The hollywood studio Warner Bros. is considering bringing their portfolio exclusively to HD-DVD by withdrawing their Blu-ray support, the L.A. Times has learnt.
The rumour comes only weeks after Paramount and Dreamworks went HD-DVD exclusive - a move, which the article claims, was secured by the format´s main manufacturer Toshiba paying the studios 150 million dollars.
Warner Bros. is being courted by both camps and believed to be mulling over a lucrative offer that could bring such popular titles as "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" into the HD DVD camp, according to Hollywood insiders who requested anonymity because the talks were confidential. (...)
Blu-ray is the leader, with seven of the summer's 15 biggest box-office performers headed for exclusive release in its format, including "Spider-Man 3," "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," "Ratatouille," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "The Simpsons Movie" and "Superbad."
Warner Bros., however, could change the balance of power. The last major studio backing both formats, Warner has the leading market share in high-definition disc sales, giving it clout with retail chains.
The HD-DVD Wikipedia entry notes that quite a number of Warner movies are at this time exclusive to the format, among them ´Batman Begins´, ´V for Vendetta´, ´Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines´ and ´The Matrix Trilogy´. The studio´s latest blockbuster title to be announced for home video release, ´Ocean´s Thirteen´, is set to appear on both high-definition formats, though.
First of all, apologies for the recent lack of updates. I am preparing some articles that require a high degree of research. Also, I am very busy with securing a new job in or around Frankfurt. Nothing definite yet, but stay tuned. You may yet be surprised. At any rate, I hope to be able to post more regularly in a few week´s time. Now back to the topic at hand.
If Warner would side with HD-DVD, then the format is gathering strength at a remarkable pace. The studio withdrawing Blu-ray support would be another huge blow, and most likely the fatal one, to Sony and the PlayStation3.
With Warner selling the most high-definition discs, retailers are sure to side with the studio and follow their decision. Then it would only be a matter of time before Fox and Disney jump ship and Blu-ray, as a home video format, can be pronounced dead. The future of the format is in Warner´s hands.
EDIT The Digital Bits claims that the article is based on old information and Warner already decided to turn down the offer.
[The article] was based on information that's a couple weeks out of date. This "offer" from Toshiba that the piece speaks about was apparently the one made the week Paramount and DreamWorks went HD-DVD exclusive. Our sources are telling us that Warner rejected that offer, preferring to stay format neutral. This offer thing being reported today is apparently old news.
Sources: L.A. Times, The Digital Bits
Thanks to: TVPredictions, MaxConsole, chubigans, captscience