Is this the beginning of the end for the DVD format?
Disney is set to shun the format that has bought the studio so much financial gain over the last decade, and instead, opting to promote the Blu-ray and combo versions of their next big release, 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides'.
While Disney are not strangers, if you pardon the pun, to delaying "DVD-only" releases to promote their Blu-ray combos, this is a first for such an A-list release, for any studio. Previously, Disney has only been content in using this kind of release schedule for their classic animated releases, titles like Snow White and Bambi.
And perhaps even more controversially, there's no "Blu-ray-only" release either of 'On Stranger Tides', just two different combo versions.
With so much at risk, this new release strategy could backfire and alienate the estimated 80% of consumers that still prefer DVDs. However, with recent releases such as Sucker Punch punching above their weight, and the Blu-ray market share average, by selling the majority of their copies on the HD format, it may not be such a big risk after all.
The two editions available in October, one will be the 3 disc Blu-ray+DVD combo version (available in both Blu-ray packaging, and DVD packaging for confused DVD buyers wondering why the movie isn't available for purchase), while the other is the huge 5-disc edition that also includes the Blu-ray 3D and Digital Copy editions of the film, which is currently selling for only $4 more than the standard combo on Amazon.
The DVD-only edition arrives almost a month later, in November.