One of the more depressing aspects of this job is writing about a movie or show or book or game that was genuinely enjoyable, but which simply didn’t manage to find an audience. That’s been the fate of last year’s surprisingly awesome Dredd, which was a damn good time at the movies, but which premiered at a dismal sixth place on its opening weekend, and which has so far only brought in $32.8 million worldwide, against an estimated $50 million budget. But there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for everyone’s favorite terse, helmet-wearing authority figure, because Dredd is performing very well indeed in the home video market.
As reported by IGN, Dredd landed in the number-one spot on the DVD and Blu-Ray charts, and also topped the digital download sector as well. While the movie’s still got a long way to go to be considered a financial success, it is nice to see that more people are giving it a chance on DVD, even if they skipped it in theaters. For me, the movie was one of the year’s best surprises, a streamlined, bloody, action-packed thriller that proved that the character of Judge Dredd can work on the big screen when the right talent is involved, and once again reminding us that Alex Garland (28 Days Later…, Sunshine, Never Let Me Go) is one of the most interesting genre screenwriters out there.
Ron Schwartz , Lionsgate Executive VP and General Manager of Home Entertainment, had this to say:
Dredd’s chart topping performance demonstrates the breadth of the home entertainment audience for this exciting, high caliber film as well as underscoring our ability to monetize theatrical titles across all home entertainment platforms through the highest packaged, VOD and digital conversion rates in the industry. We’re also pleased that a film released on 3D Blu-ray was able to top the sales charts, a clear reflection of how quality films in this up and coming format can find their audience.
So what does this newfound success mean for Dredd? Could we actually see those sequels Garland had planned out at some point? It seems like a longshot, but I’ll keep hope alive that we’ll get to see Dredd delivering his own brand of justice on the big screen again, some day…