It Was A Good Week For... Michael Jackson and Danny Dyer... An unlikely couple, we know, but Jacko (or at least his estate) was celebrating a big first week for SPHE's This Is It (loved those testimonial TV ads), while Dead Man Running, out this week from Revolver, showed his reign as king of DTV is far from over...

It Was A Bad Week For... Woolworths, or at least its administrators, as the sale of what was Woolies' remaining 40 per cent stake in 2entertain finally draws a line under the whole debacle, well over a year down the line...    
Just as we were sending this week's edition of The Raygun, news reaches us that BBC Worldwide has finally successfully reached an agreement on the future of 2entertain. The deal, between the commercial arm of the BBC and Woolworths administrators, will see Worldwide acquiring the remaining 40 per cent of 2e for £17 million and guarantees its future after months of uncertainty and toing and froing following the collapse of joint owner Woolworths. As Worldwide is keen to point out, the cash comes from existing cash and not the licence fee, a note obviously to appease the BBC-baiting media. Commenting on the deal, Worldwide ceo John Smith said: " I am pleased that we have finally concluded these negotiations, and have secured the future of 2entertain.  This comes as good news for a variety of stakeholders. 2entertain’s retail partners know it is now backed by a stable owner. Consumers can continue to enjoy BBC content on DVD in their own homes. The independent production sector already works closely with 2entertain. And licence fee payers will continue to benefit from 2entertain's contribution to BBC Worldwide, which helped us return a total of £153m to the BBC in the last financial year." 2entertain ceo Paul Dempsey added: "The 2entertain business has not been distracted by the events of the past 18 months, continuing to deliver impressive results. Under full BBC Worldwide ownership, it now looks forward to a more settled period and playing an important role in BBC Worldwide’s future plans."
Expect fevered lobbying in the next two weeks from the creative community, under the banner of the Creative Coalition Campaign, as it attempts to urge the government to accept the new amendments to its Digital Economy Bill. The move led by the Tories and Lib Dems, replaced the controversial Clause 17, which threatened to cut off consumers' internet connections if they were persistently caught illegally sharing files, with a new amendment that would allow the high court to issue injunctions against websites that hosted material that infringed on copyright. This could end with sites going offline. The government was said to be sceptical, but without the amendment the whole Bill is likely end up failing. Our industry, headed by the BVA, supports the new amendment and is attempting to turn government opinion ahead of its next reading in the Lords and its move on to the House Of Commons.  
So, it's the Oscars on Sunday and the trade was preparing itself for another bout of activity in both the run-up to and after the event. Any Oscar glory for Inglorious Basterds – and it is being strongly tipped by many with a chance of winning more than one (it's odds on favourite in Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay) – will be timely for Universal. The week commencing March 15 will see the Quentin Tarantino actioner move in its first burst of price-led promotional activity following its DVD bow in December last year. This means a boost next week, post-Oscars, and a further lift the following week too... Over at Lionsgate, the company was eyeing up further opportunities for The Hurt Locker, hotly tipped for Sunday's ceremony, despite a last minute whiff of controversy following one of its quartet of producers sending an email to Academy members urging them not to vote for the "$500 million" nominee, a reference to Avatar that saw him bumped from the ceremony itself...   
Meanwhile, if you don't believe that awards can have a strong knock-on effect, have a quick look at Artificial Eye and Fish Tank. The film is enjoying another new lease of life on the back of its best homegrown film gong at the BAFTAs. Artificial Eye's Steve Lewis said: "The publicity surrounding the BAFTA win has given a fantastic boost to awareness of the film and we saw a significant uplift in sales last week. We've built on this success by investing in additional marketing activity over the past week and re-packaging the DVD with a sleeve that prominently displays the 'Outstanding British Film' award." The film is set to be released on Blu-ray on March 22.

