Fox has some very big plans for it's Blu-ray Disc roll out.
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 42 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: 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.