Could Hollywood finally be getting the message and lowering the prices of Blu-ray movie titles? We hope so. An insightful report by Josh Dreuth at Blu-ray.com discusses the sudden price drop for Blu-ray titles, which critics have long griped were too steep for the high-def format to gain mainstream acceptance.
In some cases, Blu-ray titles are now only $10 to $20, a few dollars more than their DVD counterparts. Amazon, for instance, is selling the unrated version of The 40-Year-Old Virgin for $15, and Iron Man for $19. The DVD versions of these titles are just $5 less. And Blu-ray editions of older flicks from the studio vaults, including Stargate, Total Recall, and the first three Rambo movies, are now $10.
Will the lower prices help? It's no secret that consumers haven't exactly warmed up to Blu-ray, although disc and player sales did pick up during the 2008 holiday season, particularly in Europe. The Blu-ray edition of The Dark Knight did particularly well, selling well over a million copies in the U.S. alone. Currently there are nearly 11 million Blu-ray players in the United States, according to the Digital Entertainment Group.
The lower disc prices, combined with Blu-ray players that now start at under $200, may finally get consumers to upgrade to the high-def format, although naysayers remain skeptical. Critics point out that Blu-ray's picture quality really isn't dramatically better than DVD's, even on large-screen HDTVs. Another issue is that pay-per-view movie services from cable providers and Internet sites may prove more attractive to consumers in the long run. And you don't have to buy new hardware.
Then again, who wouldn't be willing to drop $12 bucks for the Blu-ray edition of National Lampoon's Van Wilder?
This story, "Blu-ray Price Drop: Studios Slash Movie Prices " was originally published by PCWorld.