If you needed another sign that physical media is dying and that Blu-ray could soon go the way of the dodo, here’s another potential indicator of where things are headed. Paramount will release Star Trek Into Darkness on Blu-ray in a little over a week (Tues. Sept. 10th to be exact). While you would expect a blockbuster of this magnitude to be packed with special features (as the last Star Trek movie was), the list of extras includes just seven featurettes: no deleted scenes, no audio commentary… not even a trailer. The obvious assumption is that they are planning a deluxe edition double dip down the road, but now it looks like that may not be the case. As it turns out, more supplementary material exists, but it has all been spread around as exclusive content to different retailers. In other words, it’s a collector’s worst nightmare.
According to The Digital Bits, there are some additional featurettes and an audio commentary for Star Trek Into Darkness provided by director J.J. Abrams. But in order to get all of these things you’ll have to buy the movie from Target, Best Buy and iTunes. Target and Best Buy appear to be providing their material on exclusive bonus discs, but the biggest shock is that the audio commentary is only available via iTunes. That’s right, there is currently no way to get the audio commentary for Star Trek Into Darkness on a physical disc.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen retailers offer exclusive bonus material with DVD and Blu-ray releases, but usually this involves cool packaging or a toy or t-shirt… in other words, something that is not essential to the disc itself. But this seems like they are crossing a line and a lot of Blu-ray collectors are pretty peeved about the whole ordeal. Some people are already saying that they simply will not buy the Blu-ray, while others will stop buying all future Paramount Blu-ray releases as well. What do you think, is this a bad way to treat Star Trek fans? Do these retail exclusives bother you or do you not care about extras on movies that you buy?