April Flowers6 Apr, 2009 By: Thomas K. Arnold
Universal Studios Home Entertainment president Craig Kornblau must be smiling right now. His parent studio's Fast and Furious, installment No. 4 in the fast-car franchise, opened to a phenomenal $72.5 million this past weekend. That's the highest-ever April debut and, according to our friends at Box Office Mojo, the biggest opening ever for a car-themed movie. The film's success also lifted overall box office to $185 million, a new April record and 65% higher than the comparable weekend last year. When the film gets released to DVD and Blu-ray Disc--I'm projecting a late-September release, just before the fourth-quarter frenzy but in time to capitalize on back-to-school boredom among the film's core demo--Kornblau will undoubtedly be a very happy man, and our industry will get a prime Q4 kickoff that just might reverse several years of declining whole-year packaged media sales.
One more bit of news worthy of your attention: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment this morning announced the Jack Lemmon Film Collection, a six-disc set debuting June 9 at a suggested retail price of $59.95. The collection includes five films never before available on DVD: Phffft!, with Kim Novak; Operation Mad Ball, featuring the film debut of Ernie Kovacs; The Notorious Landlady, with Fred Astaire; Under the Yum Yum Tree; and Good Neighbor Sam, a 1964 comedy with Edward G. Robinson. Extras include a two-part documentary hosted by Chris Lemmon and featuring interviews with the likes of Kevin Spacey, Andy Garcia and Shirley MacLaine; a photo gallery; and the Ford Television Theatre’s "Marriageable Male" episode that stars Lemmon. Kudos to Sony Pictures for coming up with a quality package that once again sets packaged media apart from all its digital competitors.