Whale R > April 24, 2013 2 Comments
Classic NZ movie Whale Rider today is being released on Blu-ray for the first time to mark its 10th anniversary.
But the excitement of rediscovering it in HD is tempered by confirmation that the most popular indie movie in NZ history, Boy, has had its Blu-ray release cancelled.
Paramount Pictures intended to distribute the blockbuster on Blu-ray in early 2011, around the same time as the collector’s edition DVD.
But now it says it has no plans for Boy on Blu-ray — which seems bizarre given it grossed more than $9 million at the NZ box office and also was a big hit across the Tasman (albeit nowhere else).
But don’t be surprised if Paramount reappraises Boy’s Blu-ray prospects when star James Rolleston’s next movie, Genesis, is released.
It’s just started shooting in Gisborne and reunites Rolleston with Boy producer Cliff Curtis, who plays an ex-speed chess champ with a bipolar disorder.
Paramount’s local offshoot, Transmission Films, will open it theatrically a year from now. So chances are Boy will pop up on Blu-ray around the same time or when Genesis goes to disc later next year.
Of course, another factor may be the mastering costs are still too high to justify a Blu-ray pressing of Boy just for this part of the world.
Even Whale Rider hasn’t had a deluxe overhaul. Despite being a commemorative edition, it doesn’t have new interviews with the filmmakers or Keisha Castle-Hughes, who was Oscar-nominated.
“The extras are the same as the DVD and unfortunately the costs of remastering all of those were prohibitive — so it is the film only that’s had the HD upgrade,” a South Pacific Pictures spokesperson told ScreenScribe.tv.
Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment today announced the most recent NZ box office hit, Mt Zion, starring X Factor NZ judge Stan Walker, will be released on DVD-only on June 5.
But it will be available to view in HD on iTunes or Vodafone InHome TV, from where it can be downloaded the same day.