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'E.T.' Finally Comes Home on DVD

6 Jun, 2002 By: Kurt Indvik

Universal Studios Home Video will release E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial, the third highest-grossing domestic film of all time ($432 million, including the spring 2002 re-release), for the first time on DVD for a limited10-week period beginning October 22, 2002. The studio will not take orders for the video after December 31, 2002. No length has been determined for the titles “moratorium” from home video, according to Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Video.

The studio will offer the E.T. Limited Collector's Edition DVD, a two-disc set featuring the 2002 theatrical version in either widescreen or full-frame version for $22.95 MAP each.

Additionally, the E.T. Ultimate Collector's Gift Set, (a four-disc affair, three DVDs and a CD of the soundtrack) which includes the original theatrical version, the 2002 theatrical version, a CD soundtrack, a script from the original feature and a collectible senitype will be available for $69.98 SRP. The VHS full-frame version will be priced at $14.95 MAP. Order close for the DVD is Sept. 2, 2002 and Sept. 9, 2002 for the VHS.

“It doesn't get any bigger than this for us,” said an enthusiastic Kornblau. “We're very excited and we have very high expectations.” When asked about limited-sales program, Kornblau noted that the special editions and the limited time offer was designed to focus consumers attention on the title during the holiday sales period, and that E.T. is a timeless classic and that, like Disney does with its classic animated films, “we felt this was appropriate way to treat this special title. We wanted to treat it in a special way.” The title premiered on home video in October 1988 and has been on moratorium since May 1997.

Universal has been on an 18-month marketing drive for E.T. in support of the re-release theatrically of the film. It included a live performance of the score conducted by composer John Williams at the Los Angeles premiere, which is contained exclusively on the DVD as an “industry first,” according to the studio. Universal is anticipating that the massive marketing campaign for the film re-release, combined with the mutli-million-dollar campaign lined up for the home video release will make E.T. a “must-have family film.” The studio has also lined up a slew of marketing partners including Wendy's, Toyota and Kodak in a variety of cross-marketing campaigns involving the home video.

The two-disc “Limited Collector's Edition” DVD set contains the 2002 theatrical version of the film released nationwide this past Spring which included several deleted scenes and enhanced CGI visual effects. Williams' Oscar©-winning score has also been re-mastered in DTS & Dolby 5.1 Surround.

The set has over 10 hours of special features including the following:

A new and “intimate” conversation with Steven Spielberg sharing his thoughts about the film and how E.T. changed his life.

A segment from the live performance of the original score conducted by composer John Williams at the 2002 premiere of the re-release.

An option to listen to the William's live score of the film as you watch the film (or choose the original recorded score).

A variety of other features including a 50-minute documentary on the making of the film, a featurette of the reunion of cast and director, a piece about space exploration, and a collection of production photos, drawings and notes from the film

A DVD-ROM element includes games and other interactive features, and more information and bonus footage from the movie.

The four-disc Ultimate Collector's DVD edition will include all of the features of the Limited Collector's edition. It will have a wide-screen version of the 2002 film, the original 1982 theatrical release, a bonus features disc, a complete script, the remastered CD soundtrack and a collectible senitype.

Through the E.T.marketing partners program Wendy's will offer a coupon worth $3 off the purchase of the DVD or VHS, along with advertising and in-store promotions beginning November 18. Eastman Kodak will offer a $5 coupon for E.T. DVD when consumers purchase a Kodak Picture CD, and Toyota will promote E.T. in an advertising campaign featuring E.T. and the Toyota Sienna.

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