BREAKING NEWS: Warner Archive Collection Announces First Blu-Ray Releases

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 15, 2012.

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  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Warner Archive Collection Adds Blu-ray to its Growing Catalog



    WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION ANNOUNCES

    FIRST BLU-RAY RELEASES



    Deathtrap and Gypsy

    Will be Followed by More Releases in 2013


    Burbank, Calif., November 15, 2012 -- The Warner Archive Collection (WAC) – the Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD) division dedicated to releasing on DVD previously unavailable films and television shows – today announced the launch of its first Blu-ray™ titles. The two titles, Deathtrap and Gypsy, will debut on November 20. Beginning in February 2013, WAC expects to release a minimum of one to two Blu-ray titles per month. Future titles include The Hudsucker Proxy and Fearless.

    WAC reports that the Blu-ray discs will be replicated in limited quantities and fulfilled on demand. All releases will leverage high quality 1080p masters. In many instances, as with Deathtrap, the films will be available for the first time for home viewing in their original widescreen format.

    Starting as a modest initiative, WAC has quickly grown to become a new business model for the studio and a recognized industry leader. Since launching in March 2009, WAC has released more than 1,500 films, short subjects, TV movies and mini-series that otherwise would not have been available, providing a valuable service to film lovers everywhere.

    Now, WAC’s entry into the Blu-ray market is the latest example of its fast growth and increasing popularity with consumers who have embraced the technology as the standard for the highest quality home movie viewing on disc. This year, domestic sales of catalog titles on Blu-ray grew 22% in the third quarter from a year earlier. In fact, Blu-ray sales have shown impressive gains every quarter in 2012, continuing the trend set in 2011 over 2010 when sales were up 20%.[1]

    In making the Blu-ray announcement, WBDD President Thomas Gewecke said, “This is an important innovation that fulfills consumer demand for high definition releases that otherwise would not be available in physical formats. We’re excited to have the opportunity to further expand the Warner Archive Collection into the Blu-ray marketplace with an impressive slate of releases.”

    Warner Archive Collection titles can be purchased through their web site (www.warnerarchive.com) for $21.99 SRP or through other leading online retailers.



    More about the Films

    Deathtrap
    Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve co-star in the wickedly funny “who’ll-do-it?” adapted from the Broadway smash penned by suspense master Ira Levin by famed director Sidney Lumet. Also stars Dyan Cannon.

    Gypsy
    This musical version drawn from the life of famed stripper Gypsy Rose Lee tells the bittersweet tale of an aggressive stage mother (Rosalind Russell) and the effects of her devotion to her two young daughters (Natalie Wood and Ann Jillian). Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim provide the show-stopping music and lyrics. Also stars Karl Malden.

    The Hudsucker Proxy
    Tim Robbins and Paul Newman star in this biting business satire from the Coen brothers . Standing the Horatio Alger myth on its head, Robbins play the naïf with an idea (“You know…for the kids!”) that sails up from mailroom to boardroom, all under the Machiavellian hand of board member Sidney J. Mussburger (Newman). Also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bruce Campbell, from a script by the Coen brothers and Sam Raimi.

    Fearless
    Peter Weir (Master and Commander) directs an unforgettable Jeff Bridges in this tour-de-force film focusing on transcendence in the face of our greatest fears. Following a horrific plane crash, two survivors (Bridges and Rosie Perez) help each other search for meaning, while the spouse (Isabella Rossellini) of one searches for signs of the man she married in the man that emerged from the wreck. Also stars Tom Hulce and John Turturro.


    With operations in 90 international territories, Warner Home Video, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Warner Home Video’s film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Home Video and New Line Home Entertainment.
     
  2. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Great price point. I'll definitely be up for that (at least initially, and for titles I'm anxious to get in better quality).
    Dare I dream now that I may actually see The Wind on Bd?
    I still enjoy the sales to pick up a bunch of deep catalog titles I never would have seen or known about otherwise since I don't have cable. But for those titles I already know and love, I would definitely be inclined to kick in a little extra to score the Bd right off the bat.
    If I'm reading the release correctly, it sounds like the strategy is similar to their multi disc archive sets now, that are initially released pressed until quantities run out.
    This could get really interesting, real quick.
     
