If this were a football game Warner Home Video would be flagged for piling on. Their infraction — again, if this were a football game and not about Blu-ray and DVD releases — came this week when they announced that director Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners will be heading home on Dec. 17 as DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack product offerings.
That is clearly a piling on penalty. Why? Well, a couple of months ago Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment selected Dec. 17 as the delivery date for their Razzie candidate for worst picture of 2013, The Lone Ranger. They staked out their release turf early.
It is important to understand that periodically the good folks over at Disney get it in their mind that since they are Disney they don’t really have to do much to promote their product. They are, after all, DISNEY and that should be more than enough. Of late they’ve reverted to this fallback position.
So Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment knowing that The Lone Ranger is both a turkey and that Disney would not be supporting it with any sort of marketing or publicity effort immediately gang-tackled this hapless home entertainment product offering with recent theatrical releases of their own (all grossing in excess of $25 million).
Universal, showing no fear, dropped in Kick-Ass 2 ($28.8 million). Fox added Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters ($67.5 million) and The Family ($36.6 million), while Sony Pictures chipped in with Elysium ($92.6 million) and One Direction: This is Us ($28.9 million). That brought the “hit” count to six — a very busy release week by historical standards.
With Prisoners also getting a Dec. 17 release date — it has taken in $59.9 million — Warner Home Video is clearly piling on!!! The Lone Ranger is a flat, flat pancake under that pile of theatrical hits. For the record, the ARR is a zippy 88 days.
Bonus features for this Hugh Jackman/Jake Gyllenhaal abduction thriller (with a twist) are limited to a pair of production featurettes — “Prisoners: Every Moment Matters” and “Prisoners – Powerful Performances.”
Also announced this week are Blu-ray editions of Stop-Loss and Two Weeks Notice, which are set for Feb. 4. Also getting a push on Feb. 4 are DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions of the animated feature-length adventure, Justice League: War (both with UltraViolet Digital Copy).
Shifting to Mar. 11 consumers will have newly minted Blu-ray editions of El Dorado, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and Hatari to choose from.
To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report