King Kong and The Lord of the Ring’s on HD-DVD

May 2, 2006

King Kong HD-DVDIf you’ll indulge me in a bit of speculation… I couldn’t help but notice the current and up-coming HD-DVD titles are missing some key box-office players, namely ‘King Kong’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. Surely both of these titles would be must-haves for fans of the films who are considering a HD-DVD player, so where are these mega titles?

This is where I go conspiracy theorist on you, so my apologies in advance. What if Universal (HD-DVD exclusive) were prepping Kong’s HD-DVD release to coincide with another consumer electronics release later this month, for example Blu-rays launch on May 23rd?

Ok I know it sounds a bit strange but hey since Universal agreed to support HD-DVD exclusively and Toshiba hasn’t exactly mounted an aggressive HD-DVD marketing campaign thus far, maybe Kong on HD-DVD will turn into an advertising blitz right around the time Blu-ray launches.

So far HD-DVD titles haven’t followed their DVD counterpart’s tradition of being announced months in advance of their release. A few of the Warner titles have been released with as little as a weeks notice, which makes the above scenario slightly more plausible.

That leaves our other mega-title up for discussion. The Lord of the Rings is a Warner Bros. release so exclusivity isn’t an issue here, the title will be available on Blu-ray and HD-DVD. However Toshiba could mount their own marketing campaign with the title right around the launch of another Blu-ray based consumer electronics device.

The PlayStation 3 is scheduled for launch in early November, hmm I wonder. Obviously this is all a bit of good natured speculation but hey, you never know…



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under HD-DVD


Comments

  • B.Greenway

    Hi Sam, New Line is a subsidiary of Time Warner but you are correct that the LOTR trilogy is from New Line proper, please pardon the generalization on my part.

    However New Line is not HD DVD exclusive. So they will appear on HD DVD and Blu-ray, one day..

  • B.Greenway

    Hi Sam, New Line is a subsidiary of Time Warner but you are correct that the LOTR trilogy is from New Line proper, please pardon the generalization on my part.

    However New Line is not HD DVD exclusive. So they will appear on HD DVD and Blu-ray, one day..

  • Sam

    Alright I don’t know where you get your facts from, but the LOTR Trilogy is not a Warner Bros. production. I do believe they were made by New Line Home Entertainment which is Exclusively with HD-DVD and not blu-ray. So if these three great movies were to come out in HD form it would be only on HD-DVD.

  • Sam

    Alright I don’t know where you get your facts from, but the LOTR Trilogy is not a Warner Bros. production. I do believe they were made by New Line Home Entertainment which is Exclusively with HD-DVD and not blu-ray. So if these three great movies were to come out in HD form it would be only on HD-DVD.

  • Gordon Barnard

    King King is being bundled with the new XBOX 360 add-on HD DVD Player ( which seems to be getting rave reviews and only costs $199 or £130 – but getting hold of one is another matter ).

    Can imagine that LOTR is being held back for a while as everybody has already bought 2 or more versions of it LOL.

  • Gordon Barnard

    King King is being bundled with the new XBOX 360 add-on HD DVD Player ( which seems to be getting rave reviews and only costs $199 or £130 – but getting hold of one is another matter ).

    Can imagine that LOTR is being held back for a while as everybody has already bought 2 or more versions of it LOL.

  • AJ

    I would definitely get LOTR on bluray if they release it, even if I didn’t have the player! I’ll be waiting for it to come out to add to my LOTR collection. I just saw 50 first dates (bluray) and it looked so good! More vibrant colors and helluvalot clearer!

  • AJ

    I would definitely get LOTR on bluray if they release it, even if I didn’t have the player! I’ll be waiting for it to come out to add to my LOTR collection. I just saw 50 first dates (bluray) and it looked so good! More vibrant colors and helluvalot clearer!

  • shakaZOLO

    It’s isn’t about the titles. They roll them out slowly to guage the consumer reponse and minimize losses in production. It also keeps the early adopters hungy. Why on earth would I buy Phantom of the Opera otherwise???

    I said this in an earlier post…..Bluray will have a marketing blitz that should be the tipping point. HD-DVD has its day in the sun right now and it’s blowing it. They should be taking every possible opportunity to get uncontested retention rather than waiting months to go toe-to-toe with Bluray. They can’t fight the marketing engine of Sony.

  • shakaZOLO

    It’s isn’t about the titles. They roll them out slowly to guage the consumer reponse and minimize losses in production. It also keeps the early adopters hungy. Why on earth would I buy Phantom of the Opera otherwise???

    I said this in an earlier post…..Bluray will have a marketing blitz that should be the tipping point. HD-DVD has its day in the sun right now and it’s blowing it. They should be taking every possible opportunity to get uncontested retention rather than waiting months to go toe-to-toe with Bluray. They can’t fight the marketing engine of Sony.

  • westcott

    I just wanted to expand a little on this topic.

