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page updated: 1/27/99

Studio News - Warner Bros.

The following is the full text of Warner's press release on February DVD titles, released on 1/27:

Warner Home Video Celebrates New Year With Major DVD Releases;

Acclaimed New Titles and Classic Musicals Lead the Way

BURBANK, Calif.--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--Jan. 27, 1999

Warner Home Video (WHV) Wednesday announced February DVD releases, including recent theatrical titles and a cherished musical, at prices of $19.98 and $24.98.

Following are highlights of the February release schedule:

Practical Magic (available Feb. 16, catalogue No.16322, $24.98) From the charming bestseller and the director of Addicted to Love, two of Hollywood's hottest stars, Sandra Bullock (Hope Floats, Speed) and Nicole Kidman (The Peacemaker, Batman Forever), team up to cast their spells in this $45-million box-office hit.

Bonuses include an interactive menu game that unlocks two behind-the-scenes documentaries, a feature-length commentary with Sandra Bullock, director Griffin Dunne, producer Denise Di Novi and composer Alan Silvestri and theatrical trailers for this and 10 other Bullock, Kidman, Dunne and romance titles.

Without Limits (available Feb. 16, catalogue No.14905, $19.98) Winner of the Breakthrough Award from the National Board of Review, Billy Crudup (Sleepers, Everyone Says I Love You) raced this movie about the life and times of renowned long distance runner Steve Prefontaine straight into critics' A-lists, including Time magazine's Top 10 1998 wrap-up.

With acclaimed performances by Crudup as Pre and Donald Sutherland (Disclosure, M*A*S*H) as his coach, this release also contains the theatrical trailer and English and French subtitles.

The Music Man (available Feb. 23, catalogue No.16768, $24.98) An energetic and loveable con man takes a small Iowa town by storm and the music lives on forever! Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and taking home the Oscar for Best Adaptation Score, "The Music Man" has become one of Hollywood's most revered treasures.

Starring Robert Preston (How the West Was Won, Victor/Victoria) and Shirley Jones (Oklahoma, Carousel), Meredith Willson's memorable musical features such beloved tunes as "76 Trombones" and "Till There Was You." This DVD also features an introduction by Jones, a documentary with rare footage and interviews with cast and crew, and the trailer for this and Willson's other favorite musical, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."

Singles (available Feb. 23, catalogue No.12410, $19.98) Writer/director Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire) introduces us to this trend-setting movie about a group of Seattle friends and neighbors examining love and relationships in the 90s.

Bridget Fonda (Single White Female, Jackie Brown), Matt Dillon (There's Something About Mary, Wild Things), Kyra Sedgewick (Phenomenon, Something To Talk About) and Campbell Scott (The Spanish Prisoner, Dying Young) star alongside one of the decade's best alternative rock soundtracks. Features include: theatrical trailer, cast filmographies and two scenes originally omitted from the movie.

DVD, offering superior picture and sound quality, convenience, exciting interactive features, viewing options and an affordable price, was launched in test markets in March 1997 and rolled out nationwide in August of that year. In the first two years, DVD has out sold the VCR 13 to one and the CD four to one.

More than 2,400 DVD titles are currently available from every major studio for sale or rent.

For more information access

PREVIOUS NEWS (11/20/98)

Warner has just announced a new DVD promotion deal with Microsoft. Here's the full text of their press release:

Warner Home Video Promotes DVD Format

Free DVD Movie Offered with Each Purchase of Windows 98 Software

Burbank, CA (November 19, 1998) Warner Home Video (WHV) today announced a partnership to promote DVD's ability to play on any personal computer or laptop equipped with DVD-ROM drives. During the months of November and December, customers purchasing the Microsoft Windows 98 operating system at participating retail outlets such as Best Buy will receive a free WHV DVD movie.

"It's the best of both worlds," said Tom Lesinski, senior vice president, worldwide marketing and development, Warner Home Video. "DVD represents the first true convergence product. The ability to watch movies on computer or television makes DVD the media of the millennium."

Microsoft customers buying the Windows 98 program will be able to choose from 10 different WHV DVD releases including such hit titles as L.A. Confidential, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, U.S. Marshals and City of Angels.

