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Universal's Kornblau Honored as DVD Visionary

1 Jun, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Universal Studios Home Entertainment president Craig Kornblau, receives the 2006 DVD visionary award.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment president Craig Kornblau received the 2006 DVD Visionary Award for his contributions to the home entertainment industry Wednesday at the fifth annual Home Entertainment Summit: DVD's Nine Lives.

The summit, which took place at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, Calif., was produced by Home Media Retailing magazine in cooperation with The Hollywood Reporter and DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Producer and Original Film founder Neal H. Moritz (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Click, “Prison Break”) took the podium to present the fourth annual DVD Visionary Award to Kornblau for his role as an industry leader in the area of home entertainment technology and for his innovations in DVD marketing and distribution.

A pioneer in adopting emerging home entertainment technologies, Universal under Craig's leadership recently broke new ground by making triple-Oscar winner Brokeback Mountain available for purchase online via download day-and-date with its DVD release. Demonstrating its commitment to the HD DVD format, Universal has already released 10 titles in the next generation high-def format and plans to release more in the coming months.

In his acceptance speech, Kornblau addressed the recent wave of negative media reports regarding the state of the DVD business, observing that “the ability to be entertained in our homes and to own our favorite movies and television shows has become a standard part of American culture,” and noting that consumers are still spending more on DVDs than almost any other form of entertainment.

Nonetheless, Kornblau went on to say, the industry cannot afford to rest on its laurels. “As we have learned from the past, for our industry to continue to thrive and prosper, we must continually push ourselves to find better ways to serve our consumers. That means aggressively developing and adopting new technologies that can deliver the best, most compelling and most convenient home entertainment experience possible.”

Under Kornblau's direction, the studio developed its elegant “Legacy” line for classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird and The Deer Hunter. More recently, Universal developed the DVD Originals strategy, launching such made-for-DVD titles American Pie Presents: Band Camp, Carlito's Way: Rise to Power and the forthcoming Bring It On: All or Nothing. Universal also has gained recognition for its strategy of issuing special editions of franchise titles such as The Fast and the Furious and The Bourne Identity timed to both promote and be promoted by their sequels' theatrical releases.

The Home Entertainment Summit attracted more than 300 top studio executives, producers, retailers and members of the media. Highlights included a next-generation Super Session in which industry experts weighed in on HD DVD, Blu-ray Disc and digital downloading, and a presidents panel that featured most of the major studios' home entertainment division presidents.

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