It was a dance of PR perfection. You have to marvel how Universal Pictures Home Entertainment expertly crafted a three-week series of summer theatrical releases announcements that were destined for the home entertainment market place.
Two weeks ago we commented on the surprise announcement of DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions of writer/director Joel Edgerton’s The Gift on Oct. 27: “The ARR is a surprisingly quick 81 days, which suggests that Universal, with its very successful summer theatrical slate, is moving The Gift to market to clear the decks for the likes of Minions, Straight Outta Compton and Ted 2.”
Sure enough, last week the directing team of Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin’s Minions received a three-SKU (DVD and two Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs — one with, one without a 3D viewing option) launch date of Dec. 8.
The trifecta was completed this week with the announcement of DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions of Seth MacFarlane’s Ted 2, which has been given a Dec. 15 release date.
This suggests that Universal will be holding onto director F. Gary Gray’s Straight Outta Compton until Q1 of 2016.
Ted 2, teaming Mark Wahlberg once again with his wise-cracking stuffed bear, Ted (voiced by MacFarlane), arrives with a leisurely ARR of 172 days. With a gap that long between a major studio theatrical release date and its subsequent move to home entertainment, it would appear that Universal (and this is just speculation) decided early on to position this laugh-out-loud comedy for release during the lucrative Christmas holiday promotional period.
Ticket sales came in at $81.3 million — the original Ted (released during Christmas of 2011) pulled in $218.6 million, so this has to be something of a disappointment. Still over $80 million is nothing to sneeze at.
As to bonus features, the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack SKU contains an “unrated” viewing option — Universal is calling this cut “too rude for the cinema,” which likely means that it includes trims that might have earned the film a no-no NC-17 rating. Seth MacFarlane provides commentary, and he joined by co-writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, plus Jessica Barth (who reprises her role as Tami-Lynn, Ted’s girlfriend and now wife), plus there are deleted scenes, a gag-reel and the featurette titled “Cameo Buddies.”
Exclusive to the Blu-ray SKU are three additional featurettes — “Thunder Buddies 4 Lyfe,” “Roadtripping” and “Creating Comic-Con.”