Video Business reports that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Lucasfilm will release Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, expected to be one of the fourth quarter’s top sellers, on DVD only. “Star Wars” will be the first major new release to skip VHS, some say a move that is unsurprising because of its heavy DVD audience.
Distribution sources said recent “Star Wars” releases have seen heavy VHS returns from retailers unable to sell off the tapes.
Buena Vista Home Entertainment has been the most aggressive studio to do away with VHS releases. The studio will skip VHS for Dark Water, The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Herbie: Fully Loaded and retailers and distributors say the studio has told them that it will cut VHS altogether early next year.
So far, Fox and Buena Vista are the only studios to announce major releases only for DVD, however retailers are continuing to watch to see if other upcoming releases might get the same treatment.