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Brokeback Mountain targets April 4 DVD release date

Brokeback Mountain targets April 4 DVD release date

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.

The Brokeback 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)

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