CEMETERY JUNCTION goes Straight-to-DVD in U.S.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment only afforded Cemetery Junction a weak run in U.K. cinema's, certainly where I live in the North East of England it was a case of blink or you miss it. I think I had a window of one week unless I went to a late, late showing and sadly, despite being such a huge fan of writer/director duo Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant and the film genuinely looking like a cool time at the movies, I just didn't get to see it. Now DVD Active (via The Playlist) say Sony have decided not to give the movie a U.S. theatrical release at all, and Cemetery Junction will be going straight to Blu-ray and DVD in the U.S. on August 17th. In truth, it's probably not all that surprising, given the paultry U.K. release that led to a disappointing $2 million gross (which to me felt like Gervais and Merchant's never ending campaign to make the movie a success by the hundreds of interviews they gave), the fact that Gervais is not the lead star in a movie of mostly unknown Brits and it's decidedly different tone to The Office and Extra's. But I can't help but think that if The Damned United, a movie about an outspoken football manager of a different generation, in a sport that Americans aren't altogether interested in, and focusing on a guy most won't have heard of in America managed a U.S. release, it is unusual that Sony won't give Cemetery Junction the same treatment. For those keeping score, The Damned United made $4 million in the U.S. Browsing RT, Gervais/Merchant's film had mostly good reviews but not a huge majority (64%) but an IMDB rating of 7.8 (albeit from less than a thousand votes) is far more encouraging for the potential cult status the movie might hope to receive in the coming years. Despite my problems in seeing it, that doesn't mean OWF didn't do our bit to promote the film. Rob Beames saw it and called it his favourite movie of the year, and we even got to talk to Gervais/Merchant. We certainly hope Gervais/Merchant have more luck with their next project (a Curb Your Enthusiasm esque t.v. show based on the life of Warwick Davis), and we certainly support the pair in making a personal passion project that would be less seen than the kind of sell-out movie for a quick buck, they could have made and indeed have been offered over the years.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.