Paramount and Dreamworks going HD DVD exclusive


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Boz
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.

Well so much for the dead format. :) We can expect more surprises like this before year's end. Can we say Indiana Jones, Transformers and Star Trek series just to name a few..

Noice! Me like.

SOURCE: http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/desp...dvd-format-war/

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Slimy

I hope it's true, but it seems more like speculation :/

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Hurmoth

This is just a bad move for consumers. One company going exclusive with one technology and another company going with another technology. I know it might be expensive, but why can't these companies bring out both HD-DVD and Blu-ray products and let the consumer decide what he or she wants to purchase instead of being forced one way or the other. I refuse to buy into the Blu-ray or HD-DVD hype until there is a clear winner and the other technology slowly kills off. I just wish that would happen sooner rather than later. Grrr!

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ichi
Based on conversations with multiple sources, , we believe...

Separately, it appears that...

...we suspect...

So it must be true!!! :rofl:

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AlphaPrime

Eh, you should add 'Rumor' to the title. It wouldn't make much sense that they would want to lose out on 2/3 of HD sales by going HD-DVD exclusive.

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SacrificialSoldier

Yeah, sounds more like a rumor then a fact But if this is true then 2 bad to all those with BluRay players! ;)

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Ayepecks

If this is real, it is HUGE for HD DVD.

I wonder if Spielberg will sign off on having his movies released, too, since he used to be part owner of Dreamworks (and is still under contract with them, I believe). That is, of course, if this all is true.

Edit: Looks real to me...

http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/Ind...Exclusively/873

I think I know which format I'll probably end up going with now. Dreamworks has made so many movies I love... hard to resist that.

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bangbang023

That's a big and much needed win for HD-DVD.

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gigapixels

YES! Let's hope Blu-ray goes quietly...

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Hurmoth

Wow, that's a major blow to Blu-ray.

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neufuse

is the Matrix coming out on HD-DVD or am I getting that wrong?

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sundayx

I wonder what was in the deal.

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ynnoj
is the Matrix coming out on HD-DVD or am I getting that wrong?

It's already available on HD-DVD.

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Boz
Yeah it's real:

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories....2007/0004648398

Money hats indeed. And this is going to prolong the format war, yay.

Not really, what this means is that it's starting.. the HD DVD full shift. This means that with sub-$200 players, more exlusive studios HD DVD is breaking that barrier.

I'm betting that Sony is REALLY freakin' ticked off right now. They know what this means.

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Green_Eye

Im sorry I can't hide it I really wanted HD-DVD to win and this goes a long way :D

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AlphaPrime
what this means is that it's starting.. the HD DVD full shift.

I wouldn't say that, BR still has some big exclusive studios (Fox, Disney, Sony, etc) and a lot more capable players out there (plus the 2:1 lead). It's looking more and more like a stalemate. We'll most likely end up with a whole lot of combo players. DVD will still be here for a long time then.

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ana04

Oh well.. I'm waiting for a decent dual player.. :)

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Rigby

Blu-Ray has more capable players, though whether the PS3 is used for playing movies by most people is debatable, being primarily a game console. Also I think I read that HD-DVD has a much higher attach rate for movies. Doesn't it have the lead in Europe?

Anyway, this was quite a surprise. :)

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AlphaPrime
Blu-Ray has more capable players, though whether the PS3 is used for playing movies by most people is debatable, being primarily a game console. Also I think I read that HD-DVD has a much higher attach rate for movies. Doesn't it have the lead in Europe?

BR has sales lead everywhere for movies (2:1 - 3:1). HD-DVD is leading standalone player sales. It is obvious that BR is being used by more PS3 owners than HD-DVD owners because of the low number of BR standalones, yet higher number of movies purchased.

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af4
I wouldn't say that, BR still has some big exclusive studios (Fox, Disney, Sony, etc) and a lot more capable players out there (plus the 2:1 lead). It's looking more and more like a stalemate. We'll most likely end up with a whole lot of combo players. DVD will still be here for a long time then.

Agreed. This pretty much draws an even more solid, even line in the sand. There are so many films on either side that I would love to have, but these exclusivity deals make it impossible to have just one player, as long as it continues.

What are consumers going to do if they have just one player, when the dust settles? I have a feeling both formats are here to stay for a long time, indeed. Especially if both keep making such large in-roads. Hopefully, most people stay the hell away from both formats for another 6 months to a year.

Seriously, this is nothing like BETAMAX/VHS. Whippee---Consoles Wars with media formats... Can't wait for combo players.

Anyway, this deal only benefits the studios and, marginally, early HD-DVD adopters - I bet they are absolutely loving the tens of millions of dollars in easy money they are making from all this. Hell, I would. Hey Sony, you can pay me $10 for my exclusive short film. :p

Long live Format Wars! :rofl: I bet it's all a conspiracy to get those $100,000,000 checks. ;)

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Tech Star

Nooooo, Blu-Ray needs to get another studios exclusivity on board now.

Oh, at least we have Superbad of Blu-Ray latter this year or next year! :p

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mattmatik

This is great news but I'd really like a dual format player (that's affordable) to come out soon. There are a ton of movies only on Blu-Ray that I'd love to have.

But long live HD-DVD!

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