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Lionsgate Preps its Biggest Disc Release Ever

5 Aug, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — As a marketing executive with Summit Entertainment, T.J. Moffett saw the impact the home entertainment releases of the “Twilight” franchise had on the studio.

Today he’s seeing the same thing with Lionsgate and The Hunger Games. Only more so.

“You can see the way it has fundamentally transformed the company, the entire team,” said Moffett, SVP of home entertainment marketing for Lionsgate. “Everyone has really elevated their game.”

The Aug. 18 disc and digital release of the film, which has pulled in more than $680 million worldwide, is set to be the biggest home entertainment release ever for Lionsgate, and the studio has prepared accordingly: The two-disc Blu-ray Disc and two-disc DVD have more than three hours of bonus materials. Four brick-and-mortar retailers — Walmart, Best Buy, Costco and Target — and Apple’s iTunes will all have their own exclusive SKUs and bonuses. And Lionsgate will go the “Twilight” route when it releases the film at midnight on a Friday.

“I’m going to have to get every one,” said The Hunger Games actress Jacqueline Emerson (Foxface). “I think it’s great for the fans, the amount of bonuses they’ve included.”

Much like the “Twilight” franchise, The Hunger Games has inspired dozens of fan sites, and Lionsgate used Aug. 4 to invite the people behind those sites to preview some of the bonus features.

“We’re big special features fans, like the ‘Lord of the Rings’ extended editions, and we were excited when we found out how much was going into The Hunger Games Blu-ray,” said Courtney Custodio, 25, a Chatsworth, Calif. resident and founder of WelcometoDistrict12.com. “There are so many special editions, I don’t know what to do.”

Tiffany Gustanski, 24, a Los Angeles resident and founder of VictorsVillage.com, is going for the Target exclusive, a deluxe edition with a collectible case and 45 minutes of exclusive content, including the “Tribute Video Diaries,” “Stories from the Tributes,” “Tribute Biographies” and “Tribute Photo Gallery.”

“But I want them all,” she added.

The Best Buy exclusive comes in a unique cube box and a numbered, limited-edition collectable, while the Walmart exclusive will come with the bonuses “The Stunts of The Hunger Games” and “Capitol Couture: The Styles of Panem,” as well as a Mockingjay pendant. The Costco exclusive will come with a necklace with a secret canister, a bag clip and a replica arena sack, while the iTunes exclusive will feature its own interactive experience.

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