New Line Cinema now in the high def mix
New Line Cinema is the last remaining “major” Hollywood studios that is yet to dip into the high definition optical formats.
New Line is actually a subsidiary of Time Warner, who also owns Warner Brothers, the studio with the largest market share of the high definition home video market. Warner Brothers has often boasted that their #1 high-def home video rank is due to their support for both Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD. With this Warner Brothers highly successful dual format strategy, it has been expected that New Line Cinema would adopt a similar approach for high definition home video.
Well folks, the details are now in. New Line Cinema has officially announced that they will be supporting both the HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats. Their high definition debut will occur with the release of “Hairspray”. Hairspray is slated for a Blu-ray Disc release on November 20th.
But what about HD DVD?
The story does not end there. Notice that only a Blu-ray Disc release is slated for November 20th. Where is the HD DVD schedule? That is where New Line is making it complicated. The studio has announced that the HD DVD version of Hairspray will be released “sometime in 2008”. Why? New Line cites region coding concerns and distribution complications for the HD DVD delay.
Since their initial announcement of Hairspray on Blu-ray, New Line has also revealed that “Rush Hour 3” will be hitting the streets on Blu-ray this holiday season, December 26th. The HD DVD version? Sometime in early 2008.
The studios’ release strategy effectively gives the Blu-ray format “timed exclusives” for New Line Cinema titles. Will this also apply to the New Line back catalog, such as the highly anticipated Lord of the Rings Trilogy in HD? No one knows for sure as of yet, but there will sure be a lot of angry HD DVD consumers out there if New Line upholds this same delay for their catalog titles. If you want to read more about New Line, check out this post on HighDefDigest.