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UPDATE: 'Pearl Harbor' Attacks Sellthrough Market

17 Aug, 2001 By: Jessica Wolf

Buena Vista Home Entertainment is locked and loaded with a Pearl Harbor sellthrough triple-fire.

Streeting Dec. 4 are the Pearl Harbor 60th Anniversary CommemorativeEdition and Commemorative Edition Gift Set. Landing Jan. 15, 2002, is the full studio and directorial special treatment with the release of a three-disc Vista series DVD —boasting a five-minute longer ‘R'-rated director's cut of the $195-million earning film — among a boatload of extras.

The two-tape Commemorative Edition VHS ($24.99) features a Pearl Harbordocumentary and a Faith Hill music video. The double-disc Commemorative Edition DVD ($29.99) adds an introduction from director Michael Bay, cast interviews and footage from the movie's premiere at the USS ArizonaMemorial with Pearl Harbor survivors. The Commemorative Gift Set (VHS $39.99, DVD $49.99) includes the companion film, "National Geographic'sBeyond The Movie: Pearl Harbor."

Amy Jo Donner, executive director of the DVD Entertainment Group, saysshe thinks the two separate special edition DVD releases will find a market and says it's clear the studio has gone to a lot of effort tocreate a real collector's item with this release.

“I think that it says a lot about the format and its importance in the mass market,” she says. “The thing I think is most interesting is that you have such an acclaimed director so heavily involved in the making ofthe DVD. The DVD release of the film becomes almost as important as the theatrical release when you have a director that is that involved in it.”

Peter M. Bracke, editor of DVDfile.com, says he's seen some skeptical responses from site visitors regarding the barrage of special featuresand multiple DVD releases for a movie that took some critical hits.

“I think they're [the studio] overestimating the demand for the movie,” he says. It wasn't a beloved movie like Titanic. It faded fast in the box office. You really didn't see a wave of Pearl Harbor nostalgia after the release like you did with Titanic. From what I've been reading on the message boards, people are more excited about the DVD release of Tron, which streets the same day,” he says.

Bracke predicts the film will get stiff competition in the sellthrough market from Shrek, which he says has special features that give the animated hit more repeat watching incentive, but adds the Pearl Harbor DVD double disc may have good rental legs.

“I think the three-disc set is really a pretension,” Bracke says. “I canunderstand that they're really trying to pump up the video revenue, but for the three-disc set only the diehard Pearl Harbor fanatics — all threeof them — are going to go out and buy it.”

All Pearl Harbor releases prebook Oct. 23.

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