In a fairly slow week for new DVD and Blu-ray releases, "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" is the most popular new title getting launched, with Nicolas Cage's "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" also hitting stores looking to find the action-seeking demographic. A few older titles will hit stores as well, including Criterion Collection sets of Charlie Chaplin's classic "The Gold Rush" and "Harold and Maude." The eighth and final season of "Entourage" is also getting its release after HBO wrapped the series last fall.
With Robert Downey Jr. still donning the Iron Man gear in theaters, his other action franchise continues to be a big hit with mainstream audiences. Released in time for the holiday season in 2011, "A Game of Shadows" brings Sherlock and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) back for another adventure filled with quirky humor and over-the-top action. Jared Harris of "Mad Men" also stars as an evil genius hell bent on starting World War One, and Noomi Rapace of current release "Prometheus" fills out the rest of the interesting cast.
Backed by solid critical support, "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" racked up $186 million domestically and more than $500 million worldwide following its mid-December release. Downey Jr. has now starred in five movies since 2008 that have crossed the $500 million mark, making him the biggest action star on the planet right now. After a very good run in theaters with "A Game of Shadows," Warner Brothers will likely be bringing Downey Jr. back for a third installment in the franchise sometime in the next few years.
Aiming for a similar demographic this week will be "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance," though it seems that interest is waning for the franchise hopeful starring Nicolas Cage. Even after posting some big numbers with the original "Ghost Rider" back in 2007, revenue plummeted with "Spirit of Vengeance," and the critical reviews were some of the worst of the year. With "Sherlock Holmes" taking aim at the same action-seeking audiences, "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" will probably have a rough time finding its target demographic as it hits the home market this week.
While "Sherlock Homes" and "Ghost Rider" take aim at mainstream action audiences, Tyler Perry's drama "Good Deeds" will also hit stores this week after a so-so box office run earlier in the year. "Good Deeds" stars Perry as a successful businessman who finds himself falling for the office cleaning lady, shaking up his predictable and monotonous life. Though Perry has become one of the most lucrative directors in movies, his dramas haven't had nearly the same pull with audience as his highly successful "Madea" comedies, and "Good Deeds" probably won't have too much luck on the small screen either.
Though there are limited options for new releases this week, a couple of interesting older titles will also be getting launched on Criterion Collection Blu-ray. Silent classic "The Gold Rush" stars Charlie Chaplin as a man who goes searching for riches, only to find much more than he bargained for. Along with "The Kid," "City Lights" and "Modern Times," "The Gold Rush" is one of Chaplin's most famous features and he was at the height of his popularity when it launched in the mid-1920s.
Criterion will also be launching a new collector's set of "Harold and Maude," the 1971 comedy from famed director Hal Ashby. Before making "Being There" and "The Last Detail," Ashby helmed "Harold and Maude," a tale of a rich young man changed irrevocably when he meets the elderly Maude, who helps steer him away from his path of destruction. A classic oddball couple comedy, "Harold and Maude" was shunned by the Academy Awards when it was released but has since grown in stature as one of the best comedies of the 1970s.
Fans of HBO's hit series "Entourage" can also check out the final season as it launches on DVD and Blu-ray after eight successful years. Though the final couple of seasons didn't have the critical acclaim of early seasons, it remained popular right up until the end and executive producer Mark Wahlberg is moving forward with a feature film.
Next week, R-rated comedies "Project X" and "Wanderlust" are the most popular new titles in a slow overall week and "Big Miracle" will also hit DVD and Blu-ray looking to find a home with family audiences. The complete second season of hit comedy "Louie" will also get its release and Steven Spielberg's overlooked 1987 drama "Empire of the Sun" is another title hitting the high-definition of Blu-ray.
by RTT Staff Writer
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