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Buena Vista Expands 2007 Blu-ray Slate

8 Jan, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Buena Vista Worldwide Home Entertainment today underscored its commitment to high-definition format Blu-ray Disc with a new slate of global releases in 2007, including 13 titles in North America and eight in 50GB capacity.

The studio did not disclose what bonus material would be included in either the 25GB and 50GB releases, which retail for $34.99 each.

In the United States, Buena Vista March 20 will release Chicken Little (50GB) and Finding Neverland, followed April 3 by King Arthur: Director's Cut (50GB) and G.I. Jane, and May 8 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (both 50GB).

The studio previously announced Jan. 23 it would street 2002 Oscar winning musical Chicago, period romance Casanova (2005), rescue adventure The Guardian (2006) and sci-fi fantasy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) in Blu-ray's expanded 50GB storage capacity.

Buena Vista last November released Enemy of the State (1998), and Flightplan (2005) as the first titles to incorporate 50GB.

The Disney unit June 8 will release Con Air, Crimson Tide and The Rock, (all 50GB) followed in the summer with Cars, (50GB) The Recruit, Open Range and Remember The Titans.

Concurrent European and Asian Blu-ray release slates also include Scary Movie 4, Air Force One, Bruce Almighty, Pearl Harbor, Sky High, The Wild and Dinosaur.

Buena Vista, together with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Lionsgate, represents one of the few major studios that has taken sides in the so-called format war against rival HD DVD.

“Blu-ray is quickly becoming the high-definition standard on the market today and we are very pleased to add this amazing slate of Blu-ray releases that will appeal to our core demographic,” said Bob Chapek, president of BVWHE. “With the dual-layer, 50GB discs, the possibilities for exciting new interactive features and additional bonus content are endless.”

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