By : Chris Tribbey | Posted: 30 Jan 2009
WESTWOOD VILLAGE, Calif. — Actor Edi Gathegi, one of the vampires in Summit Entertainment’s hit Twilight, knows what he’ll be doing Friday night, March 20.
“I’m gonna be there at midnight with everyone else waiting for the DVD,” Gathegi said at Summit’s Push premiere party Jan. 29. “We’re gonna make it an old-fashioned slumber party … I think it’s genius what Summit is doing. A large part of our audience is teenagers, and every one of them will be there.”
In a nod to those repeat, young, female viewers who helped Twilight bring in $185 million at the domestic box office ($324 million worldwide), Summit will be making an event out of its DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases of the film, with midnight release parties nationwide.
“There wasn’t a lot in the way of history to compare with on how Twilight would perform at the box office,” said Steve Nickerson, president of Summit Home Entertainment, pointing to Mean Girls and Sex and the City as the only comparable gauges. “With the DVD, we knew if we stuck with a Tuesday we knew there were going to be fans who couldn’t get it right when it was available. We said we had to do a Saturday (March 21) release date.”
Nickerson added that a bare bones, single-DVD version is meant for rental, with the two-disc special edition ($32.99) packed with bonus features to appeal to the repeat viewers.
Sharp-eyed fans of the movie will notice that some of the special effects have been beefed up and retouched just for the DVD and Blu-ray releases.
Extras include extended and deleted scenes, music videos, a commentary, a Comic-Con featurette, and a seven-part making-of documentary. Bonuses— such as a cell phone skin — will vary depending on the retailer.
The Blu-ray Disc version comes to retail at $34.99, and will be available only at Best Buy and Target on the release date, Nickerson noted. All retailers will have access to the Blu-ray on May 5, he said.
“We had to focus on content they hadn’t seen,” Nickerson said of the bonus features, adding that gift set verions would appear as well. “All of the different value-added material is very fan specific. Fans of [novelist] Stephenie Meyer will find new things, and those who’ve never read the books will want to.”
Nickerson said Summit is letting retailers decide how they want to bow the release, but the studio is working with individual retailers on ideas for midnight parties. The current Twilight Web site will feature a store locator for fans looking to pick up their copy at 12:01 a.m.
“Every department store, Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, is having a different (promotion) and different versions of the DVD (slipcovers),” said Twilight actor Kellan Lutz. “I can’t wait to see how it works out. It’s brilliant what Summit has decided to do with it.”
(L-R): Twilight actor Kellan Lutz, Steve Nickerson, president of Summit Home Entertainment, Vivian Mayer-Siskind, SVP worldwide publicity for Summit Entertainment, and Twilight actor Edi Gathegi at the Push premiere party Jan. 29.