One of the most eagerly awaited titles yet to appear on DVD, ”E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” will finally come out on disc this fall. But there’s a catch. Universal is taking a page from the Disney playbook, and like the wide-eyed alien, the DVDs will only be around for a short time before the distributor takes them back off the market.
There will actually be two versions of the DVD, which will land in stores Oct. 22 and be available for 10 weeks only. The ”Limited Collector’s Edition,” which will retail for $22.95, will feature the 20th Anniversary rerelease, the digitally doctored version that drummed up a meager $35 million in theaters this spring. This set will also contain 10 hours of extras, including never-before-seen making-of footage, composer John Williams’ orchestral performance at this year’s Hollywood premiere (complete with outdoor light show), and interviews with the cast and director Steven Spielberg, who explains some of the controversial choices he made in revising the film for this year’s release (digitally erasing the guns wielded during the climactic chase, changing the word ”terrorist” to ”hippie”).
If you want to see the unaltered 1982 version, however, you’ll have to buy the ”Ultimate Collector’s Gift Set,” which contains everything in the Limited Collector’s Edition, plus the original version, a remastered soundtrack CD, a copy of the screenplay, and a collectible frame of film. That’ll set you back $69.95. As E.T. might say, ”Ouuuch.”