ARCHIVE NEWS - 13th to 19th OCTOBER 2003

19th October

It's been a quiet week for news, although product continues to flood into stores, with every label hoping to claw as big a share of the Christmas sales boom as possible. Retailers have to be even more selective than usual, since shelf space is at a premium. It means that hundreds of titles with limited appeal will be virtually impossible to find in any but the very largest stores. Sadly archive TV releases are especially prone to being marginalised at this time of year, but the smaller labels are just as reliant on seasonal sales as the major companies. The chances that you'll be able to find something like The Biederbeck Collection amongst shelves heaving with copies of the big Summer blockbusters are slim indeed.

Schedules are artificially telescoped in the second half of the year, with the major labels having to decide whether or not to release their big summer movies in time for Christmas. The alternative is becoming almost unthinkable: holding on to a title and releasing it early in the following year. The first few weeks of the New Year are a sales wasteland, buoyed only by sales paid for by gift vouchers, (which is weighted to titles aimed at children) and by well-intentioned purchases of keep fit videos. Sales don't really pick up again until Easter, so postponing the release of a Summer blockbuster is a tough choice. If a company delays the relasese of a big title by another couple of months it risks the title becoming stale, and gives video pirates an longer period where they can cash in on the studio's tardiness. 

Almost all the big 2003 Summer movies will be released on DVD in time for Christmas, including Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which was only released in cinemas here in August. The only really big 2003 films not due for UK DVD release this year are Finding Nemo (released in May in the US, and due on DVD in the US on the 4th of November) and Bad Boys II (released in July in the US, and due on DVD in the US on the 9th of December). A couple of other notable titles will be released on disc in the US before Christmas, but haven't been announced in the UK: Lara Croft - Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (due on DVD on the 18th of November), Bringing Down The House (a $130m + blockbuster in the US, which wasn't so successful in the UK, it's already available on DVD in the US) and Seabiscuit (true-life drama about a racing horse, released in US cinemas in July, and due here at the end of this month, it will be released on DVD in the US on the 16th of December). 

That doesn't seem to leave much of any note for 2004... The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Kill Bill - Volume 1 and The Matrix Revolutions... and that's about it!

I can't promise any news tomorrow, but there will be two new competitions, so do drop by...

13th October

Blue Underground has issued another statement about the defective Circus of Fear discs (see News entry for October the 10th for more information):

CIRCUS OF FEAR Replacement Discs

Thanks to our loyal and alert customers we discovered that a small batch (estimated 500-1,000) CIRCUS OF FEAR DVDs are defective due to a replication fault. This is not an authoring or disc deterioration problem, so if your disc currently works on your player(s) you have no reason to be concerned. For those with defective discs kindly mail them to:

Circus of Fear Replacement

11271 Ventura Boulevard


Studio City, CA 91604


Please be sure to include your return address (and e-mail address should you wish to receive shipping notification).

A replacement disc will be immediately dispatched. 

This information apparently also applies to UK customers.

Tartan's forthcoming retail release of the delightfully kinky drama Secretary will feature a DTS audio track, a first for the company. 

The disc, due on January the 6th, will contain three soundtrack options: a choice of Dolby Digital stereo 2.0 and 5.1 surround tracks, and a 5.1 DTS track. (The Region 1 disc, from Lion's Gate Entertainment has 2.0 audio only).   The disc will also feature a commentary track, by director Steven Shainberg and writer Erin Cressida Wilson, a Making of... documentary, featuring interviews with stars James Spader and Donnie Darko's Maggie Gyllenhaal, a theatrical trailer and eight TV spots.

Last week's News entries can be found by following the link below...  


6th-12th October 2003

29th September-5th October 2003

22nd-28th September 2003

15th-21st September 2003

8-14th September 2003

1st-7th September 2003

August 2003

July 2003




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