Blu-ray, DVD Release: Seeking a Friend For the End of the World

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Oct. 23, 2012
Price: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $34.98
Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Seeking a Friend for the End of the WorldKeira Knightley (Never Let Me Go) and Steve Carell (Date Night) are Seeking a Friend For the End of the World in this comedy movie from Universal’s Focus Features division.

The directorial debut of writer Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist), the film is set in the near future when a 70-mile-wide asteroid in hurtling toward Earth. People deal with their impending doom in different ways. For aparment-building neighbors Dodge (Carell) and Penny (Knightley), he wants to get back to his first love and she wants to return to her family. Making the journey together, the two meet up with a host of characters, and their outlooks, if not the world’s, brighten in surprising ways.

Also in the cast are Connie Britton (TV’s Friday Night Lights), Adam Brody (Damsels in Distress), Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine), Melanie Lynskey (Win Win) and Patton Oswalt (Young Adult).

The movie didn’t have the widest release in theaters, but was shown on more than 1,600 screens, bigger than a limited release. Still, the film grossed only $7 million, low for a Carell movie. Even Carell’s Dan in Real Life, which was shown in only around 1,900 theaters, grossed $47.6 million.

Seeking a Friend‘s R rating might have contributed to the lower box-office take. For an end of the world comedy/drama/romance, R seems a bit unnecessary — especially as The Hunger Games, about teens killing teens for a sport is PG-13. Dan in Real Life is PG-13 too.

Seeking a Friend For the End of the World Blu-ray boxBut the mixed reviews from critics could have doused enthusiasm for Friend too. If you listen to Richard Roeper, “Steve Carell and Keira Knightley make for one of the most unlikely and yet one of the most touching romantic couples of the year.” And The Atlantic‘s Ian Buckwalter agreed, saying, “The genuine sweetness of the friendship that develops between these two wins out over any of the movie’s failings.” But those flaws didn’t pass with everyone. Sun Online critic Alex Zane said the movie is “played out in such a saccharine and whimsical manner that the only impact felt is that of the asteroid.” Ouch.

Both the Blu-ray and DVD contain special features. Here’s the list:

  • commentary with Scafaria, her mother, producer Joy Gorman Wettels and actors Brody and Oswalt (not the stars)
  • outtakes
  • behind-the-scenes featurette
  • and featurette “Music for the End of the World: What’s On Your Playlist?”, with Carell, Knightley, Oswalt and others discussing which songs they’d want to hear when the world ends.

The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack also offers a downloadable digital copy of the film, instant streaming through UltraViolet and Universal’s usual Blu-ray extras:

  • BD-Live
  • Pocket Blu app, which allows smartphones to interact with the Blu-ray player
  • and uHear, which allows easy back-skipping so no dialog is missed.

Are you planning to check out this one?

Here’s the movie’s trailer:

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.