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It Was A Good Week For... Game Of Thrones – big on TV, up the charts again on DVD and arriving to download…
It Was A Bad Week For… Spectre, 2015's most complained about film according to the BBFC report …

Uncertainty and a veritable plethora of question marks were hanging over the entire industry, film and video, as the impact of the referendum vote last week is still an entirely unknown factor. If the politicians and warring factions are in disarray, then no one can have the foggiest as to what will happening to the business in the wake of the vote to leave the EU. The best piece we’ve read on the potential downsides – and even upsides – of a Brexit, penned by Stephen Follows is  here. Among the many facts is one that states the MEDIA fund effectively  gave more than €100 million to the UK film industry, while one possible upside is the lack of involvement in the Digital Single Market proposals. As Stephen Follows noted in the article: “By leaving the EU, the UK will forfeit its right to influence EU policy towards film and television content. This will most acutely be felt in the discussions around the proposed Digital SIngle Market, which aims to force distributors to treat the EU as one territory, rather than distributing films country-by-country as happens today. The Digital Single Market could mean that films need to be released in Europe as one territory all at once. It’s not certain how the new rules will eventually be written, but if we’re out of the EU then we’re certainly not going to be part of it. This will still affect British films exported to Europe but not films released in the UK.” 
We spoke to Stephen Follows who will next week be putting up more on Brexit and the film industry after canvassing opinions across the business, he told The Raygun: “My aim was to take an objective look at the facts, which was tricky as the topic engenders so much emotion on both sides and is ultimately about an unknown future. Interestingly I’ve had a small number of people attack me on both sides of the debate – some people thought I papered over bigger problems while others are suggesting I was overly pessimistic. However, the majority of reaction I have received is people wanting to know what’s next. And that’s unknowable this stage. Mixed with the political leanings of most people in the arts, this has meant that the Brexit decision has been a particularly sad and angry moment for the film community.” Keep an eye out for  next week (it should make for more essential reading) and we recommend reading the piece above. More on this as the government sorts itself out…
We’re not sure about you, but we’re going to spend the next few days working our way through one of our favourite publications of the year (up there with the BASE and ERA handbooks in our humble opinion) in the shape of the newly-published BBFC annual report. As ever it provides a fascinating insight into the work of the classification organisation, the thought it puts into its rating decisions, as well as providing a snapshot of where the industry is at. And there’s no surprise to see submissions for DVD and Blu-ray down in 2015, although they only fell by a touch over five per cent. Similarly, vod submissions soared – up almost 75 per cent year on year, with more than 1,143 hours of content classified of online viewing. BBFC research in 2015 showed that 85 per cent wot parents wanted consistent and seamless ratings between online and other screen content, while almost as many wanted parental controls to link to BBFC classifications. As for DVD, there was a five per cent fall in content classified, but at 8,362 hours, it still dwarfs online submissions. As the report itself noted: “Nevertheless, this figure still represents a healthy market for packaged media.” In theatrical terms, a total of 983 films were classified for release, a rise of 2.7 per cent year on year. Of these, 15-rated films represented the biggest rating in terms of numbers, with 383 films, a further 321 were rated at 12A. 
As ever, we’re still trawling through the report, and there’s some fascinating stuff in there. Among those coming under closer scrutiny were, it noted, Straight Outta Compton, which rose to an 18 form a 15 between theatrical and DVD, thanks to extra footage added in for the home entertainment release. Some, such as Mad Max and its first sequel were lowered from an 18 to 15 for their latest releases, marking changing attitudes. And as covered here extensively, Hate Crime was one of the most controversial outings of the year. As ever, press coverage centred on the most complained about film of the year, this year’s dubious honour went to Spectre… Comment on the report came from chief executive David Austin, who said: "In 2015 we saw our range of services continue to diversify, reflecting public expectation for the same trusted guidance available for film and DVD/Blu-ray, to be similarly available online. We worked closely with the digital home entertainment industry to bring even more age ratings to vod platforms and expanded our work with Mobile Network Operators in a new partnership with EE. Mobiles are useful for families that need to keep in touch and the EE 'Strict' setting, based on our PG rating, gives parents peace of mind that the mobile device they give to their child is safe and that protections are in place to help prevent their child seeing unsuitable content."

