Several hundred Warner DVDs are going OOP

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Marcel H., Oct 12, 2009.

  1. Guest


    I worry about that too, when I hear about how much trouble it was to bring Oz to Blu Ray. Sometimes I wish I lived in France, where EVERYONE cares about classic culture (that was the impression I gained while there). But then, I think, maybe part of the reason I like classic film is a feeling that its not totally mainstream to do so, that I'm being a bit underground. I hope you're wrong and that the costs and techniques for blu ray production come down and make it more feasible to bring less visible classics to blu.
     
  2. kingfish

    kingfish Screenwriter

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    IMHO the studio's don't have a clue to what the public wants. Certain movies are given three or four releases on dvd with one new bonus feature that the previous releases didn't have. Blu Ray isn't helping the situation for standard dvd either. The battle between Blu and HD DVD made consumers uneasy also. Customer who purchased the HD DVD player were stuck when Blu won out. The economy is so bad that pushing Blu Ray is one of the worst marketing decisions IMHO. Who is going to pay x amount of dollars for a title that one can find in a standard dvd value bin for $5.00.
     
  3. Marcel H.

    Marcel H. Supporting Actor

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    Time will tell about Warner's plans for classic catalog titles but I'm looking forward to some sort of announcement/statement/hint, what to expect in the future on sd-dvd. I'm very glad that Barrie Maxwell from the Bits is in contact with Warner and gets some information but there's still plenty of uncertainness going around.
     
  4. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Stunt Coordinator

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    Found this on DVDTalk:

    http://forum.dvdtalk.com/hd-talk/563046-b-w-classics-wb-works.html

    If you look at a lot of DVDs of older films they often say "remastered in high definition."** I'm assuming that means an actual high definition master is made and therefore exists and should there not, then, be much of an issue in just porting over those movies from DVD to blu-ray?

    **I'm not talking about crummy PD releases from Madacy and the like that make bs claims about remastering and restoring. I'm talking about the major studios like WB, Sony, etc.
     
  5. mdnitoil

    mdnitoil Supporting Actor

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    In theory that would make sense, but most of the those were done at 2k which is considered substandard for hi-def. Think Wizard of Oz. It was just done in 2005 with the ultra process, most definitely "remastered in high definition". They just revisited that one to make it acceptable for Blu.

    I guess my point is, if you simply port all those movies to Blu, the studios will likely just give the format a black eye. Frankly, it doesn't need any more problems.
     
  6. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    For all their stupid pointless reissues and bargain discs crammed with 3 or 4 films by genre (action pak, comedy pak, etc) you'd think at the very least WHV could turn something decent out for Halloween... If they truly feel they've run the well dry on viable catalog titles, why not a proper two-discer or dual layered double-feature of the '31 and '41 Jekyll & Hyde (March/Tracy) with additional commentary on the Spencer Tracy version and possibly a short featurette on Hollywood's adaptation of the RLS classic. Certainly an interesting history on celluloid dating back to the silent era shorts, and including the infamous lost Murnau feature version with a young Bela Lugosi from 1920, and John Barrymore's take the same year. A short 15-20 min. docu or clip montage of interviews and such from literary and film historians could easily be turned out.

    You'd think such would be warranted for a rather high-tier title and well known, easily marketable classic. Maybe also add, in addition to the existing 1955 Looney Tunes bonus short 'Hyde and Hare' on the Frederic March side, they could include the 1947 MGM cartoon, 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse', 1937's 'The Case of the Stuttering Pig' and 1947's 'The Impatient Patient'. And on the second disc or side, Tashlin's 'Hare Remover' from 1946 as well as Freleng's 1954 and 1960, 'Dr. Jerkyll's Hide', and 'Hyde and Go Tweet', to make it a definitive release.

    With a minor restoration to just minimally clean up the transfer, and the added bitrate from an additional disc plus modern encoding technology, both film tranfers would certainly benefit greatly. Warners could easily repackage and resell this as an upgrade to the old double-sided snapper pack from almost seven years ago! Add the original iconic poster art for a keep case cover and it'd do extremely well on retail shelves this time of year, guaranteed!

    I guess there's nobody left with any creativity in Warners marketing dept. these days...
     
  7. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    I wonder what the sales were for the 2004 release of the Jekyll & Hyde double feature was. I have it and more than likely would not double dip.
     
  8. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    When they put together a box set out of prior releases, most of the time they only need to create new packaging. The discs themselves (disc art and all) are from previous production runs. Making a double feature on 1 disc requires a new disc image, pressing, production run, etc.; or in other words, $.
     
  9. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    the point is, that a newer transfer would be nice and since nothing's getting released for Oct/halloween anyways (the lugosi/karloff sets been out a few weeks already I guess but thats it) and the fact that the original disc is no longer in stores and an updated packaging at the least would benefit... why not revisit it. afterall, it seems 90% of their market of late is of endless reissues. if the transfer were to benefit significantly, a few extras added (shorts, commentary and whatnot) and the packaging more appealing, Im sure most would revisit this. I would.

    its better than another gone with the wind, etc. Im sure it would sell nicely in October.
     
  10. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    what about all those value packs with like four lethal weapon movies on one-disc or the tcm greatest films genre releases with stuff like postman, treasure, drive by night, etc. or a bunch of westerns? how is this any different if the ends justify the means (sales profit)?
     
