Universal Pictures Home Entertainment put Disney on the run this December with the double-whammy release of The Secret Life of Pets and Jason Bourne on Dec. 6. When you are out first with Spielberg’s The BFG on that date and Universal drops those two blockbusters on you … well, you tuck your mouse tail and run for cover (they moved The BFG to Nov. 29).
Now, we can’t speak with any authority on this, but about ten days ago Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment announced that their less-than-successful Light Between Oceans would be available on Jan. 17 as both DVD and Blu-ray product offerings. Did Universal take note of that? Again, we can’t say.
But, are you ready for this, Universal dropped another two-ton load of bricks on Disney’s little sad puppy with news this week that both director Tate Taylor’s film adaptation of the Paul Hawkins’ novel, The Girl on a Train, and the next installment in Universal’s newly-minted horror franchise, writer/director Mike Lanagan’s Ouija: Origins of Evil (a prequel to writer/director Stiles White’s 2014 horror hit, Ouija) will be available on … drum roll please … Jan. 17!!!
It’s no secret that Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has been struggling with their Blu-ray and DVD product offerings. Their PR people rely way, way too much on the Disney name — you know, “we’re Disney and you’re not” — to push their product. No effort is needed. With that attitude it is no wonder that Universal is making Disney’s home entertainment life miserable these days.
Will Light Between Oceans be moved to escape this crushing blow? Probably not, it’s a write-off anyway, so why bother.
The great irony in all of this inside-the-industry home entertainment body-slamming is that Taylor’s The Girl on the Train began its film production life in the Disney world, but it slipped through their fingers to the benefit of Universal Pictures.
This alcohol-fueled thriller arrives as a three-SKU product offering on Jan. 17. The ARR comes in at 102 days and domestic ticket sales were a solid $73.3 million.
Planned for release are a stand-alone DVD edition, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack. This latter configuration is a format which, ironically again, Disney refuses to support, but consumers can select a 4K Ultra HD version The Girl on the Train — something they would be denied if the production had remained at the mouse kingdom.
Bonus nuggets include commentary by director Tate Taylor (The Help), deleted and extended scenes and a pair of extended featurettes — “The Women Behind The Girl” and “On Board the Train.”
Teamed with The Girl on the Train on Jan. 17 is writer/director Mike Flanagan’s prequel to the 2014 release of Ouija, Ouija: Origin of Evil. Planed for distribution on that date are DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack selections.
The ARR is a swift-to-market 88 days and ticket sales from this Halloween-season release were a tasty $34.2 million.
The “DZ” on the Ouija Board in the first film — the malevolent “ghost” of Doris Zander — becomes the subject of this prequel, which now leaves future filmmakers involved in the series the wherewithal to fully exploit this creepy, and seemingly unstoppable, horror creation.
As to bonus goodies, writer/director Mike Flanagan (Hush, Oculus) provides commentary, there are deleted scenes and a trio of featurettes — “The Making of Ouija: Origin of Evil,” “Home is Where the Horror Is” and “The Girl Behind Doris.”