‘The Town’ DVD release aimed for prime Oscar frame

Posted by · 9:43 am · November 5th, 2010

Reader Graysmith alerted me to this yesterday, but it’s worth passing along. Ben Affleck’s “The Town” will be making its way to DVD and Blu-ray on December 17. The film was released in theaters September 17. That makes it three months to the day between release and home video, and to say the least, an incredibly short window.

I remember Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” having an even shorter window (March 5 theatrical, June 1 home video), but this is more significant because clearly Warner Bros. is angling for prime exposure right in the middle of Oscar season.  And that mid-December stretch is key, bringing the Golden Globe nominations on the 14th and the SAG nominations on the 16th.

“Inception,” meanwhile, will be hitting stores December 7, so get ready for the buzz to swing back around on both films.

Getting back to “The Town,” I thought this was worth pointing out.  I sat down with Robert Duvall yesterday afternoon as Sony Classsics has made him available for some “Get Low” press once again and, as usual with Duvall, it devolved into a sort of stream of consciousness conversation.  And much of that talk circled around films in play this year.

Duvall is the kind of guy very aware and interested in what films are out there.  He hasn’t had a chance to see a number of titles yet but he’s very much anticipating “True Grit” and “Black Swan,” among others.  He REALLY sang the praises of “The Town,” though.  It reminded me of last year when he told me that “The Hurt Locker” was one of the best films he’d seen in years.  Just one guy’s opinion, sure.  (But what a guy.)

You’ll recall Affleck’s film reportedly went over like gangbusters with the Academy.  It remains just the sort of solid (however derivative) effort that could squeeze into this year’s 10 if this or that fails to impress.  And positioning the DVD/Blu-ray release in such a prime frame is a good move.  So we’ll see.

[Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures]

→ 25 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

25 responses so far

  • 1 11-05-2010 at 9:52 am

    Frank Lee said...

    Your are no doubt right about the DVDs generating new buzz for “The Town” and “Inception,” but the “Inception” buzz might actually be negative or at least not ecstatic. Removed from the big screen, and having given the audience time to rethink the profundity (or lack thereof) of the “ideas” in the movie, “Inception” may not impress that much. I can understand Duvall’s enthusiasm about “The Town,” though. The film was solid and enjoyable and about people. If only that could be said about every movie. Remember when Ben Affleck was a punchline? It wasn’t that long ago.

  • 2 11-05-2010 at 9:55 am

    Frank Lee said...

    I forgot to ask: is there enough enthusiasm among the Academy for “The Town” to make a nomination for Rebecca Hall a possibility?

  • 3 11-05-2010 at 9:56 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    I have to remind myself sometimes that not everyone shares my general attitude on a movie, which is why I’m not sure if I can agree with Frank on Inception even though intuitively I do…if that makes sense.

    I personally found the whole thing underwhelming, and would think that a sizable amount of AMPAS does as well, but who knows?

  • 4 11-05-2010 at 9:58 am

    Ivan said...

    The Town deserves a SAG ensemble nomination. Affleck got killer performances from Renner, Hall, Postlethwaite, Hamm, Slaine, Lively, Welliver and Cooper.

    For the Oscars I expect a film editing nod and maybe adapted screenplay, which easily could translate for a place in the Big Ten. I feel Affleck´s film has more chances than The Fighter.

  • 5 11-05-2010 at 10:04 am

    James C said...

    Really wouldn’t mind that film getting into the final top 10. Well acted, generally well written, and of course superbly made. Its an actors film with some really impressive sequences as if Affleck has been doing this for years. Definitely has alot of things going for it in terms of a nomination. I’m excited to see it again.

  • 6 11-05-2010 at 10:16 am

    Graysmith said...


    A great movie is a great movie, regardless of how it is viewed. A great number of people actually enjoy watching movies at home better than going to the movie theater.. And even if you can’t watch a movie in IMAX size at home, you can surely enjoy a pretty big screen at home too. Considering how many went and saw Inception a second, third, fourth time in the movie theaters, I don’t think they’ve got too much to worry about.

    More than anything, a home video release means publicity all over, that’s the key here. Inception and The Town will get a second wave of tv-spots and notices in magazines, websites, etc. to coincide with the DVD/Blu-ray release.. Always a good thing when the Oscar season gets into full swing. Not to mention the films will be readily available for all to see.

  • 7 11-05-2010 at 10:19 am

    Graysmith said...

    P.S. By “A great movie is a great movie” I’m merely stating what most people thought of it. And they saw it over and over, and will no doubt enjoy picking it apart for clues at home.

  • 8 11-05-2010 at 12:04 pm

    red_wine said...

    The Town was well made but oh-so-superficial. I can’t imagine it will be nominated.

    Inception’s home video release will help it plenty. It will start selling literally a week before the critics awards starts rolling. The online crowd loves it plenty. The DVD/Blu-Ray reviews would offer more opportunities for “best film of the year” and “it blew my mind” claims and quotes. I think it could actually win a couple of the newer younger-inclined or more online-inclined critic groups. The sole obscure online group that awarded Avatar last year (:D :D :D) could very well have a follow-up in Inception.

  • 9 11-05-2010 at 2:07 pm

    Ivan said...

    “The Town was well made but oh-so-superficial. I can’t imagine it will be nominated.”

    Most of the times there are a superficial nominee…
    Chocolat, Chicago, Crash, Babel, The Blind Side

    and The Town is everything but superficial

  • 10 11-05-2010 at 2:30 pm

    Michael said...

