DVD & Blu-ray

Here’s the truth, “The Hurt Locker” is not as good as the critics want you to believe!! It is okay, but not great.

DVD in awards season could be the trigger for ‘The Hurt Locker’
The Hurt Locker is getting ready to redeploy.
The film about a renegade member of a bomb squad in Iraq opened in June to near unanimous critical acclaim. But it earned a not-so-whopping $12.7 million at the box office.
Still, though audiences seemed unwilling to trust the 97% positive rating from film review site, the awards season may help The Hurt Locker turn a corner in the fight for moviegoers.
The film is still playing on a handful of screens, but its potential for discovery now rests on its DVD and Blu-ray debut Tuesday and the momentum of Sunday’s Golden Globes, where it is up for three prizes, including best drama.
Oscar nominations are announced Feb. 2, and The Hurt Locker is expected to fare well after earning numerous critics’ awards and guild nominations.
Releasing it on home video now allows the film to ride a wave of attention cast by Hollywood’s backslapping season.
“We were obviously very, very hopeful we would get the award recognition that critics were talking about when we released the movie back in June,” says Rob Friedman, co-chairman and CEO of Summit Entertainment, which distributed The Hurt Locker. “It was definitely something we hoped for. You can never anticipate, but you can plan.”
The awards race has long been a marketing tool for prestige films, which is why many open in theaters late in the year with hopes of generating ticket sales while amassing honors.
Making a DVD available during awards season may be particularly smart for more intimate, sophisticated fare that doesn’t have the bombast that typically drives blockbusters, says Paul Bond, West Coast business editor for The Hollywood Reporter.
“Adults have less time on their hands, they’re more conscious about money, they’re less interested in the social aspect of moviegoing than high school and college kids are,” Bond says. “It’s no surprise they’re willing to wait for the DVD release to see a film they’re interested in. And adults are interested in The Hurt Locker.”
Though it will be many months before Avatar or Up in the Air arrive on home video, other films such as Julie & Julia, Inglourious Basterds and District 9 were on DVD last month.
In those cases, they opened strongly in theaters and were trying to capture the holiday gift-buying crowd. But now they have another wave, thanks to their respective award campaigns.
“We try to determine the appropriate date, and we have a lot of flexibility there, so with District 9 and Julie & Julia, we knew they had awards potential and releasing at the holiday would be ideal, but also we would capture the timing of the Golden Globe nominations and the Academy (Award) nominations,” says Lexine Wong, senior executive vice president of marketing for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Smaller films waited out the holiday crush rather than risk being overshadowed and instead based their release solely on awards season.
That’s why you’ll see the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man on Feb. 9, An Education announcing its DVD debut around the Oscars, and The Hurt Locker out now. “It’s a good time post-Christmas for titles that are a little less well-known than the big behemoths coming out in November and December,” says Summit’s Friedman.
With that in mind, the literary romance Bright Star is due Jan. 26. Says Sony’s Wong: “If you wait until January, you can still capture awards buzz, but you get out of the way of the other stuff, and you get more attention.”
But what if you don’t get the nominations?
“If you’re assuming you’ll get that nomination, and then you’re not nominated,” Bond says, “you’ll be sorely disappointed.”