Market Watch

Star Wars Released on Blu-ray September 2011

January 19, 2011

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Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is to release the Star Wars films on Blu-ray Disc (BD) 20 September 2011. The films will be released as three boxsets: a nine disc set with all six films and extras and two, three disc Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy and Star Wars: Original Trilogy sets.

The DVD release of the iconic sci-fi trilogy in 2004 was accompanied by a high profile marketing campaign building consumer anticipation for the international theatrical release of the last of the six Star Wars films.  The strategy is echoed this time with the theatrical release of the first Star Wars film converted for 3D in 2012. The BDs will undoubtedly sell well on their release and industry commentary often suggests that releases such as this drive format adoption though it seems unlikely that consumers make the significant investment required to watch hi-def home video for just one film. Indeed other such releases, like Lord of the Rings in 2010, haven't notably pushed BD adoption over and above IHS Screen Digest expectations. Even 5 years after launch BD is still very dependent on the strength of the new release slate, with far fewer catalogue releases than its predecessor DVD. The release of these films adds to the wealth of iconic back catalogue now available on the format and thus consumer perception of catalogue depth. The regular releases of such landmark films on the format provides a clear statement of industry support for the format to consumers; an ever more important message in the face of the growing strength of hi-def and now 3D video provision through other channels.

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