'Iron Man' sets home video release

Debuting on DVD and Blu-ray this September

"Iron Man," at $315 million the second-highest theatrical grosser of the year, will be released Sept. 30 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, Paramount Home Entertainment is expected to announce Friday.

"Iron Man" is the second in what could be as many as 18 theatrical features to be announced for the home entertainment market in the lucrative fourth quarter, and its arrival in stores one day before the official start of the fourth quarter indicates it likely will be the first.

The movie blockbuster represents the first title wholly produced by Marvel Studios.

Another big film to be slotted for the fourth quarter, Fox's "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!" has a Dec. 9 DVD and Blu-ray release date attached to it. At $153.4 million, "Horton" is the year's No. 7 movie.

The two releases, coming at opposite ends of the holiday-selling season, reflect two different philosophies at the home entertainment divisions of the major Hollywood studios. Come out early and benefit from the first rush of consumers to stores; come out late and you'll hit stores at the same time as the last-minute impulse buyers.

Paramount is releasing "Iron Man" as a two-disc "Ultimate Edition" on DVD and Blu-ray. Each includes a seven-part making-of documentary and a six-part feature on the origins of the Marvel superhero.

Other extras include a documentary on the film's visual effects; Robert Downey Jr.'s original screen test; deleted and extended scenes; a photo gallery of concept art; and behind-the-scenes images on the set.

The Blu-ray presentation also offers several additional extras, including a "Hall of Armor" that lets viewers zoom in on any of the three Iron Man suits, or Iron Monger, and then activate digital 3-D schematics to check out every weapon. They also can fly around each suit to explore it in great detail. Also included is a BD-Live Web application, "Iron Man IQ," that lets users create and share new multiple-choice quizzes based on clips from the film.

A single-disc "Iron Man" DVD also will be issued, with just the movie and the deleted and extended scenes.
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