  11. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Well, first of all, it's not better than the Blu-ray Gone with the Wind, which is the main focus of the re-release, not the DVD.

    And I said most of the time, not all of the time. You've listed some exceptions. I'm sure they have people that crunch the numbers and know when the odds are best to have a larger or smaller budget for different types of re-releases.
     
  12. Guest


    Ah, but there can be only one!
     
  13. cineMANIAC

    cineMANIAC Cinematographer
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    Relax, folks - DVD isn't going anywhere. One studio loses faith in the format because people aren't buying their movies in droves doesn't mean its all over. There's new management over at Warners and the new guys are trying out a new strategy, that's all. There are dozens of other studios putting out quality stuff, like Criterion, Shout! Factory, Severin, etc. Once the economy picks up I'm sure we'll get back to normal
     
  14. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    Seeing how the one studio that has lost faith happens to be the one that supported classic DVD releases the most, I find it hard to have your optimistic view. I don't think it will ever go back to "normal" as we knew it. But I'd be happy to be wrong.
     
  15. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    DVD sales, especially classic catalogue had leveled off long before the economy tanked. I'm glad to see Columbia and Universal stepping up the classic releases, but with Warners pretty much abandoning their catalogue releases on pressed dics and 20th Century Fox and Paramount pretty much abandoning them completely for the time being, it does not bode well for the future of catalogue titles on pressed DVD. It won't disappear completely, but it will never again be what it was. That was a golden era so to speak.
     
  16. cineMANIAC

    cineMANIAC Cinematographer
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    I think we've just entered the era of "pressed" DVDs! Who would like to be the person known for coining that term?
     
  17. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    Just entered? We're leaving it. Welcome to the era of burned DVDs, MOD and video streaming.
     
  18. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Unfortunately, Warners, Fox and Paramount own the majority of film properties from the eras that we'd like to see released... they hold distribution rights over the majority of unreleased classic catalog titles from the great star actors and directors of the past... not companies like Severin, etc. :(
     
  19. cineMANIAC

    cineMANIAC Cinematographer
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    Oops - I meant exiting, not entering. I know there are literally hundreds of movies still unreleased that probably won't make it unless the studio goes the DVD-R route but using the "obscure movie" issue as an excuse to charge a premium is not only unfair but in these down times it's also unconscionable. I suppose there are people out there willing to fork out good money for their favorite obscurities. I'm just glad my current collection is about as complete as its ever gonna be
     
  20. Cary P

    Cary P Stunt Coordinator

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    I am surprised this didn't happen sooner. I don't think it is really related to the economy, more to due with the maturation of the DVD format and the progress of technology.

    Like many, I went on a massive DVD buying spree between 1999 and 2004 - but curtailed my DVD buying significantly around 2005. I never did, and still don't, buy many new theatrical releases - keeping my collection mostly to classic catalog titles from the '60s-'90s, as well as a lot of concert or music-related titles that I know I will watch more than 1-2 times.

    My reasons for declining DVD purchases around 2005 were mainly to wait for the equivalent HD titles on Blu-Ray. And yes, the fact that my shelves were getting pretty full of unopened DVD's.

    A good example of HD paralysis is the Sergio Leone westerns. I was very tempted to buy the set on DVD when it came out, especially for "Duck, You Sucker" - but decided to wait for Blu-Ray. In the meanwhile, I've since watched a few of these Sergio Leone westerns on HDNet, and also have had an Apple TV and a wireless network setup since early 2008.

    So, for me, the only real advantage of Blu-Ray over these other mediums at this point is the uncompressed, lossless sound, and maybe the bonus material. And here we are a few years later, and only "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" has been released on Blu-Ray. Pretty frustrating. So I just got out of the habit of buying these type of classic releases, mainly due to the ineptness of Hollywood studios.

    The Bond movies are another example of Hollywood bungling. I have the full DVD set from 1999, and eagerly awaited the Blu-Ray equivalent. In particular, I've been waiting patiently for the Blu-Ray of "On Her Majesties Secret Service" - which although it is not my favorite Bond film, is probably my single favorite movie of all time (hopefully that statement will make sense if you stop and think about it).

    But now I hear that the remaining Bond titles will not be released on Blu-Ray for many years to come (friggin' idiots!). And if and when they finally do release them on Blu-Ray, the packaging will not likely match the few Bond Blu-Ray titles I've already purchased. The whole situation confuses the consumer and makes it easy to put off a purchase.

    There are some classic titles like the 60s Bond, Star Wars, Tarantino movies, Lord Of The Rings, etc. which I will likely upgrade to Blu-Ray no matter what - if and when they come out. But I'm much more discerning on what other catalog titles I will buy or upgrade at this point.

    And there has not been a single new theatrical release this year which I've deemed worthy of adding to my collection (the latest Bond, Star Trek, Terminator, and Tarantino movies were all disappointments to varying degrees). I'm sure there were some good movies released this year, but it might be awhile until I recognize which ones were great and worth owning.

    So my buying habits have changed significantly over the past 5 years, to the point where I spend more time these days listening to vinyl records and playing my guitar than watching and collecting DVD or Blu-Ray movies (hurray!). I think the average consumer has moved on from collecting shelves full of DVD movie discs.

    Despite the fresh example of the music industry not giving consumers what they want, it appears the Hollywood movie studios are going down the same path as far as home video.
     

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