Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) President David Bishop today announced, as part of the company’s first quarter Blu-ray line-up, that Bond will be making his way to Blu-ray with the much anticipated release of Casino Royale on March 13. Casino Royale, starring Bond newcomer Daniel Craig, grossed more than $400 million at the box office worldwide and will debut on a 50GB dual-layer disc encoded in MPEG-4 AVC. Consumers can see even more of Craig who also stars in Layer Cake, a riveting thriller set in the U.K. underworld, when it hits Blu-ray (50GB) that same day.
“With software sales up 700 percent since the mid-November launch of Playstation 3 and other Blu-ray hardware from manufacturers, the market is poised for maximum impact blockbusters like ‘Casino Royale,'” said David Bishop, President, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. “We’re proud to be the first to deliver Bond on Blu-ray with the best picture and sound quality available today. This is just the tip of the iceberg for Blu-ray in 2007.”
Sony Pictures Animation’s first full-length animated feature, Open Season, starring Ashton Kutcher and Martin Lawrence, will mark the debut of the first MPEG-4 AVC encoded BD title from SPHE on January 30. In addition to Casino Royale, three more dual-layer 50GB box office hits were announced for Q1. Gridiron Gang, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, will be available January 16 followed by Running with Scissors, with Annette Bening in a Golden Globe®-nominated performance, on February 6 and Stranger Than Fiction, featuring writer and producer Will Ferrell, February 27.
Catalog titles announced include Resident Evil: Apocalypse, featuring Blu-Wizard(TM), January 16 and Vertical Limit, February 20 (50GB). Also upcoming from the SPHE catalog are Hostel, Jerry Maguire and A Few Good Men. SPHE has released a broad selection of Blu-ray Disc titles since the format’s initial launch June 20, 2006. The studio was the first to deliver a 50GB Blu-ray Disc title with the release of Click October 10, followed by Black Hawk Down November 14 and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby on December 12.