"We believe DVD is the medium of the future," said Peter N. Biddle, DVD evangelist, Microsoft Corp. "DVD's ability to work across different hardware platforms and its flexibility and support for future technologies allow customers to easily experience cutting-edge technology."

WHV will promote the disc giveaway with in-store offers at participating retailers. In addition, WHV will include a Windows 98 promotional spot on several major video releases later this year, such as The Negotiator and Lethal Weapon 4, highlighting the benefits of Windows 98 native support of DVD.

DVD, offering 5.1 channel sound and nearly twice the image resolution of VHS technology, was launched in test markets in March 1997 and rolled out nationwide in August 1997. Since inception, more than 850,000 DVD players have been shipped to retailers, making DVD's launch ten times more successful than that of CD.

More than 1,750 DVD titles are currently available from every major studio for sale or rent, with the number of titles expected to pass 2,000 by year's end. Total DVD player shipments are forecast to exceed one million by the end of 1998.

PREVIOUS NEWS (10/23/98)

Here's a quick look at the Snapper case artwork for a trio or upcoming DVD titles from Warner Bros., specifically The Exorcist: Special Edition, Dangerous Beauty and A Perfect Murder. Enjoy!


Here's the full text of the Warner Bros. press release, announcing their new three-tiered pricing plan for DVD. It was officially unveiled at VSDA on Wednesday morning:

Three-Tiered Program Offers Consumers Quality Titles at Lower Prices

Price Reductions on More Than 30 Catalog Titles

Las Vegas (July 8, 1998)

Warner Home Video (WHV) today announced a plan to implement a three-tiered DVD pricing structure at the Video Software Dealers Association Convention (VSDA). This new pricing program provides improved retail margins at all price points, enabling retailers to invest in the format and offer value to their customers.

"Consumers have enthusiastically supported the DVD format from the beginning and now we offer them the opportunity to build their home DVD libraries at attractive prices," said Jim Cardwell, executive vice president, North America. "Our three-tiered price plan offers retailers the opportunity to provide their customers quality titles at inviting prices."

Tier I: SRP - $24.98, MAP - $19.95
Tier II: SRP - $19.98, MAP - $14.95
Tier III: SRP - $14.98, MAP - $9.95

Tier I: WHV's new top box office titles and highly collectable catalog titles.
Tier II: WHV's mid-range box office new releases and popular catalog titles.
Tier III: WHV's classic titles with significant star power.

DVD, offering improved picture and sound quality, convenience, exciting interactive features, viewing options and an affordable price, was launched in test markets in March 1997 and rolled out nationwide in August. In DVD's first year, more than 500,000 players were shipped to retailers, making DVD's launch ten times more successful than that of the CD or VCR.

More than 1,000 DVD titles are available from nearly every major studio and the number of titles is expected to pass 2,000 by year end.

Price Reduced Catalog Titles*:

All the President's Men
Body Heat
Bonnie & Clyde
The Candidate
Cool Hand Like
Dangerous Liaisons
Dog Day Afternoon
Driving Miss Daisy
Forever Young
The Getaway
The Green Berets
Jeremiah Johnson
A Little Princess
The Man Who Would Be King
Police Academy
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)
Private Benjamin
Purple Rain
The Searchers
The Secret Garden
Strangers on a Train
A Streetcar Named Desire
Tango & Cash
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
The Witches of Eastwick

*Titles subject to change


Warner has announced an exciting new DVD Special Edition release... the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Exorcist! This new DVD version will be released on September 29th, and will include: a 75-minute expanded version of the BBC documentary The Fear of God: The Making of the Exorcist (including outtakes and material only available on DVD), several theatrical trailers and TV spots, full-length commentary tracks, and new interviews with the stars and crew. Approximate running time is 220 minutes. The DVD will retail for $24.98.


Warner has sent me a press release, indicating that they plan to release 25 new DVD titles in Europe on September 25th! In addition, this release wave will be followed by 8-10 additional DVD releases each month thereafter. According to the press release, there will be three disc versions. The original theatrical version will be available dubbed or subtitled. And depending on the respective territory, the discs will feature a mix of German, French, Spanish and Italian dubbed languages and 20 subtitles.

