“Reloaded” DVD Released Before “Revolutions”

Warner Home Video is setting an industry precedent, releasing the DVD for The Matrix Reloaded a mere three weeks before the third Matrix sequel, The Matrix Revolutions, comes out in theaters Nov. 7.

Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, and Carrie-Anne Moss, the DVD of the second movie in the trilogy is being promoted with the slogan Reload Before the Revolution and is scheduled for an October 14 release on DVD and VHS, Warner executives told The Hollywood Reporter.

Typically studios widely separate the release dates of franchise films and the release of home videos in the same series so box office sales won’t suffer, but Warner execs believe releasing Reloaded on DVD in October will have the opposite effect and work to pump up ticket sales at a time when box office business generally has been lagging.

After nine weeks, The Matrix Reloaded has grossed about $274 million at the North American box office.

“I don’t believe it will affect ticket sales in any negative way,” Ron Sanders, Warner Home Video’s domestic executive VP and General Manager, told the Reporter. “In fact, I believe that the home video release of Reloaded will boost ticket sales of Revolutions.”

The studio is also attempting to make the best use of its marketing dollars as much as hoping to discover a new marketing technique.

“Sure, this is an industry first,” Sanders added. “But we believe that this franchise presents us with a unique opportunity to combine a theatrical release of a very popular film with home video that will set a precedent for sales within the industry.”

With a $22 retail price, the Reloaded DVD will include a behind-the-scenes look at how the freeway chase scene was crafted and shot, along with a satire of The Matrix Reloaded featured at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards.