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page updated: 12/18/98

Studio News - MGM / UA

Here's a first look at some of the box cover artwork for MGM DVD titles due in January and February.

Disturbing Behavior DVDRonin DVDThe Thomas Crown Affair DVD

The Killer Elite DVDThe Train DVDThe Manchurian Candidate DVD

The Holcroft Covenant DVD Street Date January 5th

Disturbing Behavior

Street Date February 23rd

The Holcroft Covenant
The Manchurian Candidate
The Thomas Crown Affair
The Killer Elite
The Train

PREVIOUS NEWS (10/23/98)

Here's a quick look at the box art for next week's Gone With the Wind disc. Should be a great DVD, particularly given the $19.95 Minimum Advertised Price (MAP).

The disc will include:

- restored picture in original the standard aspect ratio
- a new Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack
- the original mono soundtrack
- a theatrical trailer
- English and French subtitles
- an 8-page booklet with trivia and production notes


Here's another look at MGM's DVDs for November and December (disc features are in the process of being revised). In addition to these four titles, A Christmas Story and How the Grinch Stole Christmas / Horton Hears a Who are being relaunched in Amaray keep cases:


Here's a look at MGM's October DVD release line-up (features for each disc are listed below):

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - pan & scan only, English DD 5.1, French track, subtitles in English and French, trailer, sing-along feature, THX, 145 mins

Last Tango in Paris - widescreen, trailer, uncensored version, English mono, subtitles in English and French, 129 mins

West Side Story - widescreen, English DD 5.1, subtitles in English and French, trailer, newly restored from 65mm elements, 152 mins

Species II - widescreen and pan & scan, English DD 5.1, French track, subtitles in English and French, trailer, audio commentary, unrated footage (protected by parental lock), additional scenes, 93 mins

A Bridge Too Far - widescreen, English surround, French mono, subtitles in English and French, trailer, 176 mins

MGM has also forwarded me more detailed information on the features of their upcoming Tomorrow Never Dies special edition DVD:

Exhilarating, never-before-seen outtakes of the amazing BMW chase sequence.

An action-packed storyboarded pre-credit sequence not used in the final film.

Side-by-side "before-and-after" special effects comparisons.

A feature-length audio commentary by director Roger Spottiswoode.

An additional audio commentary by stunt director Vic Armstrong and producer Michael Wilson.

Innovative storyboard overlay technology that compares initial "action-scene" concepts with final filmed result.

A 45-minute Secrets of 007 featurette that includes interviews with Pierce Brosnan, Sean Connery, Roger Moore and other members of the Bond phenomenon.

The sensational Sheryl Crow Tomorrow Never Dies music video.

An effects reel highlighting the film's stunning digital effects technology.

An isolated music-only track and interview with composer David Arnold.

A 12-page booklet featuring behind-the-scenes information, trivia, production notes, a "Bond Gadgets Retrospective" and more.

The original theatrical trailer.

Collectible limited-edition packaging.


Here's a look at MGM's upcoming special edition re-release of their most recent James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies.

The DVD will be released on November 17th for a limited time, with an SRP of $34.98. The list of disc features is as follows:

- Outtake footage
- Storyboard to film comparisons
- Two feature-length commentary tracks
- Storyboards for action scene not in final film
- Behind-the-scenes look at VFX
- 45 min Secrets of 007 Bond retrospective
- 12 page booklet
- Widescreen only


Warner Bros issued this press release this morning, providing the details on the upcoming MGM DVD release of Gone With the Wind (which they will distribute):

Gone With the Wind

Let Scarlett and Rhett Waltz into Your Living Room

Gone With the Wind Video and DVD - First Time Available For Less Than $20

Biggest Box Office Film of All Time - Restored To Original Technicolor Glory With Newly Enhanced Images and Sound

DVD Features 1939 Movie Trailer and Original Movie Soundtrack

Burbank (August 17, 1998) - MGM Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video present Gone With the Wind at the lowest price ever. Gone With the Wind on VHS and DVD premieres October 27 for as low as $19.95, marking the first time the video has been available for less than $89.98. Just in time for the holiday gift giving season, both will be on sale nationwide from supermarkets to discount stores.

"We are thrilled to be offering Gone With the Wind for the first time at an affordable price," said Blake Thomas, senior vice president-marketing MGM Home Entertainment. "The film remains one of Hollywood's greatest achievements and makes for a great gift for any video collector."

Gone With the Wind was re-released theatrically this summer receiving great reviews and public acclaim. New generations are discovering and embracing this epic classic with nearly 50% of this summer's Gone With the Wind movie-goers ranging in age from 18 to 34. In June, the American Film Institute's Top 100 survey named Gone With the Wind one of the five greatest American movies of all time.

Gone With the Wind, winner of 10 Academy Awards, has thrilled audiences with the depiction of Scarlett, the sassy, headstrong heroine who vowed to preserve, and preserve she did. Today, Gone With the Wind claims the biggest box office in history and remains one of the greatest epic romances of all time.

