Focusing on its action-packed lineup of anime properties, Central Park Media will release two new DVDs on January 14, 2003: VAMPIRE'S LURE, the first volume in the DESCENDANTS OF DARKNESS series; and IMPATIENCE AND LONGING, the continuing adventures of the sword-fighting Utena from REVOLUTIONARY GIRL UTENA. In VAMPIRE'S LURE, an action-packed, supernatural series, a vampire is on the loose, and it's up to dashing supernatural detective Tsuzuki to stop her!
Category: Home Entertainment
Here are a few of the notable special effects and animated films being released this month:
JEEPERS CREEPERS - January 8
JEEPERS CREEPERS was a surprise summer hit in 2001. The story of two teenaged siblings running from a flesh-eating monster gets the double-disc treatment from UA/MGM home video. Available on January 8, 2002, the 2-sided DVD features screen-specific audio commentary with director Victor Salva, a 59-minute documentary THE MAKING OF JEEPERS CREEPERS and deleted scenes. Suggested retail price: 2-sided DVD $26.95.
Gullane Entertainment has extended its partnership with Anchor Bay Entertainment for the distribution of THOMAS & FRIENDS videos and DVDs through the year 2007. The lengthening of the home video and DVD agreement will see Gullane Entertainment providing Anchor Bay with new episodes of THOMAS & FRIENDS for distribution in September 2002. Scheduled releases are "The Best of James," to be released on video and DVD and "Make Someone Happy," to be released on DVD. Both titles will have a street release date of March 5, 2002.
That's right Ladies and Gentlemen, we have yet another DVD sales champ. Booting the family-friendly Grinch out of the number one spot after only two weeks, PEARL HARBOR, the patriotic war drama chock full of special effects, managed to sell 3.7 million DVDs in one week, claiming a new sales record. To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks, the wartime epic was made available on VHS and DVD in two editions (a 60th Anniversary collector's edition and a gift set) and went on sale December 4,, 2001.
Since its release on November 2, 2001, SHREK has become the best-selling DVD of all time. With more than 5.5 million DVDs sold to consumers in North America, the big green Ogre surpassed the previous record-holder GLADIATOR, another DreamWorks film, which has sold over 5 million units since its November 2000 release.
There's a little something for everyone this month, from another installment in the LAND BEFORE TIME series, to classic Disney, to dinosaurs running amok. Check out selected highlights of the new animation and DVD releases for the month of December 2001.
December 4, 2001
WALT DISNEY TREASURES
Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has become the top-selling video and DVD animated title of all time overseas, reported variety, with the DVD selling 8 million units since its release. Adding in the sales for the original video release in 1994, the total is 26 million units, stealing the crown from previous record holder The Lion King, which sold 24 million copies.
Even before DVD, Disney was making a killing in the home video market. Read about it in Dig This! Millions of Disney Videos.
Remember when SHREK held the record for highest grossing first week DVD sales? Those were the days. Oh wait, that was just three weeks ago! Another green baddie has the highest grossing sales this week. DR SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS stole the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend video and DVD sales, generating $145 million since its release on November 20, 2001. According to estimates, 8.5 million copies total, including a record 3 million DVDs, were sold.
A new animated series called THE KANGAROO CREEK GANG is bouncing into production. Based on the books and comic strip of the same name, the 26 x 12 animated series is an international co-production between production and distribution outfit Southern Star Pacific, the Shanghai Animation Studios (China) and Australian-based company The Kangaroo Creek Gang. The series is scheduled to air in Australia on the Nine Network and will be sold internationally by Southern Star Kids.
Warner Home Video is recalling DVDs of recent Annie winner THE POWERPUFF GIRLS: MEET THE BEAT-ALLS because certain DVD-ROM programs included on the disc contain the "FunLove" computer virus. Warner Home Video stated that a computer virus was inadvertently incorporated into the DVD-ROM features during the replication process. Any computer that installs the supplemental software from the DVD-ROM special features will contract the FunLove virus, which infects PE EXE (Windows portable executables) on local and network drives.
Once again, a newly-released DVD has shattered all previous sales records. This time its the top grossing theatrical movie of the year, SHREK. The DreamWorks film bested the DVD sales record of 2.2 million sold set the week of October 16th by STAR WARS: EPISODE ONE. EPISODE ONE had overtaken THE MUMMY RETURNS, which previously held the record with first week DVD sales of 2 million.
Here is a viewers guide to the notable animation and special effects releases on DVD and VHS for the month of November, 2001:
Rhino Home Video has acquired the home video rights to the entire collection of the GUMBY animated series. The deal encompasses 214 total episodes of THE GUMBY SHOW and THE ALL-NEW GUMBY created from 1956 to 1988 and marks the first time the full library will be available to the public. Rhino Home Video plans to release DVD boxed sets of the complete library as well as individual DVDs and VHS cassettes of the shorts. This marks the DVD debut of the early episodes and the home video premiere of the 1980s stop-motion animation cartoons. The GUMBY series will be a part of the Kid Rhino brand.
