home video digest


DVD titles sag

The number of new DVD releases in 2007 slipped 9.9% from 2006, according to the DVD Release Report. "First-blush" numbers for the full year show 12,311 DVDs were released, 1,352 less than the year before. The weekly tip sheet notes the decline has been evident for six consecutive quarters, with dips of 5% to 15%. The full-year 2007 decline factors in a 7.9% drop in theatrical catalog titles and a 13.5% slip in multidisc TV-DVDs, now that so many shows have completed their complete-season runs.

Window pain

Studios appear to be further tightening the window between a film's theatrical opening and its DVD release, particularly for those titles grossing less than $100 million in theaters. Paramount Home Entertainment is releasing "Beowulf," in PG-rated theatrical and unrated director's cuts, on Feb. 26, just 102 days after its big-screen debut. The film earned $81.7 million during its theatrical run. Universal, meanwhile, has slotted "American Gangster" for Feb. 19, 109 days after the $129.8 million-grossing film opened theatrically. Two versions are coming out, the original R-rated theatrical and an unrated extended edition. Overall, the average theatrical-to-DVD window is about four months.

In the ballpark

In time for the start of baseball season, MGM Home Entertainment is releasing DVD collector's editions of three classic baseball films on March 18: "Bull Durham," "Pride of the Yankees" and "Eight Men Out." Each release includes commentaries and several featurettes, including a documentary on minor-league baseball ("Bull Durham") and a look at Lou Gehrig memorabilia at the Baseball Hall of Fame ("Pride of the Yankees").