Stargate Atlantis Fans’ Choice is coming to Blu-ray high definition in just a few weeks (August 4). But don’t hold your breath for more.
MGM and Fox Home Entertainment today released the official announcement for the Fans’ Choice release, which includes extended versions of the first (two-part) episode and the last episode of the series, “Rising” and “Enemy At the Gate.” But they also had this to say:
“Stargate Atlantis Fans’ Choice Blu-ray disc is the only high definition release planned for the Stargate Atlantis series.”
When the studio first announced the Blu-ray release, we speculated that it may be a way to “test the waters” of the new format, to determine if it would sell well enough to release full seasons of the Stargate series in high-def (particularly when much of the show’s core audience already own the episodes on standard DVD). If MGM and Fox have already decided not to do full-season releases, that seems not to be the case.
The reasoning behind this decision is not known. While remastering older material can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor (such as with Paramount’s high-def releases of the 1960s Star Trek series), Atlantis was filmed using high-definition digital cameras from the first episode.
One factor may be the DVD market itself, where sales have has dwindled following the big “TV on DVD” boom of several years ago, as well as the faltering economy. The relative weakness of the current DVD market has been cited as a chief reason why MGM has not yet put the next SG-1 and Atlantis movies into active production, despite the strong sales of The Ark of Truth and Continuum in 2008.
Blu-ray players are in an estimated 10.5 million U.S. homes as of February 2009, according to Home Media Magazine. Industry analysts say Blu-ray’s market share will reach 60 percent (versus DVD) by 2014, and nearly 74 percent by 2017 (story).
Blu-ray titles made up 12 percent of sales in June (88 percent for DVD), according to Blu-rayStats.com.
The year 2017, of course, gives the studio a lot of time to change its mind, depending on the overall success of TV on Blu-ray.
In the meantime, don’t miss the August 4 release of Stargate Atlantis: Fans’ Choice! The episodes and cover art were voted on by fans, and the cover designed by a fan (and GateWorld Forum member!), as well. The disc will sell for a suggested price of $29.99 U.S. ($32.99 Canada). No bonus features are listed. Pre-order it now at Amazon.com and support GateWorld.
NEXT: The full press release