Blu-ray &Entertainment Wes Novack on 26 Jan 2007

Universal Studios breaks HD DVD silence

UniversalLogoEveryone at the 2007 Consumers Electronics Show was wondering what happened to the exclusive HD DVD movie title announcements? During the show, the HD DVD camps’ only exclusive movie studio supporter (Universal Studios) kept suspiciously silent about its’ HD DVD movie release plans for 2007. There was much speculation on why Universal was keeping silent and many HD DVD supporters even feared that Universal might discontinue its’ HD DVD exclusivity. Of course this also made Blu-ray supporters happy, with many declaring that this was the end of HD DVD. Well now Universal has struck back with full force, announcing over 100 HD DVD movie title releases for 2007. Here is the full press release:

LOS ANGELES (January 25, 2007) — Bringing further heat to the burgeoning HD DVD format, Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE) will release more than 100 new film and television titles in 2007. Perennial favorites such Scarface and instant classics like 40-Year-Old Virgin, Battlestar Galactica S1 and Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain will be joined by dozens of new titles released day and date with the DVD.

Since the format’s inception in April 2006, USHE has released 60 titles on HD DVD, and currently boasts four of the top 10 best-selling HD DVDs year-to-date, including Casino, Serenity, Fearless and Miami Vice.

Tapping into the studio’s vast library, the 2007 slate kicked off on January 18th with the release of The Mummy Returns, followed by Brokeback Mountain starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal on January 23, 2007. Following shortly thereafter will be such day-and-date new releases as Golden Globe-nominee Hollywoodland on February 6. More than 90 percent of the planned 2007 Universal titles will be released as combo discs — which feature an HD DVD version and a standard DVD version of the movie on the same disc.

“With more than two million HD DVD players expected in the market in North America by the end of 2007, Universal Studios Home Entertainment is committed to expanding its portfolio of compelling HD DVD content and further igniting consumer demand,” said Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. “By releasing most of our titles as combo discs we effectively satisfy consumers’ multi-viewing habits, providing them with the most cost-effective option to watch their favorite films in either their DVD or HD DVD players.”

Among the additional new titles to be released in 2007 are the Oscar-nominated Children of Men, the critically acclaimed epic drama The Good Shepherd, and the high-octane Smokin’ Aces. Also on deck for release this year are such highly-anticipated catalog favorites as Bruce Almighty, The Bourne Identity, Meet The Fockers, American Pie, Inside Man, Pride & Prejudice, The Big Lebowski, Liar Liar, Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Brazil, Erin Brockovich, Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Slap Shot and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

About HD DVD

HD DVD is the only next generation, post-DVD standard for high capacity, high definition optical discs, approved and supported by the DVD Forum. The DVD Forum develops and defines DVD formats. Its more than 200 strong membership brings together leaders in movies and entertainment, computing, consumer electronics and software. HD DVD is fast becoming the primary visual medium for the age of high-definition TV. The North American HD DVD Promotional Group, Inc. is an organization established to promote the HD DVD format and educate consumers in North America. For more information and a complete listing of HD DVD launch titles please visit http://www.TheLookAndSoundOfPerfect.com.

About Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Universal Studios Home Entertainment is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is a part of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% owned by Vivendi.

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