Madman in the Blu-ray Loop

Madman Entertainment NZ is on the cusp of cranking up its Blu-ray release slate.

General manager Wilf Robinson told the indie distributor is about to boost its HD releases from six a year to six a month.

“Madman has been the only distributor in Australasia to invest in a full Blu-ray authoring suite, and since that time it has generally been sheer production capacity that has limited what could have been an even larger number of releases in the last six-to-twelve months,” he says.

“Our release schedule has been growing steadily, from one every second month nine months ago, to four-to-six per month from June.”

Robinson says Madman initially adopted a two-pronged approach: re-releasing classic animated features, “which really do show off the platform,” and new theatrical releases.

Nonetheless, this hasn’t always gone according to plan. For instance, Samson & Delilah is only about to be released on Blu-ray, several months after the DVD, because Madman couldn’t source the HD version for Blu-ray production earlier.

In the Loop’s Blu-ray release has been delayed in New Zealand until July because Madman released the DVD ahead of Australia, due to the movie opening here ahead of Australia, too.

“We could have delayed the theatrical and DVD release, and synchronised with Australia,” Robinson says, “but we felt it was a much better option to release when we did, and the results support that thinking.

“However, this is definitely the exception not the rule. We are generally one month behind Australia with our new releases, which is mostly due to local ratings requirements.”

He believes Ponyo has been Madman’s most successful Blu-ray to date. “It’s a title which really does appeal to a wide audience — but you could also say Ghibli fans are typically early adopters, being a significant part of the traditional anime audience.

“We are fully committed to releasing as much quality content as we can on Blu-ray, and this will encompass not only features but also TV series.

“But with a catalogue of over 4,000 titles, it does take some judgment — and access to the right materials — to determine what gets released when.

“Madman are currently building their Blu-ray capabilities and releases. It will become a growing and important part of our offering.”

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply