Imax will unspool a remastered 3D version of the film in theaters for one week beginning Sept. 20 in North America, to coincide with a collector’s edition box set for the film that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases Oct. 1
The limited and numbered collection includes five discs: the Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet digital version of the film. A new documentary, “The Making of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” featuring film historians John Fricke and Sam Wasson, composers Stephen Schwartz and Marc Shaiman, critics Leonard Maltin and Michael Sragow, Bert Lahr’s son John as well as interview clips with Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Buddy Ebsen, Margaret Hamilton and Mervyn LeRoy.
Set will retail for $105, while a two-disc Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray will be available for $36. A one-disc Blu-ray ($20) and two-disc DVD ($17) will also include the documentary and extra content.
“Seventy-five years later, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ continues its reign as a multi-generational favorite, with nearly 100% awareness among adults and more than 80% awareness among children,” said Jeff Baker, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment executive VP and general manager, theatrical catalog.
Warner Bros. worked with Prime Focus on the 3D conversion, scanning the film’s original Technicolor camera negative in high-resolution 8K before transforming the 2D image frame-by-frame into 3D based on distances from the viewer’s vantage point.
“People have asked for years about ‘The Wizard of Oz’ 3D conversion,” said Ned Price, Warner Technical Operations’ VP of mastering. “My answer was always, ‘We’re not doing it until it’s perfect.’ And now it is,” “As a kid, I was so enthralled by this film. Watching it, you just want to enter the frame, enter the Land of Oz. This new version will allow you to do just that.”
Warner Bros. Consumer Products is promoting the release with a line of toys and merchandise that includes apparel, jewelry, collectibles, publishing, stationery and paper goods, toys and games, slot machines and personal care. Overall push includes deals with 80 licensees, including Mattel, Thomas Kinkade and Steiff — impressive for a homevideo release, and on par with many summer movie tentpoles.
Warner Bros. has also lined up Amtrak, Gourmet Trading Company, Langers Juice, QVC and Simon Malls as promotional partners, with the Ad Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also planning tie-in PSAs.
And as promo stunts, Warner Bros. will have a hot air balloon and ballonhead characters featured in the 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A “Wizard of Oz”-themed competition will also be featured on an upcoming episode of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” to be aired later this year.
MGM premiered the film at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater in 1939, and re-released the pic in 1949 and 1955, before beginning its TV run on CBS in 1956.