Digest: Buena Vista titles on 50GB discs

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Buena Vista Home Entertainment's next wave of Blu-ray titles will all be on the high-capacity 50 GB disc. "King Arthur" and "G.I. Jane" will be in stores April 3, followed by "Deja Vu" and "The Queen" on April 24.

Blu-ray shines

The scales continue to tip in favor of Blu-ray. Warner Home Video's "The Departed," which streeted the same day (Feb. 13) on both next-gen formats, sold more than 23,000 Blu-ray discs but just 15,000 HD DVDs its first week in stores, according to Home Media Magazine market research estimates.

Duke it out

Warner is teaming with Paramount Home Entertainment to celebrate John Wayne's 100th birthday with a massive May 22 release of 48 movies starring the Duke. Highlights include spruced-up editions of "Rio Bravo," "The Cowboys" and "True Grit," as well as the six-disc "John Wayne Film Collection" featuring six films never before available on DVD: "Alleghany Uprising," "Reunion in France," "Tycoon," "Without Reservations," "Trouble Along the Way" and "Big Jim McLain." A week later Warner will release the "Katherine Hepburn 100th Anniversary Collection," also with six new-to-DVD films.

Peace First

Peace Arch Home Entertainment of Toronto has signed an output deal with First Look Home Entertainment that gives it exclusive Canadian distribution rights to all of First Look's direct-to-video releases and catalog titles. The first three titles are due in April and include "Relative Strangers" with Danny DeVito and Neve Campbell. Peach Arch had previously been distributing First Look titles in Canada on a nonexclusive basis.

Starz ups Gagnon

Ray Gagnon has been promoted to senior vp worldwide sales for Starz Home Entertainment. He reports to executive vp and GM Bill Clark. Gagnon, who joined what was then Anchor Bay Entertainment in December 2003, was senior vp sales.
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