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Consumers Will Have ‘Fantasy' for Fourth Quarter

10 Aug, 2001 By: Jessica Wolf

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment's Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within will hit video in time for the double-disc special edition DVD to becomea welcome stocking stuffer for gamers and computer animation fans.

Priced at $24.95 on DVD and for rental on VHS, Final Fantasy streets Oct. 23 (prebook Oct. 2, Sept. 25 DVD).

The film featuring high-tech, photo-realistic computer-generated caracters drew a lukewarm $31.5 million in theaters, but that shouldn'tthwart DVD sales, says Tana Gatti, Columbia TriStar director of arketing.

“I think that there's so much added value on the DVD that even if the ilm didn't perform as well theatrically as we may have liked, it'sgoing to be a huge hit for home video.”

The special double-disc DVD features never-before-seen footage like an alternate opening sequence and a mini-movie titled Aki's Dream, which should generate new interest, she says.

Columbia TriStar worked closely with Final Fantasy creators to provide a plethora of other unique features like the “Final Fantasy Shuffler,”which allows viewers to re-edit a scene from the film and play it back and to include chapters that delve into the creation of a “photo-real human character.”

Gatti says the studio will also target release publicity toward game magazines and Web sites. Gamers are known to be DVD buyers, according toresearch video game retailer Electronics Boutique conducted this year,which notes the core gamer buys approximately 50 a year and regularly preorders big DVD movie releases.

A Final Fantasy DVD version made especially for PlayStation 2 is alsoexpected to bow in the fourth quarter.

Gatti says the studio expects the double-disc home video DVD to become a library staple for DVD owners.

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