Movie Enthusiast: The true cost (aka how much have you paid?)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Brian-W, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    I did a search and couldn't find a similar topic, not to mention I thought this would be applicable in the HD forum...and interesting to say the least.

    The topic - "How much have you paid to enjoy your favorite (insert film) over the years?"

    As I've begun adding to my collection of HD-DVD and Blu-Rays, it dawned on me (and I'm sure many of you) - "how much has this really cost me?". I'm going to use a one example to start with, some I'm sure many of you can relate to.

    This thread isn't a rant, I want to get that out of the way. It's just an observation, and I do realize home theater (let's not count the cost of equipment, I could have bought a few high priced cars by now) as a hobby isn't cheap. Especially if you buy into a format. I enjoy movies considerably like the rest of you - although I do question how much individual films have cost as it starts to sink in. I found it quite interesting to say the least.

    First film: Terminator 2

    Now, when this film first came out, I was already deep into Laserdisc, so no VHS copies to purchase here. Of course, being a film afficianado required that you plunk down the $99 for the box set with all the making of materials. Not cheap by movie standards, and certainly not cheap by laserdisc standards.

    After enjoying that immensley, there was yet another special edition laserdisc restoring cuts made from the theatrical release. A fan of the film, and you just gotta have it. Cost? I can't quite remember, but I do believe it was another $99 (and I know someone will chime in and correct my price). Great film, gotta have it, gotta love it.

    DVD appears on the horizon, and of course we have our first anamorphic 5.1 surround sound version, and hell, 16:9, 5.1 sound, special features (even more) means rebuying all the laserdiscs (most anyway) on DVD. So T2 on DVD runs me $25 at the local Tower Records. It's a beauty.

    Of course I venture off into the complete opposite direction, and acquire the limited (and really failed) Japanese HDTV laserdisc format "Hi-Vision". 1920x1035i, "hah - to hell with DVD, I'm getting HD" before there was even HDTVs for sale in the U.S. (and when they were ultra pricey too - I had a projector). Forget the hardware costs (it's embarassing), but T2 on Hi-Vision laserdisc runs me an easy $250. Ouch.

    Speed up a few years, HDTV is becoming more prominent, and here comes JVC with their D-Theater D-VHS HD deck. And who's out the starting gate with software? Lionsgate, with Terminator 2 D-VHS being one of the very first titles. It's $39.95, and probably the first time I actually didn't get home and watch T2. Am I getting T2'd out?

    Here we are, late 2006, Blu-Ray is starting to filter out, and who again is first out of the starting gate? Lionsgate with Terminator 2, with a more magical price point of $29.95. I believe I paid $25, at least somewhere around that price. I bought it, and still haven't watched it.

    But it made me think "hey, how many times have I purchased this movie?" Six times. "What has the true cost of this movie really been?" $540...I'm a movie studio's wet dream. I do realize that most didn't make the costly (and smart move not to) investment in the Japanese Hi-Vision format. But even still, removing Hi-Vision from the list, that's still nearly $300. For one movie.

    I could probably write the same thing about many other movies. Will I quit buying? Nope. Will I be more selective? I think so. It's rather sad on my part that in the case of T2, the last two format releases never got watched.

    I'm quite sure there are bigger nuts than me that have bought (insert film) on every format from Beta/VHS to CED to Laserdisc......up to now (HD/BD). So definitely not a contest, I know I'll be beaten bad.

    But in the end I can see why the studios love places like Home Theater Forum - we're all (some more than others) a $$$$$ wet dream for each studio.

    Share/flame/etc away [​IMG]
     
  2. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    I could talk about the Star Wars movies, but that would get tired really fast, so here's an alternative:
    Sleeping Beauty: bought the original P/S VHS in 1987 for $40.00, followed by the Widescreen VHS in 1996 for ~$30. This, of course, was followed by the DVD release in 2003, which cost me ~$27, which is soon to be folowed by the inevitable BD release. Granted, that will only be four times, but LD never really caught on in Canada, otherwise I'd be seriously hooped.
     