The new video release has been digitally re-mastered and restored to its' classic Technicolor brilliance. The technological enhancements and digitally re-mastered sound results in a video far superior to previous releases. In addition, nearly 13 minutes of film, thought to have been irreparably damaged, have been digitally restored. The focus and resolution are sharper, bringing even the smallest detail to life.

Old meets new as the classic becomes available for the first time on DVD. The DVD features two soundtrack options: a newly-created digital surround sound and the original soundtrack. Presented in its original, standard theatrical format, the DVD includes English and French subtitles. This time-honored classic will be even more appealing to film buffs with the addition of the original theatrical trailer.

"Imagine being able to watch the same movie trailer your grandparents saw in theaters, sixty years ago," said Thomas F. Lesinski, senior vice president worldwide marketing and development, Warner Home Video. "The advanced technology of DVD allows us to showcase this piece of movie history and preserve it for generations to come."

For people looking to brush up on their Gone With the Wind knowledge, there is also an eight page booklet with production notes and a look behind-the-scenes at the filming of Gone With the Wind included with each DVD.

Gone With the Wind has a 233-minute running time (235 for the DVD), an MPAA "G" rating and is priced as low as $19.95 for both formats. The video will be available as a double cassette and offered in a collectable slip-sleeve featuring a gold-embossed title treatment and multi-level sculpted photography. With a VHS purchase, consumers receive special offers from VISA, Blue Diamond Almonds, Heathy Choice Popcorn, Day Runner and Rhino Records. These offers include coupons, rebates, and the chance to receive a complimentary The Making of a Legend video.

Gone With the Wind, a Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer release, is a David O. Selznick production of Margaret Mitchell's story of the old South starring Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and presenting Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara. The film was directed by Victor Flemming; the screenplay was written by Sidney Howard and the music was by Max Steiner.


MGM has announced several new and exciting DVD releases for August...

Leading the pack is 2001: A Space Odyssey, which will arrive in stores on August 25th. It will feature a new 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack, behind-the-scenes information, and a press conference with screenwriter Arthur C. Clarke.

It's sequel, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, will also feature a new 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack, and a behind-the-scenes featurette. It also hits stores August 25th.

Leonardo DiCaprio will appear on DVD in The Man In The Iron Mask, which arrives on August 11th. Extras will include audio commentary by writer/director Randall Wallace, alternate mask designs and conceptual sketches.

Hackers will round out the pack of new titles, also on August 25th.

In addition, several current titles will be available repackaged in Amaray (or Keep Case) packaging on 8/25. These will include: Cyborg, Rocky, Rocky II and Rocky IV.


Here's a brief article on the Bond DVD hiatus, taken from a recent issue of Video Business:


(by Wendy Wilson) MGM Home Entertainment will remove superspy James Bond from active duty--again. His new hiatus will begin on June 8.

The supplier is notifying accounts that the Bond catalog--with the exception of May 12 release Tomorrow Never Dies--will be put on moratorium effective June 8. The moratorium applies to the 17 Bond titles on VHS and those available on DVD: Dr. No, From Russia With Love, GoldenEye, Goldfinger, Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me. Orders will be accepted until June 5 and will be filled until existing inventory is depleted.

The Bond library will be unavailable to retailers until fall 1999, when MGM plans to reintroduce the titles in conjunction with the next Bond film, starring Pierce Brosnan as the lady-loving, martini-swilling Agent 007. The 18 Bond films controlled by MGM, including Tomorrow Never Dies, have sold more than 12 million units on video.

MGM had previously put Bond titles on moratorium for about a year beginning in April 1994, timing their return to coincide with the theatrical release of GoldenEye.


Here's an interesting piece of DVD news... MGM's Tomorrow Never Dies release has broken records for preorders (for both VHS and DVD). Here's the clip...

Tomorrow Never Dies 170,000 copies

MGM Home Entertainment's Tomorrow Never Dies Surpasses Biggest Sell-in Numbers Ever for Both Rental and DVD Units.

SANTA MONICA, Calif.-(BUSINESS WIRE)-May 7, 1998-Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (NYSE:MGM) Thursday announced that Tomorrow Never Dies, the latest James Bond film from its United Artists Pictures unit and Danjaq LLC, shattered all previous sales records for a home video rental title with a total of 1,171,500 pre-order units to retailers, including a record-breaking 170,000 on DVD, making it the first rental title ever to top 1 million units.

Both video and DVD releases will be available to consumers on May 12, 1998.

As part of its aggressive strategy, MGM Home Entertainment has committed the largest marketing campaign in home-video history for the 18th Bond adventure by spending more than $5 million in consumer advertising, including advertising time during the May 14 final episode of NBC's hit comedy Seinfeld.

Additionally, a strategic partnership with Visa Card will be integral to the promotional campaign, continuing the successful tie-in that was launched with the film's theatrical release. MGM further will support the rental release by withholding the single unit sell-through for one year.

