Blu-ray Wes Novack on 16 Jul 2007

Delving into Universal Studios production strategies

Delving into Universal Studios production strategies
With the majority of big budget, blockbuster films coming from other major Hollywood studios, what type of strategy is Universal Studios playing on at the box office? This NY Times article explains just that by taking an inside look at the only major Hollywood studio that is exclusive to the HD DVD format.

The NY Times piece contains revealing interview questions with Ron Meyer, president of the Universal Studios Group. It also provides insight into Universal Studios movie production formula and their middle-of-the-road strategy, which helps the studio stay profitable.

Universal“Though profitable for the last nine years, Universal has been noticeably short on blockbusters to call its own.

That is largely by design. In a strategy that is starkly different from other top film studios, Mr. Meyer has determined that Universal should stay well behind the leaders, allowing the flashiest and most expensive projects — and typically the biggest payoffs — to go elsewhere.”


The article is a very interesting read and is actually a bit unsettling for HD DVD supporters. The enormously large productions, super special effects extravaganza films are mostly going to other Hollywood studios as Universal remains budget minded. This makes Universal look like the ‘weakest’ studio in some ways, but it also helps them to maintain profitability.

So how does all this factor into the high definition disc format battle? Specifically, this means that most new big budget films will either be exclusive to Blu-ray or released on both high def formats (Warner and Paramount are format neutral). With the lack of ‘powerhouse’ films exclusive to HD DVD, the chances of overtaking or matching Blu-ray adoption are looking bleak. But the battle is not yet over, if the HD DVD group can manage to win over consumers this holiday season, there is a possibility that one or more Blu-ray exclusive studios could go neutral, further boosting the format. But at the moment, that possibility is looking very far-fetched.

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