Disney backing away from live action catalogue physical disc releases

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A new report suggests that Disney is pausing catalogue live action releases on the 4K physical disc format, as it channels its energies towards Disney+ instead.

This isn’t the biggest surprise in the world, but a report at the excellent The Digital Bits at the start of the weekend has seemingly confirmed the start of Disney’s slow retreat from catalogue disc releases.

The site reports Disney has suspended the release of live action catalogue titles on the physical 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format. That doesn’t just include Disney titles of course, but also the extensive back catalogue from its 20th Century Fox purchase. It’s unclear at the moment whether this affects DVD and Blu-ray releases too, but the studio has hardly been proficient in recent times at raiding its back catalogue for either.

Disney of course is heavily focused on its own streaming service now, Disney+, and any future 4K catalogue work will go there. Furthermore, at this stage, the pause is affecting the Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray format only. But it’s hard not to see this extending more broadly to further disc formats.

What this doesn’t rule out is third parties licensing Disney movies for disc release, and there has been precedent there in the past. But as things stand, 4K catalogue releases of everything from Fight Club and The Sound Of Music to The Sixth Sense and Con Air are a non-starter.

The full report at The Digital Bits has a lot more detail here.


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