Saturday, March 24, 2007

It's All About The DVD

New Kid's Meal toys have arrived at your neighborhood Wendy's. Once again based on last year's remake of E.B. White's beloved children's classic Charlotte's Web, the latest premiums are a series of stuffed toys, 12 in all, depicting characters from the film, timed to coincide with the release of the DVD.
If you ask me, the toys promoting the DVD release are waaay cooler than the ones the lamo "action figures" distributed by the fast food chain at the time of the film's theatrical rollout. This pretty much reflects a trend that began with the introduction of home video and has accelerated with the rise of DVDs over the last decade: It's all about the DVD. That's where the real profit lies these days. It's almost as if the theatrical run is merely a teaser for the flick's eventual entry into the home video market.
In fact, I'll bet that certain studio execs would be willing to skip the theaters altogether if weren't for the stigma still attached to the phrase "direct to video" Those words are generally associated with low budget movies that just aren't good enough to send to theaters. The movie companies themselves have fostered this perception by releasing such stinkers as the first Punisher movie, the one with Dolph Lundgren in the title role, and the early 90's Captain America film starring Matt Salinger, "direct to video."
However, this prejudice to "direct to video" seems to be waning in recent years, thanks to an increase in higher quality titles. I can foresee a time, perhaps in what's left of my lifetime, when multiplexes will be as few and far between as drive-in theaters are today.

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