The entertainment industry is still exploring different routes to market and ways of bringing films out. Latest among these is Artificial Eye, which has inked a further deal with Sky Movies which will see Todd (Happiness) Solondz's new film Life During Wartime airing day and date at cinemas and on Sky's premium Box Office channel. The DVD will follow at a date yet to be set. It will show at a minimum of 10 cinemas, with Sky's transmission lasting for two weeks. Commenting on the deal, Artificial Eye's Philip Knatchbull said: "There are many people who won't or can't go to see a film on its release in cinemas, but by paying the same price will be able to see that film, day and date, in the comfort of their own home. At the same time Sky's cross-platform promotion of the film will provide greater awareness for those who might like to see it in a cinema but who otherwise might not have been aware of it.  We see this as a great model for the future distribution of smaller independent films."
As well as the recently released Revolver compiled clips programme, another DVD – this one due out next week – is also aiming to raise cash for the hugely worthy Help For Heroes charity. ITV's Road Warriors In Afghanistan, which follows British troops in the war-torn country, is released next Monday and £1 from every copy sold will go to the charity. With the release supported by an ad in Monday's Daily Star, alongside ads on assorted lads' and gaming websites and ITV's own homepage, as well as PR support, ITV is hoping to raise as much cash as possible for Help For Heroes. ITV Studios Home Entertainment's Richard Bernard said: "Road Warriors in Afghanistan is a brilliant DVD which shows what a magnificent job the brave lads and lasses of our Armed Forces are doing out in Afghanistan. We are particularly proud that the DVD is associated with Help For Heroes and pleased to be making a charitable contribution." 
To the ever-wonderful IMAX theatre for a Sunday morning start of the marvellous Alice In Wonderland in its full, 3D and super-sized screen glory. We were particularly intrigued by some of the facts quoted during the introduction... As of last Sunday, the BFI IMAX had sold 31,000 tickets for Alice, still with almost a week to go until its release. And Avatar continues to roll on – they've now sold something like 135,000 tickets for James Cameron's masterpiece and have laid on extra screenings at odd times – 3.15am at weekends and 9.45am weekdays – to accommodate both Avatar and Alice. It's the second most successful IMAX cinema in the world with Avatar, beaten  only by Moscow.
Meanwhile, the BFI is planning a whole raft of activity around Alice, including screenings and the Mad Hatter's Film School, a week's worth of activity on London's South Bank during the Easter holidays. It has also restored the first ever version of Alice In Wonderland, made in 1903. The activity is sponsored by 
On to Soho Hotel, where The Raygun was among those gathering for a special screening of one of the highlights of Christmas telly ahead of its DVD release. The Gruffalo, based on the 4 million-selling worldwide hit children's book, drew almost 10 million viewers on Christmas Day and is due on DVD on March 22, courtesy of E1. The release, which comes with a Making Of documentary, is back by TV, press and online advertising.  
Well done to Momentum for securing a whopping two pages' worth of coverage for its CSI Vegas Season 9 release in today's Daily Mirror. The coverage centred on the CSI: The Experience attraction currently on at Birmingham's Bullring, timed to tie in with Momentum's release and gave full credit to the current DVD activity.   
RELEASE DATE CHANGE: Icon's Nowhere Boy, the acclaimed biopic looking at John Lennon's formative years and the birth of The Beatles, will now be released on May 10.   

"No, I haven't seen it yet, but I won't bother with the cinema, it's coming out on DVD in a few weeks." An unnamed retailer, chatting to The Raygun about WDSHE's Alice In Wonderland, with a mischievous glint in their eyes.   
"What if..." tale The Box is a film that has, in some respects, split viewers and part of Icon's campaign for the April 19 release will play on that. "This is a multi-layered sci-fi thriller that bears repeated viewings," said Icon's Chris Warrington, "we want people to discuss the film, create debate about it and tie in to its key themes." Online will play a prime role in the marketing campaign, taking in ads and activity around that, and also playing up to the film's plot of pushing a button, possibly getting rewards, but also facing the consequences. Online ads, on the likes of IMDB, facebook and IMDB, will give viewers the chance to click a button and be taken somewhere else. Pre- and post-release TV spots, both terrestrial and digital, around programmes such as Lost and during airing of star Cameron Diaz's The Holiday give further weight to Icon's campaign for the film, directed by Donnie Darko helmer Richard Kelly. Press advertising around release, in the likes of Empire and national newspapers, completes the main marketing activity.
