Variety, 10/20/06
Disc blitz hits holidays

'Pirates,' 'Prada,' tube fare crowding shelf space

By DIANE GARRETT

The holiday glut at the box office has nothing on the season's disc deluge.

Each year, studios squeeze more releases into the fourth quarter in a bid for holiday sales, but this year's title wave is especially intense. Hits like "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and "The Devil Wears Prada" will vie with "Lady in the Water," "Material Girls" and "Beerfest," plus a dizzying array of small-screen fare ranging from the latest season of "24" to "Stacked: The Complete Series" and "Full House Season Five."

Some pics will be released in three or more configurations thanks to the nascent high-def battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray formats. Warner will release more than a dozen "Superman" configurations alone, including a massive 14-disc "Ultimate Collector's Edition."

In the theatrical biz, stacked skeds spur inevitable worries about cannibalization, but the prevailing mood in homevideo is the more the merrier. With the DVD biz flat and newer technologies like digital downloads yet to take off, studios are determined to grow their take however possible, be it through massive title waves, pricey box sets or budget fare designed for impulse buys.
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