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Treasured Films Heading to Blu-ray

15 May, 2007 By: Stephanie Prange

'Pirates' producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Buena Vista Home Entertainment president Bob Chapek

Buena Vista Home Entertainment hosted a Blu-ray soiree for the May 22 high-definition format release of the first two “Pirates” movies, timed with the theatrical bow of the third.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer dropped by the Hollywood party to show support for the Blu-ray Disc releases of the first and second films, adding that the third will be the kind of picture Blu-ray and DVD viewers will want to watch again and again. Viewing the three films on disc also allows fans to “see the arc” of the beloved characters in the series, he said.

Bruckheimer has thrown his support behind the format in the past, appearing at the Consumer Electronics Show, where he called Blu-ray “a theater experience.”

“The experience is beyond high definition,” said Buena Vista Home Entertainment president Bob Chapek, at last night's event, pointing out that the “Pirates” releases will give a big boost to the format.

“Everybody wants ‘Pirates,’ he said.

An ice bar greeted guests as they entered the Highlands bar, which Chapek called a “tease” for the upcoming Blu-ray release of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, on which the studio has begun Blu-ray production.

“The wind is truly at our backs [on Blu-ray],” Chapek said, noting that the format has surged since the beginning of the year, selling between 2-to-1 and 3-to-1 against competing format HD DVD.

Many executives from other Blu-ray supporting studios appeared at the event as well. Demonstrations used Sony's PlayStation 3 as a Blu-ray player.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl will feature an innovative extra in which viewers can create their own documentary. Dead Man's Chest will feature a dice game.

Star Lee Arenberg said he shot nearly 40 pages of dialog for 16 hours with a teleprompter to create footage for the game.

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