Avatar remained atop the UK box office once more, with its total haul now standing at a touch under £87 million. The Crazies was the highest new entry, taking more than £1 million in its opening weekend. Leap Year (728,251) and From Paris With Love (£678,950) were the other notable new entries, at seven and eight respectively in the top 10. In the US, Shutter Island enjoyed a second week at the top of the box office tree, beating off challenges from Kevin Smith's Cop Out and The Crazies. Avatar eased past the $700 million mark.      
If you’re waiting for the forthcoming Alan Partridge film that is currently being mooted, then we'd suggest maybe not holding your breath, as you could be in a for a long wait... Writer, producer, director Armando Iannucci, speaking before heading to LA for this weekend's Oscars (he's nominated for his latest creation, In The Loop), confirmed that he had sat down with Partridge himself, aka Steve Coogan, but nothing was firmed up yet, although they may sit down again before the end of the year. It would only happen, he said, if they could find the right story to do the character and his previous outings justice... "Back of the net," said The Raygun.
Meanwhile, executives everywhere are looking for the next franchise that will draw in younger and teen viewers. So where is the next Harry Potter or Twilight going to come from? Why not try another popular book franchise? That's what Fox has done after inking a deal to snap up the book rights to Welsh author Catherine Fisher's Incarceron. The novel for young adults follows oe boy's adventures in a world that appears to be one giant prison. The book has only just been published in the US but is already in the children's bestseller lists, boding well for a film release. Better still for Fox, this potential franchise has a built in sequel, Fisher's Sapphique. 
It's been an Alice-dominated week for us here on The Raygun, what with screenings at the BFI IMAX on Sunday morning and with some of Disney's corporate clients on Tuesday at the Soho Hotel. That same venue also played host to a special Gruffalo screening on Sunday morning...  
So we've spent the last week trawling through assorted Oscar forecast sites, but we really liked this one, recommending what outfits assorted celebrities SHOULD wear... Try this – – if you're a Lovefilm member and fancy winning a free year's worth of rentals.   
Gear up the for Oscars by trawling through tweets related – albeit loosely at some times – to the ceremony:
This looks like fun, stealth marketers beware:
Potentially smart independent thriller:
This appears to be hanging around for a while, although has yet to appear on UK schedules...
We'll be darned if Kristen Stewart isn't the spit of Joan Jett...

After School (Network)
Amelia (Fox)
An Education (E1 Entertainment) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Big Cats (three titles) (Demand DVD)
Black Snow (Second Run)
Bright Star (Pathe) 
The Deal (High Fliers)
Dennis And Gnasher Double Trouble (2entertain)
Dinosaur Discoveries (three titles) (Demand DVD)
Don’t Worry About Me (Verve)
Dynasty Season 4 (Paramount)
Eastbound And Down Season 1 (HBO)
Give Em Hell Malone (Momentum) 
The Great Rift (2entertain) (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Grind (Scanbox)
Hell to Pay (4Digital Media)
iMurders (Anchor Bay)
Intimate Relations (Optimum)
I Think We’re Alone Now (Kaleidoscope)
Julie And Julia (SPHE)
Kill Zone (Cine Asia)
The Last Hitman (Scanbox)
The Mentalist Season 1 (Warner)
Motherhood (Metrodome)
