"The Dark Knight" was the superhero of the summer box office, but plenty of other films featuring comic-book heavyweights and high-powered action stars did well, too. Cinematic heroes accounted for six of the season's top 10 films and thus will dominate the fall's DVD releases as well.
Warner Home Video has not announced a release date for "The Dark Knight" on DVD, but the website VideoETA estimates a December arrival. The other movies are on the DVD schedule, though -- including simultaneous releases in the high-def Blu-ray format.
Sept. 30 brings the summer's second-biggest film, "Iron Man." The two-disc and Blu-ray versions will be loaded with background material, including Robert Downey Jr.'s screen test (director Jon Favreau had to persuade the studio to cast him as the superman of metal).
Making-of footage, including director Steven Spielberg's detailed production diary, will complement the two-disc versions of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," due Oct. 14.
Universal goes green Oct. 21 with the latest outing of "The Incredible Hulk," starring Edward Norton. Antiheroes deliver a one-two punch the following month when Ron Perlman returns in "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" Nov. 18 and Will Smith stars in "Hancock" Nov. 25.
Even the animated genre gets a few kicks in when the kiddie hit "Kung Fu Panda" comes out Nov. 11.
Here's what else is coming
Sept. 16 seems to have been set aside for box-office disappointments on DVD. That's when we'll see the Mike Myers misfire "The Love Guru" and the poor-finishing "Speed Racer." And Sept. 23 brings George Clooney's Duluth-set football flop "Leatherheads."
But Sept. 23 picks up considerably when Sarah Jessica Parker and friends arrive in the chick flick of the year, "Sex and the City." The hit breakup comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" comes out Sept. 30.
On Oct. 7, we'll get M. Night Shyamalan's latest thriller, "The Happening," and Adam Sandler's comedy "You Don't Mess With the Zohan."
Disney is gearing up for the coming months with a trio of heavy hitters. Its Pixar-produced blockbuster "WALL-E" could be this year's biggest DVD release when it arrives Nov. 18, the week before Thanksgiving. But there also will be plenty of action for its direct-to-DVD "Peter Pan" followup, "Tinker Bell," Oct. 28 and the fantasy sequel "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" Dec. 2.
Fox's animated sensation "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!" is due Dec. 9.
Don't forget about Blu-ray
Blu-ray is expected to take off in the fall as more consumers buy into the high-def format. In addition to the previously listed new movies, here are some major older titles coming soon on Blu-ray:
Sept. 9: "How the West Was Won" and "Kill Bill, Vols. 1 and 2"
Sept. 16: "Risky Business" and "Shrek the Third"
Sept. 23: "The Godfather" films and "L.A. Confidential"
Oct. 7: "Sleeping Beauty"
Oct. 21: "Ghostbusters" and the James Bond films "Dr. No," "Die Another Day," "Live and Let Die," "For Your Eyes Only," "From Russia With Love" and "Thunderball"
Nov. 4: "Planet of the Apes" and sequels, and "The Shawshank Redemption"
Nov. 11: "Band of Brothers" and "Firefly"
Nov. 18: From the Criterion Collection, "The Last Emperor," "The Third Man" and "The Man Who Fell to Earth"
Nov. 25: "Bottle Rocket" and "Chungking Express"
Randy A. Salas • 612-673-4542