FOX PRESS RELEASE: FIRST BLU-RAY TITLES

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Michael Osadciw, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    Hi Guys

    Very, very exciting! I know most of us know about all this already, but I thought you'd all like to read the official press release with all of the juicy details:


    TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT

    ANNOUNCES ITS FIRST BLU-RAY DISC RELEASES

    Available Worldwide In November, Initial Slate Targets The Early Adopter

    - ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN Is First Day-and-Date Release on Blu-ray and DVD

    - in North America, Australia and Europe -


    IFA Berlin, Germany/Los Angeles, CA (September 5, 2006) – Continuing its unwavering and exclusive support for the Blu-ray Disc format, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment President Worldwide Mike Dunn announced today the Studio’s first wave of highly-anticipated motion pictures to debut on Blu-ray Disc (BD), which is the only high-definition packaged media platform broadly supported by the film, music, gaming, computing and consumer electronics industries. Representing more than $2 billion in box office and 90 million DVD units sold worldwide, the studio’s first eight BD releases are right on target with the BD early adopter and Playstation 3 purchaser. Taking full advantage of the next generation format’s high definition technology and advanced Java-based functionality, titles will be presented with the highest quality audiovisual elements including AVC (MPEG4 Compression) and HD “Lossless” Audio (select tracks) and many have unique interactive special features.

    Fox’s stellar, action-packed line-up of initial BD releases includes: BEHIND ENEMY LINES, FANTASTIC FOUR, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (Director’s Cut), KISS OF THE DRAGON, THE OMEN, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, SPEED and THE TRANSPORTER. This first wave of BD titles will arrive at retail outlets worldwide in November. Japan launches November 10 and product hits North American (SRP US$39.98/CAN$49.98), Australian and European stores on November 14.


    “Blu-ray is the superior high definition format and come this holiday season it will be evident that it is really the only choice for consumers who want to enjoy pre-recorded high-definition content at home. It’ll be that simple,” noted Dunn. “It fully delivers on the promise of a next generation format and Blu-ray represents the bright future of the $50 billion global home entertainment industry and the inevitable successor to the incredibly popular DVD.”


    Added Dunn, “For our consumers, this first wave of titles from Fox and the incredible special features on them is an early glimpse of what they can expect from us as we assume a leadership position in the high-definition packaged media market.”


    Of Fox’s Blu-ray announcement, three-time Academy Award nominated Director Ridley Scott commented, “I reviewed my Director's Cut of KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, which is 3 hrs and 8 minutes thereabouts, on Blu-ray Disc and I was astounded. It was like looking through a window of clarity. It was the most impressive thing I've ever seen.”


    The Studio’s first day-and-date release with DVD is the concurrent BD release of ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN (known as ICE AGE 2 Internationally) on November 21 in North America and the week of November 13 in Australia and select European territories. This inaugural day-and-date release will benefit from the comprehensive, multi-million dollar marketing campaigns already in place for ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN, which will tout the availability of the title on both DVD and BD.


    The BD release of ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN, the global $645 million box office behemoth and sequel to one of Fox’s best-selling DVDs ever, is authored in HDMV and presented with DTS HD Lossless Master Audio and explodes with all-audience friendly HD bonus materials. Chief among the added features is the never-before-seen CGI short “No Time For Nuts” – created exclusively for the DVD and BD releases -featuring more antics by the nut-obsessed breakout character “Scrat,” voiced by ICE AGE director Chris Wedge. The disc also includes a Director’s commentary, “Crash and Eddie” Stunts – three CGI short shorts, The Animation Director’s Chair, Lost Historical Films on the Ice Age Period, “Scrat’s Piranha Smackdown” Sound Effects Lab, “Crash And Eddie” Blooper, and much more.

    Fox’s commitment to emerging technologies is dedicated to enhancing the consumer experience of its products and providing for backward compatibility with their existing home entertainment libraries while also aggressively protecting its intellectual property from piracy. The Blu-ray companies fully embrace the Studio’s steadfast commitment to the fight against piracy and the preservation of the integrity of its properties. Twentieth Century Fox is a member of the Board of Directors of the Blu- ray Disc Association.