Titles coming on Sept. 25 are:

Addicted to Love
All the President's Men
Body Heat
Bonnie and Clyde
The Bridges of Madison County
The Color Purple
Conspiracy Theory
Dog Day Afternoon
Father's Day
The Fugitive
The Getaway
Interview with a Vampire
Jeremiah Johnson
Michael Collins
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
The Pelican Brief
The Postman
The Right Stuff
The Specialist
Tequila Sunrise

In addition, the following titles are listed as future European DVD releases:

The Devil's Advocate
L.A. Confidential
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Space Jam
Blazing Saddles
Dirty Harry
The Lost Boys
City of Angels
Private Benjamin
The Searchers
Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
Murder at 1600
U.S. Marshals


It's official - Warner is reducing the prices on two upcoming DVD releases: Sphere and U.S. Marshals! The Suggested Retail Price (SRP) for each will be $19.98, meaning that they will street for around $16.99 at most stores. The Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) for the discs is $14.98 however, so you may be able to find them at that price at club stores and other mass retailers. Sphere streets on 7/14, with U.S. Marshals hitting store shelves on 7/21.


Well, it looks like some of the DVD release dates listed in the 5/20 update are unconfirmed. I spoke with Warner today, and what follows is a list of the only titles and release dates they were able to confirm with me for June and July:


Fallen - 6/16
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: SE - 6/23
The Postman: SE - 6/23
Enter the Dragon - 6/30
Point of No Return - 6/30


Sphere - 7/14
U.S. Marshals - 7/21
Camelot: SE (no date given)
Deliverance (no date given)


Here's a rundown of the Warner Bros DVD titles we can expect in June, along with their tentative release dates:

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - 6/2/98
The Postman - 6/9/98
Fallen - 6/16/98
Old Man and the Sea - 6/16/98
Pee-wee's Big Adventure - 6/16/98
The Cowboys - 6/30/98
Enter the Dragon - 6/30/98
Excalibur - 6/30/98
Point of No Return - 6/30/98
Shawshank Redemption - 6/30/98


Warner Home Video has informed me that their Heat DVD is on hold until further notice. There had been many rumors and speculation, saying that the title was scheduled for release last month (4/28). Unfortunately, this information was incorrect. Warner has never officially announced a release date for this title. There were no specific reasons given for the title's current status. Heat will be released to DVD, but we'll have to wait for an official announcement to know when.


Thanks to the good folks at Warner Home Video, for sending over some screen shots of the interactive menus from L.A. Confidential. The DVD hits store shelves on Tuesday (and it looks like a good one!). Enjoy...


Warner has just announced a special DVD rental program for video retailers. It starts next month in five test markets: Dallas, Philadelphia, Portland and... Richmond and San Francisco. It appears that Warner plans to back up their verbal attacks on Divx with some serious action! Looks like the DVD vs. Divx fight is starting to heat up! Here's the full text:


Commits DVD Titles Plus DVD Players and Promotional Support to Video Rental Market

Burbank (April 8, 1998) - Warner Home Video, a Time Warner Entertainment Company, today announced a DVD rental program to begin next month in five test market cities - Dallas, Philadelphia, Portland, Richmond and San Francisco.

The DVD Rental Program is designed to provide video retailers with a low-cost, low-risk opportunity to participate the the DVD business. The program will help video rental retailers share the DVD experience with their customers and establish themselves as the local source for DVD.

"DVD is expected to be in a million homes by early 1999," said Thomas Lesinski, WHV senior vice-president, marketing and development. "The rapid growth in DVD households now makes DVD rental a viable business opportunity for rental retailers."

Warner Home Video, along with its distributed labels including MGM Home Entertainment, New Line Home Video and HBO Home Video, has partnered with major hardware manufacturers to provide a selection of three DVD hardware/software starter kits, each tailored to meet individual retailer needs. Each package includes between 10 and 100 different titles. The kits include:

PACKAGE A - 8 DVD players (with rental cases), 180 software units

PACKAGE B - 4 DVD players (with rental cases), 90 software units

PACKAGE C - 2 DVD players (with rental cases), 45 software units

The DVD Rental Program will be supported by extensive consumer advertising including television, magazines and newspapers. Additionally, comprehensive point-of-purchase promotional materials have been designed to build awareness of DVD rental in participating stores.

