Image acquista Criterion...

As of August 1st, circa 3 pm, Home Vision as we all knew it ceased to exist. Home Vision will now be a “specialty label” owned and operated by Image Entertainment. Image will be closing the Chicago location to “consolidate” Home Vision’s label to their corporate offices in California.

As to what this means besides a lot of unemployed cinephiles and heartbreaks remains to be seen. Image is contractually obligated to release any future Home Vision titles that where already in the works or which had already been contracted. Image’s “lenient” quality control will certainly play a part in any future “Home Vision” release so beware.

Criterion remains an independently owned company. This deal formalizes a 100% distribution deal between Image and Criterion lasting through the end of 2010. More to follow as we find out.

As part of Home Vision acquisition
Full article linked on DVDBeaver homepage

AUG. 2 | DVD distributor Image Entertainment has acquired 19-year-old Chicago-based publisher/distributor Home Vision Entertainment.

The $8 million deal–one of the largest ever for Chatsworth, Calif.-based Image–also gives the former laserdisc company exclusive distribution rights to the prestigious Criterion Collection of esoteric, foreign and critically acclaimed movies on DVD.

For the past eight years, Image had split retail distribution of Criterion titles with Home Vision, which had a separate 50/50 joint venture with Criterion. With that arrangement, Image was never able to include Criterion titles in its overall national marketing efforts.

With this week’s deal, Home Vision sells its 50% stake in the joint venture back to Criterion, freeing up Criterion to sign an exclusive output deal with Image for its 280 active catalog titles and three to four monthly new releases through 2010.

Image will now be able to mount full-fledged marketing campaigns for DVDs from Criterion, which is credited with creating the market for today’s DVD bonus features and audio commentaries when the company first produced those features for laserdiscs in the '80s. Criterion licenses selected titles such as The Life Aquatic and Hoop Dreams from studios and producers, paying a royalty fee that is often comparable to the wholesale price realized by suppliers on the titles. The Criterion Collection contains approximately 280 active DVD titles in its library and typically releases three or four new titles each month.