    Titles and disc configurations are detailed below:

    BEHIND ENEMY LINES: Marked as one of the studio’s first three BD-J releases, BEHIND ENEMY LINES features DTS HD Lossless Master Audio and MPEG 4 compression. The disc also includes commentaries by Director John Moore, Editor Martin Smith, and Producers John Davis and Wyck Godfrey, as well as selectable HD trailers of upcoming BD releases.

    FANTASTIC FOUR: Presented with DTS HD Lossless Master Audio, the HDMV Blu-Ray Disc of FANTASTIC FOUR boasts commentaries by Ioan Gruffud, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis and Julian McMahon, and selectable HD trailers of upcoming BD releases.

    KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (Director’s Cut): To accommodate the full 3 hour and 9 minute run time of Ridley Scott’s Director’s cut version of his epic masterpiece, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is one of the industry’s first dual-layer BD releases and is authored in HDMV presented with DTS HD Lossless Master Audio.

    KISS OF THE DRAGON: Authored in HDMV with DTS HD Lossless Master Audio, KISS OF THE DRAGON includes commentaries by Chris Nash, Bridget Fonda, and Jet Li, as well as selectable HD trailers of upcoming BD releases.

    THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: One of the industry’s most advanced BD releases, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN is authored in BD-J with DTS HD Lossless Master Audio and AVC (MPEG 4 compression) and includes commentaries by the cast and crew, a unique search index which allows the viewer to sort scenes from the movie into 72 categories ranging from actor (e.g., Shane West, Sean Connery) to character (e.g., Allan Quarterman, Agent Tom Sawyer) to locations (e.g., Paris, Venice), among others. Additional features include an interactive first person shooter game boasting 12 unique play modes, up to 99 bookmarks, an animated pop-up trivia track, and HD trailers of upcoming BD releases.

    THE OMEN (666): Authored in HDMV with DTS HD Lossless Master Audio, THE OMEN (666) includes commentary by John Moore, Glenn Williamson and Dan Zimmerman, two featurettes and two extended scenes plus a BD-exclusive animated pop-up trivia track entitled “The Devil’s Footnotes,” which explores the history of the triple sixes (666).

    SPEED: This BD-J release boasts DTS HD Lossless Master Audio and MPEG 4 compression. Special features include commentary tracks and commentary chapter selections by Jan De Bont, Graham Yost, and Mark Gordon, as well as an animated pop-up trivia track, up to 99 bookmarks, a 56-category search index (see description on THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN) and a java game entitled, Speed: Take Down, touting six game play modes. The title also includes HD trailers for upcoming BD releases.

    THE TRANSPORTER: Authored in HDMV and presented with DTS HD Lossless Master Audio, THE TRANSPORTER Blu-Ray Disc features commentaries by Actor Jason Statham and Producer Steven Chasman, in addition to host of selectable HD trailers of upcoming BD releases.
     
  2. Mike_G

    Mike_G Screenwriter

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    Speed is the only one I'm interested in. I used to own a 35mm print of it.
     
  3. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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    This seems remarkably similar to the statement that DIVX (Circuit City) originally made, when they tried to force their format down the consumers throat.[​IMG] The DVD community took offence with that kind of statement and the early adopters ran the effective extermination campaign.

    "REALLY THE ONLY CHOICE"? NOT!

    Get real FOX! What do you have to gain by alienating early adopters?

    Guess they haven't learned from the successful example of WARNER, from the DVD days!

    Paul
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    What I find most interesting is that there seems to be little need so far for storage above 25GB. It would appear that most movies can make in 25GB, with room enough to spare for a slew of extras—and also have enough room for a lossless audio track.

    If it takes a 3-hour, non-theatrical version to require a dual layer disk, I wonder how many we will see in the future?

    In any case, PR hype aside it will be interesting to see the finished product. If Fox can get great audio and video for these titles in 25GB, the future is very bright indeed.
     
  5. Brian Kaz

    Brian Kaz Second Unit

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    The relevent term here is "so far". Though I think BD50 will mostly come in handy once TV on HD kicks into gear. If I were a studio, I know I'd be grateful to have that extra room.
     
