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It Was A Good Week For... Goosebumps started off strongly for SPHE, giving the studio another strong 2016 seller…
It Was A Bad Week For… Delays between the theatrical and home entertainment release increase piracy and damage sales, says report…

Ahead of next week’s awards ceremony – and you can see below for more on that one – we’ll start again with some news from the British Association for Screen Entertainment, aka BASE, and the organisation’s drive for independent imprints to join forces with the trade organisation appears to be paying off, as the organisation formerly known as the BVA, in its new incarnation, has this week announced a raft of indie labels and organisations have signed up. New members include Dazzler Media, whose Paul Holland is well versed on the issues affecting the indie sector. Other new members include Screenbound and Spirit in partnership with RLJ. With the BBFC also joining as an affiliate member, the signs are looking good for discussions with the classification body about key issues affecting the independent labels. BASE chief Liz Bales said: “We’re going to be able to start discussions with the labels and other groups. We’re happy to speak to any other labels that are interested and have scheduled meetings with a few, as well as meetings with the new members so they can get the most from being in BASE.” Any other labels interested in signing can email us or
And by now you should have realised that after some 35 years or so as the BVA awards, the first ever BASE Awards are taking place next week, with last year’s successful venue, Tobacco Dock, over in Wapping, once again providing the home for the biggest date on the industry’s calendar. It promises to be a night to remember– or forget, for those who over-indulge – and we’ll be on hand bright and breezy next Friday with a full report on who won what – and why – as well as some cleverly disguised comments about party-based shenanigans (no names, no pack drill). Heck, as long as we don’t get stuck into the champagne at the pre-drinks reception, we might even live tweet during the event over at our world-famous Twitter account, We’ll see you down the front, but in the meantime, here’s BASE chief executive Liz Bales on the event. She said: “For over 35 years the awards have been the pinnacle of celebration within the industry and we're extremely proud to carry on this tradition under the BASE brand. The BASE Awards 2016 will be a night to remember, fusing Awards traditions with new and exciting features. Ahead of the event we'd like to wish everyone a fantastic evening celebrating industry achievements and extend a big thank you to everyone involved in the BASE Awards 2016."

And, so, with the children off school this week for half term, it’s been kids’ stuff all the way, with a raft of big films at the cinema (for more on one of this week’s theatrical biggies, see below) and it’s another winning week for SPHE, which continues its strong 2016 with what looks set to be another number one family title according to the Official Charts Company’s midweek bulletin. Sony’s Goosebumps, a Jack Black-starring, effects-friendly take on the wildly popular RL Stine book franchise, is sitting pretty at the halfway stage. The title has shifted some 50,000 units in its first few days on sale and goes into the weekend with a strong momentum behind it. Commenting on its success, SPHE’s senior product marketing manager Kate Jeremy said: “With strong nostalgic appeal, fantastic  reviews and box office success, we knew this would be the perfect family film for half term - especially a rainy one -  and we are delighted with the results this week. We targeted our core family audience through TV, cinema and social formats, and partnered with Scholastic, putting the books at the heart of our campaign and consumer offering. This was complemented by a comprehensive influencer campaign which saw 40 of the UK’s top mummy bloggers and their families coming together for #GoosebumpsParty. The event trended on Twitter and helped to build social buzz at the start of the school holiday. The support from our retail partners has been incredible and we would like to say thank you to everyone for getting behind the title." 
Sticking with the midweeks, and Goosebumps is ahead of another family biggie in the shape of the latest outing for Charlie Brown, Snoopy and co in The Peanuts Movie. A third, slightly more grown up new entry arrives at number three in the shape of Ride Along 2, ahead of Star Wars The Force Awakens and The Hateful Eight, both of which have got a second wind and rise back up into the top five. Other new entries in the Official Charts Company listing include Bobby from eOne at 12, Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel in Youth from Studiocanal at number 19, and another animated outing, Capture The Flag, at number 20. This week’s drafting biggie sees the original Independence Day storming back up the charts to number nine. 

To the Soho Hotel for a special screening of the latest big feature film outing in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, Out Of The Shadows, the second in the revitalised franchise that opened at cinemas this week to capitalise on the half-term trade. It’s released at cinemas by Paramount and will follow the now standard route to market for home entertainment releases from the studio, with digital handled in-house and physical going through Universal, which jointly hosted the screening. As was noted, ahead of the home entertainment bow later this year, which will be around half-term in the autumn, by our reckoning, the latest big-screen adventures of the four pizza-scoffing martial arts amphibians bring with them plenty of drafting opportunities too. As for the film itself? Our junior correspondent gave it a full five stars out of five, with Mikey being rated his favourite Turtle. And we reckon it can only add sales to what must now be one of the most enduring video franchises ever. Commenting on the film, Paramount’s Barney Hands said: “We’re delighted with the digital platform campaign for our first Paramount Turtles movie and we’re already working on our marketing campaign as we countdown to the EST release of Out Of The Shadows on October 10. We believe our new Turtles movie will be a stand-out title for Q4 across all platforms.” Universal’s Vicki Davis said: “Universal is thrilled to be working with the Paramount team on the Q4 release plans for this turtle-y awesome sequel – we’ve already seen some really exciting and fun packaging and POS mock-ups that we’re looking forward to sharing with our retail partners over the coming weeks.”
Our other big event of the week (Wembley aside, which we won’t be discussing any further), saw The Raygun, along with thousands of genre fans, anime devotees, sci-fi freaks, comic book aficionados and all manner of people dressed up as their favourite characters, descending on east London’s Excel centre for the first MCM London Comic Con of the year, and, once again, attendance records broke all records – a mammoth 133,156 people walked through the doors over the three days of the event, with an increasingly high profile list of star names also turning up taking in the likes of Jesse Eisenberg as one of the headline acts. As ever, a wealth of distributors were on hand to show off their wares, with Animatsu and Manga alongside each other, as well as indies such as MVM, and majors such as Universal. And Amazon Prime Video was there to show off its current biggie, Preacher. The figure was up on last October’s then record of 130,000…

It’s one of the releases of the year and one we’ve been banging on about for some months, but the BFI’s marvellous releases looking at the works produced for television by great British director Alan Clarke nearly hit the buffers this week after a last minute licensing hitch threatened the release. But after a Herculean effort, the BFI has confirmed the Dissent And Disruption, the Blu-ray box (and two separate DVD box SKUs) will be making it on to shelves, albeit a couple of weeks later than planned while the final issues are sorted. It's now slated for June 20. It’s no surprise that such an ambitious project, one that has only made it this far thanks to the outstanding efforts of the BFI, should hit a few stumbling blocks and, having worked our way through much of this superlative set, can confirm that it is going to be well worth the wait. The BFI’s Sam Dunn said: Last minute licensor complications meant that we had no choice but to let customers know that they should not expect to receive their box sets on the originally-announced release date. Behind the scenes, all concerned have put a concerted effort into resolving matters, and I’m delighted to say that we’re now in a position to announce the slightly delayed release date of June 20. Clarke’s been banned and censored and in the past, but he’s proved himself unstoppable this time.”
Sticking with the BFI and the organisation this week unveiled its line up for Q3, and the usual mixed bag of delights it offers up too – from the late July release of the rarely seen since its transmission BBC-made production of rural drama Akenfield, through to all 15 of the hugely original animated short films from the Quay Brothers, both presented for the first time on Blu-ray. There’s also more from the Children’s Film Foundation, the latest due in July, with a brace of silent releases, Play On! Shakespeare In Silent Film and Around China With a Movie Camera. Feature length outings include a Blu-ray premiere for the legendary Oliver Reed and Alan Bates starring DH Lawrence adaptation Women In Love, rural drama On The Black Hill, dil noir classic Cry Of The City, black cinema classic Carmen Jones and a dual format edition of Palace classic The Crying Game. There’s more from the excellent Flipside imprint in the shape of Brit horror classic Psychomania, complete with a fine score. Commenting on the slate, the BFI’s Sam Dunn said: “We’re always full of excitement about our new releases, but this quarter features some incredibly special titles that we’ve been working on securing for quite some time (the Blu-ray premiere of Ken Russell’s Women in Love being key amongst them), but I’ll limit my enthusiasm to just two: Akenfield and Psychomania. These quintessentially British films have both been mastered to 2K from the original negatives for the very first time, and the results are eye-popping. And we’ve got a fantastic array of extras for both titles, too. Fans of British cinema, and – in the case of Psychomania – the horror genre, will be absolutely delighted to finally get their hands on these sought-after titles.”
