HOLLYWOOD,CA-Insider sources at Lionsgate Entertainment say that the upcoming action sequel The Expendables 3 will forgo a traditional theatrical release in favor of home distribution via the Betamax format. "We felt it was the only way to reach our core audience, " said the unidentified source. "When we took a close look at where the demand for the sequel was coming from, it only made sense. Most of our fans still like to watch Stallone, Seagal, and Van Damme they way they always have: in standard def, on a 30-inch tube TV via a wired-remote Betamax machine."
Just last week, Sylvester Stallone, who wrote the script for The Expendables 3, announced that a "greedy" Bruce Willis was out of the project, and Harrison Ford would be joining the film. "Getting Harrison was clutch, " said the insider, " I remember watching The Empire Strikes Back on Betamax when I was a teenager, and was just blown away!"
When asked if the straight-to-beta release would hurt the box office expectations of the third installment of the franchise, the Lionsgate insider added," We are keeping our options open for a limited VHS release, as well. We'll just have to see."
"Our marketing research behind this is pretty solid," he added. "Fans of these actors, and this type of movie don't fully grasp the menu-driven formats with confusing interfaces like dvd and Blu-ray...and they sure don't want to sit in a loud theater for a full hour-and-a-half."
The Expendables 3 begins shooting with an all-star lineup this fall, with the Betamax release set for August 2014. Stallone will join Ford, and other stars Jackie Chan, Wesley Snipes, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, and Nicholas Cage in the sequel. Betty White recently dropped out of the project due to scheduling conflicts with her TV series, Betty White's Off Their Rockers.