After the controversial release of the theatrical versions of the Lord of the Rings movie, Warner Bros. has finally detailed the release of the extended cuts of the movies on Blu-ray.
When Warner Bros. originally released the movies on Blu-ray, LotR and Blu-ray fans protested the decision to only release the theatrical version, not the extended cuts, and also the decision to not include any new extra features, and not even bothering to transfer the DVD bonus content to Blu-ray disc. Many fans already have two versions of the movies on DVD, and they felt that it would had been much better to include both versions of the movie, via seamless branching, in the same Blu-ray set, instead of forcing fans to buy two more versions of the movie when the extended version comes out. Fans even launched an Amazon protest, whereby thousands gave the original theatrical Blu-ray release a 1 star rating, the lowest possible.
And so, as expected, Warner Bros. have announced plans to release the extended versions of the movies on Blu-ray, effectively asking fans to buy this version too (making this the 5th edition of the movies). And in a move that may continue to anger fans, the new edition still puts the extra features on DVDs (and these features are the same as what has been released previously, with no new content), as opposed to transferring them to Blu-ray to reduce the number of discs required, or producing HD transfers of the extras. This has fans fearing that yet another edition of the films is in the works, one with the extras in HD, on Blu-ray (and perhaps with new extras as well).
But the consumer protest is muted, if it even exists this time, as the number of people pre-ordering the boxset, even when a firm release date has not been made available yet, and the 4.5 star rating seems to indicate fans approve of the new package.
The boxset will feature the three movies on 2 Blu-ray discs each, with 6 more DVDs featuring the bonus features from the special edition DVD release of the movie, and 3 more DVDs of extra features from the limited edition DVD release. The list price is $119.98 for the 15 disc set, but Amazon's current pre-order pricing is $83.99.
Rumour suggest that the boxset will be available June 28, based on information from Canadian retailer, Futureshop. Update: Warner Bros. has confirmed the release date is indeed June 28.
Do you think there will be yet another Blu-ray edition of these movies? Post your answer in this article's comments section, or in this forum thread where you can also see high res photos of the boxset: