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Laika signs new distribution deal with Shout Factory (1 Viewer)

Jake Lipson

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This is a surprise.

Laika has signed a new home entertainment distribution deal with Shout Factory for their first four films. This includes Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), The Boxtrolls (2014) and Kubo and the Two Strings (2016.) These were previously distributed theatrically by Focus Features and on disc via Universal.

Of particular note to me is the line "The offerings will include new bonus content, collectible packaging, and specialty releases which are in development."


I have the previously released Universal discs of all four of these and I don't think there's anything wrong with them. But since I love the movies, new bonus features would be very tempting, so I'll be curious to see what is announced. Obviously, I don't know anything about their plans, but it seems to me that Shout would be more likely to release 4K discs of these than Universal would if the distribution rights had remained there.

That being said, physical media sales were down again last year, as they have been for a long time, and these are catalog titles now. They are really great catalog titles, but they are catalog titles nonetheless, and not even huge box office draws. Other than the possibility of 4K upgrades, who exactly do they think will want to buy these when they come out from Shout Factory who didn't already buy them when Universal was distributing?

Notably, Missing Link, their most recent film from 2019, is not included in this deal. That one went out theatrically via Annapurna and on disc via Fox. Perhaps the original distribution deal is still in effect for that.
 
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Stephen_J_H

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Missing Link was part of the Annapurna/MGM joint releasing venture previously known as Mirror and now known as United Artists Releasing. While some of those titles were released by Fox, after the Fox/Disney merger, it's very much on a case by case basis, with some going to Universal and some going to WB. In any event, because it wasn't released by Focus, it wouldn't be part of the same agreement.

I just hope this means they'll reissue Kubo and the Two Strings in 3D, as I've struggled with getting a copy. I have Coraline, ParaNorman and BoxTrolls, but haven't bought Kubo or Missing Link because I can't get them in 3D here.
 

Jake Lipson

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I just hope this means they'll reissue Kubo and the Two Strings in 3D, as I've struggled with getting a copy. I have Coraline, ParaNorman and BoxTrolls, but haven't bought Kubo or Missing Link because I can't get them in 3D here.

Universal released Kubo in 3D when it first came out and Amazon still has it available from third party sellers.

Amazon product
 

Jake Lipson

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I don't believe there was any 3D disc release of Missing Link.

You're right. Of course, it barely even played theatrically in 3D. Mine showed it in 2D only (which I was fine with because I can't handle 3D) and a few other places showed it once a day in 3D. Then it bombed, so they really didn't have incentive to add additional screenings, 3D or otherwise, and it was essentially out of wide release within a couple weeks. Too bad, because I really like that movie and it deserved better.
 

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