Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Theatrical Announcements Heading To DVD and Blu-ray, Jan. 26 Update

Anchor Bay Entertainment

01/22/13 — Released Officer Down (ARR of 4 days; box office: $1,184) DVD and Blu-ray

03/12/13 — Sets This Must be the Place (ARR of 130 days; box office: $142,242) DVD and Blu-ray

03/26/13 — Sets Killing Them Softly (ARR of 116 days; box office: $14,938,570) DVD and Blu-ray


01/08/13 — Released Khiladi 786 (Hindi) (ARR of 32 days; box office: $352,684) DVD only

01/22/13 — Released Son of Sardar (Hindi) (ARR of 67 days; box office: $713,754) DVD only

First Run Features

04/09/13 — Sets Orchestra of Exiles (ARR of 165 days; box office: $24,710)

Indomina Media

02/26/13 — Sets Holy Motors (French) (ARR of 130 days; box office: $612,200) DVD and Blu-ray

Lionsgate Home Entertainment

03/26/13 — Sets The Collection (ARR of 116 days; box office: $6,842,058) DVD and Blu-ray

PBS Direct

04/23/13 — Sets Central Park Five (ARR of 151 days; box office: $273,747) DVD and Blu-ray

20th Century-Fox Home Ent.

03/12/13 — Sets Hitchcock (ARR of 109 days; box office: $5,788,209) DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

* ARR - Asset Rollover Rate: The number of days between a film's initial theatrical debut and its subsequent release on DVD and/or Blu-ray.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Thursday, January 24, 2013

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment To Release Skyfall On Feb. 12

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment will be moving quickly to place the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film production of the latest installment of the long-running 007 film franchise at retail on Feb. 12.   Technically speaking, they would seem to already be beyond the pre-book for this one.

The ARR for the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (with Digital Copy) and DVD editions of Skyfall works out to a zippity-quick to market sprint of just 95 days.   

 The only other films grossing in excess of $300 million at the box office to make the move this quickly from their respective theatrical venues to the home entertainment package media arena are filmmaker Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (88 days; 2010) and the third installment of the Transformers film franchise, Transformers: Dark of the Moon (91 days; 2011).

This past weekend Skyfall hit $301 million in domestic ticket sales; perhaps that milestone was the trigger point for the announcement … we suspect that key retail outlets already had the word.

Once again Daniel Craig nails the Bond character.   Tough, even ruthless, resourceful and always intelligent.  He sells it … Craig can be 007/James Bond as long as his body lets him (expect him back in 2014).

DVD & Blu-ray Release ReportNot only is Skyfall a monster theatrical hit, but it has five Oscar nominations, including Best Song, Adele’s “Skyfall” (plus two for sound and one each for Original Musical Score and Cinematography) and the script from the writing team of Robert Wade and Neal Purvis (their fifth Bond) — who are joined by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan — does an excellent job of returning the James Bond character to his Scottish roots.

As to bonus goodies, there are four featurettes on the DVD edition.   The Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack adds in ten additional featurettes, plus two separate commentary options — one featuring director Sam Mendes (Best Director Oscar-winner for American Beauty … his first Bond film) and the second showcases veteran 007/James Bond film producer Barbara Broccoli (daughter of Cubby Broccoli), who is joined by fellow 007/James Bond film producer Michael G. Wilson (his 13th film) and production designer Dennis Gassner (Oscar-winner for his work on Bugsy in 1991, plus three addition Oscar nominations … his second 007/Bond film, having handled similar duties on Quantum of Solace). 

Also added to the release schedule this week from 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment is director Andy Fickman’s Parental Guidance, teaming Billy Crystal with Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei.

Slated for delivery on Mar. 26 are DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (with Digital Copy) SKUs.   The ARR is a quick-to-market 91 days.  Ticket sales came in at a nice clip of $67.7 million.

Bonus features include commentary from director Andy Fickman (She’s the Man, You Again, etc.) and Billy Crystal, plus there are deleted scenes with optional commentary from Fickman.   

Exclusive to the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack are a gag reel and a featurette titled “FXM Productions Presents: In Character with Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei.”

