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Dearth of 3D Blu-ray Titles Entering Holiday Season

13 Sep, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Entering the all-important fourth-quarter holiday period, consumers seeking 3D Blu-ray Disc movies could be in for a challenge with fewer than 10 titles available at retail in the format, according to a new report.

London-based Screen Digest said of the 25 major studio releases earmarked for 3D Blu-ray release, most are being bundled with third-party consumer electronics 3D televisions and Blu-ray players.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and Sony Electronics recently partnered for December 3D releases of Alice in Wonderland and Bolt, while consumers of Samsung 3D hardware receive 3D copies of DreamWorks Animations' Monsters vs Aliens, How to Train your Dragon or select “Shrek” titles.

Panasonic has a similar deal with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for 3D releases Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and reportedly Avatar, in addition to Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s Coraline.

“Buyers of 3D hardware this year or early next who want to expand their 3D BD collection beyond the bundled titles are likely to find no more than half a dozen 3D BD titles in stores, unless the studios change their strategy,” the report states.  

Indeed, Helen Davis Jayalath, head of video research at Screen Digest and co-author of the report, said studio reluctance to release major titles on 3D Blu-ray is confounding wider consumer adoption of the format in the home.

“We believe that by keeping key 3D BD titles off retailers’ shelves — whether by bundling them exclusively with specific hardware brands or simply holding them back for later release — studios risk missing the opportunity to position Blu-ray at the forefront of the latest technology that everyone’s talking about,” Davis Jayalath said.

Co-author Richard Baxter concurred, saying studio support for 3D Blu-ray releases remains strong, despite predicated on a bigger install base in U.S. homes. 

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