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Third 'Final Destination' Gives Fans a Choice

5 Apr, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

New Line Home Entertainment had some fun with the third installment of its “Final Destination” horror series.

The double-disc “Thrill Ride” DVD edition of Final Destination 3 ($29.93) streets July 25 (prebook June 13) with a very unique extra feature — an interactive “choose their fate” option that allows fans to decide whether the film's characters live or die.

Viewers can choose to watch the film in the interactive mode, and via a screen prompt at strategic moments in the death-defying action and drama, chose whether a character makes it or bites it.

The studio's home entertainment department came up with the idea, said Mike Mulvihill, SVP of content development for New Line.

They then took the notion to the film's writers, Jim Wong and Glenn Morgan, who also worked on the first Final Destination (Wong also directed the first and third installments). The pair loved the idea and was immediately on board, Mulvihill said, going back and writing 25 new pages of script and incorporating them into the filming and production process. The filmmakers were also very involved in the look and feel of the disc's menus and the icons that signify the special viewing option, Mulvihill said.

“The filmmakers really made it their own, and that's really the secret to doing something special with a DVD,” he said. “Had they not invested themselves in it on the level they did, it wouldn't have worked.”

New Line also employed DVD producer Julie Ng to work on the set throughout production. She had previously filmed a very well received documentary for the studio's Willard DVD.

The Final Destination 3 DVD also includes a making-of documentary and an animated short Ng created titled “It's All Around You.” This bit takes a look at the statistical likelihood of death occurring in different situations, like boarding a plane, riding a roller coaster, etc.

“It's spectacular,” Mulvihill said. “It's like nothing you've ever seen.”

The DVD extras also take a tongue-in-cheek look at the “Dead Teenager Movie,” a term coined by movie critic Roger Ebert to describe Final Destination and films of its ilk. Ebert participates in an included featurette on the “Dead Teenager Movie” subgenre.

Movies like Final Destination 3 lend themselves to creative DVD bonus features, Mulvihill said, and the fans really appreciate the extras.

Also included are director and writer commentary, a deleted scene and a featurette on shooting all the fatal accidents in the film.

New Line's “Final Destination” series has definitely struck a chord with horror lovers. All three movies have garnered modest success at the box office — Final Destination earned $53.3 million in theaters, Final Destination 2 earned $46.5 million and Final Destination 3 earned $53.8 million.

The previous two movies are already DVD favorites as well. Final Destination is No. 8 on VideoScan's top horror list for all films released from 2000 to date. New Line's Infinifilm version of Final Destination 2 is No. 11 on that chart.

“There's something that sort of inherently hits with people, with this franchise — a connection that hopefully will go on,” Mulvihill said.

July 25 New Line also releases a “Thrill-ogy” three-pack, which includes all the “Final Destination” installments, for $59.85.

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