DC Animated Movie

Year-End 2009 Sales For “DC Universe Animated Original Movie” Animated Feature Titles

Debuting three new titles this year, the DC Universe Animated Original Movie direct-to-video animated feature line from Warner Home Video moved nearly one million DVD units in 2009. Over 900,000 of those units came from the three new DC Universe Animated Original Movie titles that debuted this year – Wonder Woman, Green Lantern: First Flight and Superman/Batman: Public Enemies – and those numbers are expected to grow during the December 2009 holiday season.

Among the three new DC Universe Animated Original Movie titles, the September 2009 Superman/Batman: Public Enemies animated feature made the biggest splash of this years releases, moving an estimated 342,000 DVD units since hitting shelves. Home video retail outlets are expecting the title to finish with at least a total 350,000 of units sold by the end of 2009. The direct-to-video Superman/Batman: Public Enemies animated feature debuted to an estimated 198,000 DVD copies sold in its first week of sales, during the week ending October 4th, 2009.

The second DC Universe Animated Original Movie title released this year, released during the summer sales season, the direct-to-video Green Lantern: First Flight animated feature has sold an estimated 286,000 copies since its mid-year debut. The direct-to-video Green Lantern: First Flight animated feature debuted to an estimated 160,000 DVD copies sold in its first week of sales, during the week ending August 2nd, 2009. The Annie Award nominated feature is expected to finish 2009 with at least a total of 295,000 DVD units moved according to home video retail outlets.

Lastly, the first 2009 release under the DC Universe Animated Original Movie banner, Wonder Woman has moved an estimated 292,000 DVD copies since premiering during the first quarter of the year. The release has boasted consistently stable sales throughout the year despite having the lowest debut week of all the DC Universe Animated Original Movie titles to date. Wonder Woman debuted with 107,000 in DVD sales in its first week, the week ending March 8th, 2009, though sales quickly leveled off after the standard second week plunge. The critically-acclaimed direct-to-video animated feature is also expected to finish out 2009 with a projected estimate of 295,000 DVDs unit sold according to home video retail outlets.

Please note the above sales numbers do not take into account rental numbers, OnDemand numbers, legal download numbers, or high-definition release sales.

Additionally, though not under the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line, Warner Home Video and Warner Premiere also debuted the direct-to-video animated tie-in feature Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter, tying into the live-action Watchmen Spring 2009 theatrical release. While the home video premiere title stumbled out of the gate with 42,000 in DVD sales for its first week, the week of March 29th, 2009, the title has since moved an estimated 198,000 copies since its debut, and will likely top out with a respectable 200,000 DVD units moved by the end of 2009.

A co-production of Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation, the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line is expected to release between two three new direct-to-video animated features in 2010, with the next title, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, set to debut February 23rd, 2010 on DVD and Blu-ray disc. Two additional direct-to-video animated features are set to follow later in the year.

Stay tuned for updates on current and upcoming DC Universe Animated Original Movie titles here at The Worlds Finest, including exclusive content and more. More details on the entire DC Universe Animated Original Movie can be found here at The World’s Finest special dedicated subsite.

2009 Sales information for Planet Hulk, the Marvel Animated Features production from Marvel Animation and Lionsgate Home Entertainment, is available at Marvel Animation Age. Click here for more details.

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Note: The staff of The Worlds Finest would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and all the best for the New Year. Additionally, the staff here at The Worlds Finest will be taking a break from regular news updates for the next week, from December 28th, 2009 to January 1st, 2010. Regular news updates will return January 4th, 2010. However, keep checking The World’s Finest and The DC Animation Forum daily for special updates and breaking news.

“Wonder Woman,” “Watchmen: Tales Of The Black Freighter” Home Video Sales Update

Wonder Woman, the latest direct-to-video animated feature from the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line, has sold an estimated 175,000 DVD copies since the title’s release on March 3rd, 2009. According to various home media retailing outlets and independent research, Wonder Woman has been a consistent seller since its release. While sales may dip sharply each week, usually falling more than 50% week to week, the title is expected to have longevity on the shelf due to the appeal of the character. Even though it is currently the lowest selling DC Universe Animated Original Movie title, the direct-to-video Wonder Woman animated feature is expected to muster respectable sales throughout the remainder of the year. Please note the DVD sales figure above does not take into account rental numbers, OnDemand numbers, or legal download numbers.

Wonder Woman has also reportedly sold an estimated 20,000 Blu-ray copies since hitting shelves at the beginning of March 2009.

And while the direct-to-video Wonder Woman animated feature may be a steady seller for Warner Home Video, another recent direct-to-video animated feature release from the studio has not been so lucky. According to various home media retailing outlets, the new Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter direct-to-video animated feature made little impact on the market, selling only an estimated 42,500 DVD copies for the week of March 29th, 2009, its first week on sale, and failing to crack the top ten on home video sales charts. Blu-ray sales for Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter, according to various home media retailing outlets, are said to equal roughly 10% of its DVD sales. Keep in mind the numbers above do not take into account rental numbers, OnDemand numbers, or legal download numbers. The Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter direct-to-video animated feature was released March 24th, 2009 on DVD and Blu-ray.

Click on the links below to discuss both the direct-to-video Wonder Woman home video release and the Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter home video release.

Wonder Woman Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
Wonder Woman DVD/Blu-ray Talkback (Spoilers)
Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter DVD/Blu-ray Talkback (Spoilers)

Stay tuned for further home video updates here at The World’s Finest.

