– The box office movie deals have begun with Panasonic getting “Avatar” for its 3D TV line while Sony followed with a Disney deal for two hits – “Alice In Wonderland” and “Bolt.”
In Panasonic’s case the news centered on a deal with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment to be the exclusive launch partner for the release on 3D Blu-ray of “Avatar” in early December.
Several days later, Sony announced that it has reached a deal with Walt Disney Home Entertainment to bundle 3D Blu-ray versions of “Alice In Wonderland” and/or “Bolt” with select Bravia 3D TV products.
Panasonic’s exclusive distribution of “Avatar” will run through an undisclosed period of time during which the disc will only be available to consumers who purchase a Panasonic 3D Viera plasma TV, Panasonic executives told TWICE.
Exact promotions were still being determined as this went to press, but may possibly involve bundles with Viera 3D TVs and other products, executives said.
Victor Carlson, Panasonic’s consumer marketing VP, told TWICE his company will back the promotional offers using an integrated marketing campaign that will leverage the cooperation and resources of participating retail channel partners.
“For the consumer, there is really no better way to experience 3D in the home than with this particular disc,” Carlson said. “This is the perfect marriage between this blockbuster made for 3D and what we think is the ultimate home entertainment system for enjoying 3D using our TV sets.”
Carlson said Panasonic is looking to “do the right thing” for its early-adopter customers by working on a plan to make the “Avatar” 3D Blu-ray Disc available to those customers who have already purchased a Panasonic 3D Viera TV. Details are still being worked out, he added.
Similarly, in the Sony/Disney arrangement, people who buy a Sony 3D TV this holiday season can receive the Disney Blu-ray 3D titles for free. For a short period, the 3D discs will not be released in stores or through other vehicles.
Disney and Sony will collaborate on consumer and retail education programs, promotion and marketing support. The U.S.-centric campaign will launch during the high-traffic holiday retail season, will incorporate 10 different Sony 3D Bravia HDTVs, and will use 3D content from “Alice In Wonderland,” the companies said.
The effort will include advertising and retail execution, as well as product bundling, including the Blu-ray 3D debut of Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland.”
The marketing campaign features multiple consumer incentives as well as a comprehensive television, online, social-media and print campaign.
Sony said it will give purchasers of its 3D Bravia HDTVs a choice between the 3D discs.
The joint promotional efforts are part of a trend in which movie studios are releasing their first 3D Blu-ray movies as bundle promotions with select hardware manufacturers, to limit the risk of releasing titles for a small installed base of 3D TV owners. The practice has been criticized for drastically limiting to pool of 3D content available to consumers who have purchased other brands of 3D TVs.