home video digest


Big Easter basket

March 11 is looming as one of the biggest DVD release dates of the first quarter — no doubt because of its proximity to Easter, the second-biggest gift-giving holiday next to Christmas. No fewer than six films that made more than $25 million in theaters arrive on DVD that day, headed by DreamWorks/Paramount's "Bee Movie," the top grosser with $126.6 million. Also coming to stores that day are Miramax's "No Country for Old Men," Disney's "Dan in Real Life," Fox's "Hitman" and Warner's "August Rush" and "Nancy Drew." The combined theatrical value of the six films: $329.3 million.

HD forecast

Analysts believe consumer acceptance of HD media will grow sharply now that Toshiba has thrown in the towel on its HD DVD format, leaving Blu-ray Disc as the anointed successor to DVD. But they caution that it's not all smooth sailing ahead. Ross Rubin of the NPD Group said that while Blu-ray technology will become more appealing to consumers, particularly as player prices continue to come down, "the technology is still sandwiched between consumer satisfaction with DVD on one side and the growing number of digital distribution options on the other."

WBHE ups Junge

Jeff Junge has been appointed vp business management at the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. He moves into the newly created post from vp corporate business development, where he had played a key role in launching the studio's first standalone games division through the acquisition of Monolith Prods. Junge reports to Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.