Punisher Leads List of Mid-Level Re-releases24 Aug, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold
It's not just the blockbuster theatrical movies that are being revisited on DVD for the special-edition treatment.
More and more, suppliers are taking a look at moderate earners that overperformed on their initial DVD release, relative to their box office tallies, in the hopes of striking gold a second time.
The latest example: Lionsgate's The Punisher, a 2004 theatrical release based on a Marvel Comics superhero (albeit one without superpowers) that took in $33.7 million in U.S. theaters.
On DVD, said Lionsgate Home Entertainment EVP and GM Ron Schwartz, the film “was a huge success for us,” debuting at No. 1 on the national video sales chart with sales of nearly 2 million units. Sales continued at a steady pace, ultimately topping 4 million units, Schwartz said. He credits the strong DVD performance to the Marvel cache and a high-profile that includes John Travolta and Rebecca Romijn.
The Punisher: Special Edition will be out Nov. 21 and includes “a significant amount of compelling, never-before-seen content that is certain to satisfy the insatiable appetite of fans in the Marvel universe, Schwartz said.
Features include new audio commentary by director Jonathan Hensleigh; a deleted animated scene, set in Kuwait; a Punisher comic book gallery; and, in the cutting-edge arena, downloadable ringtones and digital comic books for cell phones.
The Punisher is the latest in a series of films that are being reissued on DVD as extras-laden special editions without having taken the box office by storm.
Paramount is releasing an “unrated special edition collector's edition” of Jackass: The Movie, which earned $64.3 million during its 2003 theatrical run, on Sept. 5.
Universal is coming out with a collector's edition of the character drama 21 Grams, another 2003 theatrical release with just $16.2 million in ticket receipts, on Oct. 3.
20th Century Fox is readying a “pure adrenaline edition” of the crime actioner Point Break, a $43.4 million theatrical earner from 1991, also for Oct. 3 DVD release.
All three films have been previously available on DVD.