Perhaps attempting to kick off disc sales of the new format before other retailers, Best Buy started distributing multiple Ultra HD Blu-ray titles over this past weekend. That’s roughly two weeks prior to the March 1, 2016 street date of the same titles on Amazon, Walmart and other retailers. The majority of the titles made available early to consumers are films released by Twentieth Century Fox.
Such titles included Kingsman: The Secret Service, Wild, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Hitman Agent 47, and Fantastic Four. Other titles spotted at Best Buy included The Martian as well as Chappie and Exodus: Gods and Kings. Interestingly, the street date of these titles is still scheduled for March 1, 2016 on the Best Buy site. Titles also appear to be unavailable for in-store pick-up when ordering online despite being available on store shelves.
Related: Best Buy Ultra HD DVD Titles
Interestingly, Best Buy was the first major retailer to ship the Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player to consumers early. While currently sold out on the site, some consumers received the player as early as February 10. It’s possible that Best Buy pushed to release discs early in order to accommodate consumers that purchased the player last week.
Other popular films that will arrive on the new disc format include Mad Max: Fury Road, Man of Steel, Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The Expendables 3. In total, slightly more than 20 titles will be available by early March. As far as new film releases go, the first two releases in which movies will appear on Ultra HD Blu-ray and other formats at the same time will be The Peanuts Movie during early March and Will Smith’s Concussion at the end of the same month.
The new Ultra HD Blu-ray format is being sold at a premium compared to other disc options. However, high dynamic range (HDR) on Ultra HD Blu-ray discs will offer deeper blacks and more brilliant colors than traditional Blu-ray. Of course, consumers will need a Ultra HD television capable of taking advantage of HDR.