'The Hunger Games' will be released on DVD Aug. 18 (Lionsgate )
'The Hunger Games'is avoiding the holiday rush, as Lionsgate will release the blockbuster box office hit on DVD,Blu-ray and digital platforms Aug. 18, the studio announced Wednesday.
Conventional wisdom in Hollywood has been that DVDs sell best when released around the holidays -- and parents are searching for stocking stuffers -- but "The Hunger Games" has already broken rules with its massive theatrical success in March, far away from the summer season that's typically most lucrative at the box office. The movie has grossed nearly $650 million worldwide and has yet to open in China.
The Santa Monica studio is hoping that hard-core fans will eagerly buy the movie when it's released in August and be followed by another wave of purchasers around the holidays, when people buy it for more casual viewers as gifts.
Releasing it in August will also help Lionsgate to separate marketing for "The Hunger Games," which the company said in a statement will be the "biggest home entertainment launch" in company history, from the November theatrical debut of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II," the final film in the teen vampire franchise.
The studio will offer a two-disc DVD set, a two-disc Blu-ray set, as well as digital download and video-on-demand rental options.
The physical discs will come with three hours of extra content, including a behind-the-scenes documentary, a featurette on "Hunger Games" book author Suzanne Collins, and a discussion between director Gary Ross and film critic Elvis Mitchell.
While sales of DVDs have been down throughout Hollywood, among the titles most resistant to the trend have been ones like "The Hunger Games" with passionate fan bases that rushed out to see the film on its opening weekend in theaters and returned for repeat viewings.
"The motion picture event of the year is poised to become the home entertainment event of the year and, with a midnight launch and midnight retail events scheduled at stores around the country, we expect to replicate the same level of consumer excitement generated by the film's theatrical debut," Lionsgate's home entertainment executive vice president Ron Schwartz said in a statement.
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