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<I>Four Feathers</I> DVD Not a Lightweight

29 Nov, 2002 By: Joan Villa

The Four Feathers will float to video Feb. 18 (prebook Jan. 7 DVD; Jan. 27 rental-priced VHS) from Paramount Home Entertainment with a Special Collector's Edition DVD sporting director's commentary and eight featurettes.

The epic, starring Heath Ledger (A Knight's Tale), Kate Hudson (Almost Famous), Wes Bentley (American Beauty) and Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator), did a mere $18 million at the box office, but Paramount SVP of marketing Michael Arkin believes the heavily marketed saga will reach video viewers who missed it in theaters.

“We do think this is the sort of film that did not find its audience during the theatrical release but should be able to find its audience in the home entertainment arena,” he noted. “With its cast and production values, it deserves to find an audience in home entertainment.”

A consumer advertising campaign will kick off in mid-February with a mix of print, broadcast and radio promotions, Arkin said. “We're covering all age groups and demographics since our research indicated it appealed across the board -- the cast appealed to one age target and the story line appealed to another -- so we hope it will play on DVD to teens through older adults,” he said.

The DVD, at a $19.95 minimum advertised price, is available in separate widescreen and full-frame versions. It contains commentary by director Shekhar Kapur, a making-of featurette and several pieces exploring the film's historical and cultural context, he said. The military aspect of the British “box” formation used in the 1884 Sudanese battle of Abou Clea, re-created for the film with the help of historians, will also be explored in the featurettes, along with the movie's music, directing and technical aspects.

“We all had high hopes for this film during its theatrical run, we were well on our way to creating the special edition materials, and we did not want to abandon that once the film did not perform to our highest expectation,” he said of the disc's many features.

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