    AACS and ICT is going to cause a lot of grief when it is finally implemented. There are a lot of people who own displays that are limited to component or DVI connections that are not HDCP compliant.

    If you are trying to introduce a new product, especially one that has serious competition, the last thing you want to do is allienate your potential clientel. ICT and AACS is going to do just that and so, neither mfg wants that while trying to gain market share.

    I saw this coming a long time ago when the first titles were announced. You guys are absolutely right. If you want to gain popularity and acceptance of your product, you have to provide content people will want to buy.

    Their are tons of old classics and block busters that could have been prepared for the release of these products but the studios are the ones that have the most to lose if their property is not protected.

    I would bet that these more popular titles have already been mastered with ICT tokens but the hardware mfg’s do not want them available because it would further hamper their efforts to gain market share.

    I can hear the screams and smell the fear already as these content protection schemes make their debut in the near future.

    I think I will invest in some HDMI switch box companies because even fairly new AV receivers will not be able to meet the requirements of this technology.

  • westcott

    I just wanted to expand a little on this topic.

    AACS and ICT is going to cause a lot of grief when it is finally implemented. There are a lot of people who own displays that are limited to component or DVI connections that are not HDCP compliant.

    If you are trying to introduce a new product, especially one that has serious competition, the last thing you want to do is allienate your potential clientel. ICT and AACS is going to do just that and so, neither mfg wants that while trying to gain market share.

    I saw this coming a long time ago when the first titles were announced. You guys are absolutely right. If you want to gain popularity and acceptance of your product, you have to provide content people will want to buy.

    Their are tons of old classics and block busters that could have been prepared for the release of these products but the studios are the ones that have the most to lose if their property is not protected.

    I would bet that these more popular titles have already been mastered with ICT tokens but the hardware mfg’s do not want them available because it would further hamper their efforts to gain market share.

    I can hear the screams and smell the fear already as these content protection schemes make their debut in the near future.

    I think I will invest in some HDMI switch box companies because even fairly new AV receivers will not be able to meet the requirements of this technology.

  • B.Greenway

    haha Shaka, best laugh all day.

    Yeah I hear you but I’m thinking that a lot of the people who have already bought HD-DVD were just itching for anything HD on a disc. The titles were a bit bland but they have to be looking months and years down the road more so than just launch time.

    My bet’s that once Blu-ray launches (even with good titles) folks are going to step back and really start examining what each side has to offer with a little more discretion, it could slow down sales for both sides a bit. After all, it’s not really a “choice” until the other side’s player is available.

    Westcott’s probably right about ICT stuff, highly unlikely their going let a 1080p version of Kong out in the wild so close to the DVD’s launch.

  • B.Greenway

    haha Shaka, best laugh all day.

    Yeah I hear you but I’m thinking that a lot of the people who have already bought HD-DVD were just itching for anything HD on a disc. The titles were a bit bland but they have to be looking months and years down the road more so than just launch time.

    My bet’s that once Blu-ray launches (even with good titles) folks are going to step back and really start examining what each side has to offer with a little more discretion, it could slow down sales for both sides a bit. After all, it’s not really a “choice” until the other side’s player is available.

    Westcott’s probably right about ICT stuff, highly unlikely their going let a 1080p version of Kong out in the wild so close to the DVD’s launch.

  • shakaZOLO

    The Chronic-what?-cles of Narnia! The Chronic-what?-cles of Narnia! (personally I prefer the Natalie Portman rap myself)

    C’mon B – We’re talking kiddy stuff versus the real dizzealy. LoTR is all that and a side of grits.

    I just ordered pre-realeases every of HD-DVD title and I keep forgetting that Blu-Ray is on the way. Thanks for reminding me. Seeing how lame the launch of HD-DVD was, i’m feeling more and more confident that Blu-Ray will absolutely, positively, undoubtedly pounce them. Not saying I want this to happen, but you’ve got to admit, this was a disappointing launch.

  • shakaZOLO

    The Chronic-what?-cles of Narnia! The Chronic-what?-cles of Narnia! (personally I prefer the Natalie Portman rap myself)

    C’mon B – We’re talking kiddy stuff versus the real dizzealy. LoTR is all that and a side of grits.

    I just ordered pre-realeases every of HD-DVD title and I keep forgetting that Blu-Ray is on the way. Thanks for reminding me. Seeing how lame the launch of HD-DVD was, i’m feeling more and more confident that Blu-Ray will absolutely, positively, undoubtedly pounce them. Not saying I want this to happen, but you’ve got to admit, this was a disappointing launch.

  • M. Pancha

    I would love to see LOTR on HD-DVD. The only thing keeping me from getting an HD-DVD player at this point is that none of the releases at this point are of any interest to me, and I wouldn’t waste my money on them…. leaving me with a great player, but nothing to play on them.

    Can’t wait to see what comes out in the future though, my TV is begging for better HD content than Discovery HD at this point.

