Digest: DVD slow in Q1

Empty

The number of new DVD releases in the first quarter has hit a four-year low. Just 2,573 DVD titles came to market this year through March 31, down 25.4% from first-quarter 2006, when the tally stood at 3,449. The first-quarter count is also down from first-quarter 2005 (3,311) and 2004 (2,852), but up slightly from first-quarter 2003 (2,228).

Disney additions


Walt Disney Home Entertainment is adding three titles to its acclaimed Walt Disney Treasures line. Arriving Dec. 11 are "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit," a collection of silent shorts from 1926 and 1927 starring Disney's first big animated star; "Chronological Donald, Volume 3," the third collection of Donald Duck cartoons, this one from 1947-50; and "Disneyland: Secrets, Stories and Magic," a comprehensive documentary on Disney's first and most famous theme park. Each two-disc set in the series is packaged in a tin and individually numbered. Leonard Maltin narrates.

Just for Mom

Genius Products is teaming with Classic Media to produce a special Mother's Day DVD of classic "Lassie" television episodes. "Lassie: A Mother's Love," due May 1, will include "The Run," "The Wrong Gift," "Lassie's Wild Baby" and "The Well," all of which have been restored and remastered for the first time ever.

International label

The Navarre Corp.'s BCI home entertainment company has partnered with FremantleMedia Enterprises to launch a new DVD label for non-U.S. product. International Voyage will feature worldwide programming, including British and Australian TV series and documentaries. First up: "638 Ways to Kill Castro," a controversial Finnish documentary. In the pipeline: "The IT Crowd," a British comedy from the producer of "The Office," and "Neighbours," from Australia.
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