Quick update on what’s selling out there at the minute, as Deadpool looks set to enjoy a third week at number one if the Official Charts Company’s midweek bulletin is anything to go by. It’s now sold more than half a million units, adding another 27,000 in the first few days of this week. How To Be Single (see below) is at number two, with another two new entries, Triple 9 and Price & Prejudice & Zombies just behind it at numbers three and four respectively. Kill Command is a new entry at 22, other notable new entries including A Bigger Splash and Warsaw 1944. Game Of Thrones enjoys an end of season-inspired boost, while drafting biggies include Independence Day, Ghostbusters and Now You See Me. 
Warner’s London HQ was the place to be this week for singletons, as the major played host to a special screening to mark the launch of How To Be Single. Lucky competitions winners – those without partners, natch, tying in with the theme of the Rebel Wilson starrer – were allowed to come along with a friend (not partner) to see the film as part of promotional activity for the film, it helped the comedy off to a strong start too, as it ended up as the highest new entry in the Official Charts Company’s midweeks, sitting in the number two position behind only the aforementioned Deadpool.
Another week, another new advert from the Industry Trust as part of its ongoing Moments Worth Paying For campaign, and what a belter it is too. The ad, featuring none other than Ricky Gervais in a specially filmed slot ahead of the release of David Brent: Life On The Road, his Office offshoot. The fact that the Trust was able to secure an exclusive on the Metro’s website shows how good it is, with Gervais talking about the impact of piracy on him personally. As tongue in cheek as it is, the Trust was sen to point out how detrimental piracy is to the business. Commenting on the ad, Kezia Williams, head of theatrical distribution at eOne said: “We are pleased to have delivered this bespoke piece for the Industry Trust’s Moments Worth Paying For campaign. The exclusive footage is quite a departure from the regular Moments Worth Paying For messaging and we certainly hope audiences will take Ricky’s advice and choose to see David Brent: Life On The Road on the big screen. We’re delighted that Ricky has chosen to support this important cause and it has been great working with the Trust on the campaign.” Sylvia Wan, digital communications manager at The Industry Trust for IP Awareness said: “It’s been great working with eOne and Ricky Gervais on the David Brent: Life On The Road trailer. Ricky wrote the trailer himself, so while it’s a brave move away from our usual Moments Worth Paying For messaging, if anyone can do it, it’s got to be Ricky. We hope the trailer will help open up the debate and get people talking about the challenge of film piracy.”
Sticking with eOne and we’ve been talking to the company about its Q3 slate, and beyond. For while its schedule for the next three months could best be described as a small but perfectly formed line-up for the coming months, all leading up to a veritable onslaught in Q4 (more on that below). The company’s quarter kicks off with the release on July 11 or the latest instalment in the Divergent series, Allegiant. With impressive sales so far – previous outings have sold more than 1 million units on DVD and Blu-ray – it’s proving its worth as a home entertainment franchise. “It’s been a strong performer for us and we’re confident we can do it again,” said the company’s Tim Westbey. “With stronger action content, this one has a broader appeal too.” It is being backed by TV advertising. Into August, there’s a film we’ve already talked about here during its theatrical bow, Midnight Special. This sci-fi tale boasts a raft of four and five-star reviews and arrives with critical acclaim ringing in its ears. With an O-ring sleeve printed on a silver board, it looks, as Westbey noted, “pretty special” and as he noted: “We think this one will perform really well, there’s a lot of people who didn’t make it to the cinema who’ll be keen to see it.” Eye In The Sky is a tense thriller which as well as boasting an all-star cast and arriving with a slew of good reviews, also marks eOne’s first solely financed production – it was successful too, earning more than £5 million at the UK box office. “It’s been very well received,” said Westbey, “but we think it can go wider to a younger, male audience, giving it more potential.”