It was effectively the first big blockbuster out of the block this year, arriving at cinemas back in March, and now the home entertainment release dates of big hitter Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice have been officially unveiled by Warner. The title will be arriving as a download release on July 18 ahead of an all-singing, all-dancing physical bow on August 1 in assorted SKUs. These SKUs are notable for including, on the Blu-ray versions, the Ultimate Edition of the DC Comics double-header – the much talked about director’s cut of the movie, featuring an extra 30 minutes’ worth of footage reinserted by Zack Snyder. The BD versions include standard Blu-ray, a three-disc 3D set and, most compellingly to help drive the new format, a day and date Ultra HD release. All the Blu-ray SKUs are available with Dolby Atmos state-of-the-art sound. The Blu-ray versions will feature scores of further extras too. Commenting on the release, Warner’s John Stanley said: “We’re really looking forward to this release, especially the new Ultimate Edition. Watch this space for more details along the way."    

The vinyl revival is in full effect, as scores of articles tell us every day, so what better time for HBO to release its big Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger produced warts and all tale of the 1970s record industry in the States called, you guessed it, Vinyl. The series, which features all the kind of goings on you’d expect with someone such as Scorsese involved, and a great soundtrack to boot, has earned plaudits and acres of coverage, with a wraparound cover of this week’s NME helping HBO launch its DVD and Blu-ray release. Commenting on the release, HBO’s Grace Alexander said: “Vinyl, executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, is out on Monday and we’re very excited for it to hit the stores. Our campaign includes online and VOD ads which really deliver some of the chaotic, frenetic energy from the show. And, we’ve also teamed up with NME this week for a special Vinyl issue, showcasing some of the classic quotes, fabulous fashion and amazing characters that feature in the show.”
Monday June 6 kicks off a big week for HBO, for as well as Vinyl and the second series of The Knick, there’s also another new outing in the shape of Ballers, which sees Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, pretty much the biggest star in Hollywood right now, as a former American football pro now looking after the current crop of stars in Miami. Commenting on the release, HBO’s Grace Alexander said: “We’re really looking forward to the release of Ballers on Monday, we’ve had strong support from retail and it is the key title kicking off our Father’s Day campaign. We’ll be supporting the title with online, press and social ads, with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson front and centre.”
A touch further down the line comes Triple 9, an all-star tough actioner from John Hillcoat, due on June 27 from eOne. Commenting on its impending release, here’s eOne’s Thom Leaman, who said: “We’re very excited to bring Triple 9 to market this month – an action packed film with an amazing cast, it’s perfect home entertainment fodder. We’ve ensured all the heavy action elements take prime focus in the sleeve art and in all the marketing materials, and we have a multifaceted heavyweight above the line campaign showing those elements off everywhere. The heist and cops and robbers elements in the film also allow for some fun and engaging publicity opportunities, and we’ve got a great stunt that we’re pulling together with a top vlogger that will test the honesty of the British public. Watch this space.”

