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Gladiator and others coming to HD DVD

HD DVD/Blu-ray

Source: AV Science Forum

A potentially major piece of news has surfaced courtesy of French DVD site DVDRama, where it has been stated that Universal plans to release 60 HD DVDs in France this year, one of which will be Gladiator. The relevant passage is quoted below, using AVS Forum member bboisvert’s extremely rough English translation for convenience:

Whereas Universal right now announced more than 100 titles available by the end of the year to the United States, a recent interview of the director marketing of Universal France has just confirmed the exit in our beautiful country of more than 60 titles by the end of the year 2007. Without giving precise calendar on the dates and films concerned, the few evoked titles have what to give the tournis.

Among the titles headlights of the catalogue of the studio, one will find this year in HD-DVD of the films such as Gladiator, Scarface, or even Ray, one of best “the biopic” left to the cinema these last years. One will also find, at the time of the nearest arrival of revenge in the skin (The Bourne Ultimatum) on our screens, a republication even more thorough technically of died in the skin and the memory in the skin (like what, even for such a recent support, one proposes already republications to us). For the innovations, films like The Holiday, the sons of man or The Kingdom are also announced, and will be at exit simultaneous with the DVD.

Although it’s not my absolute favourite film ever, this is definitely major news. With Gladiator’s US distributor, DreamWorks, currently dragging its feet with regard to high definition output, I’d say that a stateside release of the film is fairly unlikely this year, so this French release will no doubt become a hot commodity. Either way, it’s the sort of blockbuster release the format needs in order to increase its user base. It’s also an HD DVD exclusive in Europe, since the distribution rights outside North America lie solely with Universal rather than the format-neutral DreamWorks.

Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 10:10 PM
Categories: Cinema | HD DVD

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