The third and fourth quarters of the year are typically busy for Blu-ray and DVD releases, from distributors keen to extract money from the peak gift giving season. Of course whilst the big budget blockbusters of the year take up the biggest marketing splashes, Christmas 2012 is a massive season for catalogue releases which for many will represent the most anticipated Blu-ray's previously missing in action.
Let's take a look at the titles which will be keen to rip the money from your hands as we approach this holiday season.
Two of the biggest shots will be fired early on, with the Steven Spielberg/ George Lucas Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures from Paramount and James Cameron's Titanic (in 2D and 3D flavors) from Fox, making the 12th an inherently expensive day. Indiana Jones comes replete with a bonus discs of extra features of both new and old vintages and Titanic comes with a few new documentaries, in addition to the majority of DVD features. The delayed Star Trek - The Next Generation: Season One bows on the 5th from Paramount in a six disc set.
Kevin Smith fans will be eager to complete their collections with Mallrats from Universal on the 5th, even if the disc is barebones. Disney fans will be ecstatic with the release of three further classics making their way to Blu-ray for the first time; Basil The Great Mouse Detective, Pete's Dragon and Home On The Range all coming on the 19th.
In preparation for the theatrical release of Skyfall and to mark the 50th anniversary of the series, Fox/MGM will unveil a 23 disc Bond 50 boxset on the 26th, featuring every official James Bond title from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace, with an advertised 120 hours of bonus material and an exclusive disc of extras, all inside a lovely Blu-ray book.
The 3rd sees the release of Avatar 3D from Fox, now that the exclusivity deal with Panasonic has ended. Whilst it's just the theatrical cut for now, no doubt there'll be an even bigger boxset release down the track. The 10th will see the first and second season boxsets of the hilarious comedy series Modern Family, but the laughs will cease with the terror of Ridley Scott's Prometheus on the 17th, in both 2D and 3D versions.
Fans of boxset collections will have an expensive day on the 3rd thanks to Universal, with the Universal Monsters collection of seven classic films, including The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, The Phantom of the Opera, and Creature from the Black Lagoon,(the latter in both 2D and 3D versions). Then we have the Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection featuring 14 of the master's films including Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, Rear Window, The Trouble with Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, Torn Curtain, Topaz, Frenzy and Family Plot. That's a lot of films.
But even more scary for the ongoing survival of the human race is the concert release of One Direction: All For One on the 10th and Sacha Baron Cowen's latest diminishing return in The Dictator on the 17th, courtesy of Sony/Universal.
Disney fans are in for some more treats, with the classic Cinderella: Diamond Edition on the 3rd, along with The AristoCats, The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under two pack all released on the 10th. Some musical fans might enjoy Rock of Ages more than I did on the 17th from Warner, and Joss Whedon fans who weren't quite sated by The Avengers will get a kick out of Cabin In The Woods from Roadshow on the 24th.
The month ends with a bang on the 31st courtesy of Sony/Universal, with Steven Spielberg's much loved E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial which celebrates its 30th anniversary, and David Lean's newly restored masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia and the 2012 reboot The Amazing Spider-Man, in 2D and 3D versions. Warner will contribute to our bankruptcy with the newest season of Star Wars - The Clone Wars: Season 4, Blade Runner: 30th Anniversary and the cult classic, Frank Oz directed Little Shop of Horrors, which now includes the fully restored original ending for the very first time.
Mirror, Mirror on the wall. What was one of the worst films of the year? Snow White and the Huntsmen, from Sony/Universal on the 7th, and Ted on the 21st. Katy Perry fans will be about to take home a little bit of her, in Katy Perry: A Part of Me on the 7th.
Studio Ghibli fans will be pleased with the release of My Neighbour Totoro on the 28th, but perhaps not so pleased with the swift re-release of Arrietty - now as a 'Special Edition' release, with the inclusion of the Disney produced English dub.
The last day of the month sees the release of the much anticipated, but polarizing finale to the Dark Knight saga, The Dark Knight Rises from Warner on the 30th.
Most distributors have yet to finalize their December release schedules, but Sony/Universal have thus far announced the availability of The Bourne Legacy on the 16th, and both the 1990 original and 2012 remake of Total Recall on the 20th.
My hunch is that this Christmas season will see many copies of Indiana Jones and The Dark Knight Rises, but with so much gold Blu-ray fans will need to save some pennies... or work the credit card overtime.