Still with eOne’s Q3 slate and into September it boasts what the company’s Tim Westbey said is “another hugely well received film” in the shape of Everybody Wants Some! the kind of sequel to Dazed And Confused (a film, incidentally, that made its name as a home entertainment release in the VHS era) and another critically acclaimed release. A college tale set in the 1980s, eOne is releasing it around the time the colleges start (September 19), giving it a strong hook. “The challenge is to pit to out there and reach the wider audience it deserves,” said Westbey. The quartet is round out by the sixth season of The Walking Dead, the zombie series that simony refuses to die. “It’s incredible for it to be in the sixth season and still showing areas of growth,: said Westbey. “Its al about going back to the core audience who know and love this property and the word is this series is up there with the best ever.” And beyond that, it’s hugely busy for eOne too – the Oasis documentary, Supersonic, is already sparking plenty of interest (as anyone attending the BASE day recently will testify, after hearing from producer James Gay Rees), with both Gallagher bothers, Noel and Liam apparently mad for the release. Far less scary is The BFG, the A-list Steven Spielberg production which is given extra homegrown appeal thanks to the Roald Dahl connection. And then there’s the David Brent film, the spin-off from The Office that follows Ricky Gervais’ creation on tour. As eOne’s Tim Westbey said: “We’ve got a huge amount of titles and a lot of work in the fourth quarter, it’s perfect timing for these titles.”

As the sixth season of Game Of Thrones came to a stunning and much talked about climax this week, HBO was gearing itself up for the digital release of the latest outing for the series. For within hours of it drawing to a close, from midnight on Monday night, all 10 episodes were available to download, the Digital HD release being available from all the usual channels. HBO kicked things off with a welter of social media activity, while Tuesday night saw it partnering with IGN for a quiz night in Soho,  and it’s also launched a fan art competition. Commenting on the release, HBO’s Grace Alexander said: “Game of Thrones Season 6 released on EST this week following the finale on Monday, and we’re really pleased with the sales that have come through so far- truly showcasing just how good this season was.  From a marketing perspective, we kicked the week off with a Game of Thrones pub quiz hosted by IGN and attended by influencers and competition winners- the questions tested even the most die-hard fans and should be available to share very soon! And then today, Graffiti Kings unveiled the Game of Thrones mural they have created for us which launches a nationwide fan art competition. Fans can submit their entries from now until November, when the top 10 entries will be chosen for a GOT exhibition- this is a brilliant chance for us to find out just how talented Game of Thrones fans are.” You can see more on the competition here:
More event news and last Sunday, June 26, saw Studiocanal taking over the Prince Charles Cinema for not one but two screenings of Highlander ahead of the company’s all-singing all-dancing anniversary release of the seminal film. Star Christopher Lambert was on hand for two Q&A sessions with devotees of the film. Commenting on the screening, Studiocanal’s Kristin Ryan said: “Following its successful premiere screening at the Edinburgh Film Festival two weeks ago, Highlander was screened to sell out audiences at the Prince Charles Cinema on Sunday. The ever charismatic Christopher Lambert completed an insightful and engaging Q&A and was joined on stage by surprise guests  Celia Imrie and everyone’s favourite baddie Clancy Brown.  The quality restoration looks and sounds fantastic on the big screen and are the perfect launch to celebrate our upcoming Blu-ray, DVD and Digital release on July 11.”
Time: 2pm Date: Friday July 1 – the hour that horror fans had been waiting ages for, as Horror Channel FrightFest unveiled its line-up for the next event, due to take place between August 25 and 29 at its new home, the Vue Cinema in Shepherd’s Bush. There are 19 world premieres, 35 UK and European ones, with violent revenge thriller My Father Die, directed by Sean Brosnan, opening the event and Train To Busan, set on a commuter train, closing the weekend’s festivities. In between there are films from all round the world, including titles that will end up as vod and DVD releases on the FrightFest Presents imprint in collaboration with Icon – Road Games, presented with a live director’s commentary, will be released on the label as a DVD shortly after it airs. Commenting on the line-up, one of FrightFest’s founding fathers Alan Jones said: “For seventeen years now FrightFest has led the way through landmark changes in the genre, altered perceptions of fandom and embraced the revolutions in platforms and distribution models. It continues to do so this year with a breathtaking selection of genre attractions with the widest appeal and breadth of focus.  We stand out because we stand for something special – a one-stop roadmap through everything you need to see to be totally up to speed with what the next year in horror fantasy will be all about”.
