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Uni, Image Go UMD

16 May, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Scene from Assault on Precinct 13

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has confirmed it will be the fourth major studio to release movies for Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP).

Uni's first slate of six titles on the Universal Media Disc (UMD), due July 26 at $29.98 each, are Assault on Precinct 13, The Rundown, Van Helsing, Dawn of the Dead - Unrated Director's Cut, The Chronicles of Riddick - Unrated Director's Cut and The Fast and the Furious.

Universal president Craig Kornblau said the PSP offers consumers “an exciting opportunity to expand their entertainment experience beyond the living room.”

Like three other big studios that have thrown their support behind the PSP as an alternative movie-watching device — Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment — Universal is targeting “young male consumers who are the early adopters of this multimedia device,” Kornblau said. Universal will announce more UMD titles in the coming weeks, he added.

Also taking the leap into UMD is Image Entertainment. The initial rollout June 28 will consist of more than a dozen $24.98 titles. Among them: The Hillz, with Paris Hilton; classic surf film Endless Summer; Imax film Magic of Flight; I Might Need Security, with Jamie Foxx; rap documentary Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel; and others.

David Borshell, COO of Image, said he would have jumped in earlier but wanted to wait until it was confirmed that authoring house Deluxe and Sony's disc replication arm would be on track to get the final product out. Image intends to release four to six UMD titles per month.

Additional reporting by Jessica Wolf.

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