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wheeler and Woolsey RKO Comedy Classics Collection From Warner Home Video On Feb. 26

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
Warner Home Video announced today that a four-disc, nine-film collection showcasing the comedy antics of Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey will be available to own on DVD on Feb. 26.   The set is titled Wheeler and Woolsey RKO Comedy Classics Collection.

Included in the collection are:  Half Shot At Sunrise (1930, with Dorothy Lee — an early co-star for the comedy duo), Hook, Line and Sinker (1930, also with Lee), Cracked Nuts (1931, again co-starring Dorothy Lee), Caught Plastered (1931, with Lee plus Jason Robards, Sr. and Charles Middleton), Hold 'Em Jail (1932, with Betty Grable in an early film role … others in the cast include Edgar Kennedy, Roscoe Ates, Robert Armstrong and another Wheeler and Woolsey regular, Edna May Oliver), Hips, Hips, Hooray (1934, Lee is joined by Thelma Todd and Ruth Etting), The Nitwits (1935, Betty Grable returns), Mummy's Boys (1936, co-starring Barbara Pepper) and High Flyers (1937, a stellar cast that includes Lupe Velez, Jack Carson, Margaret Dumont and Marjorie Lord).

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Criterion Collection Announces Its April Product Offerings

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
Criterion Collection, with sales and distribution expertise provided by Image Entertainment, announced its April slate of DVD and Blu-ray product offerings this past week.

By any accounts, it is a playful mix of film selections.    Blu-ray debuts for Repo Man, Naked Lunch and Richard III pretty much sums it up … playful!

So let us get right to it, in chronological order we kick off the month with the Apr. 9 selections of the Blu-ray debut of director David Cronenberg’s 1991 film adaptation of William S. Burroughs’s rambling novel (autobiography?), Naked Lunch.  Bizarre.  Fascinating.  Weird.  Surreal.  All descriptions apply (and more).  

Bonus features include commentary from both filmmaker David Cronenberg and the film’s star, Peter Weller, plus there is the 1992 documentary from Chris Rodley titled “Naked Making Lunch,” an audio recording of Burroughs reading selected passages from the book and more, including a gallery of photos and artwork.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
On the same Apr. 9 street date is the Blu-ray debut of director Sir Laurence Olivier’s 1955 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, Richard III.  Olivier was nominated Best Actor for his interpretation of legendary English monarch (losing out to another king … Yul Brynner in The King and I).

This new hi-def transfer comes from the Film Foundations’ 2012 restoration of the film.   Bonus goodies include commentary from playwright and stage director Russell Lees, who is joined by the former governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company, John Wilders, plus Criterion has included a vintage interview with Olivier (1966) and a gallery of production stills and theatrical posters.

Also on Apr. 9 is a Blu-ray release of Japanese filmmaker Teinosuke Kinugasa’s 1953 Oscar-winner (domestic release was 1954), Gate of Hell.

On Apr. 16 there will be a Blu-ray and a double-disc release of director Alex Cox’s ode to all things Los Angeles … the strange, the other worldly and the, well, bizarre (don’t open the trunk).   A newly restored version of Repo Man is on the way!

Bonus features include commentary from filmmaker Alex Cox, who is joined by music legend Michael Nesmith (he produced the films) and actors Sy Richardson, Zander Schloss, and Del Zamora, plus there are cast and crew interviews, deleted scenes and an alternate version of the film.

On the foreign-language front, look for collections of Masaki Kobayashi Against the System (a four-film set on Apr. 16 — DVD only) and both Blu-ray and DVD editions of Pierre Etaix (a five-film collection on Apr. 23).

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mill Creek Entertainment Sets March DVD and Blu-ray Release Slate

Mill Creek Entertainment announced its line up of Blu-ray and DVD release for the month of March this past week.  Two waves of price-to-sell product offerings will street on Mar. 12 and Mar. 26.

