Yeah I know what you’e thinking. What, now??? After all this time? It must be at least 20 years since that film came out. No actually it’s more like 27. But why now? That’s an interesting development of late.
It’s no secret that the DVD market is on the decline. Studios have come face to face with the realization that the DVD market is no longer the big money maker that it used to be and as a result they’re releasing less and less of their older titles, figuring there’s no interest in them.
But actually that’s not exactly true. There is a strong market for older film titles. It may not be as big as it once was, but it’s still out there. There are people who are not interested in the 3D blu-ray of The Avengers or want to download movies, but want older films to keep (Like me for example)
The problem is that studios think that that market is not big enough for them and as a result they’re sitting on thousands of older tiles going to waste.
Warner Home Video found a solution though their specialty Warner Archive DVD-on-demand label, in which older Warners, MGM, RKO and Allied Artists films from the silent era to the 1980’s are made to order on DVD, when someone orders it. That way nothing goes to waste.
It’s been a tremendous success for them. They can make 10 copies of one title or 3000 of another depending on orders. No need to make thousands of copies of one film only to have most of them come back. Other studios have been experimenting with the idea such as Universal, Sony/Columbia and Fox, but which much less commitment.
But the other solution, which has been working out for studios, is to farm out older titles to third party labels such as Twilight Time, Shout Factory, Criterion, Anchor Bay and Olive Films who have been very successful in releasing older Fox, Columbia, Paramount and French Gaumont films. In fact, it’s been such a success for them that Fox has been reportedly rethinking its strategy and may start releasing their older films under its own label.
But that bring us back to Fox’s Jumpin’ Jack Flash with Whoopi Goldberg and directed by Penny Marshall, which is one of 11 older Fox titles from the mid- 80’s to 90’s that Anchor Bay will be releasing on blu-ray DVD, on May 28th.
Now no one will say that Jumpin’ Jack Flash, a comedy thriller in which Whoopi plays a computer operator who gets accidentally tangled up in a silly plot involving spies and dead bodies, is the greatest film ever, let alone a passively good one. It was her first film after The Color Purple, and it started off a chain of movies she made into the mid 1990s, such as Fatal Beauty, Burglar, Clara Heart, Eddie, Sister Act, Made in America and others.
OK. Most of them are really crummy (and Whoopi would probably agree too), but one has to remember that during this period, by the mid-90’s, Whoopi had become the highest paid actress in Hollywood making $10-12 million a film.
However, even if you might not want a blu-ray of Flash, believe or not, there are some people who do, and soon it can be theirs.