As any ardent fan will tell you, the 20th anniversary of The X-Files is rapidly approaching. To celebrate the event, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced some new X-Files home video releases for the UK market. Per Fox’s announcement, they will be releasing, on September 2nd, The X-Files: Fight The Future on Blu-ray Disc and a limited edition steel-book, specially designed to mark the 20th anniversary, which will contain both feature films (Fox also used yesterday’s press release to plug a complete series box set which also contains both films in DVD format, however, this was released in October 2012 and is not a “new release to mark the 20th” by any stretch of the imagination).
Our American readers might be reading this and thinking “Didn’t they release these ages ago?” While both films have gotten the Blu-Ray treatment state-side, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment UK did not follow suit with Fight The Future back in 2008/2009 due to, what contacts have described as, a lack of optimism for potential sales on what was, at the time, a relatively new home entertainment format. And so it is only now in 2013, with the 20th anniversary as a decent marketing hook, that Fox has decided to take the plunge and release these titles on Blu-Ray (though I Want To Believe was released as a stand alone Blu-ray in the UK back in 2008).
From what I have been able to glean, the content on the Blu-ray release of Fight The Future is identical to the 2008 US release, with the content on the steelbook again being identical to the US Blu-Ray bundle release of both films from 2008. But in the interest of full disclosure, here’s what 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment UK says will be included on these releases. “The 1998 feature film The X-Files: Fight The Future will receive its Blu-ray debut, fitted with hours of extras including an Extended Edition, several audio commentaries and alternate scenes. Whilst the original feature is also joined by 2008 sequel The X-Files: I Want To Believe in a Limited Edition Steelbook specially designed for the anniversary.”
Beyond a nicely designed steelbook and Fox looking to rake in some extra revenue, is there something more to read into these new Blu-Ray releases? In short, yes. I’m told that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is pushing ahead with its plans to release the series proper on Blu-Ray. The plan, I’m told, is to release season sets of the series on Blu-Ray, starting with season one later this year or early next, and is something that Fox has been looking into for several months. “It’s looking like December, that’s when we might have something”, a source told me last night. With that in mind, I hear that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment UK is looking to use these new Blu-ray releases as something of a barometer to see how much demand there is for X-Files Blu-Ray season sets in the UK.