Whenever you see a major studio get busy with announcements for TV series on both DVD and Blu-ray — plus some tasty film vault promotions — you can all but take it to the bank that a major theatrical release is being positioned for delivery to the home entertainment market place during the same time frame.
It is never a smart marketing and publicity play to bury the lesser product announcements with the splash of a mega-hit heading to DVD and Blu-ray. So you get out in front and then swing for the fences.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has director Clint Eastwood’s $340 million-plus monster hit, American Sniper, in inventory and judging from the flurry of TV and Blu-ray catalog announcements these past couple of weeks we can fully expect to see an announcement any moment that will place American Sniper at retail somewhere between mid-May and the first week of June.
So what are these “canaries in the coal mine” tips? Beginning with the early June Blu-ray promotions for such film delights as the John Wayne Western Collection (June 2) and The Golden Year Collection: 1939 (June 9) and this week’s selections of TV collections … every indication is there that American Sniper will get its marching orders next week.
In the meantime, Major Crimes: The Complete Third Season (a four-disc set) will be ready for fans on May 26 and Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Fifth Season (also a four-disc set) will follow on June 9.
Also streeting on June 9 will be Blu-ray (two discs – with UltraViolet) and DVD (three-discs) sets of author William Brinkley’s inspired post- apocalyptic naval series, The Last Ship: The Complete First Season.
Bonus nuggets include “The Making of Last Ship” featurette, cast interviews and a Comic Con Panel session.
On the theatrical front, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment also announced this past week that writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s (Oscar nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay — his fourth writing nomination and no wins yets) off-kilter film adaptation of author Thomas Pynchon’s 1970s-period crime novel, Inherent Vice, will be ready as DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack offerings on Apr. 28.
The ARR is 137 days and domestic ticket sales were $8.1 million.
Los Angeles-based detective Larry "Doc" Sportello (played by Joaquin Phoenix) is pleasantly surprised to fine Shasta, his ex-girlfriend (Katherine Waterston … as Emma Harrow in the Boardwalk Empire cable series), at his doorstep one day with a doozy of an assignment. Her current paramour (Eric Roberts) is worth bucko bucks and is being set-up by his current wife (Serena Scott Thomas) and she needs Doc’s help to thwart her scheme.
A walk in the park, right? HA! Think L.A. Confidential meets Chinatown, with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas thrown in for atmosphere and you are in the right quadrant of the universe for what goes down in Inherent Vice.
Bonus features include four featurettes — “Los Paranoias,” “Shasta Fay,” “The Golden Fang” and “Everything in This Dream.”