Remove ads with our VIP Service
- Blades of Glory 
- Cars 
- Casino Royale 
- The Departed 
- Mission: Impossible 
- Mission: Impossible 2 
- Mission: Impossible III 
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest 
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End 
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 
- Ratatouille 
- Shrek 
- Shrek 2 
- Shrek the Third 
- Transformers 
Add Your Comments
- A Product That Redefines a Backyard Home Theater Project [1/29]
- Blu-ray Review: Dolphin Tale [1/13]
- Blu-ray Review: Planet Earth Special Edition [10/28]
- Netflix Realizes After 3 Weeks What Every Customer Knew Right Away - Qwikster Was a Bad Idea [10/10]
- Amazon Shakes Up the Tablet Market with New 7-inch "Fire" and Releases New Kindles Too [9/28]
- Netflix Splits In Two, Sending Streaming and Discs to Separate Corners [9/22]
- Blu-ray Review: Hall Pass - Enlarged Edition [7/1]
- Miramax Bringing Movie Library to Hulu [6/2]
- Blockbuster Closing 186 More Stores This Week [3/28]
- Orville Redenbacher Introduces New Microwave Popcorn Bag That Turns Into a Bowl [3/18]
Home theater enthusiast sites are buzzing today on the news that movie studios Paramount and Dreamworks Animation have announced that they are dropping support for the Blu-ray high definition disc format and will only release their movies on the rival HD DVD format.
If you've been following the topic even lightly, you are probably aware that not all studios were supporting both formats. In fact, only two studios were supporting both, and that was Warner Home Video and Paramount. This meant that fans of movies like "The Departed" and the "Mission: Impossible" movies could enjoy them on whichever HD player they decided to purchase. This approach is good for fans, and I think that every studio should be completely format neutral.
Not every studio is neutral, however. Sony has a big stake in the Blu-ray format, so there's no surprise that their movies ("Casino Royale" for example) would be available on that format only. Disney and Fox have also been vocal Blu-ray only studios, although until recently Disney wasn't releasing or announcing any major releases (that changed when they released the "Pirates of the Carribean" movies and they have set some hard dates for "Cars" and "Ratatouille" -- although Cars has been delayed once before) and Fox has been a Blu-ray supporter mostly in press releases only.
On the HD DVD side of things, Universal was the sole exclusive movie studio. All eyes seemed to be on them. Will they go neutral? Will they flip? Oh, the drama!
Well, now the HD DVD side of the format war just got a few big reinforcements. The "Shrek" movies have been good to Dreamworks Animation with "Shrek the Third" pulling in $732 million worldwide, and "Transformers" was no slouch this summer either (worldwide box office of $657 million and counting). The Will Ferrell/John Heder comedy "Blades of Glory" was due to come out on both formats next Tuesday, but Paramount has now pulled the Blu-ray release.
This news definitely changes the field of battle, and victory by either side is nowhere near certain. Combine this with the fact that HD DVD players can be had for as little as $240 (or $180 if you already have an Xbox 360), while the least expensive Blu-ray player is still about $480, and you have a compelling reason for why it's much too premature for the Blu-ray group to be announcing victory on a monthly basis.
That's why I think that the only victory will come in neutrality.
Today's decision may provide a shift of enough significance to convince many in this war that there will be no clear winner. The only way to win is to serve the customer, who has been stuck in the middle while the studios and hardware manufacturers lob shells at each other from each side.
That's the only scenario that has no outright losers. Manufacturers win because they can sell players that will play all the movies being released. Consumers win because they don't have to worry about not being able to play HD movies on they player they decide to spend their money on. Studios win because they can sell to consumers no matter which format they have.
Sure, studios have to pay more money for producing two formats instead of one. Considering the incredibly low volumes of HD media sales right now, that's not a big hit to the bottom line in the big picture. I just don't think that it's that big a factor right now. In the future, yes, the production costs are going to matter when they're moving units approaching what we're seeing with DVD sales. But that day is a long way off and there's plenty of sales to make in the meantime.
Neutrality only works, however, when the cease fire is honored by everyone involved. All studios need to be neutral, even Sony, but it could probably work if there was a single holdout, because their non-participation would be so incredibly obvious that they would be shamed into it anyway.
So, while I don't like the idea of studios being exclusive to either side, I'm hoping that today's news brings both sides to the table with the final result being their movies released on both formats so it doesn't matter that I have an HD DVD player or that someone else has a Blu-ray player. We both love movies in high definition, and it's in the best interest of all involved to make us, the paying consumers, happy!
Add Your Comments
No comments found. Be the first and let us know what you think!
Add Your Comments
|Commenting on Journal Articles is available only to our readers who have customized this site, which makes it easier for you to complete the form and for us to contact you with any questions or concerns about your comments.|
Please login or register a new account before continuing.
Log in to retrieve your saved settings.
Forget Your Passcode?Send My Passcode To Me
Not Registered? Create a New Account!
Our registered members enjoy more features, including:
- Save Your ZIP Code -- the site remembers your ZIP code, no having to re-enter it each time you visit
- Favorite Theaters List -- keep a handy list of the theaters you attend
- Favorite Movies List - movies you want to see, all in one place
- Write Movie Reviews -- share your opinions of the movies you see
- Block Ads with VIP Service -- view this site ad free (subscription req'd)
Basic accounts are free -- sign up today!
Concerned About Privacy?
Journal/Blog - The Marquee - Movie Links - News and Events - Now Showing - Reader Reviews
Customize - VIP Service
|The BigScreen Cinema Guide is a service of SVJ Designs LLC. All graphics, layout, and structure of this service (unless otherwise specified) are Copyright © 1995-2014, SVJ Designs. The BigScreen Cinema Guide is a trademark of SVJ Designs. All rights reserved.
'ACADEMY AWARDS®' and 'OSCAR®' are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.