Dark Knight sets Blu-ray record, but DVDs sales still down

Variety reports that THE DARK KNIGHT sold 600,000 Blu-ray discs on Tuesday alone – more than the previous record-holder, IRON MAN, sold in a week. However, home video sales remain in a slump. DARK KNIGHT’s total sales of both Blu-ray discs and DVDs was 3 million on its first day, up to 4.4-million by Wednesday. Those numbers sound – indeed, are – impressive, until you realize that HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE sold 5 million copies on its first day of release in 2006, and FINDING NEMO (the record holder) sold 8 million way back in 2003. Industry insiders are happy that DARK KNIGHT is doing as well as it is, but the continued decline in DVD sales, down about 6% from last year, has everyone hoping that converting viewers to Blu-ray will re-ignite the slumping home video business.

Carrie and Amityville on Blu-ray

MGM Home Entertainment will release the horror classic CARRIE and the sub-classic THE AMITYVILLE HORROR on Blu-ray just in time for the Halloween season this year, on October 7.

Based on Stephen King’s first published novel and directed by Brian DePalma (The Black Dahlia), CARRIE (1976) is a pulse-pounding thriller starring Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom) and Piper Laurie (Twin Peaks) in their Oscar-nominated performances.  Carrie White (Spacek) is a teenage outcast, who upon learning she has telekinesis, seeks revenge on her high-school classmates and wreaks havoc during prom.  CARRIE BD will be available for the suggested retail price of $39.98 U.S./$49.98 Canada, prebook is September 10.
Revisit one of the most infamous haunted house stories of all time with the horrifying BD release of THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (1979) starring James Brolin (Catch Me If You Can), Margot Kidder (Superman) and Oscar winner* Rod Steiger (In The Heat Of The Night).  From the best-selling novel by Jay Anson, Brolin and Kidder play George and Kathy Lutz, a couple who discover that their new Long Island dream home is possessed by demonic spirits.  As walls begin to drip blood and satanic forces threaten to destroy them, the Lutz family must try to escape with their lives before it is too late. THE AMITYVILLE HORROR BD will be available for the suggested retail price of $39.98 U.S./$49.98 Canada, prebook is September 10.
THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (1979) BD will be presented on 25GB disc in widescreen (1.85:1 aspect ratio) with English 5.1 Dolby Surround Audio plus English, Spanish and French subtitles.
CARRIE (1976) BD will be presented will be presented on 25GB disc in in widescreen (1.85:1 aspect ratio) with English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio plus English, Spanish and French subtitles.

DVD News: Anchor Bay boxes zombies & Masters on Blu-Ray

High-Def Digest reports that Anchor Bay Entertainment will be offering two big Blu-ray box sets in September: one for the MASTERS OF HORROR television show, one for a trio of zombie classics. The MASTERS OF HORROR set will united the four volumes that comprise Season One. The Zombie set will include George Romero’s versions of DAWN OF THE DEAD and DAY OF THE DEAD, plus Sam Raimi’s EVIL DEAD 2. Each set will contain discs that are identical to previously released stand-alone versions.

DVD News: Omen Blu-ray box set on the way

Omen box set blu-rayAn OMEN Blu-ray box set is scheduled for September 9. According to Esplatter.com, this represents the “first horror movie box set on Blu-ray.” The four-disc set will include the 1976 verison of THE OMEN, DAMEIN: THE OMEN II, THE FINAL CONFLICT, and the 2006 remake of THE OMEN. Not included is the 1990 TV movie THE OMEN IV: THE AWAKENING, which is available as part of the six-disc “Complete Omen Collection” DVD set. The first three films will be authored in BD-J with AVC (MPEG 4) compression on dual-layer 50GB discs presented in widescreen (2.35:1 aspect ratio) with English 5.1 DTS HD Lossless Audio plus English, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin & Cantonese subtitles The 2006 OMEN will be authored in MPEG2 compression on a single-layer 25GB disc presented in widescreen (1.85:1 aspect ratio) with English 5.1 DTS HD Lossless Audio and Spanish/French 5.1 Dolby Surround with English/Spanish subtitles only.
Many of the Blu-ray bonus features will be ported over from the DVD, but there will be some new Blu-ra exclusives, too. Check out these bonus features below the fold. Read More

Terminator 3 coming to Blu-ray

Arnold Schwarzenegger in TERMINATOR 3Warner Brothers Home Video has announced that TERMINATOR 3 will be available on Blu-ray disc come December 4. The film is already available on the other high-end disc, HD DVD, which offers the same video quality, but Blu-ray offers even more storage capacity for extras.
Hopefully, Warners will put that capacity to good use. The new disc is supposed to include forty minutes of viewing extras, an introduction by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a new filmmakers commentary.

Blade Runner box set

Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford & Sean YoungI didn’t make it out to the San Diego Comic Con last week, but I heard it was great. Among many other things there was a panel for the long-awaited release of the Five-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition of BLADE RUNNER (which will be available on DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray). Harrison Ford and Daryll Hannah were no-shows (boo!), but director Ridley Scott and cast members Joe Turkel, Joanna Cassidy, Sean Young, and James Hong (“Seinfeld, party of four!”) were there. The enthusiastic response of the audience full of fans dwarfed that given to the other big panel put on by Warner Brothers, dedicated to the home video release of this year’s blockbuster, 300.
Word is that the “Final Cut” on this DVD will correct problems seen in previous versions (mismatched redubbing of lines, etc). One of the most glaring was the visible face of the stunt double for the death of Zhora when she plows through several panes of glass while being shot in the back. Scott apparently reshot the footage with actress Joanna Cassidy strapping on her old costume again. Read More