Paramount to Start Releasing Movies on Blu-ray Before DVD


There’s been a lot of talk about the slow adoption rate for Blu-ray over the past year or so, and every month there seem to be new study or poll revealing that it’s still not quite ready to go mainstream. A Harris interactive survey released in June indicated that 93% of Americans are not likely to buy a Blu-ray player within the next year despite strong sales of HDTVs. It also found that more Americans currently own an HD-DVD player, than a Blu-ray player! Crazy. Clearly studios are going to have to start pushing a lot harder if they want to convince consumers to get on board with BD.

Perhaps as a response to this, starting next month Paramount will begin making certain high profile films available to own on Blu-ray significantly earlier than on standard DVD. The first movie to follow this new release strategy will be… Dance Flick? The Blu-ray will hit stores on September 8th, while the standard DVD will be out at least 4 to 8 weeks later. (Standard DVD will still be available for rental, however.)

While Dance Flick might not seem like a “must-have” title that would normally move a lot of units, I am guessing that a lot of the people who would buy a Wayans Brothers comedy fall outside of the early adopter/hardcore film geek crowd. But would they really buy a Blu-ray player just so they can own Dance Flick? I don’t know. Either way, I’m sure we can expect more studios to attempt similar schemes to try and force the market toward Blu-ray in the coming months. But with standard DVD sales down 15% from last year, they better hope their tactics don’t force consumers to stop buying altogether.

  • BigHungry

    I must say no formats ever last, except maybe a book because it needs no electricity to work.

    While Blu-ray might not be for everyone. My Blu-ray and HD TV are the best purchases I have made in the last 30 years… but if companies want to push the Blu-rays…. one word for me helps the sell. “Extras” If I already own a movie on dvd the only thing that will make me want to buy the movie are the extras beyond what is already out. I think upconvet does a pretty good job on standard dvds. Though the bigger the TV the more Blu-ray comes into play.

    EYECANDY MOVIES ROCK ON BLU-RAY. It is hard to go back to just dvds on some movies and I will not buy that Dance Flick movie. If they want to see what happens bring out the new Star Trek early and then we will see. That movie is a blu-ray must own.

  • Matt Keith

    Are they really people out there who are gonna buy “Dance Flick” on Blu-Ray or at all?

    I love Blu-Ray, it was cool when I bought my first BR disc, but after I bought the director’s cut of “Watchmen”, I’m now in love w/ it.

  • They are only going to upset potential customers if they start doing this, possibly even pushing more people towards pirated DVDs. Maybe the reason for the slow uptake on BluRay is the sheer cost of everything involved…?

  • I’ve spent the last year *down-grading* my DVD collection. I got up to 250 and realized I was never going to watch most of the movies I was buying more than once, maybe twice, so I’ve slowly been selling off everything, and now I’m down to my absolute favourite fifty titles, and I’m going to keep my collection as close to that as possible.

    I’m not upgrading to Blu-Ray as long as the cost of the player and the discs are at their current prices. I was also one of the last people I know to get on the DVD bandwagon, I didn’t start that until 2003.

  • Nate

    That survey is bogus. There is no way there are more HD DVD players than Blu Ray players in the wild. I saw a news story on Joystiq just today that PS3 alone has a 24 million worldwide install base. There’s just no way.

    Things just need to get cheaper, that’s all. Price is always the biggest barrier to entry. Anecdotally speaking, I don’t thinks DVD really took off until you could get a good player for well under $100. The same will likely be true of Blu Ray.

  • Captain N

    They won’t rush out to buy Dance Flick but when Paramount does this with Transformers 2, They’ll rush out for that.

  • BigHungry

    The price has come down over the last couple weeks. just the other day – I picked up “Big Trouble in Little China” for $19 new and the “The Unforgiven{” for “$9″. The first season of Star Trek on blu-ray was much less than the dvd when I picked it up. $50 bucks. If I pay more than 5 dollars on a Blu-ray it still comes down to the extras and if the movie warrants the visual upgrade. I wonder if the legal digital down loads like itune movies have bitten into the dvd market too. I can rent a movie or buy it.

  • Damndirtyape

    The new HD formats just aren’t enough of a leap over existing DVDs no matter how hard some enthusiasts want to insist. In order for most people to care enough to adopt a new format it would have to be a paradigm shift. Problem is.. that shift is already here – digital downloads and streaming.

    I think within a decade Blue-Ray and the DVD disc in general is going to go the way of Laserdics, Betamax, and VHS.

  • Then there is this article on the re-branding and reselling of HD-DVD in the developing markets (

  • BigHungry

    The problem with streaming and downloading content is that the quality is not as good as it could be (yet) but it is watchable of course. The larger and better quality the monitor/TV is the more you notice the difference in quality movies. Once streaming or downloading content makes this leap for quality HD video the closer they will be to this jump which is coming… But will they release the official version ahead of time online when the time comes? I think we know the answer. Streaming content is here and is what made me give up my overprice cable bill and I think Blu-ray was very smart to include BDlive for streaming content as well. So it is built into the format

  • Swarez

    I think the main problem is that the majority of people out there have no idea what Blu Ray is and if they have heard of the brand think that regular DVDs can’t be played on its players.
    Manufacturers need to show the consumer that Blu Ray is just like regular ass DVD, only with better sound and video and does play your old discs as well.
    Price is also a huge factor these days but players have been dropping in prices allot lately, the same can’t be said about the discs themselves.

  • Your Mom

    you can go back to DVD or even stick with DVD because there are DVD Players that are capable of upscaling up to 1080p (full hd).
    So if you own a full hd tv you are still able to watch normal DVD in hd. The DVD players wich are capable of upscaling are even quite cheap.
    *please excuse my bad english, germanfag here