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Fox Ramps Up Blu-ray Releases

20 Aug, 2007 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Blu-ray Disc strikes back. Moments after Paramount Home Entertainment and DreamWorks Animation announced their intent to limit their high-definition releases to the HD DVD format, ardent Blu-ray supporter 20th Century Fox announced an aggressive slate of titles for the remainder of the calendar year.

A total of 29 Blu-ray Disc-exclusive titles are on their way from Fox and distributed label MGM Home Entertainment, including six new theatrical releases that will arrive on Blu-ray the same day as the DVD, including heavyweights Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Live Free or Die Hard.

Also in the pipeline are four day-and-date theatrical releases from MGM, 19 catalog titles from both studios and Fox's first-ever Blu-ray TV release, “Prison Break.”

“Given that Blu-ray has consistently outsold HD DVD all year, and this is the case for any titles released by any studio in both formats, we believe that the time is right for us to accelerate our activities and help convert the nearly 60 million high-definition households worldwide into Blu-ray households,” said division president Mike Dunn. “By the end of this calendar year there will be expansive availability of technically vibrant releases featuring never-before-seen, advanced BD-J interactivity as well as a broad offering of playback devices at attractive prices that will prove to any doubting consumers once and for all that Blu-ray is the only way.”

Fox hasn't released any Blu-ray titles since April.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, also exclusively in the Blu-ray camp, also issued a press release shortly after the Paramount announcement, listing six catalog titles for September release. Two are new releases, Black Book and Tekkonkinkreet, and four are catalog titles: The Replacement Killers, A Few Good Men, Memoirs of a Geisha and Underworld.

Last Friday, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment announced its first Platinum Blu-ray release, Sleeping Beauty; its first BD-Live title, National Treasure; and its first Blu-ray title with full-motion picture-in-picture bonus features, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

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