The Mar. 12 selections are DVD sets, which include the nine-part epic mini-series The 10th Kingdom (a three-disc collection), the four-program collection of Red Skelton: The Farewell Specials (featuring: Freddie The Freeloader’s Christmas Dinner, More Funny Faces, Funny Faces III and A Royal Command Performance), two more seasons of RoseanneRoseanne: The Complete Eighth Season and Roseanne: The Complete Seventh Season (both are three-disc sets) and the massive ten-disc collection titled The Lincoln Chronicles, which includes the mini-series, Sandburg’s Lincoln and the bonus theatrical feature film D.W. Griffith’s Abraham Lincoln (and much, much more).
Two weeks later, Mar. 26, the focus for Mill Creek Entertainment is on the Blu-ray format.   There will be a dozen double-features — all priced at just $9.98 each.  You read that right, $9.98 each for Blu-ray double-features!!!

Included in the mix are the likes of: Double Feature: Hollow Man, Hollow Man 2, Double Feature: Terminal Velocity, White Squall, Double Feature: When a Stranger Calls, Happy Birthday to Me and Double Feature: Ship of Fools, Lilith.

Also in the Mar. 26 Blu-ray product mix are two releases under the “National Parks Exploration Series” promotional banner.  These are: National Parks Exploration Series: Voyageurs National Park - Spirit of the Boundary Waters and National Parks Exploration Series: Glacier National Park – Crown of the Continent … price for each is just $9.98.

For more information on all of these price-to-sell DVD and Blu-ray product offerings, please visit the Mill Creek Entertainment website at: Mill Creek Entertainment … or call toll free: 866-410-9000; email:

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Green Apple Entertainment's Population 2 Debuts On Mar. 26

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
Glen, Randa and Max have walked this landscape ... or drove through it very quickly.  Eli had to contend with Carnegie and his sort, but he too often found himself alone.  Dr. Neville retreated to his fortress each night, but he was never alone.   

It is the same; always the same, a post-apocalyptic world … different visions, but much in common.  Dreary.  Bleak.  Survival is always on the things to do list each day.

Now comes Lilith (Suzanne Tufan) in writer/director Gil Luna’s Population 2, due out on DVD from Green Apple Entertainment on Mar. 26.   She too navigates the loneliness of a world devoid of humanity; the squeaky wheels of a child’s wagon always in tow is the only sound she hears.   

The film has been working the festival circuit since 2011, pulling in awards (Indie Fest, Award of Merit; Accolade Competition, Award of Excellence; Houston World Fest, REMI Award, etc.) and excellent reviews.  It is a genre film in the truest sense and that means that its audience is both loyal and narrowcast … sci-fi fans.   The DVD release gives it a chance for a wider audience to explore and enjoy.

Lilith, alone in the world — at least her little corner of it — finds herself wandering a hellish landscape by day, scavenging for food and returning to her hidey-hole at night; her self-imposed sanctuary where she can dream of other things … the past.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release ReportLuna takes us into her world — and her past — through her daily rituals and jumps us back to past events little by little.  In the process the puzzle is slowly pieced together.  

This woman has long since reached the end of the rope, tied a knot and is now just hanging on.  But for her there is hope, oddly enough, when all hope seems to be gone.   Maybe it is hell that she is experiencing — the same thing over and over again.  Maybe it is her penance for things in her past.   In any case, Population 2 is an interesting take on the well-worked theme of a post-apocalyptic world and what it takes to get through one day to the next.   

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Fun Size On DVD And Blu-ray From Paramount On Feb. 19

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
One thing about theatrical releases, there are no second chances (Tom Laughlin’s Billy Jack aside).   The film arrives at the local multiplex and audiences have to figure it out lickity-split or it is gone.

Such appears to be the case with producer Josh Schwartz’s debut directorial effort, Fun Size, which arrives on Blu-ray and DVD (with UltraViolet) courtesy of Paramount Home Media Distribution on Feb. 19.   

The ARR is 116 days and the box office take was on the light side at $9.4 million.

Schwartz, the successful producer, writer and developer of such TV series as Chuck, Gossip Girl and Hart of Dixie appears to be the victim of some interesting choices in the marketing and distribution of this Victoria Justice film comedy.   

First, the title, Fun Size … what is that all about?   Fun Size as in large?  Doesn’t seem to fit Victoria Justice.   No matter, you can overcome goofy film titles.

