Disney is the latest studio to jump on the emerging trend of releasing a key title in Digital HD before becoming available on disc and on-demand. Wreck-It-Ralph, which has made $175.5 million domestically and $275M-plus globally to date, will get that treatment February 12, while its Blu-ray, DVD and VOD offerings will come available March 5. Fox was the first to dip its toes in these waters, releasing Ridley Scott’s Prometheus — it’s biggest title to date — on September 18, three weeks before its disc debut; last month, Fox offered Taken 2 on digital four weeks ahead of its disc debut. The push is to promote the branded Digital HD, which offers downloads of movies weeks before their traditional home video window begins at a discounted price (Prometheus’ price point was less than $15).
Google, Apple’s iTunes, Amazon, Best Buy’s CinemaNow, PlayStation, Walmart’s VUDU, and Xbox Live are aboard the initiative, which is looking to capture a spot on all those tablets, smartphones and smart TVs that flew off the shelves during the holidays. Unlike some other window-shifting initiatives, the exhibition industry is OK with Digital HD as it doesn’t impact the length of the movies’ theatrical runs, which generally spans three months.