  3. Bleddyn Williams

    Bleddyn Williams Supporting Actor

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    T2 was brutal for me too -

    Original CAV LD set with brushed metal box design, numbered, the film on 5 sides, a under-30-minutes making of on side 6.

    Deluxe LD set with leather-like cover, T2 faux-metal plate. This was issued in three different colors over time. This set is still one of the most impressive boxes in my collection.

    I myself was getting T2'd out - I didn't bother with the $35 "first dual-layered" DVD.

    bought the Ultimate edition - available on both 2 discs, or a double-sided DVD 18.

    then the extreme edition.

    Have not bothered with the unimpressive sounding Lionsgate blu release. There's be another one presently, to be sure.

    This is a good example, but to be honest, there are many films I've multi-dipped on over the years.
     
  4. Vegas 1

    Vegas 1 Supporting Actor

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    Many of us have been down this path, there will always be something new on the horizon. I have just been more selective on my purchases lately.
     
  5. PerryD

    PerryD Supporting Actor

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    Speaking of T2 on laserdisc, being a big fan myself I even picked up a second copy of T2 in full screen later when I found out it was filmed soft-matte super35, so I could see "more" of the movie. I was passionate about widescreen, but there is something about a favorite movie to own all flavors of it.
     
  6. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    This sounds like the kind of stuff my ex would remind me of. How many times do i need to own Blade Runner, or Star Trek. As many as it takes. I dont drink, smoke, or go to titty bars. I know guys who do one or more of those things and drop a ton of cash doing it. Cant a guy have one thing he can throw his hard earned money at? And its at least something you own, and can use again. People at work may ask similar questions, or ask how many times can you watch _____ movie?
    It is a hobby you can build on. You dont have to own EVERYTHING all at once. How nice would that be! But also by building on, you appreciate it more, you value what you have, and it gives you something to look forward to. Like that 5 disc Blade Runner! I have owned some movies, and Trek so many times, i cant even remember. But each time was a little bit better. I dont buy something to have different cover art, or marginal extras. But when you go from a full screen LD, to widescreen LD, then to DVD, then to Blu-ray. Hey, thats what it takes. I love it!
     
  7. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I know Star Wars is the 'king' (just buying the laserdiscs for the OT three times probably guarantees that) for me but Halloween and Terminator 2 are up there too.
     
  8. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    I occasionally get this kind of grief from people as well. For example, Army of Darkness is a personal favourite (even though I've only bought it twice, and the jury's still out on whether to get the HD DVD release) and I have the poster hanging in my office. I get the usual "how many times can you watch that?" and my usual response is, "every time I watch it, it puts a smile on my face, so as many times as I want to."
     
  9. Jon Moss

    Jon Moss Stunt Coordinator

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    Speaking of T2 there's yet another version due to hit soon on German HD-DVD, and you know you just gotta have it [​IMG]

    Terminator 2: Ultimate Edition on HD DVD - DVDTOWN.com

    I too have owned more versions of T2 than I could possibly need. The Pal Laserdisc version, the original Live dual layer DVD version, and the Ultimate & Extreme editions.

    At least discs are relatively cheaper now. When I think of the money I paid for Laserdisc boxsets such as Natural Born Killers, Jaws & Brazil my mind reels. However I'd buy them all again in a heartbeat on HD. Some films you can just watch again and never get tired of.
     
  10. brap

    brap Stunt Coordinator

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    Halloween and T2 are my weaknesses

    T2: $40 1991 VHS.
    then Extended Edition VHS (FS)
    then Extended Edition VHS (Widescreen) "no more cropped SFX shots, yay!"
    then Ultimate Edition DVD
    then Extreme Edition DVD "It's cool because it says extreme, Right?"

    and I'm still waiting for a lossless Blu-ray with branching with money in hand.


    Halloween: VHS Blockbuster 3.99 copy
    then Anchor Bay Widescreen Edition VHS (Widescreen on VHS was such a rarity)
    then 20th anniversary 2 Orange VHS Tape Edition with booklet
    then Limited Edition 2 DVD (Lenticular cover)
    then 25th Anniversary "WTF's with the colour" edition
    then Blu-ray "Colour's still not quite right, pop in the LE DVD" edition

    I still have nightmares of William Shatner stalking me in boilersuit.
     