  • M. Pancha

    I would love to see LOTR on HD-DVD. The only thing keeping me from getting an HD-DVD player at this point is that none of the releases at this point are of any interest to me, and I wouldn’t waste my money on them…. leaving me with a great player, but nothing to play on them.

    Can’t wait to see what comes out in the future though, my TV is begging for better HD content than Discovery HD at this point.

  • westcott

    I think I have a better explanation why King Kong, LOTR, or any other block buster or classic movie has not bee released yet.

    Without the ICT tokens in play yet, any releases to this point are open to copying via the analog outputs which have not been downrezed YET.

    My take is that the studios will not risk the big money makers release yet until the analog output has been officially protected as planned with the ICT tokens.

  • westcott

    I think I have a better explanation why King Kong, LOTR, or any other block buster or classic movie has not bee released yet.

    Without the ICT tokens in play yet, any releases to this point are open to copying via the analog outputs which have not been downrezed YET.

    My take is that the studios will not risk the big money makers release yet until the analog output has been officially protected as planned with the ICT tokens.

  • B.Greenway

    Hey Adam,

    Great take, yeah I’m sure Kong is coming to HD-DVD but like you allude to, when is almost as important as if.

    To be honest with you I enjoyed ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ more than LOTR, oh no now the fantasy fiends are coming for me!

    Yeah it’s definitely a phenomenon and one I can’t really explain, hey it was a great adaptation and all, but the re-viewings and merchandising are just beyond me.

  • B.Greenway

    Hey Adam,

    Great take, yeah I’m sure Kong is coming to HD-DVD but like you allude to, when is almost as important as if.

    To be honest with you I enjoyed ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ more than LOTR, oh no now the fantasy fiends are coming for me!

    Yeah it’s definitely a phenomenon and one I can’t really explain, hey it was a great adaptation and all, but the re-viewings and merchandising are just beyond me.

  • Adam Griffith

    Last I remember, King Kong WAS officially announced to be coming to HD-DVD – date of release: TBA. So at least we know that much, first of all. And though I, personally, would be somewhat surprised if it were to release suddenly at the end of the month – I do fully expect/imagine that it will come out at least within the next 2-3 months and “that ain’t bad”. If it did NOT come out either at or before a period where Blu-Ray starts to pick up any steam at all – then I would shocked to my core and wonder what the hell exactly is going on.

    Last I read, Lord of the Rings hasn’t been announced to be coming for either format. I suppose it will be a big coup’ for whichever format has it first and that may be part of the reason as to why an announcement still has yet to be made. Maybe their is potential conspiracy in that both sides, behind-the-scenes, may be trying to woo an exclusive release of the trilogy for their format.

    Amazingly, LotR does command that sort of attention. Out of all the movies out there, the LotR series, I absolutely KNOW, – IS one of the few things around that can truly help convince casual movie goers and people who are still staunch SD-DVD supporters that the next-gen formats are the answer.

    I swear, it’s unbelieveable the command and respect that trilogy gets both as an actual quality work of film AND as a movie series collection to own or lay down money for.

    And I’m not talking about just among DVD collectors or fantasy-lovers – I’m talking about every average Joe or Jane who live down the suburban block, who I’ve casually talked to about movies. People who don’t even rent or buy many movies in general, somehow have or really want to have a great version of LotR standing up on their shelf.

    It’ll certainly be interesting to see which fomat lands it first/best. I know I’d like to see an HD-DVD version ASAP…

  • Adam Griffith

    Last I remember, King Kong WAS officially announced to be coming to HD-DVD – date of release: TBA. So at least we know that much, first of all. And though I, personally, would be somewhat surprised if it were to release suddenly at the end of the month – I do fully expect/imagine that it will come out at least within the next 2-3 months and “that ain’t bad”. If it did NOT come out either at or before a period where Blu-Ray starts to pick up any steam at all – then I would shocked to my core and wonder what the hell exactly is going on.

    Last I read, Lord of the Rings hasn’t been announced to be coming for either format. I suppose it will be a big coup’ for whichever format has it first and that may be part of the reason as to why an announcement still has yet to be made. Maybe their is potential conspiracy in that both sides, behind-the-scenes, may be trying to woo an exclusive release of the trilogy for their format.

    Amazingly, LotR does command that sort of attention. Out of all the movies out there, the LotR series, I absolutely KNOW, – IS one of the few things around that can truly help convince casual movie goers and people who are still staunch SD-DVD supporters that the next-gen formats are the answer.

    I swear, it’s unbelieveable the command and respect that trilogy gets both as an actual quality work of film AND as a movie series collection to own or lay down money for.

    And I’m not talking about just among DVD collectors or fantasy-lovers – I’m talking about every average Joe or Jane who live down the suburban block, who I’ve casually talked to about movies. People who don’t even rent or buy many movies in general, somehow have or really want to have a great version of LotR standing up on their shelf.

    It’ll certainly be interesting to see which fomat lands it first/best. I know I’d like to see an HD-DVD version ASAP…