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Warner to Grow Blu-ray Titles at Lower Prices

Perhaps unrelated yet coming at about the same time as Sony's MovieIQ rollout for Blu-ray users will be a stepped-up Blu-ray push from Warner Home Video. The Hollywood shop plans to release 23 Warner Brothers titles within only a few weeks of each other starting in September—and at less than typical Blu-ray price points. Most of the titles will be catalog (non-new release) films.

Warner said sales of its Blu-ray theatrical titles have doubled in the past year. As a way to encourage what it sees as accelerating sales, Warner said it will accompany its 23 catalog release with lower-than-typical MSRP of $29. That's about $5-10 below its previous Blu-ray price points. Part of the price break is to encourage users to replace their older catalog titles with Blu-ray versions.

Still, Warner's announced titles, while they may be catalog content, are not what many film buffs would consider hugely popular or classic movies. Early releases will include "Snakes on a Plane," "Catwoman," "Creepshow," "Sphere" and "Dead Calm," among others.

But some true Warner classics coming to Blu-ray this fall (with added extras and not available at the new lower prices) will include the original "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" with Gene Wilder, and "The Wizard of Oz."