‘Tales of the Black Freighter’ Sails onto DVD
One of the big looming questions with the Zack Snyder adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen was how they would handle the Black Freighter side story.
Now we have an answer: It’s going straight to DVD, says The New York Times (via Cinematical). For those unfamiliar, the story of the Black Freighter is contained within a comic book that’s being read by a character in Watchmen. It features a man who had been captured by undead pirates and escapes, only to meet an even worse fate.
Instead of filming the Black Freighter story and splicing it into the Watchmen film (as Moore does in the graphic novel), Snyder decided to break it out into a separate film. The Times, which doesn’t usually cover such Hollywood business, uses the news as an example of efforts to drive up DVD sales, which have been stagnant:
The second film, tentatively called “Tales of the Black Freighter,” follows a side “Watchmen” storyline about a shipwreck and will arrive in stores five days after the main movie rolls out in theaters. The DVD will also include a documentary-style film called “Under the Hood” that will delve into the characters’ backstories.
Warner, the No. 1 distributor of DVDs, bills the effort as a way to renew retail excitement for little silver discs now that the once-booming market has matured.
After years of blistering growth, domestic DVD sales fell 3.2 percent last year to $15.9 billion, according to Adams Media Research, the first annual drop in the medium’s history. While it is still a blockbuster business, any decline is cause for concern because DVD sales can account for as much as 70 percent of revenue for a new film. Results for the first quarter this year were mixed, with overall sales flat but notable softness for some new releases like Warner’s box office hit “I Am Legend.”