A few titles we've been talking about here recently are on the bill for FrightFest, so here's some further comment on the appearance of their films at the event. Alan Byron from Screenbound, whose excellently named Attack Of The Lederhosen Zombies will be airing over the weekend said: “FrightFest is the pinnacle of the horror film festival circuit and a great launch pad for Screenbound’s Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies to gain fan awareness. The FrightFest selectors thought it was a LOT of fun and I’m sure the festival’s audience will agree and become Lederhosen Zombie admirers before it starts its theatrical run for Halloween.”
Signature is also well represented at the event, with a brace of films airing at the event. The company’s Emilie Barra said: “Be still my geeky heart! Very proud to announce that our very own Cell is having its UK premiere this year’s FrightFest, headlining on August 25. The horror thriller based on Stephen King¹s novel and starring an all-star cast including John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson and Isabelle Fuhrman is already receiving great buzz. The legendary Kim Newman called it ‘smart, persuasive, intriguing... a refreshing throwback’; Love Horror gave it four stars and said ‘Stephen King resurrects the zombie genre’. We couldn’t hope for a better way to premiere the film to the UK audience
and to get FrightFest’s seal of approval and headliner status. Most importantly for the fans around the UK that can¹t make it to FF, rest assured as the film will be in cinemas and on demand the very next day. We will also run an impactful and eye-catching outdoor and digital campaign alongside its theatrical outing ensuring the release is very much in the minds of the movie-going public. You’ll never look at your phone again in the same way. Also receiving its UK Premiere at FrightFest is creepy stalker thriller Pet directed by Carles Torrens and starring Lord of the Rings’ Dominic Monaghan as well as Ksenia Solo (TV¹s Lost Girl and Orphan Black).”

More from Signature now and in last week's newsletter we were raving about the company's The Colony and after quoting director Florian Gallenberger and this week we've got more from the company's Emilie Barra on the release. She said: "Friday July 1  sees the theatrical VOD release of gripping real-life thriller The Colony starring Emma Watson and Daniel Brühl. The film tells the unbelievable story of a young couple who become entangled in a Chilean cult during the 1970¹s, bringing light to a disturbing part of buried history. Not only did we secure high profile interviews with Ms Watson in top-tier outlets across TV radio and print, our campaign also saw survivors of the regime speak to the UK media about their harrowing experience. The Colony will be release on home entertainment on August 22.”
Get ready for some Blue on Blu action, as Blue Steel comes to Blu-ray... It's already been out and about as a digital release from Paramount for almost two weeks and on Monday July 4, Zoolander No 2, the long-awaited sequel to the Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson comedy set in the world of high fashion, complete with the former's trademark look, arrives on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Universal. Video has been at the core of the campaign ensuring a strong and relevant presence across key channels including  Ch4, Sky, Mail Online, Crave plus many more. The release was supported by a fun PR campaign which included the ultimate summer selfie stick – an invention launched with former Miss GB Zara Holland on Mail Online – and Zoolander-themed makeovers for journalists at Metro Online and  As Universal's digital and product marketing manager Poonam Chudasama said: “Zoolander No 2 looks really, really ridiculously good-looking on Blu-ray and DVD with a selection of gorgeous special features. It’s been a complete joy to work on.” 
Meanwhile, forthcoming from Lionsgate is romcom Choice, the perfect antidote to the seemingly never ending football tournament. Here's the company's Becky Throp on the release. She said: "This ‘summer’, we are bringing romcom audiences something new to warm their hearts; The Choice, adapted from the novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks. With a dedicated and loyal fanbase, the author is a key hook for our home entertainment activity. Competitions and coverage across key female outlets, including a stand-out press ad in Closer magazine, are perfectly tailored to our demographic. This activity, combined with engaging online creatives and vlogger activity will showcase our new and impactful artwork and build that all important buzz around release. Furthermore, on-store activity with Amazon will drive impulse purchase, making our release the only Choice when it comes to DVD on Monday.”
Also on Monday: The Disappearance, the latest Saturday night drama hit from BBC4 arrives on DVD and Blu-ray courtesy of Arrow’s Nordic Noir & Beyond imprint. the title has earned itself a sizeable following after its transmission and, as Arrow’s Jon Sadler said: “The Disappearance did exceptionally well. We are very pleased that the French drama notably engaged with a younger demographic and are looking forward to the DVD & Blu-ray release on Monday July 4.”