  11. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    I have another film I haven't bought that often, and again, Hi-Vision LD really isn't a fair comparison because it was so niche. They easily add $200+ to my movie list. E.T. was a guilty pleasure, spending $20 on the VHS release; $60 on the box set (not even truly special) Laserdisc edition, then $500 for the Hi-Vision version, which almost shortly after was complimented by the uber-edition DVD set which I never watched (it was shown on ABC in HD shortly after, so figured no need to watch the DVD so soon).

    For me lately, I'll rebuy stuff, but then can't muster up the excitement to watch it like I did to buy it.

    It is a fun hobby, and like Stephen says about Army of Darkness, there are many films that bring a smile to my face. But sometimes that smile (repeatedly) costs a LOT of money. Maybe watching the films more frequently brings down the 'per viewing cost'.

    T2, it's a guilty favorite of a lot of people. I got my money's worth out of the LDs. Not quite out of the DVD, and not so much out of the Hi-Vision disc. But BD/D-VHS, I just threw my money away, and it's 'ouch'. The completionist in me of films I like plays in, but these days I'm fighting for more time to watch.

    I have NO regrets with the money spent (even if it's really absurd at times). Que up the next release (insert studio), my $$$ is waiting. Then get me again when Blu-Ray Ultra 4k resolution version comes out [​IMG]
     
  12. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Man, let me think.

    Original Star Wars trilogy: VHS, Widescreen LD, Definitive Trilogy LD, Special Edition LD, DVD set.

    Halloween: VHS, Criterion LD, Anchor Bay DVD, Divimax DVD, Blu-Ray.

    T2: LD, Special Edition LD, DVD, Deluxe DVD, Extreme DVD, Blu-Ray.

    JAWS: VHS, LD, Widescreen LD, Signature LD, DVD, Deluxe DVD.

    Raiders of the Lost Ark: VHS, CAV LD, Widescreen LD, DVD.

    This is depressing, I gotta stop.
     
  13. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Jaws is a big one for me too. I've got the VHS, the laserdisc, the signature LD set, the DVD and the re-release of the DVD.

    Halloween is my favorite movie so I've even bought the ridiculous number of VHS releases that Anchor Bay did since they had goofy collectibles. I've got a copy of Media's VHS from the early 1980's (from a video store), a copy of Media's VHS that must have come from a Suncoast in the late 1980's or early 1990's, Criterion's CAV LD, at least three different collectible Anchor Bay VHS releases, the 1999 two disc DVD, the 25th anniversary DVD and the Blu Ray. Maybe I'll see if I can find the CLV version of the laserdisc on eBay. [​IMG]

    I'm a huge Star Wars fan/collector so I've got a mountain of those movies. I've got VHS copies from the 1980's, the THX faces VHS copies, the widescreen SEs on VHS, the CAV LD boxset, the THX faces laserdiscs, the SE laserdiscs, the DVDs, the OT DVDs and the prequels on DVD. That doesn't even get into the Ewoks telemovies on VHS and DVD, some mid-1980's VHS release of a few of the Droids cartoon, the Ewoks cartoons on VHS (in the late 1990's) and DVD, the Droids cartoons on VHS (in the late 1990's) and DVD, the R2-D2 Story Suncoast exclusive and the two Clone Wars cartoon DVDs. And in the bootleg category, there's the original versions of the movies, all the original versions of the Ewoks and Droids cartoons and the Holiday Special.

    And Terminator 2, I have a full frame VHS copy, a widescreen VHS copy, the SE on VHS, the LD of the theatrical cut, the LD set of the SE, the theatrical cut on DVD, the SE on DVD, the extreme edition on DVD and I'm sure I'll be picking up the Blu Ray soon.

    EDIT: I'd answer the question in the thread title but I don't even want to think about it. [​IMG]
     
  14. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    ...and to anyone joining this thread now, it wasn't even necessarily about the one movie in your collection - but all of your movies! I'd say from VHS (small collection) to laserdisc, I re-purchased my collection 100%. From laserdisc to DVD, I re-purchased my collection 95%. From laserdisc/DVD to Hi-Vision (thankfully only 34 movies were ever released on that format) I purchased 100% of my collection. From DVD to D-VHS, same, 100% (for the limited releases that were done). And finally DVD to HD (BD/HD), I've done about 30% of my collection thus far.

