Summer might be the busiest time of the year at the box office, but it is the slowest on the home market. This week we have a couple of Summer TV series coming out on DVD, a few late stragglers from Awards Season '08, and an early surprise at the '09 box office.
However, while there are a few worth picking up, none jump out at me as obvious contenders for the DVD Pick of the Week.
It's a weird week for the DVD release report. According to Amazon, seven of the top ten releases come from two movies: WALL-E and Tropic Thunder. Add in the Spanish language edition and there are five versions of the former movie coming out this week, including the 3-Disc DVD and the 3-Disc Blu-ray, either one of which is worthy of the DVD Pick of the Week. The overall group of releases feels weaker than last week, but it is more than enough that it had to be split into two parts. Part two can be found here.
Evan Almighty is the target film for his week's box office prediction contest.
Not only that, but it is also the first time in our series that we will be giving away a High Definition DVD, maybe.
Bruce Almighty was recently released on HD-DVD and that is the top prize this week.
However, since most people don't have HD-DVD players, we will only give the HD-DVD version if the winner requests it.
Otherwise, they will get the DVD version.
To win, one must simply predict the box office opening for Evan Almighty.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend (Friday to Sunday), without going over, as well as whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win one copy of Bruce Almighty (HD-DVD or DVD, please specify).
In addition, for both winners, we will purchase a tree in their name in the Almighty Forest.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
The Summer is traditionally the weakest time of the year for DVD releases and this is not surprising as the target audience is too busy checking out the latest theatrical releases to be bothered with the home market.
First-run releases are also weak because the delay from theater to home means we are not getting prime offerings here.
TV on DVD releases are likewise weak because it is too late to take advantage of season finales and too soon to take advantage of season premieres.
So, to find the best offering, one has to look to limited releases like Grbavica - Buy from Amazon, or TV movies like Masters of Horror - The Screwfly Solution.
But the DVD Pick of the Week goes to a classic, The Hustler - Two-Disc Collector's Edition
After surprising analysts at the box office this summer, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl has broken records at the home market. The Disney DVD sold 4 million combined VHS and DVD copies in just the first 24 hours, and went on to sell 11 million copies in its first week. That last figure is a record for most units sold in the first week for a live-action feature.