Morbidly ironic Brittany Murphy cover art recalled

Here comes one of the more morbid collectibles in DVD release history. First Look Pictures has quietly recalled the cover art for the Brittany Murphy movie Deadline, according to “Video Business Weekly,” which could not get a comment from the studio.

Those looking to pick up the DVD version of the genre-flick (ghost story/horror) at may have noticed the fact there is no cover art on display. The Blu-ray version still has the art, which features Murphy lying in a bathtub with a dead look on her face and a limp arm draped over the tub’s edge. Murphy reportedly died after collapsing from a heart attack in the shower.

So far, as of this writing, there are only 4 Blu-Rays in stock at Amazon. They say “more on the way,” but you can bet the studio will change the cover art by then, plus the discs won’t be coming back in stock any time soon. The art will have to be redesigned and remanufactured. It looks as though the discs themselves would have to be re-done as well. Here is an image of the actual DVD disc:

Deadline DVD label

I think this will become one of the more collectible, out of print Blu-rays, after Criterion’s The Third Man, which is right now the only high-priced collectible DVD, because Criterion lost the rights to distribute it. There are not many out of print Blu-ray releases since the format’s debut a few years back, so this will become quite a rarity in the format.

Though DVD sales are declining as Blu-Ray gains momentum with the movie collecting public, this is a rare sort of recall, and the DVDs may become valuable soon, too. But my money is on the Blu-Ray gaining a stronger after-market price since there are so few rare, out of print or recalled BRs. If you think there are more collectible Blu-Rays than this one will turn out to be, I’m curious so do share… 

(Copyright 2009 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)


  1. Simply want to say your article is striking. The clarity in your post is simply impressive and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with succeeding post. Thanks a million and please keep up the good work

    • Thanks for the kind words. As much as I try to maintain a distinct taste in film and music, I am a sucker for collectibles, and I have been following out of print DVDs for several years, so I’m sure to revisit the topic in the future.

  2. 1) “I think this will become one of the more collectible, out of print
    Blu-rays, after Criterion’s The Third Man, which is right now the only
    high-priced collectible DVD,” — On what authority do you have this? You are literally saying that the Criterion Third Man is the ONLY item of its type, and that is not accurate.

    2) “Though DVD sales are declining as Blu-Ray gains momentum with the movie
    collecting public,”

    If DVD sales are declining, it ain’t because of Blu-Ray. Go to any Target
    and look at the massive DVD selection versus its Blu-Ray selection for
    proof. Mainstream retailers always indicate trends, and their DVD
    departments are not shrinking.

    You’ve impressed Lucy Pietrowicz, but I beg to differ.

    • First off, Luke Haines, thank you for posting. I appreciate it.

      To address your points:

      1) So far, I know of no notable out of print Blu-Ray movies beyond the Third Man (excluding the purposely-limited run items in packaging like steelbooks). Since you say I am inaccurate, then you must know of other Blu-Ray movies that the studio has lost the rights to distribute, hence making the items that made it to retail commercially unobtainable save for the secondary markets like eBay. If you know of any, do share. I have been a collector of out of print DVDs for years now and tend to stay up on this trend. Any insight into this from others is welcome here.

      2) I never said DVD sales are declining because of Blu-Ray, I said DVD declines as Blu-Ray gains. I do realize there are other economic reasons for the decline of DVD, be it personal finances, the growth of on-demand video, cheaper rentals, the ease of copying the format, among many other factors. I simply suggested the two trends are happening parallel to each other.

      3) Next, going to a store and eye-balling shelf space is no scientific way to learn about trends in the market, though what you have seen over the years is that shelf space across media stores and sections has grown for Blu-Ray. That said, allow me to direct you to this article in Video Business Weekly:
      In it, you can see the numbers that back me up, which indeed show Blu-Ray is growing while DVD is flat to declining in sales.


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