The Raygun this week chatted to legendary director Julien Temple, the man behind, among other things, seminal Sex Pistols feature The Great Rock N Roll Swindle, and, more recently, Joe Strummer doc The Future Is Unwritten, a brace of Dr Feelgood docs and the BFI’s marvellous London: A Modern Babylon. The reason? Temple was supporting Second Sight’s July 25 release of Absolute Beginners, the very 1980s take on Colin McInnes’ jazz and riots in 50s London novel. Temple’s support is giving extra vigour to the independent’s release, which offers up the first every high definition transfer of the bright, vibrant and very colourful musical. The interview will be appearing soon, but in the meantime, here’s Second Sight’s Chris Holden on the release. He said: “Subject to, shall we say, mixed reviews at the time, Absolute Beginners has since built a cult following and holds a special place in the nostalgic heart of many a child of the 80s. It’s been off the shelves for a long time so is also ripe for rediscovery and reappraisal. The vibrant new restoration does full justice to Julien Temple’s eye-popping visuals and our newly produced accompanying documentary, Absolute Ambition, is a fascinating and candid look back at the infamous production with involvement from Temple, Steve Woolley, Nik Powell and many others. And who doesn’t have a soft spot for Bowie’s title song?”
With Neon Demon due at cinemas soon (we’re seeing it next week, fingers crossed, so more then…), what better time for MUBI to launch a new season of films curated by director Nicolas Winding Refn. He will be selecting seven films going up over a seven day period, with his titles including Suspiria, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, La Dolce Vita and Cloverfield. All will stay on the curated vod service for 30 days. MUBI founder Efe Cakarel said: ““We are honoured to announce Nicolas Winding Refn as the first ever guest curator of MUBI. Featuring 7 selections over 7 days 'HAND PICKED by Nicolas Winding Refn' will start on July 1. It will be an amazing week of great cinema.”
And a quick reminder that one of the highlights of both the industry and the football world’s calendar is on its way – yes, the Legends Of Football event is due to take place on October 5 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. The Nordoff Robbins fundraiser is in its 21st year and is certain to add to the £7 million its raised for the charity’s coffers over the years. It also celebrates 25 years of the Premier League this year and will also recognise stars who’ve joined the 100 Club – scoring a ton of Premier League goals. Tickets are going fast, but some are still available… Tickets, packages, auction donations and sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting:  More details are available here

“Cameron Crowe and Winnie Holzman are both amazing story tellers and having both of their voices behind Roadies makes it one of the most anticipated series of the year. Joining shows like The Man in the High Castle, Transparent, Mr. Robot, Preacher and the upcoming Clarkson, Hammond and May show, The Grand Tour, Roadies is a great addition to our line-up and we’re sure that Prime customers are going to love it.”
Brad Beale, vp of worldwide television acquisition for Amazon after the service inked a deal to see Roadies airing exclusively in the UK through Amazon Prime Video…
Aided by a weekend’s worth of previews, as noted here last week, The Secret Life Of Pets made its debut in the UK box office top 10 after its first weekend (or two if you can those advance screenings) with almost £10 million in receipts, ahead of the big, belated sequel to Independence Day entitled Resurgence, which took more than £5 million in its opening frame. 
As part of a seemingly never-ending casting announcement for the forthcoming Kingsman sequel, aka The Golden Circle, another new name has been added to the roster for the comic book franchise tale, which will, again, be helmed by Matthew Vaughn. The pair had worked together on the former footballer’s breakthrough Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, making his casting all the more timely. He joins (deep breath) Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, Mark Strong and pretty much everyone else you’ve heard of. Oh, and Taron Egerton starring again as Eggsy. 
Sequel news of a slightly different variety now, as Wreck-It-Ralph is set for a second outing, with Disney announcing that the further adventures of the video game character are on their way, with a 2018 slated for the film…
We finally got a picture of that Deadpool bus this week and put it on our Twitter feed, alongside all the usual nonsense…
The second outing for those pesky dogs…
James Franco and Red Band go together… 
Like Flight, without the booze. And also true…
Bridget, big pants, you know the drill by now…
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