Batman Movies Coming on Blu-Ray, Re-Released on DVD
January 8, 2009

The Batman Anthology, a collection of the four previous Batman movies, now out of print on DVD, has been announced for March 10. They’re pushing the announcement that this will be the first time the movies are available on Blu-ray, but the regular editions will be coming back into print as well.

Batman Anthology cover
Batman Anthology
Buy this DVD set

Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin will be available in a Blu-ray box set. Also included will be “over 18 hours of special features, including documentaries from directors Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher, deleted scenes, and music videos”, plus a digital copy of Batman (The Movie) suitable for download to computer or iPod. (Note: I’m assuming that means the first film in the set, not the 60s campy version, but I might be wrong.) On Blu-ray, these films are only available as a set at a list price of $130 US. (If you only want the good ones, wait a bit. I’m sure individual discs will follow.)

However, on regular DVD, you have a lot more choices. You can get single-disk editions of each movie for $13 or two-disc special editions at $27 apiece. Those are coming out on February 10, with a Collection following on March 10 for $80.

This announcement struck me as more evidence of how hard studios are pushing Blu-ray now. That’s the focus of the piece, with the other discs mentioned as an afterthought, with no specific information on their content or special features. And looking at the prices, you can understand why — $50 more for an enhanced picture? I’m not interested, thanks.

It’s a shame that they didn’t do a fancy tin box with plenty of extras, like Superman got. Maybe that’s down the road for next holiday season.

14 Responses  
matthew writes:  

I wouldn’t mind seeing the first Batman again, but I wouldn’t spend any “real” money it. In other words, it’s Netflix-worthy but nothing more.

I can honestly say that every sequel looked so sub-par that I never saw them in the theater and have only seen bits and pieces of them on TV. My feeling (from others who have seen the movies) is that they were overwhelmingly bad.

So ignoring the Blu-Ray vs. DVD issue for a moment, is there really a consumer audience for these movies at all?

Ask Your PC writes:  

It seems like the DVD came out a little late and the Blu-Ray too early. Anyhow, Batman was an obvious pick for the next video to be made in Blu-ray format because of the Dark Knight’s success.

tpiro writes:  

Are we really supposed to pretend all 4 of these movies are from the same timeline?

Timo Raittila writes:  

So now we have these on VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray.

When are we getting the 60’s TV-show ???
New material please.

Charles RB writes:  

The studios are definately pushed Blu-Ray – and I’m ignoring them until they stop.

Anthony writes:  

Wonder how well Blu-Ray is selling these days anyway, given the state of the economy. Either way, count me in on the “ignoring Blu-Ray” camp as well (besides not owning an HDTV set, spending lots of money just for a sharper picture as the sole benefit/something that I can’t easily rip to my own computer? No thanks…).

Johanna writes:  

I like the Catwoman bits of Batman Returns a lot. I stumbled across that on TV the other week and found it still striking. Three and four have increasingly diminishing returns. Although I’d like to see B&R again, just for nostalgia — I only ever saw it in a preview show when I worked at DC, and I thought it was silly fun action.

Tpiro: I know having the lead actors change is a bit distracting, but I didn’t think there were any huge contradictions.

Blu-Ray does strike me as a product that suits the producers better than the customers. And that’s not a recipe for success.

Rob Spencer writes:  

These discs are probably just re-sleeved from the release a couple of years ago. They put out all 4 as 2-disc sets, or in an ‘Anthology’ pack. I think that was a cardboard box. But like Star Wars, there’s always a new audience and a continuing brand to sell.

As for Blu-Ray, it’s kind of an artificial standard; they can already produce higher-def images and higher capacity discs, but the electronics companies all settled on 1080p a couple of years ago. They’re like the Iraqis in ‘Three Kings’ “newest and best!” but it really isn’t.

I’m holding out for holograms.

Charles RB writes:  

My favourite comment on Blu-Ray was Stephen Grant at CBR noticing that the format’s pushers are calling 2000 the Year of the Blu-Ray – to which Grant says “won’t this be the third Year of the Blu-Ray?”.

Thom writes:  

Considering Blu-Rays in general are already getting down to DVD prices (they range from $15-30), it is not a tremendous amount more. I like Blu-Ray, and one nice aspect of the the newer format is that the players are back compatible. It’s not like you have to replace all your DVDs. There are films that benefit from the enhancements and films that don’t. While I think some of the pro-BR camp is absurdly over zealous, I actually find the nay-sayers similarly over-zealous. I mean, why are we faulting companies for pushing their product? Imagine claiming someone was going to ignore Marvel as long as they continued to push comic books.

Johanna writes:  

I buy DVDs when they’re $5-10, so that’s still not the same range for me. I don’t mind companies pushing the product that makes them more money – I just fear the day when they try to take away my choice entirely.

Thom writes:  

Understandable. I was more just noting that the Blu-Ray option is coming closer to general DVD prices (heck, the average new DVD still ranges from $15-$25) much more quickly. It took over five years for DVD’s to settle at the $15-25 for new releases. And for a long time, a double disc set was double the price of a single edition DVD…Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs did not charge extra for 2 disc sets right out of the gate.

Plus, for me, it’s not just the better picture (although, that is really nice for super-hero films and shows like Lost)…but extras such as picture in picture commentaries. Obviously, to people less interested in extras that is kind of a “whatever” scenario. :)

As far as taking away the choice? I think DVD will be around a long time. The big push is because Sony and other manufacturers are very nervous that Blu-Ray would become the next Laser Disc. Right now they want it to succeed enough to not be a failure-which is why they are pushing it in people’s faces and advertising “the Blu-Ray release (and oh yeah, the DVD comes out on Tuesday as well)”. :) But I don’t see DVD going anywhere for many years to come.

Johanna writes:  

Oh, I agree that the prices are coming closer — but in some cases we’ve noticed that that’s because the list prices on regular DVDs are being raised, a trend I do not like. I would hope you’re right about both formats sticking around, but I don’t think that’s likely to remain the case for long, because they’re too similar in the bigger picture.

Another Example of Pushing Customers to Blu-Ray: Bolt Release Staggered » Comics Worth Reading writes:  

[…] knew studios were pushing the Blu-Ray format hard in their product announcements, but I was surprised to see them stacking the deck when it comes to release dates. […]


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