And still the news is filtering through from Cannes, as contracts are firmed up after the festival and officially revealed – we know of a few more yet to announce too. This week’s biggie sees curated streaming service Mubi unveiling another major signing just as the Arabian Nights trilogy lands exclusively on its service. Newest deal sees it picking up theatrical, home entertainment and digital rights for Cannes contender Ma Loute, a comedy directed by Bruno Dumont, and, like Arabian Nights, partnering with arthouse independent New Wave Films to look after aspects of the release. As well as UK and Irish rights for Ma Loute, it has also picked up Latin American rights for Un Certain Regard Winner The Happiest day In The Life Of Olli Maki. Mubi founder Efe Cakarel said: “We were looking for something really special at Cannes this year and in Olli Maki and Ma Loute we have found just that. Juho Kuosmanen is an incredible voice in which we see infinite talent and as to Bruno Dumont, he is someone who we have deeply admired and followed for a long time, so being able to acquire his latest film in Competition is a dream. We are thrilled to be sharing these two films exclusively with our subscribers.” Tanja Meissner, of sales company Memento Films International added: “Ma Loute (Slack Bay) is a unique film that deserves a special release, and Mubi is exactly the partner this film needed. Together with New Wave for the theatrical release, were confident that Mubi will access a considerable audience for Bruno Dumont's exquisite and hilarious work.” Like Arabian Nights, New Wave will look after the theatrical side of the release, the company’s Robert Beeson said: “We’re pleased to be starting on our second partnership with MUBI, and to be renewing our long relationship with Bruno Dumont.”
Talking of festivals, the Sundance Film Festival is on in London this weekend, and one of the key films airing there is Wiener-Dog, the wonderfully named latest from Todd Solondz and Picturehouse has used the premiere of the shaggy dog tale to announce it has picked up the UK rights to the film, which boasts an impressive cast featuring everyone from Danny DeVito to Greta Gerwig. Commenting on the release, Picturehouse’s director of programming and acquisitions Clare Binns said: “We are delighted to be releasing Wiener-Dog and working with Todd Solondz, one of the most consistently provocative and influential voices in American independent cinema. We were enchanted by the eponymous dachshund and his stellar co-stars, including the much-loved Danny DeVito and everyone’s favourite indie star, Greta Gerwig.”
An interesting announcement arrives from Lionsgate, which continues to spread its wings into production and other elements here in the UK and elsewhere. Latest news sees the company making its first significant investment in TV production in the UK, adding to a roster of shows that already includes Netflix and home entertainment hit Orange Is The New Black. Its first fully fledged UK TV outing will be sitcom Damned starring comics Jo Brand and Alan Davies. Set in the world of social services, it has already been aired as a one-off special on Sky Arts; now Channel 4 has commissioned a six-part, Lionsgate backed series, due to start filming this month. Lionsgate’s European ceo Zygi Kamasa said: “Since 2012 Lionsgate UK has proudly supported British film and talent, investing more in its home territory than any other distributor. We’re thrilled to now transfer that commitment to British TV with our first commissioned series with a subject matter that everyone can relate to.” Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs said: “We’re continuing to build our Lionsgate UK television brand alongside a premier film brand that Zygi Kamasa and his team have already established as an industry leader. We look forward to partnering with our friends at Channel 4 on this fresh, irreverent and timely comedy that will make an exciting addition to our slate.”

The Get It Right From A Genuine Site initiative continues, the latest area to be visited by the campaign was Liverpool, as a huge design celebrating creative arts in the city took over two walls at the art deco Littlewoods building. It’s the final site for the project, following on from Birmingham, Bournemouth and Cardiff. Its fitting that the site is now being developed as a film and TV studio. In keeping with the Get It Right ethos, the street art celebrates young talent from the city, new names and faces. MPA senior vp Marianne Grant said: “The mural unveiled today in Liverpool is another example of the most creative and inspirational home-grown talent that we have here in the UK collaborating with some of the best creative minds in Liverpool. We want to raise awareness of diversity of creative culture. We also hope to inspire young people about why creative industries of all types in our own communities are so integral to society and the economy – and to encourage them to explore and realise their own creative potential.” BPI chief Geoff Taylor added: “By creating these murals unique to the individual cities, we want people to value the importance of connecting with the films and TV, music, games, books, magazines and sports they love within their own communities; by doing so they invest in creating more great content and in the development of new artists and ideas that, in turn, lead to greater choice for everyone to enjoy.”
