Universal Studios Home Entertainment today revealed it will begin releasing Blu-ray Discs this summer, with its Blu-ray Disc releases set to ship day and date with the studio’s DVD movies.
Universal was the last “powerhouse” studio that had not previously announced its transition to Blu-ray from HD-DVD.
The first wave of Universal Blu-ray releases will hit U.S. stores on July 22. This first batch will include The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, starring Brendan Fraser, and the action-packed spin-off The Scorpion King, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The first of Universal’s new theatrical Blu-ray releases hitting stores this summer day and date with its DVD counterpart is the apocalyptic thrill-ride Doomsday, starring Rhona Mitra, Malcolm McDowell and Bob Hoskins. Other titles on deck for 2008 include American Gangster, Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Miami Vice, End of Days, U-571 and Land of the Dead.
Universal will release Heroes: Season 2 on Blu-ray on August 26, the same day it ships Heroes: Season One hits Blu-ray. Then, just in time for the holidays, Universal will release its five blockbuster feature films from the summer: The Incredible Hulk, starring Edward Norton, William Hurt and Liv Tyler; Wanted, the action-thriller starring Morgan Freeman, James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie; Hellboy II: The Golden Army, from acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro; Mamma Mia!, the musical romantic comedy in which Meryl Streep leads an all-star cast in the adaptation of the beloved musical; and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, in which Jet Li, Maria Bello and Michelle Yeoh join Brendan Fraser and John Hannah for a supernatural adventure that shifts The Mummy series to the Far East
Universal is the last major studio to announce its “switch” from HD-DVD to Blu-ray Disc. Warner Bros. was the first studio to make such an announcement, when it announced its intentions in January, on the eve of CES. Warner’s announcement essentially sealed HD-DVD’s fate as a high-definition movie format, as it contributed in large part to Toshiba abandoning its HD-DVD hardware soon after the news.