'It's Complicated' Debuts, 'Out of Africa,' 'Tombstone' Go Blu

by Ray Subers
Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin in It's Complicated

April 26, 2010

While It's Complicated is the only recent mainstream hit scheduled for DVD and Blu-ray this week, a number of high-profile older movies, including Out of Africa, Tombstone, Dune and Armageddon, are set to make their Blu-ray debuts.

Romantic comedy It's Complicated (DVD and Blu-ray) opened Christmas Day and played well through the holidays and in to January, ultimately closing on April 1 with $112.7 million. This marked the third-best performance for writer-director Nancy Meyers (after What Women Want and Something's Gotta Give), and continued star Meryl Streep's hot streak at the box office.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (DVD and Blu-ray), which features Heath Ledger's last performance, also hits stores. While director Terry Gilliam's movies historically struggle at the box office, Doctor Parnassus actually fared worse than usual, grossing $7.7 million through April 25 (it continues to play in very limited release). Tideland is the only Gilliam movie to make less, and it was dumped in to only 9 theaters when it was released in 2006.

Five Minutes of Heaven and District 13: Ultimatum saw miniscule grosses from very limited domestic releases. Five Minutes of Heaven (DVD and Blu-ray), starring Liam Neeson, made a meager $15,676 when it played in two theaters last August. The sequel to 2006's District B13, District 13: Ultimatum (DVD and Blu-ray), didn't fare much better, grossing $36,136 through April 1. Distributors IFC and Magnolia both follow a simultaneous theatrical and video-on-demand release pattern, though, so these movies may not be as unsuccessful as their theatrical grosses indicate.

A handful of older movies make their Blu-ray debuts this week, with the 25th Anniversary release of seven-time Oscar winner Out of Africa (Blu-ray) representing the most significant of the bunch. Directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, the period romance opened to $3.6 million in December 1985 and ultimately grossed $87.1 million, or the equivalent of around $180 million adjusted for ticket price inflation.

Tombstone (Blu-ray), starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, did its part in 1993 and 1994 to try and revive the Western, and it stands as one of the most popular entries in the genre of the past few decades. It grossed $56.5 million back in the day, which is comparable to around $105 million today.

Dune (Blu-ray), the 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel directed by David Lynch, grossed $30.9 million, or the equivalent of under $70 million adjusted, and is considered in some circles to be a cult classic. Still, critics reviled it, and Lynch has distanced himself from the project in the years since its release.

Armageddon, which grossed $201.6 million in 1998, makes its Blu-ray debut Tuesday. Out of Michael Bay's catalog, only Bad Boys and Bad Boys II have yet to reach Blu-ray, though this will likely happen before the end of the year.

Originally receiving the now-defunct HD-DVD treatment, Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age both reach Blu-ray for the first time this Tuesday. Elizabeth (Blu-ray) grossed $30.1 million in 1998 and 1999 and went on to be nominated for seven Oscars (winning one for makeup). The Golden Age (Blu-ray), on the other hand, bombed in 2007 with only $16.4 million, though it did tie its predecessor with one Oscar win, this time for costume design.

Also scheduled for Blu-ray debuts are Traffic and The Jackal. Traffic (Blu-ray) banked $124.1 million in 2000 and 2001, and walked away with four Oscar wins, including ones for director (Steven Soderbergh) and supporting actor (Benicio Del Toro). Action thriller The Jackal (Blu-ray) was admittedly less ambitious than Traffic, but the Bruce Willis-Richard Gere movie made $54.9 million in 1997.

Click here for the complete list of Apr. 27 DVD/Blu-ray releases.

Related Story
'Avatar' Strikes DVD

10/14 'Venom' & 'Star is Born' Reign Atop Box Office for Second Weekend in a Row
10/11 'Venom' & 'Star is Born' Look to Fend Off 'First Man', 'Goosebumps 2' & 'El Royale'
10/10 Warner Bros. and 'The Nun' Lead Second Highest Grossing September Ever
10/7 'Venom' Delivers October Opening Weekend Record While 'Star is Born' Shines
10/4 'Venom' & 'A Star is Born' are Ready to Get October Off to a Strong Start
9/30 'Night School' & 'Smallfoot' Top Weekend, Capping Off a Strong September at the Box Office
> MORE: News | Features
New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 10/15 (35 tracked)
WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'Venom' #1
DAILY: Friday, 'Venom' #1
DAILY: Thursday 10/11 (52 tracked)
DAILY: Wednesday, 10/10 (35 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 10/9 (40 tracked)
WEEKLY: 'Night School' Tops the Week with $34.4m