With studios still marketing their summer blockbusters, the DVD release schedule is slow again this week, though there are still a few interesting titles that might encourage you to skip the line at the theater. "American Reunion" is among the top new releases hitting the home market this week, following another overall strong box office run earlier in the year. Also getting launched is Robert De Niro's barely seen drama "Being Flynn," a limited release that missed its intended art house crowd when it launched back in March. Anna Paquin-starring drama "Margaret" is the only other major new title, though a special edition Blu-ray collector's set of "Chariots of Fire" might also catch the eye of fans of the 1981 Oscar winner.
Every once in a while, an adult-geared teen comedy will come out of nowhere to make a huge impact on American movies. Following in the footsteps of "Risky Business" and "Porky's," "American Pie," became somewhat of a cultural phenomenon when it launched back in July of 1999. Sporting an R-rating for plenty of graphic content, including the famous scene that gave the movie its title, "American Pie" racked up $102 million domestically in its run (roughly $160 million adjusted for inflation).
After an enormously successful theatrical trilogy, "American Pie" headed straight to DVD with different actors for a few titles, though it came back strong with "American Reunion" when the original cast members signed back on. Despite mixed reviews, "American Reunion" still made $232 million around the world thanks to the popular brand - a great total for a $50 million production.
But even though movie lovers around the globe turned up for "American Reunion," domestic audiences were less impressed. "American Reunion" earned just $56 million in the U.S., down from the inflation-adjusted $166 million the original trilogy averaged domestically. Though it's possible we'll see an "American Pie" release headed straight to the home market somewhere down the road, the series looks to be at a clear end after a very lucrative run for distributor Universal.
Playing to a much different audience this week will be "Being Flynn," a drama about a troubled writer (Robert De Niro) reconnecting with his estranged son (Paul Dano). Some critics were encouraged to see De Niro back in a serious drama, but "Being Flynn" had a hard time gathering much critical or audience support and barely received a release when it got launched at the beginning of March. After hitting just 88 theaters at its widest point, "Being Flynn" will have a hard time finding an audience in the home market as well despite a very weak release schedule.
Also hitting DVD and Blu-ray this week will be "Margaret," an R-rated drama about a woman (Anna Paquin) struggling to deal with the realities of a brutal accident. "Margaret" also stars Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo, though that didn't help get "Margaret" off the ground when it launched in theaters. Even with a decent amount of critical support (76% on Rotten Tomatoes), "Margaret" managed a release of just 14 total theaters, partly due to dark subject matter that proved difficult to market for distributor Fox Searchlight.
Those uninterested in the slender list of new titles hitting the home market this week might turn to the new collector's set of "Chariots of Fire," a 1981 drama about two track stars competing in the 1924 Olympics. Though often criticized for a tedious pace, "Chariots of Fire" was nothing short of a huge hit back in the early 1980s, racking up $158 million in the U.S. when adjusted for inflation. "Chariots of Fire" would go on to win four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.
Next week, a Blu-ray collector's set of "Singin' in the Rain" joins new titles "The Three Stooges" and "Lockout" as the top new releases of the week. Indie drama "Salmon Fishing in Yemen" will also get its release as will Will Ferrell's "Casa de mi Padre," an R-rated comedy that tanked in theaters earlier in the year.
by RTT Staff Writer
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