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  1. Casino Royale DVD Overview

    CBn rounds up all the latest news regarding the DVD release of Daniel Craig’s first James Bond 007 film, Casino Royale

    Originally posted on 7 March 2007. | Updated on 7 August 2007.

    Overview

    Like the original DVD release of 2002’s Die Another Day, the Casino Royale DVD will be a two-disc collector’s edition. Releases on the PSP and Blu-ray DVD formats are also included. The region 1 release date is scheduled for Tuesday, 13 March 2007 with the region 2 release date on Monday, 19 March.

    Plot Synopsis

    Casino Royale introduces James Bond before he holds his license to kill. But Bond is no less dangerous, and with two professional assassinations in quick succession, he is elevated to “00” status. “M” (Judi Dench), head of the British Secret Service, sends the newly-promoted 007 on his first mission that takes him to Madagascar, the Bahamas and eventually leads him to Montenegro to face Le Chiffre, a ruthless financier under threat from his terrorist clientele, who is attempting to restore his funds in a high-stakes poker game at the Casino Royale. “M” places Bond under the watchful eye of the Treasury official Vesper Lynd. At first skeptical of what value Vesper can provide, Bond’s interest in her deepens as they brave danger together. Le Chiffre’s cunning and cruelty come to bear on them both in a way Bond could never imagine, and he learns his most important lesson: Trust no one.

    Ordering Details

    Region 1:

    Region 2:

    Region 3:

    • Release Date: 15 February 2007
    • Two-Disc Collector’s Edition
    • Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation
    • English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound / DTS 5.1
    • Subtitles: English, Thai, Korean, Chinese
    • Order (DVD) – CD WOW!

    Region 4:

    • Release Date: 4 April 2007
    • Retail Price: $39.95 (DVD)
    • Two-Disc Collector’s Edition
    • Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation
    • English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
    • Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
    • Subtitles: English, Italian
    • Order (DVD) – Atlantic DVD

    Special Features

    • Becoming Bond: An intimate look at how Daniel Craig became the newest James Bond
    • James Bond For Real: A look at Casino Royale‘s action and stunts
    • Bond Girls Are Forever: A look at the leading ladies of the film
    • Chris Cornell ‘You Know My Name’ Music Video

    Earlier reports indicated the addition of ‘5 news wraps’ and a ‘Death In Venice’ featurette, but it appears these were ultimately not included. The initial DVD release of Die Another Day contained over seven hours of special features, including two seperate audio commentaries: one with Michael G. Wilson and Lee Tamahori and the other with Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike. In the case of Casino Royale, there is no audio commentary and a grand total of roughly 90 minutes of special features.

    The ‘Bond Girls Are Forever’ featurette is the same documentary (hosted by Bond girl Maryam d’Abo) released around the time of Die Another Day, but with the addition of new interviews with Eva Green (Vesper Lynd) and Caterina Murino (Solange).

    Unlike the original DVD release of Die Another Day, the region 1 and 2 releases of Casino Royale will feature the exact same listing of special features.

    Cover Artwork & Menu Screen Caps

    The region 1, 2, 3, and 4 DVDs all use the same cover arwork–the international ‘A’ poster. The back cover artwork includes the quote “Daniel Craig is the best Bond in the franchise’s history.” – Joshua Rothkopt, TIME OUT NEW YORK.

    Front Cover Artwork / Back Cover Artwork / Menu Screen Caps

    Click here to view the promotional flyer for the DVD.

    DVD Sales & Records

    As with the phenomenal theatrical release of Casino Royale, the DVD and Blu-ray sales have been equally as successful:

    On 13 March it was reported that the Blu-ray edition of the film cracked the amazon.com top 10 list of the best selling DVDs–a first for a high-definition release–peaking at #8. Additionally, the Casino Royale Blu-ray disc outsold its nearest competition, The Departed, by 9-to-1.

    As of 27 March, the Blu-ray edition had already sold more than 100,000 units and was breaking records for the greatest number of high-definition copies sold in one day, said SPHE Worldwide President, David Bishop. ‘As a point of comparison, the first DVD title to ship 100,000 units took approximately 11 months (Air Force One in early 1998),’ said Bishop. ‘Casino Royale on Blu-ray has done it in far less time and is clearly demonstrating the format’s robust growth in the marketplace.’

    Director Martin Campbell was equally impressed, and commented ‘It’s just unbelievable. Clearly, it’s fantastic. The comparison between standard def DVD and Blu-ray is quite stunning and quite transparent to the master. It’s precisely what would make me want to buy a copy.’

    Reuters reported that the DVD edition quickly soared to the #1 spot for DVD sales in the US after being released on 13 March. The film pushed Borat to the #3 position on the Nielsen VideoScan’s First Alert sales chart, while The Holiday opened in the #2 position.

    For rentals, Casino Royale was again in the top spot; generating an estimated $9.2 million in revenue. The Holiday opened in the #3 position with $8 million.

    In the UK, the Casino Royale broke the record for the fastest week one UK DVD sales, selling an impressive 1,622,852 copies since its release on 19 March (region 2).

