Warner Bros. has announced that they'll be jumping into the direct-to-DVD market in a big way next year by getting creative with some of their more popular films. The first risky move they're taking (and, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is the first time it's ever been done) has to do with next summer's Get Smart, starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway. Just 10 days after that film hits theaters, Warners will release Get Smarter: Bruce & Lloyd Out of Control on DVD. Pic will be a direct spin-off, and feature two of the film's secondary characters (played by Heroes star Masi Oka and Nate Torrence). In order to not confuse audiences, the marketing campaign for Get Smarter won't begin until Get Smart is already in theaters -- but the plan is that hopefully the DVD will help boost box office sales for the theatrical release and, at the same time, keep it in theaters longer. (Then again, they could both bomb and a whole bunch of people will receive pink slips in the mail.)
Apart from Get Smarter, some other 2008 direct-to-DVD releases include a sequel to The Lost Boys called The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe. Apparently, this one will revolve around a group of vampire surfers who, I imagine, ride waves at night? Unfortunately (or fortunately?) original director Joel Schumacher is not involved in the sequel. Also on the slate are a sequel to New Jack City, a Scooby Doo prequel, Cinderella Story 2 and Free Willy: The Call of Oahu. (Oh Willy, what have you gotten yourself into this time?) Oh, but that's not all -- Warners also has a deal in place with producer Joel Silver for the man to oversee 10 direct-to-DVD flicks over the next three years, with the first one -- a sequel to House on Haunted Hill -- set to arrive this year. In the spirit of experimenting, the Return to House on Haunted Hill DVD will allow viewers to choose between different storylines and four alternate endings.
In the case of Get Smart and Get Smarter, what do you think about the two films arriving so close to one another? Is it a, well, smart move for Warners or do you think it could potentially backfire?