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Thursday, April 17, 2008
Universal Goes Blu-ray This Summer

Universal Studios, once Hollywood's top backer of the doomed HD DVD video format, will soon release all its new videos on the Blu-ray format.

The studio announced on Thursday that the program will kick off in the summer with the recent box office flop "Doomsday."

Universal's Blu-ray strategy includes plans to release about 40 titles in the second half of the year.

Among them are the studio's five big feature films of the summer, including "The Incredible Hulk," with Edward Norton, William Hurt and Liv Tyler; "Wanted," an action thriller starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie; "Hellboy II: The Golden Army"; "Mamma Mia," the adaptation of the musical starring Meryl Streep; and the sequel "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," with Brendan Fraser and Jet Li.

Universal officially will enter the Blu-ray market July 22 with a trio of films from its "Mummy" action-adventure franchise: "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns," both starring Fraser, and the spinoff "The Scorpion King," with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

Universal had been HD DVD's biggest studio backer ever since the next-generation optical disc format came to market in April 2006. But when Toshiba pulled the plug on the format in February, the studio wasted no time switching its allegiance to Sony's Blu-ray.

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