The Warner Archive Collection (WAC) – the Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD) division dedicated to releasing on DVD previously unavailable films and television shows – today announced the launch of its first Blu-ray titles. The two titles, Deathtrap and Gypsy, will debut on November 20. Beginning in February 2013, WAC expects to release a minimum of one to two Blu-ray titles per month. Future titles include The Hudsucker Proxy and Fearless.
WAC reports that the Blu-ray discs will be replicated in limited quantities and fulfilled on demand. All releases will leverage high quality 1080p masters. In many instances, as with Deathtrap, the films will be available for the first time for home viewing in their original widescreen format.
Starting as a modest initiative, WAC has quickly grown to become a new business model for the studio and a recognized industry leader. Since launching in March 2009, WAC has released more than 1,500 films, short subjects, TV movies and mini-series that otherwise would not have been available, providing a valuable service to film lovers everywhere.
Now, WAC's entry into the Blu-ray market is the latest example of its fast growth and increasing popularity with consumers who have embraced the technology as the standard for the highest quality home movie viewing on disc. This year, domestic sales of catalog titles on Blu-ray grew 22% in the third quarter from a year earlier. In fact, Blu-ray sales have shown impressive gains every quarter in 2012, continuing the trend set in 2011 over 2010 when sales were up 20%.
In making the Blu-ray announcement, WBDD President Thomas Gewecke said, "This is an important innovation that fulfills consumer demand for high definition releases that otherwise would not be available in physical formats. We're excited to have the opportunity to further expand the Warner Archive Collection into the Blu-ray marketplace with an impressive slate of releases."
Warner Archive Collection titles can be purchased through their web site (www.warnerarchive.com) for $21.99 SRP or through other leading online retailers.
Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve co-star in the wickedly funny "who'll-do-it?" adapted from the Broadway smash penned by suspense master Ira Levin by famed director Sidney Lumet. Also stars Dyan Cannon.
This musical version drawn from the life of famed stripper Gypsy Rose Lee tells the bittersweet tale of an aggressive stage mother (Rosalind Russell) and the effects of her devotion to her two young daughters (Natalie Wood and Ann Jillian). Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim provide the show-stopping music and lyrics. Also stars Karl Malden.
The Hudsucker Proxy
Tim Robbins and Paul Newman star in this biting business satire from the Coen brothers . Standing the Horatio Alger myth on its head, Robbins play the naïf with an idea ("You know…for the kids!") that sails up from mailroom to boardroom, all under the Machiavellian hand of board member Sidney J. Mussburger (Newman). Also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bruce Campbell, from a script by the Coen brothers and Sam Raimi.
Peter Weir (Master and Commander) directs an unforgettable Jeff Bridges in this tour-de-force film focusing on transcendence in the face of our greatest fears. Following a horrific plane crash, two survivors (Bridges and Rosie Perez) help each other search for meaning, while the spouse (Isabella Rossellini) of one searches for signs of the man she married in the man that emerged from the wreck. Also stars Tom Hulce and John Turturro.