Ending over a year of speculation, New Line has announced it is finally throwing its hat into the next-gen ring with 'Hairspray' this November.
The studio confirmed to the industry trades Video Business and Home Media Magazine on Tuesday that it will bow the $110 million-plus domestic grosser on November 20, day-and-date on Blu-ray and standard-def DVD. An HD DVD edition will follow sometime "in early 2008," though no exact street date has been set.
New Line says it will follow the strategy of its parent company Warner, and maintain a format-neutral approach by releasing titles on Blu-ray and HD DVD. Following the recent defection of Paramount to the HD DVD-only camp, New Line and Warner are now the only two studios currently supporting both formats.
"Clearly, there isn't a format winner at this point, so we’re going to adopt the strategy from Warner, our sister company, and mirror what they are doing," Matt Lasorsa, New Line EVP of marketing, told Home Media Magazine. "And by supporting both formats, we are giving consumers the ultimate choice."
Although New Line's dual-format support had long been expected, its staggered release of 'Hairspray' on HD DVD came as a surprise. Lasorsa attributed the delay to HD DVD's current lack of region coding.
"Since we sell to independent international distributors, we have to be more sensitive to their release dates than a major studio," Lasorsa added. "But for second-party acquisitions to which we don't have international rights, we will be day-and-date on all three formats."
New Line is expected to issue a full press release for the Blu-ray release of 'Hairspray' shortly, but early specs revealed to Video Business hint at a fully-loaded special edition. Among the extras shared with the standard-def DVD are the "You Can't Stop the Beat" documentary, multiple audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and a bonus dance number.
Exclusive to the Blu-ray release will be a "Behind the Beat" picture-in-picture video commentary similar to the popular In-Movie Experience feature on rival HD DVD. (When 'Hairspray' does finally hit HD DVD next year, it is also expected to include the same bonus features, plus additional web-enabled features.)
We'll certainly keep you posted as soon as the official press release for 'Hairspray' hits the wires, as well as all future New Line announcements. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, you'll find these preliminary disc details for 'Hairspray' linked from our Blu-ray Release Schedule, under November 20. You'll also find the title under the "Release Dates Pending" section of our HD DVD Release Schedule. Watch this space!
- Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
- Hairspray (2007) (Blu-ray)