Second, don’t dig the hole deeper.   The Nickelodeon brand is a solid point of light for parents with small kids looking for entertainment along the lines of Dora the Explorer, Bubble Guppies and Go, Diego, Go!   

There is a time when using the brand might, just might, create some confusion as to who the intended audience might be.  Fun Size is a teen comedy along the lines of Easy A, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead and Sydney White.   

Fun Size skews older than the Nickelodeon brand implies and that means that the target audience might not get the message.   Remember: Do it quickly — in terms of the message — or the window is gone.

Fortunately, there is this little thing called home entertainment — DVD, Blu-ray and the like — so Paramount Home Media rides to the rescue with a second chance to get the word out that Fun Size is actually a teen comedy starring Victoria Justice.  It’s fun; plenty of laughs; enjoyable viewing … and there is nothing too over the line to make parents wince.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release ReportBonus features include a gag reel, deleted scenes and a pair of featurettes, including one titled, “Unwrapped: The Making of Fun Size.”  There is also the Carly Rae Jepsen music video, “This Kiss.”

Also on the release calendar from Paramount Home Media Distribution is the Showtime production of The Borgias: The Complete Second Season.   The street date for the double-disc Blu-ray and three-disc DVD sets is pegged for Mar. 26.

Bonus features include the featurette titled “The World of Borgias,” plus “Behind-the-Scenes” and cast interviews.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Lionsgate's Twilight Saga Comes To An End On Mar. 2

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
With $290.2 million in ticket sales (on its way $300 million) it is always tough for a studio to say goodbye to a film franchice, but on Mar. 2 (yes, a Saturday street date) Lionsgate Home Entertainment will be doing just that with Blu-ray and DVD (a double-disc set) releases (complete with UltraViolet) of the Summit Entertainment film production of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2

The ARR comes in at just 106 days … we actually thought it would be quicker than that with a possible Valentine’s Day window.

As to bonus goodies, director Bill Condon will be delivering commentary, plus there is a seven-part production documentary, a making of featurette and the Green Day video, “The Forgotten.”

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

VCI Entertainment Brings Gorgo To Blu-ray On Mar. 19

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
It didn’t stomp Tokyo, but watch out London … here comes Gorgo!

VCI Entertainment has a new hi-def transfer and a complete restoration of this 1961 giant monster classic ready as an “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” for both Blu-ray and DVD on Mar. 19.

The cycle began in 1953 with The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.  Giant ants (Them), spiders (Tarantula) and more quickly followed.  The “giant monster” genre got some more wind at its back when Godzilla: King of the Monsters arrived in domestic waters in 1956 (released in Japan two years earlier), recut and complete with an American star (Raymond Burr).

Of course you could always go back to King Kong and the like, but we are talking about post-war monsters, usually spawned by radiation — the nuclear age.   We were treated to giant crabs (Attack of the Crab Monsters), scorpions (The Black Scorpion), a preying mantis (The Deadly Mantis) and even giant men and women (The Amazing Colossal Man; Attack of the 50 Foot Woman) during the heyday of the cycle.   

It was the nuclear age.  It was the baby boom.  It was era of the giant beasts!   The cycle continued well into the 60s and sort of petered out (and mocked) when Marv Newland’s 1969 brilliant bit of animation surfaced and put both an exclamation point on and a period to the cycle … Bambi Meets Godzilla said enough; enough already!

But it was in 1961 that filmmaker Eugène Lourié, the same director that launched the cycle with The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms in 1953 (and followed with The Giant Behemoth in 1959), who first signaled that the end was coming with one last “big splash,” Gorgo.   

And if you’ll recall (fondly), Gorgo the giant monster captured early on off of the coast of Ireland is just a little guy.  Sure, he’s plenty big all right, but it’s his mother, Ogra, who comes to his rescue and destroys all of London in the process!   

As to bonus nuggets included on the DVD and Blu-ray SKUs from VCI Entertainment, be prepared to enjoy Daniel Griffith’s new documentary, “Ninth Wonder of the World: The Making of Gorgo,” plus a photo gallery, a pressbook gallery, an extensive collection of theatrical posters and lobby cards, plus the Gorgo video comic book ... and more!

