The Hobbit Blu-ray: An Unexpected Delay

Warner Bros will release The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Blu-ray six weeks earlier in the US than in NZ.

The 2D and 3D editions of the theatrical cut are scheduled for March 19 in the US but won’t go on sale here until May 1.

It’s unclear why there will be such a delay when the movie had its world premiere in Wellington and was released globally.

The good news for Hobbit nuts who don’t want to wait is WB Blu-rays are region-free, so they will be able to order a US edition online.

It’s unclear why WB is separating the US and Australasian home video launches by six weeks.

But such a strategy seems at odds with both the globalisation of blockbuster releases and Hollywood’s war on piracy in territories such as NZ.

Mid-March will be a crowded release slate here, with the likes of Skyfall, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2  and WB’s own Game of Thrones: Season 2 dominating retailers’ shelves.

But given The Hobbit has grossed nearly $11.5 million at the NZ box office, you would think the competition would be scheduling their releases around it.

It’s not just Kiwis who will have to wait longer than Americans: WB is staggering The Hobbit’s Blu-ray release around the world, with the UK’s copies not due until April 8.

Even so, given the controversy over The Hobbit’s production, from extra government investment to damaging industry discord, it’s galling that WB should treat its home of Middle-Earth as being at the ends of the Earth.

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10 Responses to “The Hobbit Blu-ray: An Unexpected Delay”

  1. I should have Skyfall on Blu-ray this week as I ordered it from http://www.wowhd.co.nz/

  2. I should have Skyfall on Blu-ray this week as I ordered it from Wow HD also and it was sent yesterday. Don’t know why this movie is released a month later in New Zealand than in the UK or USA.

  3. Unlike The Hobbit, the Skyfall Blu-ray is following the theatrical release strategy of the movie, which opened a month earlier in the UK than NZ and two weeks earlier in the US. Moreover, it wasn’t as big a hit in the US as it was in the UK and NZ, and locally it’s still playing in a handful of cinemas.

  4. Most likely the reason for the delayed release of The Hobbit is it’s still playing here.

  5. Hi Mark, it’s the same for me: Skyfall is on its way … love WOW HD 🙂

  6. Hopefully Skyfall arrives in time for the weekend. I have the James Bond boxset and there is a space for Skyfall disc in this set.

  7. I’ve got the boxset too and while it’s pretty good overall, I was disappointed in the lack of new supplemenatary material. Surely for the 50th ann. they could have done better?

  8. YAY … I got my Skyfall Blu-ray today, looks amazing 🙂

  9. As I’m too impatient to wait until May for The Hobbit I have pre-ordered mine on Amazon … love Amazon, love region free 🙂

  10. I did think about holding off buying The Hobbit and waiting for the extended version later this year. I have bitten the bullet though and pre-ordered the theatrical version from Amazon US.

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