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Star Trek flies out with space-age box

PHYSICAL: Tour of Enterprise built into Nov. 17 packaging

By Jennifer Netherby -- Video Business, 7/16/2009

JULY 16 | PHYSICAL: Paramount Home Entertainment’s Star Trek is about to once again boldly go where no man has gone before—this time making the DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases cutting edge in the digital era.

Expected to be one of the biggest home entertainment releases of the fourth quarter after its $375 million theatrical run, J.J. Abrams’ re-imagined Star Trek, will make its home market debut on Nov. 17 with all the usual extras on the two-disc DVD and three-disc Blu-ray release as well as a new bonus feature on the disc packaging itself.

With the packaging feature dubbed “augmented reality,” consumers will be able to hold their disc packaging in front of any standard Web cam to unlock an interactive hologram tour of the U.S.S. Enterprise. In the tour, which plays on the computer screen, viewers will be able to tour five cabins on the movie's Enterprise and even shoot enemies from the ship’s deck.

The technology has been used before for magazine covers and other types of product packaging and Universal Studios Home Entertainment will use it in a Comic-Con promotion for Coraline. However, the Star Trek release is a first for a major home entertainment title.

“Anything that increases the value of the physical good in the eyes of the consumer is a benefit,” Paramount home video senior VP of brand marketing Bob Buchi said.

An early version of the feature, which Paramount tried for the international theatrical release of the film, can be accessed at the Experience the Enterprise Web site.

For the DVD release, Paramount will include a visual icon inside the packaging that, when held in front of the Web cam, will unlock a more immersive experience.

Users will have to log in to a Web site to access the feature, but they control the hologram by holding the disc packaging.

“You’re in control of what you’re doing,” Buchi said. “If you took the visual cue in the package and turned your hand, then you’re turning the ship.”

Aiming to appeal to every potential fan, Paramount will release three disc versions of Star Trek: a one-disc edition with the movie and director's commentary, and a bonus-packed two-disc DVD and three-disc Blu-ray. The two-DVD and Blu-ray versions will also include a digital copy of the movie.

Paramount hasn’t yet released pricing information for the sets, which will debut right before the busy Thanksgiving weekend.

Among the other extras on the high-end versions are plot-based deleted scenes, such as a cut scene with a baby Spock, ears and all. Another cut includes an abandoned story line with Nero and a look at Abrams’ version of the warrior Klingons.

The Blu-ray set will include a BD Live feature that connects viewers to live updates from space through NASA. Those who want to explore the film’s space ships more, also will be able to click on the Star Fleet Vessel Simulator to get a 360-degree view of the Enterprise and other ships.

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