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Paramount/Dreamworks go HD DVD exclusive

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Paramount/Dreamworks go HD DVD exclusive

Old 08-20-07, 06:38 AM
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Paramount/Dreamworks go HD DVD exclusive

I can't see a thread about this yet, but I just came across this little item on www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com

"Based on conversations with multiple sources, we believe that Paramount is set to make the vast majority of its catalog available exclusively in the HD-DVD format (unclear whether that includes titles from its sister studio DreamWorks).

While Paramount (owned by Viacom) has some on-going commitments to release new release titles in Blu-ray, it is unclear how long that commitment lasts and how comprehensive the agreement is.

Up until now, Paramount and DreamWorks (live action) were releasing in both Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats. The reason for shifting catalog exclusivity to HD-DVD would appear to be substantial upfront dollars. We expect these dollars could have a meaningfully positive impact on Viacom's film profitability in 2H '07 and full-year 2008.

Separately, it appears that DreamWorks Animation is set to announced that 3-5 key titles (some catalog, some new releases, but details are still fuzzy) over the next several years will be made available exclusively in HD-DVD.

While we are somewhat surprised to see DWA favor a format given its smaller number of releases in a year similar to Paramount, we suspect the driving force of the decision was upfront payments to increase their support of HD-DVD. Given DWA's size, the financial impact on EPS in 2008-2010 could be a positive catalyst for the stock (we are still assuming that Shrek The Third is coming out in both formats in November 2007).

Prior to these revelations, we believe HD-DVD was essentially "dying a slow death," as Universal was the only studio exclusive to HD-DVD (and its box office was not strong enough this year to make a difference), far outweighed by the Blu-ray only studios (Sony, Fox, Disney, MGM, and Lionsgate.) Even though Sony's PS3 has been disappointing from a sales standpoint, Blu-ray DVD sales had begun to notably accelerate based on the content being made available. However, the Paramount/DWA moves alter the landscape meaningfully, as Paramount (Including DW/DWA titles) is the leading theatrical distributor year-to-date (enabling its catalog DVDs to "ride the coattails" of the success of successful theatrical films being released on DVD for the first time.)"
According to the article, Paramount are being paid $50 million to publish on HD-DVD and Dreamworks are being paid $100 million.

Last edited by ThriceDamned; 08-20-07 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 08-20-07, 06:43 AM
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Exclusivity by studios is one of the big barriers to the success of the hi-def formats.

Release titles in both formats and let the public decide!
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Old 08-20-07, 07:05 AM
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Thrice: It's been brought up before, but if you don't think studios like Disney and Fox are getting $$$ to remain exclusively Blu-ray, you're deceiving yourself.

Besides, I'm not sure this story is even true...as far as I know, I've seen no indication Paramount or DreamWorks is going HD DVD-only or is going to do HD DVD-exclusive releases.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by BuckNaked2k
Exclusivity by studios is one of the big barriers to the success of the hi-def formats.

Release titles in both formats and let the public decide!
Do you not see the correlary to this? You could just as easily say release only in one format and let the public decide as well.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:30 AM
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I would like to see a confirmation of this, but good for HD DVD if it is true. If Disney and Fox refuse to publish on both HD DVD should counter by trying to get another exclusive studio.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:45 AM
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I couldn't give a toss about Fox, at this point they have done nothing for BluRay (except X-Men 3 )
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Old 08-20-07, 08:46 AM
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As much as I hate exclusivity, this is good news. Paramount is not a major studio like Disney, but they're no slouch and they've got two very, very big day-and-date titles in the pipeline: Transformers and Shrek 3.

My ideal solution would be for every studio (except for Sony, I'm not delusional) to be inclusive and release in HD DVD and Blu-Ray. But if one side won't play fair I don't see why the other one has to.

Based on the rumor/article it looks like Shrek 3 is still going on both formats. I honestly think Transformers will be a bigger boost considering the target demographic / BD-buying public (PS3 owners).
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Old 08-20-07, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Giles
I couldn't give a toss about Fox, at this point they have done nothing for BluRay (except X-Men 3 )
It's a bit weird when Magnolia Pictures has released more HD titles than Fox.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:56 AM
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Dreamworks= Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan, American Beauty, etc.

Good deal for HD DVD.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:09 AM
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Awesome news, if true.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
very big day-and-date titles in the pipeline: Transformers and Shrek 3.
Day-and-date titles are still for both - thankfully.

Pretty lame move, this is disappointing for sure. I wonder how long this deal will last? Hopefully only thru next yr...
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Old 08-20-07, 09:16 AM
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I'd wait to see some confirmation on this one, and as such should have a question mark in the title. Doesn't sound too plausible to me, especially since it's been proven that catalog titles are pretty much terrible sellers for the most part, and the real bread and butter are day-and-date releases.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Do you not see the correlary to this? You could just as easily say release only in one format and let the public decide as well.
Sure. Why offer Coke when all you need is Pepsi?
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Old 08-20-07, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by BuckNaked2k
Sure. Why offer Pepso when all you need is Coke?
Had to correct that.

I don't see why Paramount would want to possibly LOSE money from Blu-Ray sales on this even if they are getting paid by HD-DVD.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:30 AM
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Added a question mark in the title, as I should have when I posted it.