DVD, offering improved picture and sound quality, convenience, exciting features, viewing options and an affordable price, was launched in test markets in March 1997 and rolled out nationwide in August. In DVD's first year, about 500,000 DVD players were sold to retailers and 340,000 DVD players were sold to consumers, making DVD's launch more successful than that of the CD or VCR.

More than 1,000 DVD titles are available from nearly every major studio and the number of titles is expected to pass 2,000 by year end.

Initial DVD Rental Starter Kits in the five test markets can only be ordered through May 31, 1998. Warner Home Video currently plans a national rollout of the DVD Rental Program later this summer.


Well, the good folks over at Warner Bros Home Video have sent me photos of the packaging for a few of their hottest upcoming DVD titles: L.A. Confidential, My Fair Lady, The Devil's Advocate, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Heat. Personally, I can't wait for L.A. Confidential, which is probably the only Best Picture nominee with a prayer of besting Titanic. If you haven't seen it yet... what are you waiting for? It's a terrific flick! You can be sure I'll be quick to post my review of the disc when I can get my hands on it. Heat should also be well worth the wait.

In other news, here's a rundown of the Warner Bros titles you can expect on DVD in the next few months:

March 24th

Camelot, The Devil's Advocate, and The Man Who Knew Too Little

April 14th

L.A. Confidential, Lone Star and The Spifire Grill

April 28th

Cabaret, Copycat, Dave, Heat, Mean Streets, Once Upon a Time in America and Scarecrow

May 5th

Mad City

May 26th

The Last Boy Scout, Memphis Belle, Passenger 57 and Pure Country

June 30th


July 24th

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure

TBA (In Development)

The American President, Citizen Kane, The Cowboys, Deliverance, Fair Game, Klute, Imagine - John Lennon, My Fair Lady, Police Academy 2-4, Rebel Without a Cause, The Shawshank Redemption (postponed), Sudden Impact, Superman and Superman II


It seems that, at least at Warner Bros., film producers are taking DVD release into consideration during the actual production of their films. In at least one case, producers arranged on-the-set video interviews and prepared behind-the-scenes footage, for use as ancillary material on the film's eventual DVD release.

The scoop comes from a recent feature article in the Los Angeles Times' Calendar section (Nov. 16 issue). The article, written by Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil screenwriter John Lee Hancock, is an account of his experiences while on the set, at the invitation of director Clint Eastwood, during the film's production in Savannah, GA earlier this year. The article was edited from diary entries the screenwriter kept, while working with Eastwood, and the film's stars Kevin Spacey and John Cusack (among others). The final entry in the article reads as follows:

"JIM'S FINAL CLOSE UP: A week or so after wrap I started to go through and catalog video interviews with the real Savannahians in the story for inclusion on the flip side of the DVD version of the film."

Bravo to Warner and the producers of Midnight for their forethought, and their efforts to push the limits of the DVD format. Let's hope that many more studio execs. and creative individuals in Hollywood, will consider DVD and take advantage of the possibilities presented by the format, when planning their projects.


In other news, Warner is currently hard at work on the DVD versions of Contact, Conspiracy Theory and L.A. Confidential (another previously unannounced title, which is quickly shaping into my pick for Best Picture), among other films. I have officially confirmed (via WHV's Publicity department), that Contact will be Warner's first RSDL dual-layered disc. As if that weren't cool enough, the folks over at Warner are working very hard to meet the title's original 12/16 release date. [Editor's Note: I confirmed today (12/5) that this release date is still good, despite some posts to the contrary on the Internet.]

I'd like to send a big thank you to Warner for changing their minds, and preventing Contact from becoming another 'flipper'. Kudos also to Steve Tannehill and the regulars over at his DVD Resource Page, who lobbied hard to get Contact on RSDL. Personally, Contact is the title I'm dying for this holiday season. Given all its extras, it should prove to be among the very best examples of state-of-the-art DVD thus far. You can be sure that both Steve and I will post reviews of this disc as soon as we can get our hands on it!

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