Is Blu-ray Rushing Itself Into a Catalog Drought?

Is there any energy left in the back catalog after Jurassic Park?

By , Contributor

Next week, Jurassic Park comes to Blu-ray, one of those “it's about time” releases for its beefy home theater power. It's coming not long after Star Wars, a bit later than the extended Lord of the Rings, and prior to that, Back to the Future.

What does that mean for Blu-ray as a catalog format? A lot, because it feels quite exhausted. For those mainstream, instantly recognized pieces of Hollywood entertainment, two names remain: Indiana Jones and Jaws. Those are still waiting for Blu-ray editions, although Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is out there, not that anyone cares.

Sure, there might be a handful of others, maybe an E.T. or Finding Nemo could spice things up, but it seems as if there's a rush to get this format into the homes. It's been five years since the formats inception, and it looks like the honeymoon with the catalog is over.

It's easy to face facts: Blu-ray isn't what DVD was, and it likely never will be. For the video/audiophile inside, that hurts, but it's reality. Jurassic Park is that catalog punch that may move some units, and Star Wars certainly did. Is there anticipation left though once that player hits home in a post JP world of hi-def goodness?

There will always be a stream of new releases of course, the latest superhero jaunt certainly important to the format for their showy visual effects and one-two audio punch. There's a lot to be said for the mountain of older titles too though, Blu-ray a format that can capture a piece of their spectacle and keep it alive for a while before the advent of digital downloads and convenience mask quality.

As it stands, this all feels rushed, studios clamoring for a sizeable market (Blu-ray found itself in a record setting week with Lion King and Fast Five) with a little too much force, drowning out the excitement in the process and spilling out their classics.

It's weird to think or even write that the Indiana Jones trilogy doesn't feel wanted right now. I'm sure it would sell, the hype train would roll, and then... well, there's no “then” really. After that, it's all Transformer sequels, and who wants that?

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Matt Paprocki is a 13-year veteran of the video game, movie, and home media scene. He has written thousands of reviews, has been published on a variety of websites, and contributes his thoughts daily on a diverse range of topics.

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