In a further indication that the traditional six-week solicitation cycle might be going the way of the six-month theatrical-to-video window, Universal Studios Home Entertainment said Monday that "Brok

In a further indication that the traditional six-week solicitation cycle might be going the way of the six-month theatrical-to-video window, Universal Studios Home Entertainment said Monday that "Brokeback Mountain" will be out on DVD in two weeks.

The April 4 street date for the film, which had been widely favored to win the best picture Academy Award this month only to lose out to "Crash," is being rushed out to capitalize on Oscar buzz, studio executives said.

The short window between the release announcement and the release date is the latest example in what observers say is a trend reflecting the growing clout of mass merchants over video specialists.

"You don't need six weeks to sell to Wal-Mart," said one insider.

Studio sources say Focus Features also kept "Brokeback" in theaters after the March 5 Academy Awards, so protocol prevented Universal's home video division from announcing the DVD release until now.

"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 Peter Jackson remake until the second week in March. Similarly, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment waited until mid-February to announce the Feb. 28 release of "Walk the Line."

The "Brokeback Mountain" DVD includes several unique special features, including 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 on Ang Lee, who won the best director Oscar for "Brokeback," as well as interviews with Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana as they discuss bringing Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx's short story to the screen.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print