As for Shannon's "Thrice: It's been brought up before, but if you don't think studios like Disney and Fox are getting $$$ to remain exclusively Blu-ray, you're deceiving yourself."

I don't see anywhere in my post any signs of my "deceiving myself" at all. I didn't offer any commentary whatsoever, and would appreciate you not assigning me any
opinions you have no way of knowing whether I hold or not.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Geiger
Had to correct that.

I don't see why Paramount would want to possibly LOSE money from Blu-Ray sales on this even if they are getting paid by HD-DVD.
Because, based on the dismal sales numbers we've all seen, they obviously think the Blu-Ray sales they'll lose over the term of the deal will amount to less than what they're being paid in the deal.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:41 AM
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Paramount has Days of Heaven. Maybe they can use Criterion's transfer. Oh please oh please.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Arpeggi
Dreamworks= Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan, American Beauty, etc.

Good deal for HD DVD.

HD Gladiator and HD Private Ryan, must haves...
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Old 08-20-07, 09:54 AM
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This deal does indeed seem very plausible.

The so-called PS3 crowd (who helped fuel Blu-Ray's sales win over HD DVD on titles like 300 and The Departed) stereotypically would not be buying catalog titles. So, rather than not release movies like To Catch A Thief and Chinatown, or perhaps release them and get maybe 100,000 units sold combined on 40 releases, they put those new HD masters to use by putting out HD DVDs (with little additional cost), pull in a small/moderate amount from HD sales, and then collect a huge bonus amounting to perhaps 250x what they would've pulled in from Blu-Ray sales. Meanwhile, HD DVD gets a boost in its library, has more studio support to tout, makes current owners happier, and still gets to release what seems like the majority of its big titles on Blu-Ray.

After HD DVD has had so few announcements against Blu-Ray recently and the horrible performance of the majority of Paramount's summer releases in the box office (i.e. Stardust most recently), both parties really could benefit from something like this.
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Old 08-20-07, 10:15 AM
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Fantastic! Its about time HD throws some weight around.
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Old 08-20-07, 10:16 AM
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If true, I'm of the opinion that this could cause neither format to win. I think most consumers won't buy in until there is one format and something like this will just prolong the format war. I own Blu-ray now, but if the same lineup of studios backed HD-DVD I would have bought HD-DVD (and almost did last November). Technology-wise, they're both adequate for my purposes.
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Old 08-20-07, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by bunnydojo
This deal does indeed seem very plausible.

The so-called PS3 crowd (who helped fuel Blu-Ray's sales win over HD DVD on titles like 300 and The Departed) stereotypically would not be buying catalog titles. So, rather than not release movies like To Catch A Thief and Chinatown, or perhaps release them and get maybe 100,000 units sold combined on 40 releases, they put those new HD masters to use by putting out HD DVDs (with little additional cost), pull in a small/moderate amount from HD sales, and then collect a huge bonus amounting to perhaps 250x what they would've pulled in from Blu-Ray sales. Meanwhile, HD DVD gets a boost in its library, has more studio support to tout, makes current owners happier, and still gets to release what seems like the majority of its big titles on Blu-Ray.

After HD DVD has had so few announcements against Blu-Ray recently and the horrible performance of the majority of Paramount's summer releases in the box office (i.e. Stardust most recently), both parties really could benefit from something like this.
That would make sense to me.

just hope to see some classic paramount titles out
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Old 08-20-07, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Artman
Day-and-date titles are still for both - thankfully.
If this deal is true (not holding my breath), I can't imagine that Transformers would still be coming out on blu-ray.
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Old 08-20-07, 11:18 AM
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Well, this answers any questions as to the legitimacy of this...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070820/...311YWV25ms0NUE
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Old 08-20-07, 11:18 AM
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And now for the OFFICIAL News...
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070820/...311YWV25ms0NUE
Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation SKG announced Monday that they will offer next-generation DVDs in the HD DVD format rather than Blu-ray, a move that further complicates the race between the competing technologies.


The move by the two studios will include the upcoming blockbuster "Shrek the Third" and all movies distributed by Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Films, as well as movies from DreamWorks Animation, which are distributed exclusively by Paramount Home Entertainment.

"Part of our vision is to aggressively extend our movies beyond the theater, and deliver the quality and features that appeal to our audience," said Brad Grey, chairman and chief executive of Paramount Pictures. "I believe HD DVD is not only the affordable high quality choice for consumers, but also the smart choice for Paramount."

The competition between Blu-ray and HD DVD has kept confused consumers from rushing to buy new DVD players until they can determine which format will dominate the market.

Studios and retailers have been choosing sides.

"Spider-Man 3" will only be available in the Blu-ray DVD format when it is released by Sony Pictures.

Likewise, people with Blu-ray players won't be able to enjoy the action-thriller "The Bourne Ultimatum," which Universal Pictures will release only in HD DVD.
And it has begun! HD DVD is the first format to lure a significant Neutral to HD DVD exclusive (at least how the Yahoo article seems). Transformers....HD DVD only? Damn... Is this for EVERYTHING Paramount and Dreamworks offers from now on? Is anything in the pipeline for both formats?

Last edited by Gizmo; 08-20-07 at 11:21 AM.
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