  6. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Well, thank goodness they're using a BD50 for Kingdom of Heaven! Though, it may have looked even better with Blu-Ray's higher peak bitrates if fully optimized VC-1 or H.264 HP had been used, especially if they expect to cram extras on the same disc! Though, if Ridley Scott got to see a fully produced, consumer-grade Blu-Ray version of his film and was really impressed, then hopefully Fox did a superior job with MPEG-2.

    One press release stated they'll be 24 bit DTS Master Audio lossless tracks. One of the first studios to not dumb down their master soundtracks??

    Dan
     
  7. Bradley-E

    Bradley-E Screenwriter

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    I wish Fox was at least embracing both HD Formats. Sony makes crappy films so I have no problem with them exclusive to Bluray, but Fox has a good catalogue of titles. Time will tell if they support HD DVD. In the meantime I'll have to stick with standard DVD releases from them.
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    As much as I love the studio, they really didn't put out anything
    worthwhile here. I'm surprised that Fox wouldn't come out with a
    better selection of titles in order to woo people to the Blu-Ray format.
     
  9. Bradley-E

    Bradley-E Screenwriter

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    I have to agree. But there are classic and recent titles I would love to have on HD DVD. I'm still confident I made the right decision supporting HD DVD. Luckily I Subscribe to HBO and Cinemax on HD. They show the films OAR and at least I get a glimpse of what they woul look like.
     
  10. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    I think these titles are respectable for a first wave from the studio. They are all well-known titles and have a market...I don't believe they will give out their biggest blockbusters yet, but I am very interested to see what is lined up for a 2,3,4th wave...I think Fox will surprise us with some good ones before Christmas.

    Mike
     
  11. Jeff(R)

    Jeff(R) Second Unit

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  12. Jonathan

    Jonathan Second Unit

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    Speed would look so much better in a red case instead of the ugly blue case. [​IMG]
     
  13. Conrad_SSS

    Conrad_SSS Second Unit

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    The list reads like it was put together by a 14 year old fan-boy. I don't care about ANY of those films.

    Mr. Dunn's comments reveal he doesn't know very much about his customer base, no less early adopters.

    By the time Fox start to release decent titles in Hi-Def, they will likely have come to see the light and embraced HD-DVD, whether Blu-Ray dies or not......
     
  14. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    Nice thread crap, Conrad. We can't all have stuff like "Doom" I guess.

    These are pretty decent titles for me. I'll be picking up FF, Speed, Ice Age 2, Behind Enemy Lines, and maybe Transporter.
     
  15. ppltd

    ppltd Producer

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    I must admit that I am not to impressed with either camps initial releases, but not bothered by it either. Between myself and a close friend, we have both camps covered.

    I went over to his house yesterday and was pleased to see that his newer BR releases looked as good as my HD releases. I hope this change in mastering holds true and we can at least eliminate the "Who's got the best picture" discussions. All in all, either choice you make, you should be in for a long and enjoyable ride.[​IMG]

    Thomas Eisenmann
     
  16. Glen C

    Glen C Stunt Coordinator

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    IMHO those are lame titles for a launch.

    it looks like the OP is a Fox viral marketer too judging by posts i just read in the BD owners forum. what gives?
     
  17. dkny75

    dkny75 Stunt Coordinator

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    I wonder why the only cover missing is Kingdom of Heaven? Anyone have a link to that cover. That's the one that I'd want from that list.
     
  18. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I've already pre-ordered FANTASTIC FOUR, LEAGUE and THE OMEN from Amazon. I'm looking forward to seeing how Fox handles their High Def transfers. I'll eventually get around to buying SPEED as well.


    I watched STARGATE the other day, and while it's still not *quite* there yet, the quality is getting closer to HD DVD.
     
  19. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    So the HD DVD version of Stargate looks better than the BD version? [​IMG]
     
  20. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    The BD of STARGATE has some digital noise in darker scenes. I believe that using VC-1 on either HD DVD or BD would have provided a cleaner picture in some of these scenes, as opposed to MPEG2. Overall, it was still a very nice looking disc.

    But I think you know what I meant. [​IMG]
     

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