New Line to debut disc on Blu-ray first

New Line Home Entertainment will dip its toes into murky high-def waters Nov. 20 with “Hairspray.”

The tuner will debut on Blu-ray and standard DVD, with an HD DVD version to follow after it completes its theatrical run overseas. (Unlike Blu-ray, HD DVD discs are not region coded.)

As part of the Time Warner family, New Line’s support of high-def format had never been in doubt — it was always a question of when, not if, it would release its first high-def disc. Ultimately, the studio decided to wait until it had a big hit.

“We were waiting to launch with a blockbuster, and certainly ‘Hairspray’ is that,” said New Line Home Entertainment exec VP of marketing Matt Lasorsa.

“Hairspray” will join a fourth quarter homevideo slate already jam-packed with the summer’s biggest theatrical hits. In recent years, New Line had bypassed the busy period, opting to bow its biggest summer hits in January, when the sked is less crowded, but this year the studio decided to go for the holiday coin.

“It’s been a while,” Lasorsa admitted.

But he said potential gift sales were too enticing to pass up. “Wedding Crashers,” New Line’s last big summer hit, didn’t have quite as broad an audience as “Hairspray.”

The pic will bow on disc two days before Thanksgiving, historically a prime date for a homevideo bow, along with “Live Free or Die Hard.”

Among the other hits bowing around that period: “Shrek the Third” and “Ocean’s Thirteen” on Nov. 13 and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” on Dec. 4. “Knocked Up,” the first big hit of the summer, is also the first to make its way to disc on Sept. 25.

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