Call it the "Mission: Impossible III" triple play. In an industry first, Paramount Home Entertainment is expected to announce Friday that it will release the $133.4 million summer movie hit on DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc all on the same day: Oct. 30.
It's the first movie ever to be released simultaneously on standard DVD as well as on both next-generation, high-definition optical disc formats.
"This is certainly a significant milestone in the launch of the high-def formats," said veteran industry analyst Tom Adams, president of Adams Media Research. "It's clearly way too soon to know which format is going to prevail, and it may be years. So I think we'll see a lot more dual-format releases, at least in the short term. The interesting moment will be if we see that from somebody besides Paramount and Warner Home Video, the only two studios that have announced support for both formats."
" 'M:I-3' set a new standard for action films and is setting a new standard for the home entertainment experience," said Meagan Burrows, president of domestic home entertainment at Paramount Pictures. "We're giving consumers all their options including the HD releases with a pristine presentation of the film as well as high-definition bonus features created exclusively for the movie."
The two-disc Special Collector's Edition DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc will each come loaded with special features, including five deleted scenes, Easter eggs (hidden special features), theatrical trailers and four documentaries: "The Making of the Mission," "Mission Action: Inside the Action Unit," "Visualizing the Mission" and "Scoring the Mission."
The HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc versions also will feature the film in 1080p High Definition with 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus.
"I'm thrilled that people with get a chance to see 'M:I-3' with the best possible picture and audio," director J.J. Abrams said.
In addition, the HD-DVD release will include an "enhanced commentary" with Abrams and star Tom Cruise that shows them talking in a corner of the screen while the movie is playing.
The Special Collector's Edition DVD also will feature a regular commentary with Cruise and Abrams, a "Moviefone Unscripted" segment in which the two answer questions from fans, tribute montages and a photo gallery.
A single-disc DVD also will be available with only the commentary, "The Making of the Mission" documentary and the deleted scenes.