Brokeback Mountain, which stunningly lost the
best picture Academy Award this month to Crash,
is being rushed out on DVD in two weeks to capitalize on
Oscar buzz, its distributor said Monday. The gay
Western romance will be available on April 4,
according to Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
The release is
notable not only because the film is still playing in
theaters but because there is usually a six-week window
between the announcement and the street date.
Observers say the narrowing gap reflects the growing
clout of mass merchants over video specialists. "You
don't need six weeks to sell to Wal-Mart," said one insider.
Brokeback is the latest in a series of
high-profile films with drastically shortened DVD
solicitation periods. While the March 28 release date
for King Kong had been speculated on by the
media since early February, Universal didn't
officially announce the release of the Peter Jackson remake
until the second week in March. Similarly, 20th
Century Fox waited until mid February to announce the
February 28 release of Walk the Line.
Mountain DVD boasts a documentary in which stars
Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal discuss their
preparations for the film, such as training for a rodeo and
for wrangling. There's also a profile of Ang Lee, who
won the best director Oscar for Brokeback, as
well as interviews with Oscar-winning scribes Larry
McMurtry and Diana Ossana as they discuss bringing
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx's short
story to the screen. (Thomas K. Arnold, Reuters)