Tomorrow Never Dies, which to date has generated more than $335 million worldwide in box-office receipts including a record $124 million in domestic sales, is the most successful theatrical release in the long-running Bond franchise. In video, approximately 13 million units of the earlier 17 James Bond titles have been sold by MGM Home Entertainment.

With these record video sales numbers, Tomorrow Never Dies displaces the previous record held by The Rock, with 830,000 units booked at its pre-order date.

"The tremendous volume of video and DVD pre-orders unquestionably speaks to the durability of the James Bond franchise, as well as to the vitality of premium titles," said David Bishop, president of MGM Home Entertainment. "This is a significant milestone for MGM and the video industry. With revenue sharing becoming an important percentage of our business, we intend to support it with an unprecedented media campaign."

Danjaq is the production company co-founded by the late Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli. Danjaq has produced 18 James Bond motion pictures since 1962.

MGM Home Entertainment controls the home video rights to the largest modern libraries of filmed entertainment in the world. In addition to the new Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists theatrical releases, the company controls worldwide home-video distribution rights to more than 4,600 films.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of entertainment product, including motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, licensed merchandise, a 4,000-title film library, a 6,700-title home video library, and a significant television library.

The group's operating units include MGM Pictures, United Artists Pictures, Orion Pictures, Goldwyn Films, MGM Worldwide Television Group, MGM Distribution Co., MGM Home Entertainment and Consumer Products Group, MGM Music, and MGM Interactive, among others. For more information on MGM, visit the MGM Online Web site at


As many of you know by now, MGM today announced that it will be releasing titles in Divx format as well as open DVD. Here's a copy of their official press release...

MGM to Release New and Library Titles on Divx

(General Press Release - Tuesday March 31, 9:01 am Eastern Time)

SANTA MONICA, Calif. and HERNDON, Va., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Expanding the platforms for its 4,000-title film library and new films, Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer Inc. (NYSE: MGM - news) today jointly announced with Digital Video Express that a multi-year agreement had been reached between the companies under which MGM titles will be available on Divx discs. In addition to an array of library titles, all new MGM video titles will be released on Divx concurrent with video rental releases.

The Divx system is an enhanced DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) model that provides digital-quality picture and sound and significant anti-piracy protections, as well as greater consumer convenience.

"For MGM, the Divx concept simply expands the venues for our product and, as a new means to reach the consumer marketplace in a quality format, is consistent with our strategy of maximizing our library assets,'' said David Bishop, President, MGM Home Entertainment. "With its new paradigm for delivering feature films into our homes, Divx has the potential to grow the digital marketplace, to attract new DVD followers, and to enhance the quality of the home theater experience."

"We believe that many home video consumers will appreciate the opportunity to purchase and view MGM titles -- including the newest and most successful of our James Bond series, Tomorrow Never Dies -- through the Divx system,'' he added.

"We are pleased to have earned the support of this venerable studio,'' said Richard L. Sharp, chairman and chief executive officer of Digital Video Express, developer of the Divx system. "MGM's support for Divx helps build momentum for the launch of Divx in two cities later this spring and expands the number of feature titles available in this convenient and economical digital format.''

Divx is a revolutionary new system for watching feature movies at home. Consumers purchase a special encrypted movie disc that contains a two-day viewing period. The 48-hour viewing window begins not when consumers leave the store, but only after they begin playing the disc for the first time, either on the day of purchase, the following week, or months later. Because the disc never has to be returned, consumers incur no late fees and can economically build a home video library. Additional viewing periods, including the option to convert the disc to unlimited play, can be purchased through the Divx player. Divx also expects to make ample supply available so consumers can easily find the movies they want to watch. Divx-equipped DVD players will play all basic DVD discs, but the lower-cost Divx discs cannot be played on basic DVD players.

Following a two-city introduction this spring, Divx discs and players will be available nationally beginning in late summer. Five other studios have long-term agreements with Divx. Digital Video Express is a partnership between Richmond, Virginia-based Circuit City Stores, Inc. (NYSE: CC - news, KMX - news), the nation's leading retailer of name-brand consumer electronics, and a prominent Los Angeles entertainment law firm. For more information, visit Divx on the Internet at

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of entertainment product, including motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, licensed merchandise, a 4,000-title film library, a 6,700-title home video library, and a significant television library. The company's operating units include MGM Pictures, United Artists Pictures, Orion Pictures, Goldwyn Films, MGM Worldwide Television Group, MGM Distribution Co., MGM Home Entertainment and Consumer Products Group, MGM Music, and MGM Interactive, among others. For more information on MGM, visit the MGM Online

This announcement contains forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, risks associated with the development of new business concepts. Additional discussion of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from management's projections, forecasts, estimates, and expectations are contained in the companies' SEC filings.

SOURCE: Circuit City Stores, Inc..

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