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Sony to take over Disney's disc production – Disney Movie Club to close

21 Feb 2024 | Rasmus Larsen |

Disney is leaving production and distribution of future DVD, Blu-ray, and UHD Blu-ray releases to Sony Pictures. Additionally, Disney will be closing down its Disney Movie Club for disc collectors.

Physical media is in a rough spot, with sales and rentals of discs in the US having fallen another 25% in 2023 to $1.56 billion, down from over $16 billion at its peak in the mid-2000s, due to the rise of streaming.

Last year's significant decline occurred even before Best Buy's planned exit from the disc market by the end of Q1 2024.

Disney inks deal with Sony

Disney is now dismantling its in-house physical media production arm, entrusting it to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, according to a report by The Digital Bits, which also broke the news about Best Buy. - "Disney and Sony have just inked a major deal for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to take over all of Disney’s physical media production going forward," reported Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits. "This means that Sony will handle and oversee the actual authoring and compression of discs, that they’ll work with the replicators and packaging vendors, and that they’ll oversee the titles as they go out to the distributors and on to retailers." Also read: 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray database

Cameron 4K releases

Some of Disney's last disc releases from in-house production are Cameron's movies. Photo: Disney

As part of the agreement, Sony will assume responsibility for marketing, selling, and distributing all new Disney releases in the US and Canada, as well as catalog releases from Disney and its subsidiary studios. Also read: Disney's big debut of High Frame Rate movies this week is just the beginning The first Disney release that Sony Pictures will oversee is The First Omen from Disney-owned 20th Century Studios.

Disney Movie Club is closing

In what is most likely a direct consequence of this deal, Disney has started informing subscribers of the Disney Movie Club that it will close in May 2024. The Disney Movie Club has been in existence since 2001 as a subscription service that allows members to purchase DVDs and Blu-rays from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars at discounted prices, including limited edition discs. - "After 23 Magical Years, It's Time To Say Goodbye. We have made the difficult decision to close the Disney Movie Club. We will miss the opportunity to serve cherished Disney fans like you! The last day to order is May 20, 2024," Disney wrote in an email to customers. - Source: The Digital Bits

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