Wreck It Ralph is a Pixar style animated family film that takes place in the gaming world, and was quite popular last winter when it hit theaters.
With the latest Pixar movies stuck in a rut, Wreck It Ralph may have actually beat Pixar at their own game, and now Ralph is trying to break new home entertainment ground as well.
Home video technology has gone through quite a few changes in the last ten years or so. VHS finally went out of business, but Blu-ray still hasn’t completely taken over from DVD, and VoD and streaming are still going strong. Now Variety confirms that Ralph is going to be available in digital formats before it arrives on DVD and Blu-ray.
As the trade publication reports, Disney is doing this "to test whether it can boost homevid sales of films on digital platforms" before they come hit DVD and Blu-ray. On February 12, Ralph will be released in HD and digital 3D editions of the movies, then the regular DVD and Blu-ray releases will be out on March 5.
This also comes at a time where Disney made a deal with Netflix for exclusive streaming rights, and ‘Flix also be showing Disney movies eight months after they play in theaters. These days, the theatrical to home video windows have gotten much shorter, as evidenced by Ralph, which is now ready for its home release a little over three months to the day it first came out in theaters.
According to Geek.com, Fox has also created a similar digital release service called Digital HD Push - releasing Prometheus digitally three weeks before it came out on disc formats. Ralph will be the first time Disney will be doing this, and while there’s no official price yet to download the movie, TheVerge believes it should probably be in the $14.99 range.
Clearly the major studios are hoping this is going to be the next wave of home entertainment technology, where you can download a movie through Google, iTunes, Amazon, PlayStation, and more.
By going out with their heavy hitters first, like Prometheus and Wreck It Ralph, the majors are also hoping they can push this technology through and make it stick. Soon enough we’ll find out if Ralph can actually help make the technology stick, or if we’ve still got a ways to go before we say goodbye to physical discs for good.