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Home Video Rubber Meets the <I>Road To Perdition</I> Feb. 25

21 Nov, 2002 By: Joan Villa

Road To Perdition travels home to video Feb. 25 from DreamWorks Home Entertainment packed with bonus features including deleted scenes, commentary from Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes and a making-of documentary.

The $105 million theatrical film, starring Academy Award-winners Tom Hanks and Paul Newman in a father-and-son story of crime and redemption will be priced for rental on VHS and $19.95 on DVD. Preorder dates are Feb. 4 for VHS and Jan. 21 for DVD.

A “significant cornerstone” of the marketing campaign will capitalize on the street date DreamWorks chose for the release – smack in the middle of awards season when Road to Perdition is expected to be a contender, said Kelly Sooter, domestic head of DreamWorks Home Entertainment.

“This title has had buzz as being a contender for Academy Awards and Golden Globes,” she explained. “The talent will be out in a big way, and all the entertainment shows will cover all the best year-end films.”

Studios often take a different approach by holding on to films they think will vie for Oscars, but last year's successful launch of Training Day by Warner Home Video in the height of the awards flurry proved a major film can work in a time period that the industry usually reserves for family and kids' releases, Sooter observed. The film went on to win a best actor award for Denzel Washington.

“This offers adults programming they're interested in as all these ceremonies are taking place,” she added, noting that actor Hanks has been a past Oscar favorite as both a presenter and winner, so she expects he'll be in the spotlight. “It puts our film very top-of-mind.”

The far-reaching campaign will focus on a TV ad blitz running during the February television ratings sweeps, backed by online promotions and extensive consumer publicity, Sooter said. The title will also be trailered on upcoming releases from both DreamWorks and distributor Universal Studios Home Video. The low $19.95 price was set to make the DVD an easy purchase for consumers to collect and own, she added.

While posters in the theatrical campaign evolved to find the best way to communicate the film's complex story line, the video box art will assume much of that work has been done and will rely instead on Hanks' image, especially since his past films have generated nearly $1 billion in home video revenue, she explained.

“It will be very strong Tom Hanks because he sells a lot of videos,” Sooter noted.

The DVD's special features are designed to provide an in-depth look at the film, with commentary from director Sam Mendes who agreed to provide deleted scenes, which he did not do for his Academy Award-winning American Beauty. The DVD also contains a behind-the-scenes documentary exploring Mendes's insights into making the movie and his partnership with the cast, which includes Jude Law, Jennifer Jason-Leigh and Stanley Tucci.

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