Which movie blockbuster will win the DVD war?
It’s been five short months since the summer movie season kicked off with the near-simultaneous releases of ”Spider-Man” and ”Star Wars — Episode II: Attack of the Clones.” But it’s already time to relive that match-up — along with the rest of the summer box office wars — at your local video store, where the season’s biggest hits are arriving on DVD, packed with extras and priced to move.
As more and more movie fans embrace DVDs, studios are starting to promote them with a gusto formerly reserved for theatrical releases; Sony, for instance, boasts of plans to spend $100 million promoting its Spidey DVD, and $34 million pushing the ”Men in Black II” DVD. With those high stakes in mind, here’s what to expect from the summer smashes returning in November and December:
SPIDER-MAN (Nov. 1)
Theatrical gross $403 million
Why fans will buy it ”Spider-Man” was, by far, the summer’s biggest movie, winning an audience way beyond the comic-book cult. The flick even got decent reviews.
Why they might not Many have already seen it more than once in theaters, and might have had their fill of Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst.
Bonus features include Behind-the-scenes footage, Tobey’s screen test, and a documentary on Spidey’s 40-year-history
Expert prediction ”Spider-Man” will sell between 20 million and 30 million copies, and could end up as the top-selling DVD at all time, says Scott Hettrick, editor-in-chief of the trade magazine Video Business.
STAR WARS — EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES (Nov. 12)
Theatrical gross $302 million
Why fans will buy it Hey, it’s still ”Star Wars.” Even though most reviewers hated ”Clones,” and some once-loyal followers have defected from the Force, this is still the most successful movie franchise of all time.
Why they might not ”Clones”’ box office take was less than that of ”Phantom Menace”; the same will likely hold true for the DVD.
Bonus features include Deleted scenes with new special effects, and a fascinating making-of-Yoda documentary
Expert prediction ”Clones” is likely to sell between 15 million and 20 million copies, according to Hettrick, who says its status as the first ”Star Wars” DVD released in the same year as it hit theaters may give it a boost.
MEN IN BLACK II (Nov. 26)
Theatrical gross $190 million
Why fans will buy it Warm feelings from the first ”MIB” will carry over, even though many saw the sequel as inferior.
Why they might not The sequel WAS inferior.
Bonus features include A wacky blooper reel and a previously unseen alternate ending
Expert prediction Thanks to tepid audience reaction, ”MIB II” won’t live up to Sony’s expectations, Hettrick says — he forecasts sales of 5 million or less.
ICE AGE (Nov. 26)
Theatrical gross $180 million
Why fans will buy it ”Ice Age”’s gorgeous computer animation and hip comedy won fans from beyond the Pokémon set — but the kiddies loved it too.
Why they might not Kid-skewing films started tanking later in the summer — some parents may be burned out on them.
Bonus features include Built-in DVD-ROM games, and a brand-new animated short starring the ever-frustrated rodent Scrat.
Expert prediction ”Ice Age” should do about 11 million (including the VHS sales still popular with some parents), says Hettrick.