Digest: 'Halloween' Xmas; New Year's 'Shoot'


'Halloween' for Xmas

What do you do with the DVD when the theatrical run of a horror movie takes place in the weeks leading up to Halloween? Wait a year for the next scary season? Not if you're Genius Products. The mini-major is rushing Rob Zombie's remake of the classic "Halloween," from the Weinstein Co., into the fourth quarter. It's due Dec. 18, a week before Christmas -- and just 109 days after its theatrical debut. Two versions are being prepared: the original theatrical version and an unrated director's cut with 11 additional minutes of gruesome footage. Each version comes with a second disc of extras, including 17 deleted scenes, an alternate ending, bloopers and casting sessions.

'Shoot' targets Jan. 1

While most Hollywood studio eyes remain focused on the make-or-break fourth quarter, some DVD marketers already are looking at the New Year for optimum release dates. New Line Home Entertainment is at the head of the line, slotting writer-director Michael Davis' "Shoot 'Em Up," which earned $12.7 million at the U.S. boxoffice, for release Jan. 1. A week later, on Jan. 8, Warner Home Video will release its second batch of "Directors' Showcase" titles, five eclectic classics including Robert E. Miller's 1968 film adaptation of novelist Carson McCullers' "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter."

First Look preps sked

Indie First Look Studios also is jumping the gun, releasing to reporters its January and February DVD release schedule. Highlights include the comedy "Smiley Face," with Anna Faris and Adam Brody (Jan. 8); the cult classic "Strays" (Jan. 15), Vin Diesel's first feature directorial effort, which was accepted into competition at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival; and the dramatic comedy "Sex and Breakfast" (Jan. 22), with Macaulay Culkin and Eliza Dushku.