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The ads that have been popping up around the site lately remind me that, indeed, last year's Best Picture winner "The Artist" hasn't yet transitioned over to home video yet. The DVD/Blu-ray release is set for Tuesday, June 26, a full seven months after it opened in limited release in November of last year and of course over a year since it world-premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
It's clear that The Weinstein Company, which owned distribution rights in a few other territories but was mainly focused on domestic totals, was looking to squeeze as much out of the film as possible, keeping it in theaters for quite a while. Things settled around $44 million, making "The Artist," along with the likes of "The Hurt Locker," "The Last Emperor," "The Deer Hunter," "Annie Hall" and "Midnight Cowboy," one of very few films from the last four decades to win Best Picture without hitting at least $50 million domestic. Still, having five Oscars to show probably helps that go down a bit better.
For special features fanatics, the press release offers the following:
"The Artist Blu-ray and The Artist DVD are packed with extras for both movie aficionados and casual film fans: Blooper Reel; Q&A with the filmmakers and cast; 'Hollywood As A Character: The Locations of The Artist' Featurette, which takes viewers on a tour of film locations; 'The Artist: The Making of A Hollywood Love Story' Featurette, allowing fans to go behind the scenes on set; and four mini Featurettes, 'The Artisans Behind The Artist,' providing a look at the film's costume designs, cinematography, production design and the composer. The Artist also includes UltraViolet™, an entirely new way to collect, access and enjoy your digital entertainment."
I was somewhat surprised by the presence of New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd being tapped for the cover quote -- "Ingenious. Moving. Joyous." -- rather than one of the myriad film critics that wrote appreciatively of the film throughout the year. I guess they really wanted a Grey Lady attribution, and maybe A.O. Scott's (positive) review at the paper was just too heady for Sony Home Entertainment. After all, "Evokes the glamour and strangeness of silent movies without entirely capturing the full range of their power" doesn't exactly make 'em fly off the shelves, does it?
Anyway, mark you calendars. A week from today last year's awards thoroughbred will be available to enjoy (or not) on your couch. Will you be buying a copy?
For year-round entertainment news and awards season commentary follow @kristapley on Twitter.
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