Digest: HD eyes 1K mark

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HD eyes 1K mark
High-definition discs are pushing toward the 1,000-title mark. At last count, 465 Blu-ray Disc titles have either been released or announced, while on the HD DVD side, it's 430. Meanwhile, a survey by the NPD Group of 6,000 frequent DVD buyers found fewer than 10% saying they will buy either a stand-alone Blu-ray or HD DVD player in the next six months. Still, that translates into sales of 1.6 million additional Blu-ray Disc players alone.

Window closing
So far this year, the average window between a film's theatrical opening and its DVD release stands at 116.1 days, an all-time low, according to the DVD Release Report. Last year, the average -- which takes into account only those films with a boxoffice gross of $25 million or more -- was 126 days; in 2006, it was 129.2 days, and in 2005, 141.8 days.

Toonheads
New in stores this week is a three-disc set of Warner Bros. cartoons that have either won Oscars or been nominated for awards. "Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Presents: Academy Awards Animation Collection -- 15 Winners, 26 Nominees" includes more than 40 cartoons starring such celebrated characters as Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Superman and Popeye. Also available is a single-disc DVD of winners only.

Lucky charms
It was bound to happen. At least one studio has discovered a new holiday around which to market DVDs: Lionsgate and St. Patrick's Day. The mini-major is reissuing the three "Leprechaun" horror movies as a trilogy that comes out March 11. The films are standard B-movie fare, with one touch of notoriety: The original "Leprechaun" (1993) stars Jennifer Aniston in her first feature film role.
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