'Panda,' sequel share video bow

Paramount will bundle films in package due Nov. 9

In what is believed to be an industry first, Paramount Home Entertainment is bundling its upcoming home video release of "Kung Fu Panda" with a direct-to-video companion film and will release the package on a Sunday, Nov. 9, instead of the traditional Tuesday.

Most of the major studios are actively producing direct-to-video sequels to major theatrical hits, but never before has one come out on home video the same day as the original. While studios occasionally have released titles on a Friday or Monday, this is the first time a new release will arrive in stores on a Sunday.

"Kung Fu Panda," a DreamWorks Animation hit that grossed $213.8 million North America this summer, is the big kid-vid release of the holiday season. It will be available on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

The companion film, "Secrets of the Furious Five," is slugged, "The 'Kung Fu Panda' story continues." The film delves into the backstories of the "Kung Fu Panda" characters, with all-new animation and Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman reprising their respective voice roles as Po and Master Shifu.

What Paramount is calling the "Pandamonium Double Pack" will retail for less than $25. A single disc of "Kung Fu Panda" only also will be made available, priced below $20.