Weird world of Blu-ray 3D giveaways

Earlier this year, if you purchased a Samsung 3D TV you also received a copy of the Dreamworks computer animated movie, Monsters vs Aliens, presented in Blu-ray 3D. Samsung wasn’t alone.

Panasonic 3D TVs came, for a while, with two Blu-ray 3D movies: Coraline and Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. And right now, Sony has a Christmas promotion on: purchase an eligible 3D TV before Christmas day and you get a 3D pack, including a PS3, two sets of 3D glasses and a transmitter to work them, a 3D game and two Blu-ray 3D movies. Those movies are Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, and yet another computer animated flick, Bolt.

Those five movies come from four different film companies and in their 2D versions are handled by four different distributors, but they all have one thing in common: none of them is available for separate purchase.

Indeed, the local disc distributors say that none of them are even scheduled for release in Australia for purchase (one said that he was uncertain that they even had distribution rights for the 3D version of a movie his company distributes in 2D).

What’s weird about all this is that you would have thought the bulk of the work done: the Blu-ray 3D mastering has been completed. All that the companies need to do is slip the discs into retail cases with appropriate artwork, and release them for sale to the 40,000-odd Australians who now own 3D TVs.

But still we wait.

Fortunately some titles have been foreshadowed by Universal: Step Up 3D for 8 December this year (that should make it the first live-action Blu-ray 3D title in Australia); Despicable Me for 6 January 2011, followed by Sanctum in June and Hop in August 2011.