Halle Berry Takes VOD Express in 'Dark Tide'

Having an Oscar on your shelf is hardly career insurance these days.

Just ask Forest Whitaker, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Adrien Brody, three recent winners who find their work going straight to DVD of late.

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Now, it’s Halle Berry’s turn to ride the film release merry-go-round. Berry’s new thriller, “Dark Tide,” will be available via Video on Demand services March 8 before it begins its theatrical run March 30. The film casts Berry as a “shark whisperer” offered a princely sum to take a millionaire into the waters to swim with real, live sharks. Look Ma, no cages!

The film is from director John Stockton, whose less than stellar resume includes “Into the Blue” and “Blue Crush.” Stockton excels at getting his female stars into bikinis, and Berry does the honors multiple times in the trailer alone.

The move marks the second recent film project where a former A-lister tries VOD on for size. Mel Gibson’s upcoming film “Get the Gringo” will also be available for at-home viewing May 1, skipping theaters entirely.

Do stars like Berry and Gibson still have enough audience goodwill to make these VOD films a hit? Or is it a sign that they can’t open a traditional film any more and VOD is the next best thing? We’ll soon have some answers.