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Disney Plans to Stop Releasing Live-Action Films in 4K Ultra HD on Physical Media

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Disney has reportedly stopped the release of physical 4k Ultra HD versions of live-action catalog titles from its various studios, including 20th Century Fox.

According to The Digital Bits, Disney hasn’t entirely given up on the format. New releases, as well as classic animated, Star Wars and Marvel projects, will all still receive 4K Ultra HD releases. However, in the future, any other catalog titles will be given 4K releases exclusively through 4K digital means.

The final catalog releases to reportedly receive the 4K Ultra HD treatment will be Hocus Pocus and Home Alone, both of which will arrive on Sept. 15. The report offers speculation that Disney’s lack of commitment to releasing classic titles on the 4K Ultra HD format is due to an assortment of factors. These include the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the downsizing of 20th Century Fox after its purchase by Disney.

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Primarily, though, the push away from this form of physical home video is seen as a way of putting more attention on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+. The company has not made an official comment on this matter.

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Disney began releasing titles on 4K Ultra HD with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in Aug. 2017. Since then, Disney has released new movies from its various divisions, including many titles from 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures, on the format.

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