Fox Announces New Blu-ray Disc Titles

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Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (TCFHE) has announced its upcoming slate of upcoming Blu-ray Disc (BD) titles due for release through the first half of 2007 in North America. Plans call for the company to collectively release an average of 5 to 10 titles per month from Fox and MGM. The studio’s new release titles will be released day-and-date with DVD whenever possible including the recent box-office smash hit Night at the Museum and the fantasy epic Eragon coming later this year.

“We are looking forward to this pivotal year and the ultimate establishment of Blu-ray as the high-definition packaged media standard. In fact, Blu-ray sales performance surpassed HD-DVD for the first time the week of December 24 and did so by an impressive 20 per cent. What’s more, by the end of the first quarter our research shows the sales gap widening to Blu-ray outselling HD DVD by a 3.5-to-1 ratio,” noted Mike Dunn, President Worldwide, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. “We remain extremely encouraged by the growth in sales and player penetration and are fully committed to creating the most compelling products possible and to the continued pioneering development of BD with our partners.”

Fox is one of the first studios to release titles with advanced BD-Java interactivity as well titles on dual-layer 50 GB Blu-ray Discs. MGM will release its first 50 GB dual-layer Blu-ray disc later in January with the debut of Flyboys. Fox has plans to release eight additional 50 GB BD in the first half of 2007 beginning with The Fly (1986) in April.

The studio’s upcoming North American slate features a wide range of titles that will benefit from the incredible audio and video elements of the Blu-ray format. All of Fox’s BD releases are aimed at the core early adopter and include:

January 23 – Alien vs. Predator, Men of Honor, Courage Under Fire
February 13 – The Sentinel, Entrapment, Broken Arrow, Phone Booth, Planet of the Apes (2001), Chain Reaction, The Marine
March 13 – Ice Age, Dodgeball, Commando, From Hell
April 3 – The Fly (1986), Tristan & Isolde, Me, Myself & Irene, Dude, Where’s My Car?
April 17 – Turistas
May ’07 – Master & Commander, Man on Fire, Edward Scissorhands, Predator, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Siege
June ’07 – Independence Day, I, Robot, Cast Away

Additionally, a stellar line-up of BD releases for North America are coming from MGM and include:

January 30 – Flyboys, Hart’s War
February 13 – The Usual Suspects
March 13 – Dances with Wolves, The Thomas Crown Affair, Hoosiers
April ’07 – The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal
May ’07 – Platoon, The Graduate, Battle of Britain, A Bridge Too Far
June ’07 – Ronin, To Live & Die in L.A., A Fistful of Dollars, Out of Time, Walking Tall, Bull Durham

Blu-ray Disc is a next generation optical disc format developed for high-definition video and high-capacity software applications. A single-layer Blu-ray Disc holds up to 25 gigabytes of data and a dual-layer Blu-ray Disc holds up to 50 gigabytes of data. This greater storage capacity enables the Blu-ray Disc to store over six times the amount of content than is possible with current DVDs, and is particularly well-suited for high definition feature films with extended levels of additional bonus and interactive material. Blu-ray also features the most advanced copy protection, backward compatibility with the current DVD format, connectivity and advanced interactivity.

Fox takes advantage of the next generation format’s high definition technology and advanced functionality to present its titles with the highest quality audiovisual elements. Showcasing picture quality with twice the resolution of DVD and theater quality “uncompressed” audio for the purest digital sound, the cutting-edge discs also feature enhanced and integrated menus, games, high-definition bonus materials and Java-encoding for more dynamic and sophisticated interactivity.

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