For movie fans, even after the emergence of digital downloads, there have been plenty of reasons to opt for the DVD instead: actually owning your media and getting to display your movie collection on your own shelves but also all those featurettes that you got on the DVD but not the digital download.
Now, 10 years after movie downloads became available on the iTunes Store, there are select titles with bonus content – including Captain America: Civil War, which gets its digital release tomorrow.
Civil War, in fact, boasts a lot of bonus content and a first for iTunes: The menu features video clips from the film, like a contemporary DVD or Blu-ray would, instead of the traditional static screen on iTunes.
As DVD and Blu-ray sales decline while streaming options rise in popularity, media companies will have to find new ways to entice consumers with titles they can purchase. Getting all that bonus content onto the digital download is one way iTunes may be able to stay in the game. Passionate Marvel fans, at least, will be drawn to the large collection of featurettes celebrating the Marvel verse that come with the $19.99 HD download.
Yesterday I visited the Disney lot for a preview of the iTunes extras for Civil War. One fun thing to geek out about is the “Choose Your Side” layout of the content, the sides being, of course, Team Cap and Team Iron Man. Each side you can click on leads you to content devoted to that team – featurettes looking back at the road to this superhero civil war (some of them repurposed from previous Marvel films” DVDs) and some digital exclusives for iTunes, including some gorgeous concept art. There”s one quite striking image of Black Panther”s vibranium claws slicing across Cap”s shield in a shower of sparks.
Image credit: Marvel Studios
My favorite types of bonus content – the gag reel and the commentary track – are both on this iTunes download. The commentary this time features directors Anthony and Joe Russo along with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. That “Team Thor” video that debuted at San Diego Comic-Con and has been delighting us online this week is also on the iTunes extras but won”t be on the disc releases.
The download also features an iTunes-exclusive supercut that”s a walk down memory lane of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, giving each hero some time in the spotlight, and couple of the villains too, particularly fan-favorite Loki.
The breadth of content and the fun menu layout here sets a new standard for extras on digital content. I certainly hope Disney keeps this up and other studios follow suit. Behind-the-scenes bonus content better not don”t go away with with the rise of streaming content; DVD featurettes is what first really got me fascinated with the craft of filmmaking, and I know the same goes for several of my friends now in the film and TV business. The technology is certainly there to keep supplying bonus content digitally – let”s hope that technology keeps getting used and firing up the imaginations of content creators.
Captain America: Civil War“s digital release is Friday, September 2. The movie will be available on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, September 13.