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Are the studios trying to kill Blu-Ray?

September 6, 2013 at 7:20 pm by Demosthenes  - 

AUJ-EE-blu-ray As the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Extended Edition format approaches, Empire Magazine examines whether studios are giving the format their full support. Perhaps what’s on offer in the AUJ EE works as a counter-example against Empire’s critique? Tell us your thoughts!

Thanks to Ringer Rud the Spud for the link.

The standard-issue Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray comes with a mere seven featurettes in the US. But there’s much more content out there! Buy the movie from iTunes and you get the director’s commentary; buy it from BestBuy (or Sainsburys, in the UK) and you get another selection of exclusive extras; buy it from Target and you get a few more.

If you’re a US completist, in other words, you’re going to need quite a few copies. Here in the UK, it appears that we get six featurettes, and if you want the commentary there’s a code for you to download it free from iTunes. People are riled, and on some level one has to wonder: are the studios intentionally throwing Blu-ray under a bus? Have they given up on the format?

This isn’t the first time this has happened with a major release. Avengers had extra bells and whistles at Bestbuy and Walmart, but those were slightly less essential extras than a commentary (the fact that the UK’s still waiting for Whedon’s commentary on that title is another disgrace).

If you’re a film fan and could only choose one feature, chances are it would be the commentary, so this drive to make that a hard-to-get rarity is – frankly – a terrible one. In a very good recent article on the movie Clue, director Jonathan Lynn mentions that he offered to record a commentary for its Blu-ray release and was turned down by the studio.

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Posted in Blu-Ray, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, MGM, New Line Cinema, Studios, The Hobbit, Warner Bros. on September 6, 2013 by