Copyright 2001 www.variety.com

[ December 24th 2001 ]

If last year was the year DVD broke through to the mainstream, this is the year it soared. In the U.S., the Consumer Electronics Association named the DVD player "the fastest growing consumer electronic product of all time." This generation's home entertainment top toy has been around for only five years but it is expected to be in a third of U.S. households shortly, a feat that took the VCR twice as long to achieve.

Monthly shipments of DVD players surpassed those of VCRs for the first time in September and are expected to reach 12.5 million units this year. In Canada, the Consumer Electronics Marketers says shipments of players were up 156 per cent in the first half of the year to 336,000 and that the industry forecasts 900,000 shipments to Canadian households by year's end. Sales of DVD players are expected to surpass those of VCRs by 2004.

On the software front, elaborate collector's editions continue to sell well, a concept that was of interest only to elite videophiles back in the days of the laser disc. Entertainment Weekly has named The Godfather Collection (Paramount) and Citizen Kane (Warner) jointly as the No. 1 DVD of the year. Best-sellers included Disney's special edition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, The Mummy Returns, Planet of the Apes, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Shrek. And what about 2002? Hollywood at Home magazine cites the following anticipated titles for DVD release:

From Fox: All That Jazz, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Valley of the Dolls, with new five-star editions of True Lies and Speed. Nothing in sight yet for the original Star Wars trilogy, though.

Alliance Atlantis: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and The Others.

Disney: A Platinum Collection release of Beauty and the Beast, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Love Bug, the original Parent Trap, Ed Wood and Monsters, Inc.

Columbia; Stripes, a double-disc Starship Troopers and Philadelphia.

MGM: A re-issue of Escape From New York, The Last Waltz, The Producers, Raging Bull, Fargo, Thelma & Louise and The Usual Suspects.

Paramount: A special edition of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and the first boxed set of episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. A boxed set of Eddie Murphy's Beverly Hills Cop movies, Serpico, Sunset Boulevard and a special edition of Fatal Attraction. Nothing definite yet on the Indiana Jones trilogy.

Warners: A 20th anniversary edition of Blade Runner and Poltergeist, special editions of Victor/Victoria, The Mission, Klute and Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet. New SEs of The Color Purple and Gremlins 1 & 2. Also of Goodfellas, Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Still no word, however, on the original King Kong.

Universal: The big news is the 20th anniversary special edition of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in March and, possibly, of Schindler's List, though no date announced yet. And even Steven Spielberg's maiden TV movie thriller, Duel, is coming. Also planned for the third quarter, the Spielberg-produced Back to the Future trilogy and a John Hughes collection.

Meanwhile, new on video this week: Dancing at the Blue Iguana (Columbia) - For those who weren't aware that life behind the scenes at a strip club is probably dismal, pathetic and seamy, this largely improvised drama by Michael Radford makes it official. Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Tilly and Sandra Oh took the time to learn the ropes as the stars of an L.A. peel palace, and while there'slots of nudity, little of it is erotic.

The meandering storyline touches on several familiar subplots, including an infatuated hitman and the one about the exotic dancer who really aspires to be a poet. Two Can Play That Game (Columbia) - In this comic battle of the sexes, Shante (Vivica A. Fox) is renowned amongst her girlfriends for keeping her man Keith (Morris Chestnut) happy and in line. Until the day she catches him with another woman. Shante then institutes her 10-day plan to get him back, by any means necessary.

Evolution (DreamWorks) - The big question is, if David Duchovny was so anxious to get off The X-Files merry-go-round and into a varied film career, howcum he ended up in this Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) comedy about...invading aliens? Orlando Jones and Julianne Moore co-star.

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