I was just saying in yesterday’s post that there’s still some sense in buying certain movies on HD DVD since Universal’s Blu-ray plans for this year are largely about releasing new movies, and just barely getting caught up on the titles that came out on HD DVD, while Paramount had not even said how they and Dreamworks would be going back to Blu. Well, we have to wonder no more about Par’s plans.
On Tuesday, Paramount announced a strategy similar to Universal’s about Blu-ray releases for the year. It consists mainly of putting out new titles “day and date” (meaning they come out the same time as) with their DVD versions, and then getting caught up on catalog titles a little more slowly. They’ll kick off their re-entry to Blu-ray a few weeks from now on May 20 with Bee Movie, Face/Off and Next.
These will be followed up by recent movies such as Cloverfield and There Will Be Blood on June 3, and Spiderwick Chronicles on June 24, while August brings No Country for Old Men. Paramount did not disclose any further release plans for the rest of the year, but it’s a good bet that all of the significant new movies will come out a few months after their theatrical runs.
This means that Michael Bay and the many legions of his fans, as well as a few dozen Blu-ray owners, will apparently have to wait a little longer to see Transformers on Paramount’s Blu-ray release slate. Likewise, many Trekkies will have to wait and see when the first and second seasons of the original series discs come out in high-def.
For at least the next few months, and maybe some more after that, HD DVD is still the only way to enjoy certain movies from Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros. and many other studios, because their high-def disc strategy going forward prioritizes new movies over catching up on catalog titles. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to wait a year or longer for some of your HD DVD favorites to come out on Blu, most likely at full-price, or get them now at whatever discounts you can find.
UPDATE: It looks like some of the Blu-ray titles that had been taken off shelves when Paramount went HD DVD-exclusive last year will be returning to shelves on May 20, including Blades of Glory, Babel, Aeon Flux, The Warriors, and Black Snake Moan.