Warner Brothers announces made to order DVDs, digital downloads, as WarnerArchive project launches

Sometimes it takes facing bankruptcy to make Hollywood realize it's time to move into the 21st century. And once again, the ailing Warner Brothers is leading the way. The venerable film studio will reach into its extensive film vaults to sell digital downloads and made-to-order DVD's for a mid-line price.

The group of films, dubbed WarnerArchive, is available starting today at http://warnerarchive.com. A plethora of interesting films are among the initial offering of 150 movies, and eventually, the majority of Warner's large catalog will be issued in this way.

Twenty more films or TV shows will be added to the program of re-releases each month, with 300 expected by year's end. To put it in perspective, the studio has released only about 1,100 movies on DVD since the technology was spawned 12 years ago.

"There are still thousands of movies that we own that consumers haven't been able to get," said George Feltenstein, senior vice president of theatrical catalog marketing for Warner Home Video, told the AP last week. "I expect that we'll be selling thousands of copies of every title over a period of time, and making a lot of people really happy."

The archive project, which Warner claims is the first of its kind for a major studio, is an effort to combat what could be a fundamental decline in demand for DVD purchases due equally to oversaturation of inferior DVD product and the current recession.

Many of the titles Warner is releasing in the new venture have made the rounds on another Time Warner subsidiary, the Turner Classic Movies cable channel, and on VHS. But the studio will keep mining a 6,800-feature film library, amassed when Ted Turner bought Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's archive in 1986, which in turn was bought by Time Warner a decade later.

We're particularly excited because for the first time, the PNR favorite Buried Treasure Doc Savage – The Man Of Bronze is part of the program…and you're RIGHT if you think we've already ordered it…heh heh heh…