    Having been able to record HD (onto D-VHS blank tapes), from the good days (19mbps) to the crap days (i.e. recently ~ 10mbps), it's definitely slowed my purchases. If it's a film I really like, or a bit-starved version, I buy the BD/HD release (collection numbers about 125 titles).

    On average, I'd say I purchased my movies at least 3 times. $30-50 for laserdisc, $15-25 for DVD, and about the same for BD/HD. So about $95 per movie title...makes you think [​IMG]
     
  15. Hartwig Hanser

    Hartwig Hanser Second Unit

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    Let me see, I started into movie collecting with Laserdiscs in 1994 and switched to DVD in 1999. Of my around 120 LD titles I upgraded perhaps 40 to DVD, roughly a third (the usual: Star wars, Disney classics, Lawrence of Arabia etc.) I did not upgrade my T2 LD, since I had watched it so many times on LD, that I just did not have the impulse and said always "This can wait".
    Then suddenly HD arrives. Last December I finally cave in and buy a blu-ray player. Of my ca. 25 blu titles, one is a repurches from LD AND DVD (Close Encountes), one is a repurches of LD (Blade Runner, never bought the DVD), and I am thinking about some upgrades in the future (again, the usual as mentionned above; this time it will be T2, but I wait for the extended cut). I expect to upgrade again about one third of my 200 DVD collection over the next few years; the other titles are not important enough for me to spend money again.
    So, I think I am being reasonable, donĀ“t you agree? :)
     
  16. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    I paid about $150 for the Japanese "Memorial Box" LaserDisc edition of Wings of Honneamise (with amazing extras which haven't been re-issued anywhere), & now I've gone & paid $60 for the Blu-Ray. I also paid $30 and $5 a disc for the two 3-disc LD releases of Gunbuster & $30 for the box-set LD version (with autographs), & if that comes out on BD I'll buy it too. My other other example of multiple dipping is $12-$18 per disc for the 7 volumes of Tenchi Muyo OVA in American release & another $60 (I think) for the Japanese box set with AC-3. Those I doubt I'll ever rebuy, although being shot on 35mm film they would look better in HD.

    Overall I think my average, over a collection of about 200 LDs, is roughly $8 per disc. That covers a lot of bargains at $4-5 per disc or less, and a few freebies, as well as the high-ticket ones I mentioned. I'm pretty well satisfied with the result.
     
  17. Jonathan_Clarke

    Jonathan_Clarke Second Unit

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    However many times I will buy Star Wars in my life, it will never equal the amount I've spent on the action figures.
     
  18. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Those LD prices were fucking insane.

    Anime prices on BD are pretty crazy too. I just couldn't bring myself to pay $60 for the BD of Wings of Mayonnaise, I might be tempted with Akira and a few others but if prices don't drop I won't be having much of an anime selection on BD.
     
  19. Michael Warner

    Michael Warner Supporting Actor

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    I guess I'm lucky because I didn't start buying LDs until after DVD was pretty well entrenched so those discs were always at fire sale prices for me. Before DVD I owned a few widescreen VHS tapes but those were always bought at bargain prices as well. Once I started buying DVDs I made good use of the online deals and am doing the same with my gradual shift to Blu-Ray and the odd HD-DVD as well.

    Taking "Blade Runner" into consideration I bought the original DVD for $5, the Blu-Ray set for $17, and this past weekend I bought the Criterion LD for $2 (I framed the cover art and it's now hanging on the wall next to my "Alien" and "The Thing" LDs which I also bought for $2 each). Not a bad investment at all for close to 10 years of regular viewing.
     
  20. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    Well let's ee, I'll take Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan.

    Beta (priced to sell at 39.99!)
    VHS
    VHS widescreen
    LD widescreen
    First DVD release
    DVD 2 disc Collector's edition.

    Can't wait for the Blu-ray!

    Star Wars and T2 have similar stories.
     

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