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Studios Set Blu-ray Launch Date

3/13/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

The first prerecorded Blu-ray Disc titles from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Lion's Gate will be available in stores May 23, in time to support the launch of BD players from Samsung and Pioneer, the studios said.

The launch will include eight titles from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and four from Lionsgate. Then, on June 13, Sony will follow up with an additional six catalog titles while Lionsgate will contribute six more.

The first titles from Sony will include “50 First Dates,” “The Fifth Element,” “House of Flying Daggers,” “A Knight's Tale,” “Resident Evil,” “The Last Waltz” and “XXX”.

Titles from Lionsgate will include “Crash,” “Saw” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”

Lionsgate said it will sell its titles for suggested retail prices of $30 to $40 each. Sony previously announced that its catalog BD titles will sell for about $17.95 wholesale, or roughly the same price asked for DVDs, when that format first launched. New releases will wholesale for $23.45 each.

Sony is not issuing suggested retail pricing on its BD titles, leaving retailers free to determine their own margins, but retail street pricing is expected to range between $24.95 and $34.95 each.

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