Excitement spread quickly over the last couple of days as Amazon.com began accepting pre-orders for the highly anticipated debut of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy on Blu-ray. Many questions flooded my mind upon hearing the news. Could there be an official release date? Which versions will they be; the theatrical edits, extended editions, or both via seamless branching? Will they include new extra features? And the list goes on.
Well, according to The Digital Bits prognosticator, Bill Hunt himself, the news can definitely be classified as a confirmed kill. Here is what he had to say on his blog regarding the situation.
Sources close to director Peter Jackson have informed me that he’s saving the extended editions of the films for an “ultimate” box set release closer to the debut of the new Hobbit films – that’s why these BDs are set to be theatrical only. That’s obviously not going to satisfy every fan, but it gives them something in the meantime. As was the case with the original DVD release, at least you’re now aware in advance that a more elaborate release is coming eventually if you’d prefer to wait for it. For Warner’s part, I’ve officially confirmed with the studio that this initial Blu-ray release is real and it’s coming before the end of this year, but I’m told it won’t be officially announced for another few months yet. So you should probably still consider this release to be semi-official and subject to change. Just FYI.
Reports are coming in that the SRP is being listed as $99.98 for all 3 films, which means that it will most likely be decorated with a $69.99 on store shelves. After all, that is what Amazon.com is listing it for. And Amazon.com tends to be a good indicator for pricing trends.
So, some of my original questions, including the most important, have been answered regarding this particular SKU. Which means that, having foreknowledge of the impending extended edition releases, Warner Bros. has given me an out from my desperation to see these films on BD “as soon as humanly possible.” However, I’m certain that there are many who are eager enough that they will purchase this initial release in order to satisfy their cravings until the extended cuts are given “the treatment,” as they did with the DVD releases.
Are you an eager elf/hobbit/orc? Let us know how precious this news is to you by leaving a comment below.