Key phrase if the week is “window of opportunity”, one used in a new study from the Carnegie Mellon University, which suggested that, surprise, surprise, delays between theatrical and digital and physical releases in different territories – the window of opportunity – increase the chances of piracy and damage DVD and Blu-ray sales. “Our results suggest that an additional 10-day delay between the availability of digital piracy and the legitimate DVD release date in a particular country is correlated with a 2-3 per cent reduction in DVD sales in that country.” The report goes on to say: “Our results suggest that studios and exhibitors should reconsider delayed international movie releases in the presence of global piracy. [Shorter delays] may have positive spillover effects in the form of reduced piracy in the DVD window.”

“The scale of this operation is significant, with an estimated 500 pubs involved but this could really be just be the tip of the iceberg. This illegal production scheme has been carried out in other areas across the UK but this is undoubtedly the biggest operation of its kind in the world in terms of recovery. Police Scotland has developed a close working relationship with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) which has been absolutely critical in helping us reach this point in the investigation. I hope this investigation sends a clear message that this type of criminal activity does not go unnoticed and we will continue to work with our partners to identify those involved and hold them to account.
Chief Inspector David Pettigrew after Scottish police carried out two raid on premises in Scotland during investigations in the sale of illegal set-top boxes to licensed premises…
 “Pub landlords, as well as the general public, need to be aware of IPTV and set-top boxes with apps and add-ons allowing the streaming of pirated TV, sports and films are very much illegal. Content theft deprives businesses and individuals of an honest livelihood and so on behalf of our members, FACT will continue to work with police forces across the UK to crack down on the illegal sale of these boxes.”
FACT director general Kieron Sharp on the same investigations…
Alice Through The Looking Glass opened around the £2.3 million mark, not enough to dislodge the latest X-Men outing, Apocalypse, from the top slot at UK cinemas. Other new entries included Money Monster, with just over £820,000, Love & Friendship with £263,094, and Minuscule, whig took just under £100,000. 
In one of those “surely this must have been announced already?” kind of stories, Amazon has this week confirmed that one of its flagship series, Transparent, has been confirmed for a fourth series to air on the Prime Video service. The greenlight follows the plethora of awards the programme has picked up thus far, including Golden Globes and BAFTAs. Amazon’s Joe Lewis said: “As the quality of television rises to new heights, Transparent continues to stand out for its depth of character, compassionate storytelling and its infinite creative risk-taking. We’re grateful that customers have responded so enthusiastically to the Pfefferman family and we’re excited to bring them another chapter of their story.” Show chief Jill Soloway added: “Amazon’s explosive freedom and revolutionary thinking has given birth to this show. It’s so much more than TV to us, it’s our version of the most ambitious streaming art we can conjure. We’re having the time of our lives sharing season two for the awards season hoopla, and editing and finishing up season three for a fall release. This news of an order for season four is so so sweet. The Pfeffermans have many more stories to tell and we can’t wait to keep making them.”   
One man comic book film factory Mark Millar has seen another of his outings for the page move a step closer to the screen this week, as Brian and Mark Gunn, siblings to James Gunn, of Guardians Of The Galaxy fame, have been confirmed as writers taken on board to adapt Jupiter’s Legacy. The superhero tale looks at a bunch who were anointed with powers on a mystical island and used them for the good of the world, and how their children cope with their own superpowers. No news yet on any dates… And sticking with Millar, there’s been yet another addition to the ever-expanding cast of the next Kingsman film, The Golden Circle, as Jeff Bridges joins the line-up…
Transformers 5, aka Transformers: The Last Knight has a new star, as Sir Anthony Hopkins has been announced for the latest instalment of the Autobots versus Decepticons saga, adding a touch of class to the proceedings. “The man, the myth, the legend – help us welcome Sir Anthony Hopkins to the #transformers universe,” said the official Transformers account. Mark Wahlberg is returning for the second time to the blockbuster franchise, with the next film arriving in June 2017. 
Here’s that Batman v Superman Ultimate Edition trailer…
And here’s more DC, as Suicide Squad meets football…
New Bruce Willis…
It’s a monster. And it’s a truck. It’s Monster Trucks…
A Netflix exclusive…
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