Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (TCFHE) unveiled an aggressive global Blu-ray Disc release strategy, including 29 new release and catalog titles that runs through the end of the year. Among the many highlights are six day & date BD/DVD new theatrical releases from Fox such as FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER and LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD and Fox's first-ever TV release on BD: PRISON BREAK.
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Walt Disney Studios Home Ent. fired back with the additional announcement that Disney/Pixar's RATATOUILLE would join CARS as a Blu-ray release on Nov. 6 (in conjunction with the DVD release of the Brad Bird movie), reports VIDEO BUSINESS.
Last week WDSHE announced that SLEEPING BEAUTY would mark the first Platinum Blu-ray release in the fall of 2008.
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent. (WDSHE) announced more innovations in the Blu-ray format with the studio's first ever Platinum Blu-ray release, the first BD-Live title and full motion picture-in-picture Blu-ray bonus features coming in 2008.
Buena Vista Home Ent. will debut PIXAR SHORT FILMS COLLECTION: VOLUME 1 Nov. 4 on DVD and Blu-ray, it was announced at Comic-Con Included will be Gary Rydstromâs LIFTED, MATER AND THE GHOST LIGHT, ONE MAN BAND, BOUNDIN, MIKEâS NEW CAR, FOR THE BIRDS, GERIâS GAME, KNICK KNACK, TIN TOY, REDâS DREAM, LUXO JR. and THE ADVENTURES OF ANDRE & WALLY B.
Bonus features will include audio commentary from various directors, a behind-the-scenes doc containing interviews with John Lasseter and others and animation tests.
Buena Vista Home Ent. announced that PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END (with a maelstrom of new vfx from ILM) will hit retail shelves on Dec. 4, 2007, on DVD and Blu-ray Disc for $34.95.
Included among the bonus features will be a five-part behind-the-scenes doc, two interactive features (including "Enter the Maelstrom" and "Jolly Roger Host"), as well as nine additional featurettes and an outtake real -- all in 1080p high-definition on the Blu-ray edition.
Bonus features:* Documentary: "Masters of Design"
The Walt Disney Studios announced the launch of Disney's Magical Blu-ray Tour, which will visit 18 malls nationwide beginning Aug. 17, 2007. Previews of upcoming releases of CARS and MEET THE ROBINSONS will be highlighted along with THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies.
This week the fledgling Blu-ray Disc high-def format got a tremendous boost with the release of the first two PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN blockbusters: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL and DEAD MAN'S CHEST (Buena Vista Home Ent., $34.99).
Each two-disc set contains a total of 75GB in Blu-ray. The HD (1080p resolution) picture offers a cleaner, sharper, more colorful and more dynamic experience (better showcasing ILM's Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning vfx).
Sony Pictures Home Ent's blockbuster James Bond title, CASINO ROYALE (with acclaimed seamless vfx from Peerless Camera), released March 13, 2007, on Blu-ray Disc, has hit the 100,000 units shipped mark and is setting records at retail for greatest number of high-definition copies sold in one day. The title debuted in the top 10 on Amazon's DVD top-sellers list -- a first for any film in high-definition. The film's director, Martin Campbell, extolled the disc quality and commented, "It's just unbelievable. Clearly, it's fantastic.
There were a slew of Blu-ray announcements at CES, including Warner Home Video's that the animated HAPPY FEET from Animal Logic will be released this year along with the HARRY POTTER and THE MATRIX franchises. Also, WHV announced that SUPERMAN RETURNS was the #1 Blu-ray title in 2006.
Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Home Ent. announced that CASINO ROYALE will bow in Blu-ray on March 13, 2007. This marks the Blu-ray debut on a 50GB dual-layer disc encoded in MPEG-4 AVC.
Karen Raugust looks at the two high-def DVD formats, HD DVD and Blu-Ray Disc, set to launch this spring and how it will affect the home entertainment industry.
Sony Pictures Home Ent. (SPHE) will deliver the first wave of Blu-ray Disc (BD) titles on May 23, three months after the rival HD-DVD format begins its launch. Delivery will coincide with the launch that day of the first commercially available BD player from Samsung Electronics, which will be followed shortly by BD players from Pioneer and Sony along with a BD compatible VAIO PC from Sony.
SPHE and MGM Home Ent. will first release eight BD titles, with another eight following shortly June 13.
Buena Vista Home Ent. (BVHE) announced that it will begin releasing titles beginning summer of 2006 on the Blu-ray Disc format in conjunction with the hardware manufacturer's release of Blu-ray Disc products. Titles will include Walt Disney Pictures DINOSAUR; Quentin Tarantino's KILL BILL: VOL. 1; HERO; DARK WATER; LADDER 49; THE BROTHERS GRIMM; THE GREAT RAID; ARMAGEDDON, directed by Michael Bay and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer; Kevin Smith's JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK; and the documentary EVEREST narrated by Liam Neeson.
A new wrinkle in the hi-def DVD format war has occurred. Paramount Home Ent. has announced that it will support Sonys Blu-ray format as well as its previously announced support for Toshibas HD-DVD.
Rumors are afloat that Warner Bros. with be announcing dual support later this week as well. Previously, Universal was the first studio originally backing HD-DVD to announce that it was going to support both formats. Some say its a move to save face for backing the potential loser in the format wars.
Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) and Electronic Arts have joined the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA). Having these two leaders in multi-platform interactive entertainment strengthens support for the Blu-ray Disc high-definition optical-disc format among the world's leading gaming, consumer electronics, PC and entertainment companies.