    For me there are 9 top contenders (coincidentally the 9 highest voted by the IC readers in the predictions poll) and the last slot seems to be jumping between The Town, The Fighter, The Way Back, and Winter’s Bone. I haven’t seen The Fighter or The Way Back yet, but as it stands I wouldn’t be upset to see at least one of those nominated, included The Town. I enjoyed it but it definitely wasn’t as strong as The Departed which it was very similar to. I would be interested in seeing it again sometime.

  • 11 11-05-2010 at 4:10 pm

    Voland said...

    I think The Town is good and that’s it. Can’t understand all the praise this movie seems to receive. That’s one of the many problems with 10 nominees: Suddenly, every good movie (which means good and not great) is a contender.

  • 12 11-05-2010 at 4:19 pm

    Michael W. said...

    I was absolutely blown away by The Town. The only complaint I have about it was the fact that sometimes it felt like it rushed things too much and some of the scenes suddenly came almost like out of nowhere. But it’s a minor complaint with a film that is extremely well done and well acted.

    With that said, I can’t really see any acting nominees. Jeremy Renner maybe. But I doubt it. Blake Lively is amazing but she’s not in it enough. It deserves a SAG ensemble nod though.

    And I would love to see a best picture nom at the Oscars. And if it could get a couple of more noms on top of that. Maybe editing. That would be great. Definitely in my top 10 of the year (so far).

  • 13 11-05-2010 at 5:14 pm

    m1 said...

    I wish studios would stop releasing DVDs just a couple of months after a theatrical release. It kind of defeats the purpose of showing it in theaters.

  • 14 11-05-2010 at 5:39 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Somebody said “Chicago” and “Babel” were ‘superficial’? WTF?

  • 15 11-05-2010 at 5:55 pm

    Graysmith said...


    I disagree. There’s still an attraction to seeing movies in theaters, and shorter windows could force movie theaters to make the experience even better and more appealing. For my money, nothing beats seeing a really funny comedy in a packed house of people laughing along. Even if you have a great home theater, sometimes having an audience with you makes the experience so much better (just as it can do the opposite, of course).

    And honestly, the vast majority of films have played their cards after three months. Even a film like The Town, which has had great legs at the box office, won’t be in very many theaters or making very much once mid-December comes. Anyone who wanted to see it in the movie theater will have seen it by then.

  • 16 11-05-2010 at 7:20 pm

    cineJAB said...

    This is looking less like a possibility and more like a reality of the season.
    I’d say it’s most likely to hit in Best Picture, Film Editing, at least one of the sound categories, maybe a supporting nomination for Renner or Lively but probably not both and…maybe Director? This was a director’s movie through and through, and Affleck is already an Oscar-Winning writer.

  • 17 11-05-2010 at 7:29 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I’d be fine with ‘The Town’ getting in because I thought it was “good” and many films have gotten nominated before that I disliked.

    But yeah, I thought this was “good”, and nothing resembling auteur work, or saying something deep about society.

    That said, argument could be made that it is good enough and memorable enough to be one of the 10 “movies” of the year.

  • 18 11-05-2010 at 10:20 pm

    Glenn said...

    A mate of mine on Twitter (@gerardelson) described “The Town” thusly, and could not agree more:

    “The Town is nothing you haven’t seen done better before, but it’s something you haven’t seen done quite so well for a while.”


  • 19 11-05-2010 at 11:10 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    I’ll definitely be picking up both for Christmas. Warner Bros. is going to take care of both films for Oscars. I think the fact that the blu-ray of The Town will feature 23 minutes of extra footage is pretty much worth the purchase alone. I thought the film was really solid, definitely had some shining aspects (Jeremy Renner and Jon Hamm, well done action scenes) but it felt a little rushed for what it was trying to do. I never quite felt that sense of it being the epic crime story Affleck was going for, so it felt a little rushed. An extended cut might be just what the doctor ordered, even if the film still feels really derivative of Heat.

  • 20 11-06-2010 at 1:03 am

    Kevin K. said...

    As far as Best Picture, I wouldn’t mind seeing The Town make the cut for the ten. I think it’s much more likely than Another Year or The Fighter right now, but we shall see.

  • 21 11-06-2010 at 6:48 am

    JJ1 said...

    The whole ‘The Town’ vs. ‘The Fighter’ vs. ‘Another Year’ is a strange one, firstly, because we still don’t know how ‘Black Swan’ and ‘The Way Back’ will go down with AMPAS; and secondly, because they all seem to be different, but equals. Who wins the battle of Affleck vs. Leigh? Which film will the actors go for – all 3 have great ensembles, etc.. I can see cases for any of them grabbing the last 2-3 sots, and 2-3 will be out.

    I’m taking a step back now to actually laugh at my post because: who knows what will happen –‘Secretariat’ and ‘Colored Girls’ may get in and throw all I just wrote out the window. It’s so early yet.

  • 22 11-06-2010 at 8:19 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I’m totally on board for a nomination for “The Town,” which I prefer to most of the current perceived frontrunners. Film keeps growing on me, actually.

  • 23 11-06-2010 at 9:30 am

    JJ1 said...

    Guy, I’m genuinely curious: can you be specific about how it’s growing on you (performances, Affleck’s direction, etc.). I actually really liked it, but don’t know what there is to grow upon, necessarily. :)

  • 24 11-06-2010 at 12:45 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    I think the film is growing on me a lot akin to the way District 9 started as a very solid genre entry I thoroughly enjoyed the first time I saw it and then the more I thought about it and more times I watched it, the better it seemed in my mind. The Town is similar in that it’s just so damn entertaining that it just holds up really well and gets better with time.