Screenwriter Alex Tse Bandies “Watchmen: Tales Of The Black Freighter” Animated Feature

Press Release:

SCREENWRITER ALEX TSE GIVES A GLIMPSE OF THE WRITING PROCESS BEHIND
WARNER PREMIERES WATCHMEN: TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER


From comic to feature film to animated short story, screenwriter Alex Tse has played an essential role in helping transition Watchmen beyond its initial incarnation.

Ironically, when it came to bringing the graphic novels classic story-within-a-story, Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter, Tse wrote the screenplay without knowing what that final incarnation would be.

Black Freighter went through a lot of incarnations we talked about doing it live-action, then 300 green screen-style, then we decided it would be animated so I wrote it without a firm idea of the format, said Tse, who had not previously written for animation. I guess I just didnt treat it any differently than any writing project I normally undertake. And Im guessing this was probably like nothing I ever will work on again.

Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter is the story-within-the-story of Watchmen, revolving around a mariner who is marooned on a distant island after his ship is attacked by the infamous pirate ship, the Black Freighter. He begins to imagine the Black Freighter setting sail for his hometown and attacking his family and engages in a desperate mission to return home and save his wife and children. Along the way, fear and desperation begin to play tricks with his mind, and rob the mariner of his sanity leading him to commit atrocities of his own as he tries to stop the marauding pirates. As told within the Watchmen graphic novel, the story acts as a distorted mirror image of the Watchmen super heroes’ plight.

In the book, I think it was written as a parallel to the Watchmen story with one major difference, Tse said. In Black Freighter, the sea captain thinks everything he is doing is for a good purpose. But then he realizes, no matter how well intentioned his acts have been, he has done some horrible things. In Watchmen, even though Adrian Veidt says he realizes the consequences of his actions and that he has made himself feel each death he has caused, he never seems to express that pain or sorrow. Theres no real remorse for what hes done. So either he doesnt fully realize it or he just doesnt care.

Tse said he was particularly focused on keeping the tragic tale grounded in a relatable situation that would allow audiences to understand the mariners plunge toward insanity.

I am not a huge fan of movies where youre just watching someone go crazy as a viewer, its hard to connect to that idea, Tse said. You need to be able to relate to his situation, to understand why hes going insane. With Black Freighter, it was important to keep it grounded in the cause of his madness. Hes been through a traumatic experience, hes alone, and now hes doing anything he can to get back to his home and save his family. So when he does these horrible, crazy things, you know hes doing it to try and save what is dearest to him. An audience can understand that situation.

Produced in association with Legendary Pictures, Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter is executive produced by Watchmen director Zack Snyder, Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Deborah Snyder, Thomas Tull and Wesley Coller.

Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter features the voices of Gerard Butler (300) and Jared Harris (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and is directed by Daniel DelPurgatorio and Mike Smith and written by Tse and Zack Snyder. Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter is produced by Brian McNulty and Karen Mayeda Vranek.

Click on the links below to discuss both the new Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter animated feature and the DVD and Blu-ray releases.

Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter DVD/Blu-ray Talkback (Spoilers)

New Images From Animated “Watchmen: Tales Of The Black Freighter,” Now Available


Above is the cover art for both the Blu-ray release of the direct-to-video Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter animated feature. The title is also available on DVD. Warner Home Video has provided the following official details on this new direct-to-video release, as seen below.

Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter
Studio:
Warner Home Video
Release Date: March 24th, 2009

Synopsis: They’re in the book. And on this disc. From the director of Watchmen and 300 come two tales from the celebrated graphic novel that do not appear in the extraordinary Watchmen Theatrical Feature. Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter, featuring the voice of 300‘s Gerard Butler, brings to strikingly animated life the novels richly layered story-within-a-story, a daring pirate saga whose turbulent events may mirror those in the Watchmen’s world. Also, stars from the Watchmen movie team in the amazing live-action/CGI bonus feature Under the Hood, based on Nite Owls powerful first-hand account of how the hooded adventurers came into existence. Two fan-essential stories. One place to watch the excitement. Watching the Watchmen begins here.

Bonus Features:
Watchmen: Under the Hood Bonus Feature
Watchmen: Story Within the Story Featurette
Watchmen: Motion Comic – Chapter One
Green Lantern: First Flight First Look

Click on the links below to discuss both the new Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter animated feature and the DVD and Blu-ray releases.

Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter DVD/Blu-ray Talkback (Spoilers)

In related news, Warner Home Video has released three hi-res images from the Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter direct-to-video animated feature. Click on the thumbnails below for a closer look.


Stay tuned for updates on upcoming home video releases.

The DTV That Could Have Been – “Batman: Asylum”

Countless projects are shut down at various stages of production. Whether it’s just after the initial idea pitch or early into design work, etc., some productions just aren’t able to make it for one reason or another. This is a brief look at Batman: Asylum, a Direct-To-Video feature that could have been.

After the success of the 1998 direct-to-video feature Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero, Warner Bros. Animation commissioned a new Batman DTV. Boyd Kirkland was slated to produce and Steven E. Gordon (X-Men: Evolution) was set to work on character design. The movie was dubbed Batman: Asylum. What made this project unique was that Kirkland was able to convince Warner Bros. Animation to allow all the characters to be redesigned from scratch for the project.

However, Batman: Asylum was eventually canceled and scrapped in lieu of the Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker DTV. Thankfully, the character design work is available to view on Steve E. Gordon’s website. Below are two images of two of the redesigns Gordon did for the canceled movie. Click on the images below for a closer look.

For more Batman: Asylum images, head over to the official Steven E. Gordon website.
Thanks to Steven E. Gordon for his assistance.

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