New Line bowing luxury DVD series

New Line Home Video is introducing a separately branded line of DVD products it is calling the New Line Platinum Series, meant to be the industry’s first branded DVD line.

The Platinum Series, to be sold at $24.98 each, begins its rollout this Yuletide season with six titles, starting with the release of “Spawn” and the 1992 film “The Lawnmower Man” later this month. Additionally, four already released DVD titles — “The Mask,” “Shine,” “The Player” and “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” — will get the Platinum treatment.

That Platinum rubric will mean slightly different things for different titles, according to New Line Home Video exec VP Michael Karaffa, but the series’ overarching qualities will be added features and ease of use.

Boutique label

“We’re attempting to differentiate ourselves from the broad market, and this series will be another way we do that,” said Karaffa. “It will be treated as a boutique label inhouse, and we’re confident the added value will make it be treated that way by consumers.”

Coming in 1998 will be six more Platinum releases, four of which will be day-and-date with the VHS rollout: “Boogie Nights,” “Wag the Dog” starring Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman, “American History X” starring Edward Norton and the bigscreen version of “Lost in Space.” The two other Platinum releases will be archive choices: the original 1984 “Nightmare on Elm Street” and Robert Altman’s 1993 film “Short Cuts.”

All Platinum releases will offer the widescreen version of the title in question, and will also sport at least three added features from the following menu: audio commentary tracks by the creatives involved, a behind-the-scene featurette, scenes deleted before theatrical release, storyboards used in production, original animation and original music composition(s) and/or musicvideos featured on the title’s soundtrack.

The Platinum releases, like NLHV’s “regular” DVD releases, will also feature cast and crew bios, photo galleries, captions, subtitles, multiple-language selections and unique animated menus.

Additionally, all NLHV DVD releases are encoded in DVD-Video format only. Karaffa said there are currently no plans to generate additional releases for the alternate Divx DVD-rental format.

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