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The move is tied to the studio’s plans for the classic movie’s 75th anniversary celebration which will take place in 2014.
The vault begins to close May 1 when WHV North America will stop shipping the title in new formats until the fourth quarter 2013. The The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Edition 2-Disc DVD will be available until October. After that, no more yellow brick road.
“2013 will see the re-launching of The Wizard of Oz franchise in a multi-platform, unprecedented rollout that will include new and restored formats with major sponsorships and branding, as well as massive media support,” said Jeff Baker, WHV’s evp and gm, theatrical catalog. “We expect 90% – 95% consumer awareness, with a kickoff event consistent with only a handful of titles that are considered the crown jewels of our WB library.”
WHV stated that the 70th anniversary home edition sold more than 2 million units.
Oz, of course, is based on the L. Frank Baum books first published in 1900. The 1939 movie, starring Judy Garland as Dorothy and directed by Victor Fleming, received six Oscar nominations and won two (for song and score). The themes, the music and the characters have since become fixtures and inspirations from art to psychology.
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