Like all the other major hits of the summer of 2001, Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes will be released on DVD in time for holiday sales this year.  The two-disk POTA DVD will carry an SRP of $29.98 and will hit the streets on November 20, the same day that the Grinch DVD bows.  Actually the entire fourth quarter resembles a crowded freeway with hundreds of DVDs hitting the marketplace (see 'Tomb Raider Leads Rush to DVD') with ever-increasing rapidity.  Tim Burton's 're-imagining' of Planet of the Apes did over $170 million at the box office this summer, more than half of it in the first two weeks of release as the Burton and POTA fans streamed into the theaters.  The POTA DVD release is chock full of features designed to appeal to those hardcore fans who flocked to theater for the film's opening.



Burton's Planet of the Apes was made with the prospect of a DVD edition firmly in the minds of the film's creators.  The two-disk POTA set includes more than 13 hours of extra features including nine behind-the-scenes/multiangle featurettes.  The DVD also includes a function that allows the viewer to depart from a viewing of the film to check out behind-the-scenes footage about that particular sequence, and then quickly resume the normal film narrative.  The second disk include an intriguing device that will let viewers re-edit various key sequences in the film using different shots from different angles.  The second disk also contains the HBO documentary about the making of the film, five extended scenes, a music video, plus features on makeup, locations, costumes, scoring, stunt work, and ape movement.  All things considered, this is a very attractive package for Tim Burton fans.


POTA Merchandise

20th Century Fox plans on spending more than $10 million to push the POTA DVD.  This means that retailers who have remaining POTA merchandise will have another window of opportunity during mid-November.  With toys from Hasbro, trading cards from Topps, comics and statues from Dark Horse, a great book on the movie from Newmarket Press (see BEA Report-Movie Books'), there is still plenty of POTA merchandise available if dealers have sold out.


Last year Fox surprised the video industry by releasing the popular X-Men movie on both DVD and sell-through priced VHS at the same time, rather than first pricing the VHS tape for rental, and later reducing the cost of the VHS tape to sell-through levels.  This year many other studios have adopted Fox's policy (see 'Pearl Harbor'), but with POTA Fox has gone the other way--only the POTA DVD will be priced for sell-through initially.  This appears to be a determination on Fox's part of the enormous growth and singular importance of DVD sales, which should be given a major enhancement with the huge projected sales of DVD players in the fourth quarter.