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Summit Expands Distribution Potential for ‘New Moon’

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The Twilight Saga: New Moon

By : Susanne Ault | Posted: 20 Jan 2010

Although Twilight was the top-selling title of 2009, Summit Entertainment is changing its distribution formula for the March 20 disc release of sequel New Moon.

Summit’s launch strategy for Twilight, which has sold 9.2 million DVD and Blu-ray copies in the United States, according to the studio, was considered out-of-the-box last year. Wal-Mart exclusively sold the single-disc standard-definition configuration for most of 2009, and Best Buy and Target scored an exclusive sales window on the Blu-ray version of the film. The idea was to play to retail strengths, offering versions that best fit each chain’s customer tastes.

However, Summit is broadening its approach to The Twilight Saga: New Moon, widely rolling out the Blu-ray version to all retailers to match the expanding high-definition consumer base. As far as standard-definition DVD goes, the studio is solely selling a two-disc configuration of the title. That decision came after learning that the overwhelming majority of fans bought the similar extras-packed two-DVD version of Twilight.

The studio will bow a single-DVD version of New Moon that will include few bonus features, but just into the rental channel.

“We are continuing to create products for retailers based on who the customers are,” said Steve Nickerson, Summit’s president of home entertainment. “But we are doing some different things. We aren’t having exclusive windows this year.”

Last year, just 3% of Twilight sales were Blu-ray, noted Nickerson. That is well below the 12% to 15% average Blu-ray sales portion for many 2009 new releases. But Summit projects that interest will rise in 2010 for New Moon in high-def.

“Because of the female-driven nature of the franchise, the amount of Blu-ray sales was less significant on Twilight than it was for other films of other genres,” Nickerson said. “And that will still be the case this year [for New Moon]. But Blu-ray has really grown in the last year. It’s big enough that all retailers want to be able to sell the product. Look at all the circulars, every title cover shot now shows the Blu-ray version.”

Regarding the two-disc New Moon configuration, Summit is trying best to accommodate the franchise’s fans. About 75% of Twilight sales were comprised of its two-disc and Blu-ray premium versions. Typically, less than half of a title’s sales come from the relatively pricier versions.

“This is what the fans are looking for,” Nickerson said. “The true fans of the franchise have already seen New Moon in theaters — maybe two or three times. We need to give them more than just the film on DVD.”

The single-DVD rental-only version will carry a commentary track and a couple of other extras. In contrast, the two-disc DVD and Blu-ray each will be fully loaded, including a six-part behind-the-scenes documentary.

One thing is staying strictly the same with New Moon. Like Twilight, it will be ushered in through nationwide midnight release parties. Nickerson expects the same, if not more, retail participants on New Moon. At about $300 million in U.S. box office, New Moon topped Twilight’s already impressive theatrical performance by 50%.

“Last year we were dealing with somewhat of an unknown entity,” Nickerson said. “And now all the retailers have already gone through the success of Twilight. And they’ve wanted to work with us as far in advance as possible on New Moon. Even before its theatrical performance, we were already having extensive conversations with the retailers on the New Moon DVD/Blu-ray.”

However, Summit is measuring their expectations for New Moon, as a heftier box office doesn’t necessarily promise that the title will outperform Twilight on DVD/Blu-ray. Summit is hoping New Moon can at least match Twilight’s retail bite.

“We are looking at the 9.2 million in Twilight sales as our fan base, and that is how we are planning around New Moon,” Nickerson said.

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‘Twilight Saga: New Moon’ Dawns on DVD, Blu-ray


User comments

Commented by Bella2
Posted on 2010-01-20 16:19:47

I had planned to see NM at least as many times as I saw Twilight (33 times in theatres). BUT I only saw it ONCE because the Edward/Bella reunion scenes were cut and rushed...key dialogue was not even included! It was like scummit thought "oh well we have to add these scenes but it doesn't matter how it's done, those crazy fans won't care, they'll watch anything we throw out there." I will never buy the DVD because I will never watch it. AND if the leaked Eclipse script is the final cut for the movie...I'm not going to see it all! The same thing is happening again...the Edward/Bella love story is being shortened and key dialogue is missing! WHY?!

Commented by Jude
Posted on 2010-01-20 17:41:34

Summit can yammer on about its crack marketing all it wants, but without a cast commentary track, the New Moon DVD just doesn't have the draw for someone like me that the Twilight set had. Last year a lot of fans bought multiple versions of the Twilight DVDs; for New Moon, they'll be lucky if some of us buy the basic set. Not to mention, the Twilight saga is supposed to be about the Bella and Edward love story, but Summit seems to feel we'd be better served with more of the werewolves (New Moon) and more fight scenes (rumored Eclipse). Because an audience of women who bring millions and millions of dollars into your coffers somehow just aren't as valuable as a possible audience of young men, it seems. Too bad they'll never get that group no matter how much violence they stick in the films, since the name "Twilight" is like poison to most young guys.

Commented by Sara
Posted on 2010-01-20 21:08:28

When twilight came out I saw it in the theater and pre ordered my DVD. I only saw NM once and am not sure I will buy the DVD. It was a good looking movie, but it had no soul because they didn't include so many Edward/Bella scenes and the ones they were in together were short! I will just continue to watch twilight to get my fix.

Commented by Debra
Posted on 2010-01-21 16:29:11

I sooo agree with what is being stated here. I love the series as written and Summit needs to put the Bella/Edward love story front and center. Twilight the first movie had so many more repeat viewings because of the time that Bella and Edward where up on the screen. Even though in New Moon Edward was gone the reunion as written was EPIC and CW gave it very little screen time, 10 minutes at the end, and it was 1/3 of the book (chapter flight, truth, vote). I couldn't wait to see that up on the screen. It was so passionately written by SM. What happened? That's what we want to see Bella and Edward action NOT vampire/wolf action. Twilight is not advertised as an action book but as a romance story. It made it millions because of that PERIOD!!!! Catherine Hardwicke GOT IT.

Commented by Sylvie
Posted on 2010-01-22 10:58:59

sorry girls, speak for yourselves ... I've seen NM multiple times at the theatre (same as Twilight) and will again more buy more than one copy of the 2-disc DVD. Not everyone feels the same way you do or the same way I do. We'll have to wait and see!


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