Bonnie and I were lucky, for we got to see Duma at a theater last night. If you have not heard, Duma is a movie directed by Carroll Ballard (Fly Away Home) that features a cheetah that is orphaned and raised by a family. It is a really beautifully made movie, which Warner Brothers is not really promoting to theaters. It was test marketed on a small budget without television ads in April in San Antonio, Phoenix, and Sacramento and did poorly at the box office. Because it was given a really good review by a critic in Los Angeles, the studio decided to give it another chance. It is currently showing at five theaters in the Chicago area, again with no television advertising. The ticket sales have not been good, according to Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune. Our theater was about half full Friday night.
Bonnie thinks that Warner Brothers sees its profit on this film coming from DVD sales. It would make a nice family film to watch over and over again with the kids. So I looked around to see if a sales date is set. Amazon is already taking orders for the DVD, but no date is mentioned for release. One of the articles I saw said that the DVD goes on sale in the U.K. on September 26. The U.S. sales probably will not be set until after the studio decides whether to distribute the film to theaters. Whenever it does go on sale, libraries should buy it.
Warner Brothers has gone to the trouble of setting up a nice web site for the movie. It even has study sheets for students and teachers, buddy icons, and downloadable wallpapers. There must be some plan to promote the film to youth.
If you are anywhere near Chicago this week, you should try to see Duma at a theater. It may be your only chance. The cheetah on the run should be on the big screen.