The studio will launch the effort September 18 by releasing Prometheus — Fox‘s biggest title so far this year — three weeks ahead of DVD and Blu-ray, and VOD. There’ll also be more than 600 films offered under the program branded Digital HD. The big change, though, is that Fox now plans to offer movies ahead of traditional home video, in most cases by about two weeks. It will do that with upcoming releases including Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Ice Age: Continental Drift, The Watch, and Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. Amazon, CinemaNow (Best Buy), iTunes, PlayStation, VUDU (Walmart), and Xbox are on board to sell the films — likely for just under $15. That would represent a discount from previous movie downloads, which typically sold for about $20.
In addition to being able to download movies, consumers will have streaming rights. But it could be complicated: Walmart is the only retailer on the list that works with the industry’s UltraViolet streaming initiative. Its customers can also stream just from VUDU. Those who buy movies from iTunes would stream from Apple’s iCloud while Amazon customers would use its platform. Fox is also taking the Digital HD initiative to more than 50 countries including Germany, Spain, Australia, Japan, France, Switzerland, and Greece. Exhibitors are said to have vetted the Digital HD plan without objection: The digital downloads would be offered after the movies have competed their runs in theaters. That period typically lasts three months.