Blu-rays will carry over all of the previous BD extras with one exception: Don’t expect to find the Batman: The Birth of a Modern Blockbuster featurette from the recent Batman: Diamond Luxe Blu-ray. Beyond that, most everything should be there. (Thanks to Bits reader Anthony DiPaola for spotting that). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

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Well... the last 24 hours have been a little crazy for movie fans, haven’t they? I attended Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim yesterday for the big panel of the morning, at which the new Episode VII teaser trailer was revealed by producer Kathleen Kennedy and director J.J. Abrams. Some background on my personal experience: The night before, great friends both old and new gathered for a pre-convention dinner. My wife Sarah and I were there, along with veteran Blu-ray producers Charles de Lauzirika and Cliff Stephenson, and Alec Peters and Diana Kingsbury of Propworx and Star Trek: Axanar fame. (Unable to attend because of work, BD producer Robert Meyer Burnett was there in spirit.) We learned that fans had actually started lining up to attend the panel earlier that morning so, somehow or other, it was decided that we should probably get in line ourselves around 5 AM in order to make sure we made it into the room. And, somehow or other, everybody was game for it. So get in line we did, along with thousands of others: Myself, Alec, Diana, Charlie and Cliff, joined by Chris Gore of Film Threat. We posed for a selfie to commemorate the insanity (at left – taken by Alec).  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

All right, first things first today… we have a new Blu-ray review for you. Our own Tim Salmons has turned in a look at Brad Anderson’s Stonehearst Asylum, recently released by Millennium Entertainment. The film features Jim Sturgess, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine, David Thewlis, and Brendan Gleeson. Do check it out.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

Sorry for the lack of an update yesterday. I apparently slept with my neck bent in a strange position on Tuesday morning, the result of which is that I woke up with a wicked case of vertigo. So I ended up spending most of the day in bed until it passed. Not much else to do. Everything’s fine now. Just let this be a lesson to you kids: A good quality pillow is very important. LOL.

Anyway, the big news today is that Sony has officially announced Justified: The Complete Final Season for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/2. As fans will already know, the show’s finale aired last night on FX and I think it was pretty great. I’ve really enjoyed this series. Anyway, both the Blu-ray and DVD will include the Hollywood to Harlan featurette (featuring the show’s writers). To this, the Blu-ray will add Directing the Show: Adam Arkin, Dutch Speaks (a vintage interview with writer Elmore Leonard about his thoughts on the show), and deleted scenes.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

We’ve got a couple quick things for you to kick Monday off right and then we’ll be back later this afternoon with more…

First, you may have heard the news that broke out of Wonder-Con this weekend, that Twin Peaks creator David Lynch has left the new Showtime series reboot project. It all started with word that the plug had actually been pulled on the show, but then word spread that Lynch has told the actors he was leaving because Showtime wouldn’t pony up the money he needed to do it right. Lynch himself tweeted that this was the case – that the production was likely to continue, but not with his involvement. Then Showtime issued a hasty statement to the effect that they were continuing to negotiate with Lynch’s people on the matter. (You can read more on all this here at Deadline Hollywood.) Our guess is that this is an effort to kick a stalled private negotiation in the ass with a little public outrage and pressure. We’ll see. In any case, we don’t believe Showtime has officially pulled the plug yet, and the two parties may yet find a common ground. We’ll have to wait and see.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
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