Daily Call Sheet: The Rise of VOD, Sequels Make ALL the Money, and Blu-Ray News

Shaft Richard Roundtree

‘LADY AND THE TRAMP’ ARRIVES ON BLU-RAY FEBRUARY 7

The link above is a hi-def clip from the upcoming Diamond Edition, which will be a three-pack that includes a Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copy.

‘TRANSFORMERS’ FANS REJOICE

Coming Jan 31:

The 7-Disc Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Trilogy includes all three films in high definition, Transformers: Dark of the Moon in high definition 3D, more than 10 hours of bonus material, as well as a plaque of movie images signed by director Michael Bay. Disc specifications are as follows:

Two-disc Special Edition Blu-ray of Transformers presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

Two-disc Special Edition Blu-ray of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

Three-disc Combo Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray of Transformers: Dark of the Moon presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English 5.1 Discrete Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Discrete Surround Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

2011: THE RISE OF VIDEO ON DEMAND

This is a big deal:


Super, Trespass, Melancholia, Quarantine 2: Terminal, Black Death, We Are What We Are, Red State, Kidnapped, Rammbock: Berlin Undead, Phase 7 (Fase 7), Hobo With A Shotgun, The Shrine, Burke & Hare, Cold Fish, Atrocious, The Last Circus, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil , Outcast, The Pack (La Meute), The Human Centipede Part 2: Full Sequence, Chillerama.

What do those films have in common? They’re horror films (or films with enough intensity, gumption and violence for tertiary association) that incorporated Video On Demand into their distribution models in a major way this year. …

Just look at that list above. It’s kind of staggering. Most of these films aren’t in the hands of the cavalier. It’s not just people deciding to toss their product wherever they can – it’s been decided that (for a particular type of title, at least) the best way of ensuring and maximizing a return on investment is to include this new delivery method in your distribution plan. Not all of them eschewed theatrical releases, some VOD windows were placed before public exhibition (an increasingly popular move), day and date with public exhibition, or after public exhibition. In most higher profile cases, it was the combination of a limited theatrical window with a concurrent VOD release that did the trick. Most of you don’t have access to a theater showing Melancholia, but you do have an internet router.

Even big studio, non-horror titles are dipping their toes in the water. Universal flirted with releasing Tower Heist as a $60 dollar premium in-home experience before angry theater chains leveraged against it. And Sony – the corporation that invented Blu-ray – is releasing Moneyball as a digital download almost four weeks ahead of their DVD/Blu units. In fact, Sony has tried this with several releases like and has seen a 24% gain in digital sales profit than day-and-date releases from similar films – without a significant erosion in the consumption of their physical discs.

People hate going to the theatre, which has become a very stressful experience. “Do I put up with the talkers or risk getting knifed?”

THE 15 MOST-ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF 2012

Does 2012’s slate look better than 2011? How about these? These (some 2013 titles here)?

FAVORITE LINE FROM A FASCINATING AND FUNNY (NSFW) HOLLYWOOD STORY

“Hey, Lex, hear you went to the Viper Room? Pick up any chicks?” “No, but I got to talk to George C Scott from ‘Hardcore’ about his record collection.”

TOP SEVEN BOX OFFICE WINNERS OF 2011 ARE SEQUELS

We keep complaining about sequels and franchises and remakes, but they make the most money. Even more money than hits such as “Bridesmaids” and “The Help,” which topped off at $170m while the familiar surpassed $200m.

Compare that to 1993 when…

…all 10 of the top performers, including “Jurassic Park,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Fugitive,” were freshly conceived films, whether based on an original script, like “Sleepless in Seattle,” or adapted from another medium, like “The Firm.”

What I do think is happening, though, is that what these neverending sequels, prequels, remakes, and reboots do is turn people off in general. Even as we dutifully trudge into “Pirates 4” hoping to relive the pure pleasure the first one brought, the disappointment and lack of originality affects our impression of the industry in general.

Also, where Hollywood is really hurting is with DVD sales, which means the familiar might sell tickets, but they’re not making up the losses in the home video market. Sure, we’ll see this stuff once, but we’re nowhere near as interested in owning it forever on DVD.

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LAST NIGHT’S SCREENING

Stayed up past my bedtime and treated myself to a double-feature.

Shaft (1971)Director Gordon Parks’ Blaxploitation masterpiece offers up one of the greatest opening title sequence’s ever. Richard Roundtree (pure masculine cool) walking his bad ass around 1971 Times Square backed up by Isaac Hayes’ immortal, Academy Award-winning “Theme from Shaft.” Name an actor working today under the age of 50 who could hold the screen like that. Liar, you can’t. An amazing piece of filmmaking thanks to Roundtree’s powerful screen presence and the kind of on-location cinematography that makes you feel as though you’ve actually toured Uptown for a couple of hours. One of those movies I never get tired of and would kill to see on the big screen… in a downtown theatre… in 1971.

The New Centurions (1972)From early seventies Harlem to early seventies Los Angeles we go. Based on Joseph Wambaugh’s bestseller (the one that put the former LAPD detective on the map), this plays like an extended, R-rated episode of “Adam 12,” but thanks to Richard Fleischer’s sure direction and the presence of George C. Scott, the episodic nature of the tale of a few years in the life of a troubled rookie (Stacy Keach) is pretty rewarding. It’s darker than I remembered, though. Much darker.

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SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINKTACULAR

ACTOR/DIRECTOR EDWARD BURNS DISCUSSES SOCIAL MEDIA’S IMPACT ON INDIE FILM

CAN YOU BELIEVE ‘THE KING’S SPEECH’ MADE ALMOST HALF A BILLION DOLLARS WORLDWIDE?

THE AVENGERS’ GETS A NEW RUSSIAN TRAILER WITH MORE BRILLIANT FOOTAGE

PARAMOUNT AT BOX-OFFICE PEAK

REMAKES AND REBOOTS: UPCOMING MOVIES YOU’VE SEEN BEFORE

NETFLIX SUBSCRIBERS EXPRESS MORE DISSATISFACTION

ARE THE ‘KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE’ COMING BACK?

HOW HEDY LAMARR INSPIRED ANNE HATHAWAY’S CATWOMAN IN ‘THE DARK KNIGHT RISES’

LOOKING BACK AT THE TOP MOVIE NEWS ITEMS OF 2011

CLINT EASTWOOD MOVIES AND THEIR INVISIBLE VISUAL EFFECTS

15 ANNOYING MOVIE DOLPHINS YOU’D HARPOON IN AN INSTANT

FICTIONAL CHRISTMAS SPECIALS WE WISH WERE REAL

15 CHARLIE CHAPLIN MOVIES YOU CAN WATCH FOR FREE RIGHT NOW

THE SEAN BEAN DEATH REEL (NSFW)

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF FILM COMEDY PIONEER MACK SENNETT

A LOOK AT THE TITLE SEQUENCE OF ‘MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000

40 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM THE ‘ELF’ COMMENTARY

SCIENCE FICTION AND THE EVILS OF TECHNOLOGY

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CLASSIC PICK FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30

TCM:

5:00 PM EST Searchers, The (1956) — An Indian-hating Civil War veteran tracks down the tribe that slaughtered his family and kidnapped his niece. Dir: John Ford Cast: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles. C-119 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

The greatest Western ever made. The greatest movie ever made. The greatest performance every put on film (John Wayne). My all-time favorite film. My all-time favorite movie memory; watching “The Searchers” via a weak television projector in a small cabin at Goulding’s Lodge after a day of touring Monument Valley.

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