Studios Gear Up for Fourth-Quarter17 Sep, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Despite the Hollywood studio chatter about evolving digital distribution, the pending fourth-quarter again is all about purchasing packaged media.
It’s that time of year when many of the biggest box office hits get their Blu-ray Disc releases and are targeted for maximum retail exposure in the gift-giving season.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Nov. 2 will release an Ultimate Toy Box 3-Movie Collection with all three “Toy Story” films on Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy together for $100, the same day it releases Toy Story 3 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.
Toy Story 3 is the highest-grossing film of 2010 thus far, having taken in more than $1 billion worldwide.
Toy Story 3 will be available as a four-Disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack ($45.99), a two-Disc Blu-ray ($39.99) and a single-disc DVD ($29.99). All three iterations include a digital copy.
The Toy Story 3 Blu-ray includes the short “Day & Night,” behind-the-scenes views of life at Pixar, a sneak peek at the “Toy Story” playland at Hong Kong Disneyland, a closer look at the toys in the film, the Toy Story Trivia Dash game, commentary with director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson, an alternate commentary with the Pixar crew, and a making-of featurette on Day & Night.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s fourth-quarter movie releases include The Rocky Horror Picture Show: 35th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray for $34.99 on Oct. 19 and the Blu-ray/DVD combo-pack release of Knight and Day ($39.99), starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, on Nov. 30.
“Avatar, released earlier this year on Blu-ray, broke all sales records for the studio, proving that amazing content deserves an amazing format,” said Mary Daily, EVP, marketing, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. “Only Blu-ray delivers the premium, high-def home entertainment experience that is as close as possible to the director’s original cinematic vision. Across the board, consumers are increasingly preferring Blu-ray for their libraries, which is why Fox Home Entertainment is releasing more Blu-ray titles than ever this holiday sales season.”
Paramount Home Entertainment is bowing box office hit Iron Man 2 Sept. 28, DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train your Dragon Oct. 15 and The Last Airbender Nov. 16.
Iron Man 2 is available Sept. 28 as a three-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo plus digital copy for $39.99 and as a single-disc Blu-ray edition for $34.99. Special features for the Blu-ray editions include commentary by director Jon Favreau and the S.H.I.E.L.D. Data Vault, which allows users to extend their knowledge of Marvel cinematic universe and interact with select scenes from the movie that include new layers of graphics and insider information. How to Train Your Dragon is available Oct. 15 in a two-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo plus Dragon Double Pack for $39.99. The release includes the special feature “Legend of the BoneKnapper,” picture-in-picture storyboards, behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, pop-up trivia, deleted scenes, build your own 3D dragons and a Viking personality test.
The Last Airbender is available as two-disc special edition Blu-ray ($29.99), and single-disc Blu-ray ($24.99). Special features on the Blu-ray include a nine-part documentary, “Discovering The Last Airbender.”
Finally, Paramount releases Ken Burns’ Baseball: The Tenth Inning on Blu-ray ($29.99) Oct. 5, and the White Christmas Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Gift Set ($29.99) Nov. 2.
In addition to tentpole Q4 titles such as Grown Ups and Eat Pray Love, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will launch a new line of ‘Blu-ray Essentials’ in November, according to Marc Rashba, VP, marketing at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
“[‘Blu-ray Essentials’] will offer Blu-ray fans a selection of movies that critics consider must-owns for any true home theater enthusiast,” Rashba said. “These titles combine the best action adventure titles in our catalog, all of which have been praised for their superior picture and sound quality, with price points below $20.”
Titles in the ‘Essentials’ collection include some that have never before been available as singles, including Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, as well as other hits such as Casino Royale, The DaVinci Code and Blackhawk Down.
Other films to hit Blu-ray include the catalog classic Bridge on the River Kwai, which hits Blu-ray for the first time in a deluxe boxed set; The Karate Kid (Oct. 5), starring Jaden Smith, in a two-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo plus digital copy ($38.96) and as a single-disc Blu-ray ($34.95); and 30 Days of Night: Dark Days ($30.95).
Sony Pictures also through its partnership with Sony Electronics will continue to roll out 3D Blu-rays, including 3D versions of Open Season and a The Official FIFA World Cup Film in 3D, Rashba said.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment Sept. 28 releases Get Him to the Greek on Blu-ray for $39.98. On Oct. 26, the studio releases on Blu-ray Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy plus digital copy at $79.98. The digitally remastered “Back to the Future” trilogy includes Universal’s interactive features, including U-Control and Setups & Payoffs, which allows viewers to bookmark key scenes and compare them with the original storyboards. Also, Trivia Track gives viewers the option to answer trivia questions while watching the movie. The trilogy also includes Pocket Blu, a Blu-ray app for iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry and Android smartphones, as well as BD Live and My Scenes.
A slew of Tyler Perry films spearhead Lionsgate’s fourth- quarter Blu-ray push, including Nov. 23 re-releases of Big Happy Family (The Play), Madea Goes to Jail, The Family That Preys, Why Did I Get Married?, Madea’s Family Reunion and Diary of a Mad Black Woman.
Other releases include the Open Water/Open Water 2: Adrift package (Oct. 5, $19.99), Apocalypse Now: Full Disclosure Edition and Apocalypse Now: Two Disc Set (Oct. 19, $59.99), Santa Claus: The Movie — 25th Anniversary Edition (Oct. 26, $19.99) and Highlander: Director’s Cut and Highlander 2 (Nov. 2, $19.99 each).
Warner Home Video Oct. 5 releases The Exorcist Extended Director’s Cut & Original Theatrical Edition on two-disc Blu-ray for $34.99. Bonus features include new three-part documentary on the movie’s production and legacy; the featurettes “Raising Hell: Filming The Exorcist,” “The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now” and “Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist”; and commentary by director William Friedkin.
Also, The Hangover Extreme Edition streets Oct. 12 for $35.99; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Ultimate Edition and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Ultimate Edition bow Oct. 19 at $39.98 each; Elf: The Ultimate Collector’s Edition ($49.99) comes out Oct. 26; and The Goonies 25th Anniversary Edition ($49.99) streets Nov. 2. The classic Ocean’s Eleven (1960) is also expected on Blu-ray for the gift-giving season.
Criterion Collection, which is distributed by Image Entertainment, in December will bow two horror classics on Blu-ray: Guillermo del Toro’s feature debut Cronos and the director’s unreleased 1987 short horror film Geometria. Also, the supplier will release David Cronenberg’s sci-fi shocker Videodrome on Blu-ray for the first time.
Kino International Nov. 16 releases The Complete Metropolis, a digital restoration of Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic, which includes 25 minutes of previously lost footage. The Blu-ray edition retails for $39.95.
On the music side, Eagle Rock Entertainment has Blu-ray editions of When You’re Strange: A Film About the Doors ($24.98); and for $19.98, classic albums discs Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Black Sabbath: Paranoid, Michael McDonald: This Christmas (Sept. 21) and Rush (Sept. 28); Ladies and Gentlemen the Rolling Stones (Oct. 12); and Phil Collins: Going Back— Live at Roseland Ballroom, NYC (Nov. 2).