Orlando animation production company A&S Animation, Inc., has produced a series of animated bible story shorts called A MESSAGE FROM GOD. Created by Emmy Award winning producers J&B DiFrancesco, the shorts will be included in Raven Moon Entertainment's new video release called GINA D'S KIDS CLUB. Based on the DiFrancescos concept of having two animated kids telling bible stories, Mark Simon of A&S Animation, Inc. developed and produced the three one-minute shorts telling the stories of Moses and the Ten Commandments, David and Goliath, and Adam and Eve.
Just one week after THE MUMMY RETURNS broke records as the fastest selling DVD of all time, here comes STAR WARS: EPISODE ONE THE PHANTOM MENACE. Selling a record 2.2 million copies in one week (besting MUMMYS 2 million sold), and setting a new first-week sales record, EPISODE ONE racked up approximately $45 million in sales. Fox Home Entertainment VP of marketing said that EPISODE ONE is on track to out-sell the biggest selling DVD of all time, GLADIATOR. However, THE PHANTOM MENACE is about to face two big green characters that may derail its plans for DVD sales domination.
On October 9, 2001 Universal Studios Home Video reported that their release of THE MUMMY RETURNS registered the biggest first week in the history of DVD with consumers purchasing over two million units of the initial shipments of 4.5 million DVDs. Consumers spent an estimated $90 million on purchase and rental of THE MUMMY RETURNS DVD and VHS, which went on sale October 2, 2001. These figures break the first week sales and rental record previously held by the film GLADIATOR.
Here is a viewers guide to the notable animation and special effects releases on DVD and VHS for the month of October, 2001:
Prolific animation music composer Denis M. Hannigan is currently scoring RECESS CHRISTMAS: MIRACLE ON THIRD STREET, an OAV to be released on VHS/DVD November 6, 2001. This feature follows the adventures of the RECESS fourth graders as they attract fun and trouble during the holiday season. Along with scoring RECESS CHRISTMAS, Hannigan is also arranging parodies of classic Christmas songs that will be featured in the film. Hannigan has written music for animated features and many of today's most popular children's TV series including RECESS, CATDOG and RUGRATS.
Twentieth Century Fox's THE SIMPSONS SEASON ONE COLLECTOR'S EDITION DVD BOX SET will be available in stores on September 25, 2001, and features all thirteen episodes from the show's first season and outtakes from an un-aired version of the first 22-minute episode. Bonus features include original scripts, audio commentaries by Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, writers, producers and animation directors, the original skit from the TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW, early sketches, foreign language clips (mais oui! Homer speaks French!), magazine covers and stills, Easter Eggs and outtakes.
In an attempt to keep the MATRIX franchise hot, Warner Bros. has green-lit anime adventures based on the original flick. The film's directors Andy and Larry Wachowski, who were originally inspired by anime to make the MATRIX, are currently looking for anime directors to create episodes for the video. MATRIX ANIME is being planned for a late 2002 or early 2003 release. The live-action sequel, MATRIX RELOADED, is scheduled to hit theaters in May 2003.
In response to the success of the DVD short-film collection "Best of the Web," Multimedia 2000 (M-2K) has announced the release of a follow-up DVD, "Best of the Web, Volume 2." The new installment will highlight the work of CampChaos.com. The 75-minute DVD will feature episodes of NAPSTER BAD and SAFARI KINGDOM as well as the U.S. election parody FLORI-DUH. "Most of these cartoon shorts were originally developed specifically for the Web, using Macromedia's animation software, Flash," said CampChaos' Bob Cesca.
Warner Home Video and PBS KIDS Home Video are about to release the first two CAILLOU titles in the U.S. In CAILLOU'S FURRY FRIENDS, Caillou takes his cat Gilbert to the vet, receives some help from the fire department to get Gilbert out of a tree, brings home a stray puppy and befriends a seeing-eye dog. In CAILLOU THE EXPLORER, Caillou heads out to sea with Grandpa, rides the train, visits the farm and learns to use chopsticks with his friend Sarah. The Cinar-produced series has already sold more than 1.2 million videos in Canada since its launch in 1998.
In celebration of Halloween, Walt Disney Home Video will be releasing two holiday themed WINNIE THE POOH videos and one ROLIE POLIE OLIE title. In ROLIE POLIE OLIE: A SPOOKIE OOKIE HALLOWEEN, Olie and Billie decide to make Zowie's first Spookie Ookie Day one full of frights. In BOO TO YOU TOO!, Pooh and friends get their costumes ready, but Piglet is just too scared to join in. In FRANKENPOOH, the Hundred Acre Woods crew has a howling good time in three scary tales. A SPOOKIE OOKIE HALLOWEEN will sell for US$12.99, while the two POOH videos will retail for US$14.99.
According to Sound Scan, a video industry analyst group, Pioneer Entertainment's newly released AKIRA was the number-one selling DVD for the week of July 29, 2001. The classic anime film was first released in 1989, but was recently restored by Pioneer Entertainment at a cost of $1 million. The DVD beat the debut of live-action films FAMILY MAN, starring Nicolas Cage, and SWEET NOVEMBER, starring Keanu Reeves. The film is set is Neo-Tokyo after World War III and follows childhood friends Tetsuo and Kaneda as they encounter a military operation to retrieve an escaped experimental subject.