MGM Plans Pricey Boxed Sets28 Aug, 2008 By: Billy Gil
MGM Home Entertainment, distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, announced two huge sets for this holiday season: the Hollywood Musicals Collection, a 61-disc set at $499.98, and the Pink Panther Ultimate Collection, an 18-disc set at $199.98.
Hollywood Musicals Collection, due Nov. 11 (prebook Oct. 15), houses 50 films from the golden age of musical theater to modern classics. Titles include West Side Story and Moulin Rouge! alongside new-to-DVD musicals Goldwyn Follies, Kid Millions and Whoopee! as well as special anniversary editions of Carousel; New York, New York; Oklahoma!; The Sound of Music; State Fair; The King and I; and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The musicals set also includes 50 exclusive postcard reproductions of the original theatrical one-sheets for the films.
Pink Panther Ultimate Collection is due Nov. 25 (prebook Oct. 29) and gathers for the first time major live-action and animated releases associated with “The Pink Panther” franchise. The set has the eight original pink panther films, including the collector’s edition of the Oscar-nominated 1964 original The Pink Panther, starring Peter Sellers. The collector’s edition has more than 60 minutes of never-before-released footage.
The collection also includes the 2006 remake of The Pink Panther, starring Steve Martin and directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum).
The set’s nine cartoon selections inclue the Oscar-winning “The Pink Phink” as well as the only two programs in which the pink cartoon panther speaks (“Sink Pink,” “Pink Ice”).
Chris Franchino, associate director of MGM marketing, said fan demand is high for “The Pink Panther,” in conjunction with the Feb. 6, 2009, theatrical release Pink Panther 2, also starring Steve Martin. He said the inclusion of the coffee table book Pink Panther, the Ultimate Guide to the Coolest Cat in Town! by Jerry Beck, as well as the new collector’s edition of the original movie warranted the high price.
“The ‘Pink Panther’ cartoon collection and film collection were some of MGM’s best-selling giftsets,” he said. “There’s a new film coming out, so we wanted to get something into Q4.”
Franchino said the current appetite for musicals, plus the fact that MGM and Fox’s combined catalogs total a huge number of musicals, helped drive the creation of the musicals set. He also said both sets were driven by the success of last year’s massive UA 90th Anniversary Prestige Collection, released by Fox and MGM Dec. 11, 2007, with 90 movies, including the original Pink Panther (and a $869.98 price tag).
“We’re trying to make these ultimate gifts,” Franchino said. “With DVD space limited, these are more than DVDs in a case. These are collectibles, these are something you can feel good about giving. We’re selling the legacy of all these things, of ‘Pink Panther’ and the musicals, which MGM pretty much made famous.”