Last Updated on July 30, 2021
Rumors have recently swirled that Disney was almost going to entirely stop releasing 4K physical titles of their library titles. The belief was that they would only be releasing 4K options from a major franchise in the future, such as STAR WARS, Marvel, or Pixar. Disney has heard these rumors and they don't exactly debunk definitively but they do add a bit more clarity through a Disney spokesperson via "Forbes."
"There are no plans to discontinue releases in a particular format. We evaluate each release on a case by case basis and pursue the best strategy to bring our content into consumer homes across platforms that meet a variety of demands."
This statement can be viewed in a few ways. First of all, the statement wasn't attributed to anyone specific within the Disney ranks and was merely released by an unnamed "spokesperson." Also, the initial part of the statement leaves little room for error as well. Disney doesn't appear to be entirely doing away with any particular format and this would include 4K Blu-ray discs. There is a bit more wiggle room with the rest of the statement that gives them the opportunity to evaluate each movie on a case by case basis. The original report indicated that the company wasn't interested in digging into its classic library of titles, or the library inherited from Fox after last year's merger, for future 4K physical releases. It went on to say they wanted to focus on streaming because they have been aggressively pursuing that avenue via their Disney+ service. Essentially, I read their statement as if money can be made by a certain library title on 4K Blu-ray, they'll pursue it. If they feel that they won't get much revenue from the release, they won't make it available in that format.
It's still interesting that they had a "spokesperson" address the rumor though. Perhaps there was enough of an uproar for them to want to put out some fires a bit but it doesn't seem like a major hit to their brand if they decided to ditch the 4K Blu-ray format for their library titles. Physical media has increasingly become a niche market, although I do know there are those of us like me that do exist and still like to have the best physical copy to date of any title that we may love. HOCUS POCUS and HOME ALONE will be arriving on 4K soon and they were expected to be the final library titles to get such a release before their focus was expected to shift. Time will only tell how this plays out moving forward.