Warner Bros.' DVD release of 'Hereafter' will benefit Japan relief effort
A day after Warner Bros. pulled "Hereafter" -- and its scenes of tsunami disaster -- from theaters in Japan, the studio announced that the film's March 15 release on DVD and Blu-ray would raise funds for relief efforts in the island nation.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group did not specify what percentage of the home-video proceeds would go to the Japanese Red Cross Society, but people familiar with the matter said the donation would be in the $1-million range.
"Hereafter," directed by Clint Eastwood, is a film primarily about death, grief and the afterlife, but it opens with an intense sequence showing a tsunami ravaging a coastal city and leaving its streets filled with corpses and wreckage. Upon pulling the film, Warner Bros. official Satoru Otani told the BBC that its scenes of calamity were "not appropriate" at this time. The movie opened in Japan in February and had been scheduled to finish its theatrical run at the end of this month.
In a statement, Eastwood said: “The devastation and loss Japan is facing is almost incomprehensible. I’m glad to join Warner Bros. in this effort to help the Japanese people.”
Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, added in the same news release: “Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Japan. We are committed to supporting relief and rebuilding efforts during this difficult time.”
Walt Disney Co. also announced that it would donate $2.5 million to the American Red Cross to support aid efforts related to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The company added that it would match employee donations to selected charities aiding Japan up to a $1-million total.
“Our hearts go out to the people of Japan,” said Chief Executive Robert Iger. “We send our continued thoughts of support and encouragement as this great nation begins the long road to recovery.”
-- Geoff Boucher