DATELINE -- Tuesday, 3 August 1999

boxcover"What is the Matrix?": Kicked up two weeks from early October to a new release date of Sept. 21, Warner's Matrix DVD could be their biggest seller yet, with more than one million copies due to hit the street. Warner has announced that the disc will contain 26 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, and Web-accessible DVD-ROM content will include the entire screenplay along with 700 storyboards. A live Webcast in October (similar to MGM's Ronin DVD-ROM Webcast) will feature additional footage, reportedly shot during production of the film by the Wachowski brothers with the DVD in mind. Warner is hoping that The Matrix will become the highest-selling DVD title ever, taking the top spot from MGM's Tomorrow Never Dies, but it's going to be an uphill battle -- Paramount's Titanic streets three weeks earlier, on Aug. 31, and we're betting it will be top dog by the end of '99.

In additional news, Steve Tannehill at The DVD Resource Page is reporting that Warner has reversed course on their refusal to street a sell-through Matrix VHS, and will now let VCR owners buy their own copies along with DVD fans. The flip-flop has yet to be explained, but apparently Warner isn't so worried after all that teenagers will see the film and subsequently riddle their high schools with automatic weapons. The whole brouhaha may smell like well-planned hype, but it may also be due to other factors, including the fact that longtime Warner executive Barry Meyer was named the new CEO yesterday, replacing Terry Semel and Bob Daly, who resigned in July. However, Meyer's possible involvement in the matter is nothing more than speculation.

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