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BloodRayne DVD to Ship With Full Video Game

3 Apr, 2006 By: John Gaudiosi

Horror fans will get a double-dose of BloodRayne when they pick up the two-disc DVD from Visual Entertainment May 23.

Both the ‘R'-rated theatrical version and the unrated director's cut of BloodRayne will come with an assortment of extras, including the full PC version of BloodRayne 2 from Majesco Entertainment. Other bonus features include stunt outtakes, movie storyboards, CGI movie-making, deleted scenes and commentary from executive producer/director Uwe Boll.

The $17 million BloodRayne, which was filmed in Romania, stars Kristanna Loken, Michelle Rodriguez, Ben Kingsley, and Michael Madsen. The film tells the origin story of half-vampire/half-human Rayne (Loken), who has starred in two popular videogames from Majesco Entertainment.

Boll, who has made a name for himself turning videogames like House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne and the upcoming theatrical release In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale into movies, is behind this latest convergence effort. Boll said he has always been inspired by the creativity of these games, and now consumers will get a chance to play one of the games that served as this inspiration.

“Combining the BloodRayne movie and game provide a comprehensive entertainment experience for the consumer,” said Soumya Sriraman, VP of marketing and operations for Universal Music & Video Distribution/Visual Entertainment. “You can watch the movie and then play the game. It's the ultimate in bonus features because when you play the game you will discover how the movie originated.”

The BloodRayne 2 PC game currently retails for $30, but the BloodRayne DVD, which includes that game, will be sold for $20. Sriraman said the company was inspired to bundle the game and the movie to distinguish this release.

“It's no longer enough to simply put a movie on DVD and expect that you will generate huge DVD sales,” said Sriraman. “Consumers expect more.”

Sriraman said consumer research indicated that the core group interested in purchasing the movie was males between the ages of 18 and 34, which neatly corresponds to the core gamer demographic. He believes that approximately 52% of the BloodRayne DVDs will be purchased by gamers.

Sriraman said that Boll's movies perform 23% better on DVD than comparable films (on a box office basis). Alone in the Dark ($5.2 million box office), a horror film starring Christian Slater, placed 418,507 units in the rental channel and rented 4.7 million times (Rentrak). This title also sold through 277,056 DVD units in national accounts (VideoScan).

House of the Dead ($10.2 million box office), another horror title, placed 1,489,491 units in the rental channel. This title also sold 253,314 DVD units in national accounts. Sriraman said the number of rental units placed for this title corresponds to what might normally be expected for a $50 million title.

“We believe the primary reason for Uwe's success on DVD is that both the gaming and movie fans are interested in purchasing his films on DVD,” said Sriraman. “Our rental retailers and distributors are projecting their purchases of BloodRayne at approximately 390,000 DVD units. This is an incredible number for a $2.4 million box office title. We are hoping the final orders within the rental accounts place over 500,000.”

BloodRayne generated a large amount of press before it was released, as it was the first film distributed by actor Bill Zane's Romar Entertainment. The plan was to circumvent traditional Hollywood distributors and market and sell the film directly to theaters.

A second wave of press occurred opening weekend, when Romar failed to deliver the 1,900 screens it had promised Boll, and BloodRayne opened on less than 1,000 screens. Prints of the film were shipped to theaters that had never ordered the film, and this was picked up in mainstream magazines like Newsweek and Entertainment Weekly.

Boll continues to actively turn more games into films. He's next filming the controversial Postal game this summer, and next year will film Far Cry. Boll realizes the power of home entertainment.

“There's a definite possibility for me to maybe create Hunter: The Reckoning, Fear Effect, BloodRayne 2 and Alone in the Dark 2 straight for DVD,” said Boll. “Is it really good to spend such much marketing dollars for advertising theatrical releases when DVD generates the bulk of sales?”

Boll plans on releasing two versions of In the Name of the King on DVD after its theatrical run. He said there will be a 145-minute, PG-13 theatrical release and a 180-minute director's cut of the fantasy action film based on the Dungeon Siege game.

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