  3. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I could not be more surprised or delighted. I'll certainly be buying both of their premiere releases, both films that I've been longing to see on Blu-ray since the beginning of the format.
    Thank you, Warners!
     
  4. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Couldn't sleep, so nice to have something happen at 3:30am Pacific....

    Great price point, IMO. Happily surprised that the first titles are just a few days away. As soon as The Hudsucker Proxy is available I'll order it and Deathtrap.

    1-2 titles a month is 12-24 titles a year, which is phenomenal, IMO.

    "Blu-ray discs will be replicated in limited quantities and fulfilled on demand" reads to me as though they'll simply order a new batch of replicated discs if they sell out, which I'm sure would please WB to no end.

    Now let the rampant comsumer speculation begin, LOL

    EDIT: Also, now that I think about it for a bit, this is basically Warner doing their own Twilight Time style releases with their smaller catalog titles without actually handing the titles over to another label. And they don't have to cap the releases at 3000 if they happen to sell that many.
     
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    This is terrific news. Once again Warner leads the pack in being
    innovative and offering a means for collectors to get their hands
    on hi-def copies of "deep catalog" releases.

    This news came as a real surprise even to us. We have been
    bugging the studio about bringing the Archive Collection to Blu-ray
    and I must say, they did an admirable job of keeping a straight
    face and not letting on that this was about to happen.
     
  6. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    It gives a lot of hope that current Archive DVD titles like The Time Machine, Victor/Victoria, or The Unsinkable Molly Brown now have a legitimate shot at getting a high definition release.
    I really couldn't be happier.
     
  7. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    +1
    This is a very nice group of quality titles. And knowing WB the PQ will be strong too.
    The HD master of Gypsy is up at amazon prime streaming (which is, of course, lower rez than a blu-ray) and it looks good to my eyes. This is an interesting, lavish, and unusual musical from another era. Great cast.
    Saw Hudsucker only once long ago, but was intrigued by it and liked it. Another great cast.
    Fearless is a fine film by the amazing Peter Weir. This is one of the best performances Jeff Bridges ever gave imho.
    Deathtrap is a funny film with quite a few twists and turns to say the least.
     
  8. MLamarre

    MLamarre Second Unit

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    This is very exciting news.
    Hopefully Sidney Lumet's Power and Running on Empty follow, because like Deathtrap, they have never been released in OAR on DVD.
     
  9. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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    Interesting!


    Wow, replicated BDs? So then they are not BD-Rs? That would be fantastic!
     
  10. Todd J Moore

    Todd J Moore Supporting Actor

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    Dare we hope that this allows 3D Blu Rays of lesser known classics like Second Chance?
     
  11. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    That is certainly a pleasant surprise.
     
  12. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    Very cool! And the price point is great.
    I wonder if we'll finally see RAINTREE COUNTY?
     
  13. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    *FINALLY!* been harping WB about this for years. hopefully lossless is included as well. i know it's not remastered, but neither is the video, might as well get as much as we can out of audio.
    now if only WB will re-release many of the first wave BD titles without lossless audio =)
     
  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    With that said, I knew it was just a matter of time because I believed the business case was too attractive for Warner not to do it. Yesterday, I almost stated so in that other thread calling for Warner to use outfits like TT and Olive to release lesser known titles on BD for Warner.





    Crawdaddy
     
  15. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Neither has The Witches which I'd also like to see as part of this program.
     
  16. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Great list!
    But I think a science fiction classic like The Time Machine would be more likely for a regular release. Sci fi releases tend to sell quite well, I think, and have more of a mass market appeal.
     
  17. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Bring on So Fine!
    Don't get your hopes up regarding lossless audio. The DVD Archive releases are pretty bare-bones.
     
  18. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    This is some great news to wake up to. Good titles to kick off with, too.
     
  19. Worth

    Worth Screenwriter

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    Not such great news for those of us outside the U.S. I hope they'll at least make these available on Amazon.
     
  20. alistairKerr

    alistairKerr Stunt Coordinator

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    Good news for film-lovers living in the USA, as you say - not "providing a valuable service to film lovers everywhere" as the press release says. We still can't get WA titles here in the UK direct from Warner Archive!
     

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