Not done yet.  VCI Entertainment also has a pair of DVD double features planned for release on Mar. 19 under the “Creepy Creature Double Feature” promotional banner.
The first double bill is Monster From the Ocean Floor (1954, with Stuart Wade and Anne Kimbell) and Serpent Island (1954, Sonny Tufts), while the other double feature presentation includes The Crawling Hand (1963) and The Slime People (also 1963, with Robert Hutton and Les Tremayne).   

Both SKUs are priced at just $14.98 each and include bonus treats.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Blu-ray Ekes Out 2012 SKU Growth ... By A Whisker

It took a year-end recount coupled with a tedious search for indie Blu-ray product sources (and all that entails in trying to figure out when some of these jokers actually released their stuff) to push the final Blu-ray SKU count up and over the 2011 total.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

In 2011 there were 1,886 confirmed Blu-ray product offerings.  Last year the number (thus far, with a few stragglers still in the wind) stands at 1,909 … that meager up-tick represents a year-over-year gain of 1.22 percent.

For a format that is just seven years into its lifecycle to suddenly go flat — in terms of new SKU growth — is an event that should be viewed with some degree of concern for those involved in the home entertainment packaged media business.  Or maybe not … perhaps suppliers are engaged in “rational” behavior.

If the truth be known, the format has never really taken off.   Oh sure the sales numbers have soared, but there’s a good deal robbing Paul to pay Peter embedded in that growth.
For consumers the marginal increase in resolution offered by the Blu-ray format over DVD has simply not been the same drawing card as DVD was to VHS.

There are other factors that have inhibited the growth of Blu-ray, again, in terms of SKU counts.   GIGO is certainly an issue.   Some stuff just doesn’t work; it doesn’t translate to hi-def.

Price is also a factor, but not just the new-to-new differential between a DVD and a Blu-ray release of the same title.   Trying to promote Blu-ray catalog is difficult when the consumer is more than willing to buy used DVDs (they’ve discovered that it is not the same value proposition as the crap shoot of purchasing used VHS) at just a fraction of the cost of the same title on Blu-ray … that’s a killer.

Unless it’s a genre-specific or a title-specific purchase, most films are simply there for consumption.   The vast majority are viewed once and it is time to move on … not everything can be Star Wars.

Throw in changes in the retail environment and a less than stellar economy and you have plenty of reasons for a go-slow approach to the Blu-ray format since its inception.

Since the focus for Blu-ray has been on New Theatrical (and hit New Theatrical releases at that) sales, this too has proven to be something of a trap.  The studios can only generate 98 to 105 of these new golden eggs per year ($25 million plus at the box office).   It’s a function of available screens and available seats at the multiplex level.

It’s hard to make a business out of two new product offerings per week on average. 
Trying to mine the catalog — it would appear — has also been frustrating.  Price (especially when you factor in all of the used product out there) versus the marginal increase in resolution seems to be a major factor in keeping SKU counts for Blu-ray from moving to ever-higher levels.    

You don’t have to sit in a sales meeting at a major Hollywood studio to see what is going on.  You don’t have to be a fly on the wall, so to speak.  All you have to do is to look at their release behavior over an extended period of time to see what works … and what doesn’t.

You either accept or reject the notion that businesses behave in rational ways; it’s not a hobby.   If it doesn’t provide an acceptable ROI … then they don’t do it.

For example, during the DVD-exclusive period of 1997 through 2005 only 14.1 percent of all New Theatrical releases have been converted to Blu-ray.   The DVD format, on the other hand, converted 92.6 percent of all those films released theatrically during that period.  That is a huge difference.    

Clearly, suppliers are not making the money they expected on converting this mass of product to Blu-ray, otherwise they would not be bouncing along at 14.1 percent conversion rate.

We suspect that the Blu-ray format will continue to focus on New Theatrical and genre-specific film library releases, while DVD will remain the workhorse for most other categories.   

Only time will tell if Blu-ray becomes more of a storage medium and less of (or in addition to) a hi-def bells and whistles format … if that happens, then we could see a significant shift in release patterns.   Stay tuned.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report