Despite the lagging economy, Blu-ray Disc hardware and software sales
have continued to thrive. At CES 2009, the Blu-ray Disc Association
reported that 30 million discs had been sold since format inception
(source: The Redhill Group). With more than 1,300 titles now
available, Adams Media Research is reporting that nearly 9 million
discs have been sold in the first quarter of 2009, nearly double from
Hardware sales are also on the rise. According to Adams Media
Research there are now 10.5 million Blu-ray households in the U.S., up
from the estimated 2.7 million reported by GfK in January 2008.
And the studios are offering an incredible array of BD-Live applications and features in 2009 with some amazing applications and special features. For example: Disney's High School Musical 3: Senior Year, released in February 2009, features a virtual yearbook for Disney BD-Live Network members only. Users can become a Wildcat by uploading their photos and profiles to the Disney BD-Live Network and integrate themselves into The East High School Yearbook. The yearbook photos will appear on the users television screen. And Sony's Step Brothers music video editor allows viewers to edit their own version of a music video then post it via BD-Live for other users to view and rate. 21 enables viewers to play 21's virtual Blackjack and enter a classroom for tips and tricks. Universal's BD-Live chat with Hellboy II: The Golden Army director Guillermo del Toro was a great success. More than four hundred questions were submitted during the two hour live event. As the result of the industry's first-ever BD-Live chat, Blu-ray sales for Hellboy II: The Golden Army exceeded industry expectations. Some other "must-have" BD-Live titles include:
- Sleeping Beauty - A "real time" virtual castle that magically changes based on the user's location, time of day and current weather forecast. In addition, users can also take a peek at the weather in
corresponding Disney Parks around the world. The castle's background will change based on the actual weather taking place at that point in time in that location (night, daytime, rain, snow, etc.).
- Tinker Bell - Tinker Trainer Game - players automatically accrue Movie Reward Points when they play the game. The game encourages players to collect contraption parts to build a music box that plays music once all parts are assembled! Additionally, via their BD-Live Network membership, that can be redeem accrued points for Tinker Bell
wallpapers and exclusive virtual jewelry their fairy can wear online! This title specifically connected people to a Tinker Bell fairies
virtual world developed by Disney Online.
- Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - Circle-Vision Interactive: Creating the Castle Raid - Walt Disney's famous Imagineers introduced the world to Circle-Vision in the 50's and 60's, which immersed Disneyland visitors in 360-degree film tours of America, and later, China and Canada.
- X-Files: I Want to Believe - "The Dakota Whitney Files" BD Live feature calls viewers to solve 4 different "X File" cases using clues from 9 message boards, 14 websites, 2 MySpace pages and multiple
"dossiers". Frank Spotnitz, Writer/Producer, of the film and TV series, was involved from concept to finish in order to create an authentic experience for the fans. Each case was rolled out one at a time in seven day intervals. Fans were encouraged to collaborate on solving the cases by corresponding on message boards through BD Live.
- Notorious - The "MUSIC" feature provides the viewer the ability to buy music from the soundtrack via BD-Live. While watching the movie, the viewer can create a personalized play-list using their remote
control. The viewer will then receive an email link to easily click thru and purchase the songs from iTunes. During playback of movie, 6 songs are offered for purchase. Additional songs and music videos are available by purchasing the album through the BD-Live menu.
- X-Men: Trilogy - In a studio first, the discs include a BD Live feature that will allow fans to purchase advance tickets and gain access to exciting never-before-scene footage to the highly anticipated upcoming film X-Men Origins: Wolverine debuting in theatres May 1st.
- The Spirit - The Spirit Blu-ray marks the debut of the first LIONSGATE LIVE™ enabled title for the studio. LIONSGATE LIVE™ is a unique BD Live based menu system that delivers updateable exclusive content such as commentaries, games, ringtones, wallpapers, trailers and much more via a series of on-screen notifications and widgets. In addition, LIONSGATE LIVE™ will continually notify users to any new features across all Lionsgate BD Live titles. LIONSGATE LIVE™ will be available on select theatrical titles throughout 2009.
- My Bloody Valentine 3D - MoLog™ - Movie Blog network connected community and interactive movie blog tool set; LIONSGATE LIVE™ enabled
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day Skynet Edition & Terminator 2: Judgment Day Limited Edition Collector's Set - BD-Live™ enabled, featuring games, extra content and more for internet-connected players
- The Da Vinci Code (Sony Pictures) - Enter a unique code in Sony Pictures BD-Live network and receive instantly via email an e-Movie
Cash certificate towards the theatrical release of Angels & Demons.
- Cadillac Records (Sony Pictures) - Select your favorite songs while watching the movie and email your playlist to friends via BD-Live.
- Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist [WS] [Blu-ray] (Sony Pictures) - Chat on-screen with your friends while watching the movie via Sony's cinechat.
- The Incredible Hulk - My Chat - Just plug your player into your Internet connection and connect to BD-Live to chat with friends while watching the movie and conduct your very own private screening
discussions. My Scenes Sharing - Share your favorite clips with your
buddies through the BD Live Internet connection
- Mamma Mia! - My Commentary: Join the celebration and create your own video, audio or text track to watch with the movie and send to your friends. My Scenes Sharing: Show your friends your favorite scenes
from Mamma Mia! The Movie via BD-Live. Downloadable Content: Gain exclusive access to never-before-seen bonus content and new trailers via BD-Live.
- Wanted - My Wanted Commentary: Connect and Create. Ever wish you could create your own play-by-play movie commentary to share with
friends? Here's your chance. UniversalHiDef.com and the BD-Live Center combine to offer you the opportunity to create your own video, audio, or text commentary that you can share with all of your Buddies in the BD-Live community.
- Death Race - Announce Your Own Death Race: Fans were invited to show off their creative sportscasting skills by announcing their own play-by-play in a pivotal race sceen from the movie. The film's director Paul W.S. Anderson then personally picked his favorite user generated videos to win exclusive prizes, including a 52-inch Sharp Aquous HD TV and a PS3. Videos could also be shared with contestants' buddies in the BD-Live community.
Warner Home Video
- The Dark Knight - My WB Commentary: Viewers can record their own picture-in-picture commentary over their favorite scenes to share with friends or the entire WB BD-Live community as well as watch ones created by other users, including The Dark Knight and Batman Begins screen writer David S. Goyer, DC Comics President Paul Levitz and Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. Live Community Screening: Viewers can hold a virtual screening with friends around the country to watch their BD simultaneously and chat over the movie screen. They can also watch the a recording of screening the special LCS event director Christopher Nolan held with fans when the BD was first released. Exclusive features only through BD-Live such as seven animated episodes of The Batman Adventures: Mad Love and four episodes of Batman: The Shadow of Ra's al Ghul; and an exclusive live stage
performance recording of The Dark Knight score during the world premiere of the film in NYC by composers Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard