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Paramount Won't Replenish Blu-ray Titles

28 Aug, 2007 By: Chris Tribbey

If you want to own Mission: Impossible III or Dreamgirls or any other Paramount or DreamWorks title on Blu-ray Disc, you'd better buy it now.

But you'll still be able to rent them for the foreseeable future.

Paramount Home Entertainment has confirmed that “existing inventories” for the 29 Paramount and four DreamWorks titles already released on Blu-ray won't be replenished when they sell out at retail.

After initially supporting both high-definition formats, Paramount and DreamWorks Animation Aug. 20 announced exclusive support for Blu-ray's high-def competitor, HD DVD. The support does not extend to Steven Spielberg films, which are not exclusive to either format.

Paramount and DreamWorks Blu-ray titles are not being pulled from retail shelves. However certain titles that had been announced for Blu-ray release before the two studios pulled their support will not be available on the format, including Blades of Glory, Face/Off, Flashdance, the Jack Ryan Collection, Top Gun and Next. All, except Flashdance, are still available for preorder on HD DVD on Amazon.com.

Discontinued Paramount and DreamWorks titles account for just over 11% of all domestic Blu-ray releases, leaving 257 Blu-ray titles in active release as of Aug. 28, according to data from The DVD Release Report. There are 279 HD DVDs available to consumers, giving that format the edge in title count for the first time since Blu-ray began to dominate at the turn of the new year.

Representatives from both Netflix and Blockbuster said they would continue to carry Paramount and DreamWorks Blu-ray titles, at least for now.

“We would continue to carry existing titles that have been released by those studios,” said Blockbuster spokesman Randy Hargrove.

“If they were to withdraw that license from the marketplace for [the Blu-ray titles], then we wouldn't [make them available to customers],” said Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey.

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