    DVD Exclusives (Region 1 & 2)

    Several retailers (both online and in-store) are offering exclusives to those who purchase the Casino Royale DVD. Full details:

    Wal-Mart Stores (Region 1): Accompanying the two-disc special edition of Casino Royale is a set that includes poker cards and a collectible chip. Order – Walmart.com (Also available instore).

    Target Stores (Region 1): Accompanying the two-disc special edition of Casino Royale is a 40-page mini-book version of Bond on Set: Filming Casino Royale by Greg Williams, which features many photographs from the film. This DVD exclusive was initially advertised as special ‘making-of’ DVD.

    Best Buy (Region 1): The Double O Section reports that Best Buy stores will be offering a small Corgi Aston Martin DBS vehicle as the extra that will accompany the Casino Royale DVD. BestBuy.com – Further details and pictures.

    Circuit City (Region 1): Circuit City stores will be offering a collectible coin (modeled after one of the Casino Royale poker chip designs) to those who buy either the DVD or Blu-ray edition.

    HMV (Region 2): Accompanying the two-disc special edition of Casino Royale is a 40-page mini-book version of Bond on Set: Filming Casino Royale by Greg Williams, which features many photographs from the film. Order – HMV.

    WHSmith / Virgin Stores (Region 2): For those who pre-ordered from WHSmith, the Casino Royale DVD comes with a movie tie-in edition of Ian Fleming’s original 007 novel of the same name. Virgin Stores are offering a series of art cards for those who purchase the DVD as well.

    Reviews

    Several reviews of the Casino Royale DVD have appeared online:

    The Blu-ray DVD version of Casino Royale earned eight out of a possible 10 points at IGN. Earning high points for video and audio, the 007 film is let down mostly in the extras category. ‘The disc’s got it all: a great transfer, a powerful soundtrack with a great dynamic range, and even a few worthwhile extras to boot. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Martin Campbell’s new take on the long-running 007 franchise served up some killer action and drama…’

    The region 3 edition of Casino Royale earned similar praise at DVD Active. ‘Casino Royale is an excellent movie that surpassed my expectations and among all of the reinventions Bond has undergone down the years, this is the most ambitious. On this DVD it is presented very well, in particular the sound quality, and it is a good decision to put the extras on a separate disc so their inclusion doesn’t impact the disc space used for the movie…’

    Casino Royale earned four out of five stars in the video category in the DVD Talk review. The Bond film scored perfectly in the audio category, but only managed two and a half stars in the special features category.

    The Casino Royale DVD earned an overall score of A- at UGO, with the extras being the only major drawback. ‘As a DVD, Casino Royale doesn’t kick as much ass as the movie, but it does offer a great dose of action to tide fans over until the inevitable ultimate and extended editions.’

    ZAP2it was somewhat more pleased with the bonus features–they ‘complement but don’t overwhelm’ according to the reviewer. ‘It’s appropriate then that the 2-disc DVD is similarly restrained, classy and informative. The bonus features generally celebrate Bond as an iconic figure with only one extra, “James Bond: For Real,” geared towards behind-the-scenes action on the film itself…’

    The Blu-ray edition also scored well in the DVD Talk review. This edition earned four or more stars (out of a possible five) in every category, with the exception of–yes, big surprise–the special features, where it earned three. The final thought: ‘Casino Royale is a terrific revitalization of the James Bond franchise, and this Blu-ray edition has excellent picture and sound, as well as a couple of interesting supplements. How could it not come highly recommended?’

    Sebastien Foucan Signing

    Sebastien Foucan, who played the free-running villain Mollaka in the opening scenes of Casino Royale signed copies of the DVD at the HMV store at 150 Oxford Street in London at 1:30pm on 19 March 2007 (the date of the region 2 release). Click here to view photographs from the event.

    DVD Giveaway (Region 4)

    The Herald Sun offered a competition to Australian 007 fans to win a Casino Royale DVD, (region 4 edition) plus the mini-edition of the book Bond On Set: Filming Casino Royale.

    Playstation 3 Tie-in

    According to a report from Three Speech, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has announced that the first 500,000 purchasers of Playstation 3 system who registered on the Playstation Network would receive a Blu-ray disc of Daniel Craig’s first James Bond film, Casino Royale.

    Explaining the offer, Darren Carter, VP Brand and Consumer Marketing said, ‘The Playstation Network unlocks the broad range of interactive entertainment features of Playstation 3. It’s easy to set up, offers free online gaming, has great tools for staying in touch with friends and family, and includes a wide variety of content for download through the Playstation Store.’

    ‘All this, and more, will enable users to experience a whole new world of interactive entertainment, and that is why we are offering the phenomenal incentive of Casino Royale, on Blu-ray disc, to PS3 owners who register on the Playstation Network. Casino Royale not only makes the most of the features and capabilities of the Blu-ray format, but is one of the most exciting and entertaining movies to debut on Blu-ray this year.’

    Stay tuned to CBn for all the latest Casino Royale DVD coverage.

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    Devin Zydel @ 2007-08-07
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