Mr Lonely (ICA)
NBA Champions San Antonio Spurs (Clear Vision)
No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (E1 Entertainment)
Personal Effects (Anchor Bay)
Reservoir Dogs (Lionsgate)
Road Warriors In Afghanistan (ITV)
Roary The Racing Car Bumper Collection 2 (2entertain)
Safety In Numbers (ICA)
Saw VI (Lionsgate) (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Sea Wall (Artificial Eye) 
Scarce (DNC)
School Of Comedy (2entertain)
Scrubbers (Optimum)
Shooting Michael Moore The Documentary (Demand DVD)
Sinking Of Japan (MVM)
Star Spangled Rhythm (Optimum)
Takeshis’ (Artificial Eye)
Taking Woodstock (Universal) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Toy Story (WDSHE) (DVD and combi pack)
Toy Story 2 (WDSHE) (DVD and combi pack)
Track 29 (Optimum)
UFC 104 (Clear Vision)
Water (Optimum)
Within These Walls Series 3 (Network)
WWE Live In The UK (Silver Vision)
Angelina Ballerina Just Dance (HIT)
Aquarian 4 (MVM)
Banded Brothers (2entertain)
The Bargee (Optimum) 
The Bill Volume 4 (Network)
Born Survivor Bear Grylls America (Demand DVD)
Boy Dominic  The complete Series (Network)
Chuggington (2entertain)
Clash Of The Titans (original) (Warner) (Blu-ray)
Cold Souls (Universal indi VISION)
Crimson Wing (WDSHE) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Death Note Relight Vol 2 (Manga)
Diary Of A Nobody (2entertain)
Dr Quinn Medicine Woman The Movie (Revelation)
Eastbound And Down Season 1 (HBO)
Fate Stay Night 3 (MVM)
The 4th Kind (EV) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Glasgow Murder Capital (Demand DVD)
Grandpa In My Pocket (Warner)
Hooked On Fishing With Paul Young (Demand DVD)
House Of The Devil (Metrodome) (DVD and Blu-ray)
The House That Fear Built: Most Haunted Live (Universal Playback)
In The Night Garden (BBC/2entertain)
Jackass The Lost Tapes (Paramount)
Jimmy’s Farm Series 1 (Revelation)
Johnny Mad Dog (Momentum)
Kisses (Optimum)
London’s Burning Series 13 (
Look At Life (Network)
Moody And Pegg (Network)
Most Haunted Live (2entertain)
The Nation’s Health (Network)
NBA Bloopers Vol 1 (Clear Vision)
Ninja (Lionsgate) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Nora Roberts (four titles) Delta)
Not Forgotten (Anchor Bay)
Paintball (Icon)
Paranormal Entity (Anchor Bay)
Paul Merton In Europe (2entertain)
The Penguins Of Madagascar Operation Penguin Takeover (DreamWorks/Paramount)
Romeo x Juliet 2 (MVM)            
Rozen Maiden (MVM)
Scotland Revealed (Demand DVD)
The Scots At War (Demand DVD)
Secret Diary Of A Call Girl Series 3 (Warner)
A Serious Man (Universal)
Seven Ages Of Britain (@entertain)
Slayers box set (MVM)
Survival Of The Dead (Optimum) (DVD and Blu-ray)
We Live in Public (Dogwoof)
The White Ribbon (Artificial Eye) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Within These Walls Series 3 (Network)
Wrong Side Of Town (E1 Entertainment)
WWE History Of The World Wrestling Championship (Silver Vision)
X Volume 5 (MVM)
Zombieland (SPHE) (DVD and Blu-ray)

1234 (Soda Pictures)
Alice In Wonderland (Walt Disney)
Case 39 (Paramount)
Chloe (Optimum)
Exit Through The Gift Shop (Revolver)
Father Of My Children (Artificial Eye)
Legion (Sony Pictures)
Motherhood (Metrodome)
Ondine (Paramount)
The Shouting Men (Kaleidoscope)
The Ape (ICA Films)
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Momentum)
Green Zone (Universal)
Hachi: A Dog's Tale (Entertainment)
The Kreutzer Sonata (Axiom)
Shutter Island (Paramount)
Under Great White Northern Lights (More2Screen)

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