Viking movies aren't always the easiest sell (as duds like Pathfinder and The 13th Warrior have proven), but the producers of Outlander had a genius idea to improve the formula: add aliens, exploding spaceships, and Jesus Christ himself. The result is a glorious, AICN-vetted $47 million production (fronted by Jim Caviezel and Ron Perlman) that looks like the sober yet entertaining cousin of the Sam Raimi classic Army of Darkness. Alas, Outlander is only the latest film to fall victim to an innovative release strategy begun by Harvey and Bob Weinstein at Miramax and then perfected at their own Weinstein Company: buy distribution rights to an expensive movie, and then never release it theatrically!Says Dread Central:
Despite an impassioned plea by AICN's Moriarty several weeks back for Harvey Weinstein to give Howard McCain's vikings vs. an alien creature feature Outlander a wide theatrical release it looks likes that plea fell on deaf ears (or should I say deaf eyes?) and the film will be getting dumped onto DVD in November. Movies Unlimited just made Outlander available for pre-order with a November 18th street date listed for its release (pre-order it here). There's been no official DVD announcement from The Weinstein Company and I've not seen it listed on any other DVD websites, save for Amazon. Movies Unlimited is usually fairly reliable, although several months back they had DVD release listing for All the Boys Love Mandy Lane that didn't pan out.
Mandy Lane is another good example of the Weinsteins' increasingly head-scratching strategy; a teen horror movie (directed by Jonathan Levine before he made The Wackness) that recalls the heyday of the Weinsteins' Dimension Films, it was bought by Harvey and Bob at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival, then delayed and shelved for nearly a year until Senator bought it off of them (though, to our knowledge, it still hasn't yet seen an actual release). While we know that times (and purse strings) are tight for the Weinsteins these days, we have to question the judgment of giving so many films in their library — including the star-studded ones — such a bungled release. We've got a wacky suggestion (and you'll have to bear with us, since none of us are Oscar-winning producers or anything): if your company is in danger of going under, why not simply buy movies you actually intend to release? We know, it's crazy... but it might just be crazy enough to work.