Dukes sequel goes to DVD

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Last summer, Dukes of Hazzard was a big, hyped piece of TV-to-movie translation. Now, a less hyped--and less expensive--prequel will appear on video store shelves, possibly by the end of the year.

The Dukes prequel will tell the story of how Bo and Luke Duke started their slapstick battle with the nefarious Boss Hogg. None of the original film's stars--Jessica Simpson, Johnny Knoxville, or Sean William Scott--will appear in the film, which is scheduled to go on sale in late 2006 or in early 2007.

The Dukes movie is part of a new plan by Warner Bros. to make money from properties that don't warrant a full-fledged theatrical release. According to The Los Angeles Times, the studio plans to release 10 to 15 movies a year, each budgeted at around $5 million.

"We recognize that the made-for-video business is a place we need to put emphasis and devote considerable resources," Warner president Alan Horn said. "Discipline is the key to the ultimate success of the new venture for us."

Dukes was released last summer in August, a month usually considered the dumping ground for summer films. With no major competition at the box office--the only other debut that weekend was Jim Jarmsusch's Broken Flowers--the film opened with $30 million on its way to a domestic gross of $80 million.

In addition to the Dukes movie, Warner's new DVD arm has three horror films slated for production.