Twister Top-selling DVD for '97
Enough DVD movies have been sold this year to compile a top-ten list. VideoScan reports that Twister, the big-budget thriller in which no-name actors chase tornadoes and get chased in turn by tumbling barns and flying cows, was the best-selling DVD through November 30. The film, on disc, is hugely popular; a surplus of spectacular visual effects apparently compensates for its mediocre acting, clunky dialog, and almost total lack of story.
Runner-up was GoldenEye, the enjoyable James Bond yarn starring Pierce Brosnan as the indefatigable Agent 007. In third place was Eraser with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Batman and Robin was #4. Schwarzenegger, as Mr. Freeze, is the only cast member to pull his own weight. The film suffered a cold reception by critics and bad word-of-mouth, and did not do well at the box office. As with Twister, most of the production budget for Batman and Robin went into the visuals, which are lavish. Looks like home-theater fans are not nearly as picky as their cinema-going counterparts.
Blade Runner, one of the greatest science-fiction films ever, was #5. Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Darryl Hannah, and Sean Young, this movie both stands the test of time and bears up well to repeated viewings. It belongs in every collection. In sixth place was The Fugitive, with Harrison Ford as the doctor-on-the-lam, wrongly convicted of his wife's murder. Tommy Lee Jones is a standout as the agent in pursuit.
Total Recall, another sci-fi thriller and Schwarzenegger vehicle, was seventh in overall sales. In eighth place was Stargate, which tanked in the theaters. The Long Kiss Goodnight and Absolute Power were ninth and tenth, respectively. Neither did much box-office business.
These preliminary results indicate that early adopters of DVD are fond of action films and science fiction. Is it safe to surmise that they are overwhelmingly male? We'll know more as more films are released in the new format. Reportedly, there are now at least 300 titles to choose from, with about a dozen new releases in stores each week. DVD will really take off when the retail price of the players drops below $250 and the number of available movies exceeds 500. By some estimates, that milestone may be reached sometime in the next 18 months.