Universal is trying to beat the holiday with a few of their DVD releases. The week of Christmas is a little wonky this year because the holiday falls on Tuesday, the traditional release date for DVDs. Most movies coming out that week have been slated for a December 26th release, on Wednesday. I guess studios hope you’ll take the gift cards or any gift return credit and buy the new movies after the holiday.

Universal is taking a slightly different approach and announced this week that they’re pushing up the release date of three of their releases for that week. The critically acclaimed movies Eastern Promises and The Kingdom, as well as the direct-to-DVD American Pie Presents: Beta House, will all be released on Sunday, December 23rd. Now you can give that Viggo Mortensen fan exactly what they want under the Christmas tree – three minutes of naked sauna fighting.

The move makes sense for Beta House, which screams of needing gift givers to pick it up for those people they really don’t know what else to get for. Both The Kingdom and Eastern Promises surprise me a little, though. I expected the DVD releases of both of those to be aimed more at reminding Oscar crowds that they existed earlier in the year.

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