Digest: Bruckheimer guest at 'Pirates' den

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Producer Jerry Bruckheimer was the special guest at Monday's lavish party at the Highlands Hollywood nightclub. It was thrown by Buena Vista Home Entertainment to promote the Tuesday Blu-ray Disc release of the first two "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. Division president Bob Chapek said he believes the dual release will give the new format a significant boost, though Blu-ray already is outselling rival next-gen format HD DVD. A giant ice bar at the entrance to the club was a "tease" for a forthcoming Blu-ray release of "The Chronicles of Narnia," now in production, Chapek said.

Dragon's den

The Weinstein Co. and Genius Products are expanding their Dragon Dynasty label of martial arts films with four new DVD releases, all arriving June 19. The quartet includes "The 36th Chamber of Shaolin" (1978), "My Young Auntie" (1981), "One-Armed Swordsmen" (1976) and "King Boxer" (1972).

Genius at work

Genius Products is expanding its partnership with RHI Entertainment to co-produce up to 48 original direct-to-video films, half Westerns and the other half branded Great Adventures. The first four titles will begin production this year and air on ION Media Networks. Genius cut a distribution deal in December for RHI's library of 4,000 miniseries and telefilms.

'Caligari's' new cabinet

Image Entertainment is getting ready to release one of the monumental classics of the Silent Era -- sort of. The independent DVD distributor on June 5 will release a "reproduction" of the 1919 horror classic "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." Original sets and locations from the film were digitized and enhanced for use as backgrounds for contemporary actors, who were filmed on green screen and composited into the original film's imagery in postproduction.
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