In her post-Twilight sci-fi novel, The Host, author Stephenie Meyer attempted to recapture the angst of teenage love, once again focusing on the relationship between humans and creatures, replacing vampires with aliens. The twist in this story is that the lead female character, Melanie Stryder, is taken over by an alien “soul” called Wanderer. But while most humans become simple shells, hosting the invading creatures, Melanie’s human side still hangs on, forcing the two “souls” to work together.
The book was a success, debuting at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List, spending 26 total weeks on the list. The trouble came in adapting the story to film.
Much like Twilight, the casting of The Host was of high interest to fans. Eventually the trio of Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, and Jake Abel as Melanie, Jared and Ian, respectively, was announced. Even Diane Kruger and William Hurt jumped on board. But director Andrew Niccol (Lord of War, In Time) didn’t quite generate the spark fans had found with the book, and on March 29, 2013, audiences made their dislike of the adaptation known by not showing up to theaters. The Host opened to an embarrassing $10 million and some harsh reviews.
“[A] bizarre Saturday Night Live sketch about a girl with a bratty alien inside her,” said Entertainment Weekly critic Owen Gleiberman in his review of the movie.
Made for approximately $40 million, The Host banked only $48 million total worldwide in its theatrical run. Now comes Round 2 with the July 9th Blu-ray/DVD release and the hope of a new life for the movie. Weirder things have happened when it comes to reviving a theatrical release on DVD. Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie made a whopping $600,000 when it rolled onto the big screen, but laughed all the way to the bank when it hit DVD, followed by two direct-to-DVD sequels, making millions of dollars and comedy stars out of Jeff Foxworthy’s group of southern fried comics.
Comparing stand-up comedy to The Host may be a stretch, but when there are audience members who are more willing to view a movie in private than be seen buying a ticket in theaters, the success of a film’s VOD, download, and Blu-ray/DVD release could help ease some of the pain caused by a poor showing in theaters.
Check out these sneak peeks of bonus features on The Host Blu-ray/DVD release.