Broomfield's 'Aileen' docu also available with release

HOLLYWOOD — “Monster” is coming to DVD June 1, and retail leader Blockbuster may have the biggest rooting interest in the success of the home version of the critically acclaimed film.

L.A.-based Blockbuster subsidiary DEJ Prods was a producing partner on the film and has the DVD and video distribution rights. DEJ has enlisted Sony’s Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment to handle domestic distribution for a broader retail reach, said DEJ VP of acquisitions Andy Reimer.

On the same day the companies will release Nick Broomfield’s documentary “Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer,” which will be available as a separate DVD or packaged with “Monster.”

Among the extras is a 15-minute featurette that shows how makeup artists transformed Charlize Theron into the homely serial killer for the perf that nabbed her an Oscar and Golden Globe. The featurette also includes footage of Theron and director Patty Jenkins visiting notable locations in the life of the characters, and interviews with Jenkins and composer BT.

DEJ is planning a big push for “Monster” in Blockbuster stores.

“We’re able to do things in the Blockbuster environment better than anyone else,” Reimer said.

DEJ frequently partners with Columbia TriStar on its releases, most of which have been lesser known genre titles that debut on DVD, cable, or in overseas markets. The company has a “healthy appetite” for acquisitions, picking up an average of 50 DVD premiere movies each year, according to Reimer.

Following the theatrical success of “Monster,” which marked DEJ’s move into higher-profile theatrical projects, DEJ is producing two other films slated for a run in theaters. One is “Crash,” a story about racial clashes, which stars Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser and Ryan Phillippe. Pic recently finished principal photography.

DEJ is the primary producer on urban drama “Back in the Day,” starring Ving Rhames and Ja Rule, Giancarlo Esposito and Tatyana Ali. It’s the most expensive project yet for DEJ with a budget in the range of $5 million – $10 million.

“We are, as a company, aspiring to raise the bar a little bit,” Reimer said. Of the company’s new strategy he said, “It will be measured by not sticking our neck out too far too soon, but when we have right opportunity as illustrated with ‘Monster.’ ”

“All of those films have their appropriate place,” Reimer said. “Bigger, better films, while requiring a bigger risk on our part, at the end of the day provide a better economical benefit.”

(Jennifer Netherby is a reporter for Variety sister publication Video Business.)

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