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Magnolia Preps HD Releases

28 Apr, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

The meager library of HD DVD discs nearly doubled in size with the April 27 announcement by Magnolia Home Entertainment that it will soon release five films in the high-definition optical-disc format.

Slated for May release by the DVD arm of Magnolia Pictures, one of the media properties of “superrelease” advocates Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner, are best documentary Oscar nominee Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, the Steven Soderbergh murder mystery Bubble, and The War Within, the controversial film that explores the transformation of a Pakistani man into a suicide bomber.

Also bound for HD DVD in May are two programs from HDNet, Cuban and Wagner's high-definition cable network: the sexy travel series “Bikini Destinations,” which follows bikini models as they sail around the world, and “HDNet World Report Special: Shuttle Discovery's Historic Mission,” the network's exclusive high-definition coverage of the space shuttle Discovery's 2005 launch.

No specific release dates were given. The HDNet programs carry a suggested list price of $26.98, while the three features are $29.98.

Since HD DVD launched April 18, just six titles have come to market. Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Serenity and Warner Home Video's The Last Samurai and Phantom of the Opera were available at launch, while Warner's Million Dollar Baby arrived a few days later, and Universal's Apollo 13 and Doom came April 25.

Scheduled to arrive in stores Tuesday, May 2, are Goodfellas and Swordfish from Warner.

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