New Line Home Entertainment is the latest Hollywood studio to commit to Sony's proprietary Universal Media Disc, which plays movies and videogames on the PlayStation Portable device.
(The Hollywood Reporter) -- New Line Home Entertainment is the latest Hollywood studio to commit to Sony's proprietary Universal Media Disc, which plays movies and videogames on the PlayStation Portable device.
Its first six titles will go on sale Oct. 4 for $19.98 each: "Elf," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (2003), "The Butterfly Effect," "Freddy vs. Jason," "Blade" and "Secondhand Lions."
New Line Home Entertainment executive VP marketing Matt Lasorsa said the studio is experimenting with its first slate of UMD titles, targeting the 17- to 25-year-old gamers with R-rated films, and the 10- to 15-year-old gamers with family titles.
Even before tallying how its first batch of catalog UMDs performs, Lasorsa said New Line is projecting an additional UMD release slate that will include at least one day-and-date DVD and UMD release.
With more than 1.3 million units sold in the United States, home entertainment studios are embracing the UMD format. Of the majors, only Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DreamWorks Home Entertainment have yet to commit.
DreamWorks recently signed a deal to release "Shrek," "Shrek 2" and "Shark Tale" on the competing Game Boy Video cartridges, which play on Nintendo's Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS players.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has the largest selection of releases on UMD, while Buena Vista Home Entertainment is the only studio to provide DVD-style bonus content on the 1.8 GB discs and Paramount Home Entertainment is the first studio to introduce TV programming. MGM Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Lions Gate Home Entertainment, Anchor Bay Home Entertainment and Fox Home Entertainment also have released movies in the new format.
Lasorsa said retailers are dedicated to committing more floor space to the sale of UMD movies and that other studios have had early success with UMD movie releases. "People are using the PSP as more than just a gaming device," he said.
More than 130 UMD movies are slated to ship this year, which tops the number of games heading to Sony's portable entertainment device.
"It wouldn't surprise me if PSP movies end up with a 3-to-1 tie ratio on PSP," Arcadia Research videogame analyst John Taylor said. "To date, the game tie ratio is around 2.5 games to every one PSP hardware unit sold, which is somewhat lower than expected -- in part because of the availability of movies."
Taylor expects Sony to sell 4 million PSPs in the U.S. by year's end, which means the movie business could generate about $250 million in over-the-counter UMD sales based on a $20 price point. He also noted that Sony waved royalty charges so studios would support the device but wonders whether the high price of games ($40 to $50) and low price of movies ($20 to $30) is cannibalizing Sony's game sales.