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'Impossible' Mission Revisited

9 Mar, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Underscoring the rising synergy between theatrical and home video, Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment is preparing a lavish 10th anniversary DVD edition of Mission: Impossible to coincide with the theatrical debut of the long-awaited sequel Mission: Impossible III.

The DVD hits stores April 11 and will include one free ticket to any movie theater to see the new “Mission: Impossible” film, which is slated to open May 5, nearly six years after the previous installment in the franchise. Mission: Impossible II, directed by John Woo, earned $215.4 million in U.S. theaters, even more than the 1996 original, which was helmed by Brian De Palma and grossed $181 million.

“It's only fitting that on the 10th anniversary of the release of the first ‘Mission: Impossible' film we're releasing a special collector's edition packed with fantastic special material and an added bonus of a ticket to see one of the most anticipated films of the year, MI3,” said Michael Arkin, SVP of marketing for Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment. The ticket is valid May 5 through May 14.

What Paramount is doing is part of a growing trend in Hollywood, home video marketers say. It's a trend pioneered by Universal Studios, which scored big with special-edition DVDs of The Bourne Identity and The Fast and The Furious when their respective sequels hit theaters. In each case, a movie ticket to the sequel was included with the DVD.

Arkin said each side benefits from such an arrangement. Awareness from the theatrical campaign of the new film drives DVD sales, while the free movie ticket boosts box office revenues, since most people don't go to the movies alone.

In essence, he said, the studio creates both “a must-see theatrical event and a must-own home entertainment event.”

The new DVD of Mission: Impossible includes several hours' worth of behind-the-scenes featurettes, including “Mission: Remarkable — 40 Years Of Creating the Impossible,” “Mission: Explosive Exploits,” “Mission: Spies Among Us,” “Mission: Catching the Train,” “Mission: International Spy Museum,” “Mission: Agent Dossiers,” “Excellence in Film: Cruise” and “Generation: Cruise.”

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