GRAN TORINO MAKES GRAND ENTRY ON DVD
Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino, which proved that a septuagenarian can still be a big box-office draw -- after a roll-out in a few major markets, it opened in January at No. 1 with nearly $30 million in ticket sales -- could wind up even bigger on home video. The movie, which earned $149 million in its domestic run, hit video outlets last week, coming in first on Nielsen VideoScan First Alert's sales chart (both DVD and Blu-ray) and on Home Media magazine's rental chart. The magazine also noted that a new version ("The 40th Anniversary") of the classic Woodstock documentary, which includes an "extras" disk containing two hours of previously unseen footage of numerous performances and an hour of additional behind-the-scenes material, debuted at No. 7 on the DVD and No. 6 on the Blu-ray charts.
BLU-RAY NOT MAKING UP FOR DOWNTURN IN DVD TITLES
The advent of Blu-ray technology has not managed to offset the downturn in sales of DVDs, according to market researchers Screen Digest and reported in today's (Thursday) London Financial Times. In fact, according to the Screen Digest study, sales of Blu-ray discs "barely made a dent in the missing revenue" last year Helen Davis Jayalath, a senior analyst at Screen Digest, said that given the current economic climate, "we don't expect Blu-ray to be driving even minimal sector growth until 2010.
WOODY ALLEN SAYS HE GOT HIS NEW YORK "FROM HOLLYWOOD"
Woody Allen says that the script for his latest movie, Whatever Works, which opens Friday, sat on a shelf for five years because it was too costly for him to film it in New York, where, like most Allen films, it is set. "It's a very expensive city to work in," Allen told USA Today. "It's gotten better in that they give you tax breaks. But everything [else] has gone up. I work on a very limited budget. If I had a bigger, more grand film to make, I wouldn't have a hard time." Indeed, he said, he would like to make all his films in New York, "but I can't afford to do it." Referring to his next film, presently called "Untitled Woody Allen London Project," Allen said, "I was going to make it in New York. I wanted to. But in New York I would have needed two, three extra million." When the USA Today reporter observed that Allen seems to romanticize the city, Allen did not demur. "I've never cared about representing it naturalistically. I always tried to show it the way I felt about it," he told the newspaper. "Guys like Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee depict New York very often very realistically. Very, very beautifully and very correctly. I don't. The New York I've shown over the years is the New York I got from Hollywood movies."
DISNEY MUSEUM TO OPEN IN SAN FRANCISCO
Walt Disney's family plans to open a museum about the legendary filmmaker's career in San Francisco on October 1. In a statement, Disney's daughter -- and the museum's founder -- Diane Disney Miller said, "My father's name is probably one of the most well-known names around the world, but as the 'brand' or trademark has spread, for many, the man has become lost." The museum will display some of Disney's first animation drawings, including the origins of Mickey Mouse. It will also house his numerous Oscars as well as the original model for Disneyland. In an interview with Reuters, Walter Miller, Disney's grandson, said, "Perhaps my grandfather's greatest gift, without question his greatest pleasure, was to bring imagination to life. ... He never lost that childhood sense of wonder and of curiosity."
GLICKMAN BUYS BOOTLEG DVD IN CHINA
On a trip to China, where he addressed the Shanghai International Film Festival over the weekend, MPAA chief Dan Glickman paid a visit to a video store named "The Oscar Store" where he was given a can of Coca-Cola and a business card featuring Garfield the Cat. Glickman also bought a couple of pirated DVDs in the store "for evidence purposes," he told TheWrap.com. Glickman, who said that the store carried pirated DVDs "from all over the world," promptly filed a complaint with local police, and the following day they seized 529 DVDs at the store. Glickman told the website that in China, people seem to love American things. ""You have this shop named after the Oscars, Garfield on the business cards, you're given a genuine can of Coca-Cola, but pirated home movies are ubiquitous."