Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will be stepping up with a six-title 4K Ultra HD promotion showcasing the creative film art of James Cameron. What is exceptional about this news are the long overdue 4K Ultra HD rollouts both The Abyss and True Lies.
Details are a little sketchy at this time, but will be filled in with extras, etc. as we get closer to the release dates.
That said, Disney is hooking up with Paramount Home Entertainment on Dec. 5 to promote Cameron’s 4K Ultra HD release of Titanic (previously announced and covered).
The following week, Dec. 12, the promotion takes something of a misstep with multi-platform VOD (Prime, Apple, VUDU, etc.) 4K Ultra HD “Collector’s Editions” of Aliens, The Abyss, True Lies and the two Avatar films. While we applaud the new 4K Ultra HD transfers (which will be absolutely gorgeous), this will also be a feeding frenzy for what has become a very sophisticated “helper” community (aka: pirates, bootleggers, etc.).
They learned all the tricks during the pandemic and the “streaming wars” that followed … they will be quick to turn both Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD knockoffs (with professional looking packaging) to unsuspecting consumers who either don’t care or don’t know that what they are buying will not be the real deal. These “early” editions will look real and the quality of what they get is good enough for most.
For those fans who wish to wait for the physical media editions, the wait will be long … from now until the street date, over four months. Punish the good buyers, reward the lazy … what kind of business model is that?
So the question becomes why? Why the urgency to sell the equivalent of “paperback” book editions — that can be shared and pirated — when you can sell the “hardcover” editions first and still have the option of selling to the down market afterwards?
A case can be made that Disney could have done a much strong promotion for the films of James Cameron by re-releasing The Abyss theatrically (in 4K), followed by the 4K Ultra HD edition before turning it loose on VOD. When you can consider how many films have been bumped as a result of the SAG strike, this would have been gold.
When you have the gold, market it wisely. How many movies with the status of The Abyss on 4K are there?
The “real” 4K Ultra HD editions of The Abyss, True Lies and Aliens will arrive on Mar. 12, 2024 … real film fans will endure the wait. Others … not so much. Details to follow.