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Studios to Pump Up DVD, 3D at Comic-Con 2009

22 Jul, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

During the madhouse that is San Diego Comic-Con International 2009, held July 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center, attendees will find two constants in the programs: DVD and 3D.

The event is sold out, every part of the San Diego Convention Center floor will be covered, and the studios are ready to show off their wares to more than 120,000 attendees.

“The studios have realized that if they have a property in science-fiction or fantasy, it’s the place to be,” said TheDigitalBits.com’s Bill Hunt, who’ll host a DVD and Blu-ray Disc producers panel July 23. “Hollywood has taken it over, frankly.”

Several major studios have something 3D related on the schedule, and all of them have plans to tout new and upcoming DVD releases.

“Each year Comic-Con presents a unique marketing opportunity for us to reach the fans of our various properties and interact on a truly personal level at our booth with signings or through various panels that allow fans to get sneak peeks of our upcoming product and even ask questions of their favorite filmmakers or talent,” said Lexine Wong, senior EVP of worldwide marketing for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Sony will have director Fred Dekker on hand July 23 at its booth to promote the upcoming DVD release of his 1986 film Night of the Creeps. The cast of the digital online series “Angel of Death” will do a panel July 24 to help promote the July 28 DVD release of the movie version.

Image Entertainment July 26 will have a panel for Alien Trespass, which is getting a DVD and Blu-ray release Aug. 11, and director Bob Goodwin couldn’t be more pleased to show it off at Comic Con.

“Over the years, we’ve met thousands of fans at various cons and ‘X-Files’ events, and now we are so fortunate to be included in the premiere event of them all,” Goodwin said. “ I just hope I don't get trampled by everyone trying to say hello to my wife [Sheila Larken].”

Anime distributors had the Anime Expo in Los Angeles earlier in July, but there’s just no place like Comic Con to get the word out about a new title, according to Viz Media’s Ev Dubocq.

“We get to have the gathering of people that are current fans as well as entice new ones to learn about our anime and manga titles,” she said. “The show also gives us the forum for one on one with fans, the ability to indulge them with giveaways, special show-only retail offers and in booth creator signings among other exciting events.”

Shout! Factory July 23 has a panel for the DVD set of The Middleman (due July 28) and will use its booth to sell the complete-series sets of two iconic 1980s animated series. Fans can go online to order The Transformers: 25th Anniversary Matrix of Leadership Edition (www.transformerscollectorsset.com) and G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero —  Complete Series Collector’s Set (www.gijoecollectorsset.com). Fans who buy the sets at Comic-Con will receive an autographed lithograph, and voice actor Gregg Berger (“Grimlock” on “Transformers”) will be at the Shout! Factory booth from 1-2 p.m. July 25 and 26 to sign autographs.

“This year we’re fortunate to be releasing those titles,” said Shout! Factory VP of marketing Melissa Boag, pointing to Paramount’s theatrical Transformers and G.I. Joe live-action releases. “Nothing compares to Comic-Con. We can use it to speak directly to the fans, and we always look forward to it. They’re our people.”

And Universal Studios Home Entertainment will have Edward James Olmos available to promote the upcoming movie Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, which he directed. The Plan debuts exclusively on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download Oct. 27.

TVShowsonDVD.com’s Gord Lacey said July used to be a lull before studios did big September TV DVD releases, but now Comic-Con is the place to get something noticed.

“Comic-Con has become the place to debut cult and animated releases, and we’ve seen a number of exclusives this year,” he said, pointing to Shout! Factory’s releases, and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s exclusive “Futurama” complete-series boxed set and “Dollhouse” season one releases. “And with a bazillion people expected to attend Comic-Con this year, it’s no surprise they would want to take advantage of the hordes.”

As for 3D, several studios have panels to show off the latest 3D efforts.

In addition to a panel promoting the 3D DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases of Coraline, Universal Studios will unveil 3D technology for consumer PCs, involving Web cams and print-outs of custom Coraline backgrounds.

Fox will show 3D footage for Avatar, and Disney will showcase 3D footage from A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland and Tron.

For DreamWorks Animation’s Monsters vs. Aliens, Paramount Home Entertainment July 26 will have the character B.O.B. available for 3D photos at the studio’s booth.

July 23 a 3D Showcase will feature footage of the films Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, The Hole and The Final Destination. Also July 23 is a panel for 3D project Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey.

In other studio plans, Warner Home Video July 25 will have Watchmen director Zack Snyder on hand for a BD Live community screening of the film. Warner also has DVD and Blu-ray panels July 23 for its October release Trick ‘r Treat, July 24 for Green Lantern: First Flight (on disc July 28) and “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” (Vol. 1 on DVD Aug. 25) and July 26 for Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins (on disc Sept. 22).

July 23 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will promote The Marine 2 and Wrong Turn 3 (due in October) at its booth with autograph sessions. July 24 sees a panel with the stars of Dollhouse: Season One (on disc July 28), and the studio will sell a limited number of Comic-Con exclusive editions of the set at its booth. Stars from “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia” will be available July 25 to promote the holiday DVD special “It's A Very Sunny Christmas.” In addition, the girls from the comedy Miss March will be wandering the show floor, taking pictures with fans to promote the film's July 28 DVD and Blu-ray release.

To build excitement for the Star Trek remake on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Nov. 17, there will be green girls, an Enterprise bridge replica and Star Trek giveaways at the Paramount Home Entertainment booth. Paramount July 24 is also hosting a happy hour at nearby Henry’s Irish Pub for the DVD debut of Road Trip: Beer Pong (due Aug. 11), complete with beer pong girls, games, and, of course, beer. Paramount is also sponsoring DVD prize packages for the July 25th Masquerade Ball.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment July 23 will have a panel to promote the digital motion comic book “Time Jumper,” which the studio co-produced with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment.

David Faustino and Corin Nemec will be at the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment from 11 a.m. to noon July 23 to sign autographs and promote their Crackle.com series “Star-ving.”

July 24, the Sony booth will promote the new FearNet Web series “Fear Clinic” with director Robert Hall, star Danielle Harris and horror legends Robert Englund and Kane Hodder.


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