TWILIGHT RELEASES LACK OF INTEREST

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ernest, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    The fact that some Twilight Time titles have struggled to sell doesn't surprise me. First of all $30 is relatively pricey. When I can wait and get most criterions for $16 or less, spending $30 on a title without much in the way of extras is a lot. If I was made of money, it wouldn't matter, but I'm not. Even though I am a big Tyrone Power and der Bingle fan, I have delayed on Pony Soldier and High Time because of the price. I expect to get them during this sale. Second, some of the titles have fairly limited appeal. Some of them, I can't imagine watching more than once. As for Eddie Duchin,
    unless it's Pride of the Yankees, I have a strict rule against films where the lead character dies at the end from a terrible disease.
     
  2. bgart13

    bgart13 Screenwriter

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    It's much harder for me to justify buying many of these without ever seeing them at the TT price point. There's plenty I'd like to see, but not one time for $30.
     
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  3. lukejosephchung

    lukejosephchung Screenwriter

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    Try being a 34-year veteran of the home theater format wars like myself...I go back to the days of Betamax/VHS tape and CED/Laser disc playback and given how much more expensive hard-to-find discs were in the 1980s and '90s, DVD and blu-ray have been a godsend in general...those of you who haven't been collecting as long as I have don't remember when Criterion and Fox LD's cost upwards of $50-$125 per title in uninflated currency of the '80s!!! Compared to today's dollars, $30 for a 3,000-copy pressing of a limited edition blu-ray is a complete STEAL for me!!! It makes me grateful that Twillight Time exists and Criterion is still around to offer these wonderful movies at $30-$40 a pop, as we know the US home theater catalog market has shrunk with the changing demographics of the past 34 years!!! :wave-hello:
     
  4. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    Yup.

    I remember my dad asked me what I wanted for my birthday in 1980. I answered: a VHS of Ben-hur. He checked and said he was sorry but he was not paying $89 for a movie.

    You can now buy Ben-hur packaged with The Ten Commandments on Blu-ray for $9.95!
     
  5. bgart13

    bgart13 Screenwriter

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    I'm well aware of the prices for laserdiscs. I'm old enough, just never bought one - they cost too much! ;)
     
  6. JohnMor

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    One other aspect contributing to lower classic catalog sales on blu-ray that I come across FREQUENTLY is the mistaken belief that black & white or older films in general will not benefit from being in hi-def. And I get this from people who OWN blu-ray players. Inevitably, when I purchase a film like Experiment in Terror or Bell, Book and Candle (or any classic, no matter what studio) I hear, "Oh, why would you get that on blu-ray? It's black & white (or it's old) so you're not going to see any real difference." I patiently explain about film resolution, etc. but to no avail. The average Joe-six-pack seems to believe blu-rays are for special effects or current films shot digitally. I once said to a HUGE "Twilight Zone" fan (and blu-ray player owner) how great the blu-rays of "The Twilight Zone" looked and how she'd love them and she told me she'd never waste money buying a black & white blu-ray. Sigh.
     
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  7. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter
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    Unfortunately, too true, too often John.

    Actually, there's another even more annoying Blu-ray pushback comment I've heard, "Oh, that old movie was shot on film...it was already too grainy on DVD, so all the extra resolution will do is make it look even dirtier."
     
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  8. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    Sounds like you guys are dealing with an entirely more articulate class of Blu-ray haters than I am! When I mention Blu-ray to people I know, they don't get into any technical details, they usually just blurt out some dismissive comment like "you can't really see the difference" or "Blu-ray is a rip-off". I get the feeling that people justify not wanting to upgrade to Blu because of the fear that once they actually see the difference they'll be hooked, and probably get the urge to start replacing most of their DVDs with Blus. Much cheaper and easier to dismiss the whole thing; ignorance is bliss :)

    As for $30 being too much for a movie, all I can say is that if you can afford a home theater system and collect Blu-rays, then $30 is hardly exorbitant. We're not talking about the target audience for these titles being the unemployed and the homeless. If your financial priorities lie elsewhere, that's fine, but certainly no reason to the criticize the price of a release just because it's not within your own discretionary budget. I've long held the view that if Ferrari started selling their fine automobiles for $20,000 instead of $200,000, they would sell a hell of a lot more vehicles. But in their arrogance, they just won't listen to me.
     
  9. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    I don't think $30 is especially pricey but for international customers it can get a bit much sometimes. On the other side of the coin people just aren't spending like they used to. I was quite liberal with my collection until just a few years ago when my room resembled a small chain video store... I simply cannot keep up like I used to, so now it's the absolute essentials.
     
  10. Yorkshire

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    I think this has been said across posts, but please remember it's not as simple as 'they can't sell 3,000 copies'.

    Twilight Time's business model (as it has been expressed in interviews) is to press 3,000 copies to sell over 3 years - after which time it could conceivably be released by someone else.

    If I remember rightly, TT said that they break even on a title after selling about 2,000 copes at $30.

    If they've sold 1,800 copies of a title at $30 and sales stall, it makes sense to reduce the price to $20. They're $6,000 short (200 x $30 = $6,000), so only need to sell 300 more copies at the reduced price (300 x $20 = $6,000).

    If they've sold 1,800 at $30 they will probably be confident of selling 300 more at $20.

    And remember, they've paid out the money already, whether they sell out over 3 years or 3 hours. Their business model is for 2,000+ in 3 years, so anything more than that, more quickly than that, is a bonus.

    It's just not as simple as saying "catalogue titles can't sell 3,000 copies". It's catalogue titles selling over 2,000 in 3 years, most of that time at $30, all only available from an online retailer that a lot of people haven't heard of.

    Steve W
     
  11. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    When TT announce one of my favourite films, then $30 (it ends up being £30 once everything is taken into account) is really no issue for me.

    Yes, I remember paying over 3 times that for some LaserDiscs.

    I always try to think of it this way. A really good Blu-ray Disc can be very positively compared to a decent-ish 35mm print in many respects. Not too many years ago people would pay huge amounts of money for such prints, and most of us didn't ever dream we'd have that experience at home.

    $30 to permanently own one of your favourite films, in perhaps the best quality you'll ever realistically want, is not a lot of money if you're a die hard film fan.

    If you're just someone who checks out a film every now and then for $8 at Amazon, then it's a lot. But they're generally not the sort of films TT puts out.

    Bottom line, if it's a film that's not a favourite, and not worth $30 to me, then it's not worth me complaining about the price, because I clearly don't want it too badly anyway. If I want it badly enough, then $30 isn't an issue.

    Steve W
     
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  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Is the point of this thread to complain about TT's price structure again? Or is it to discuss the lack of interest from the general public in buying catalog titles on BD? IMO, if Twilight wasn't around then most of their BD releases still wouldn't be available to us for purchase on BD. We need to stop focusing on TT's pricing and prepare ourselves that physical media releases are becoming less and less popular by the general population. Many of us either have to prepare to watch our favorite catalog films using other means like downloading/streaming/PPV or just live with your current catalog title library you have on hand and come up with a new hobby to supplement your time.

    There's just not enough of us spending our monies in the right amount to the studios satisfaction in which they would continue to support catalog titles on BD to our desire expectations. It's as simple as that and nothing more to really say because our constant lamenting of our situation isn't going to change anything. In this case, profit margins is the driving force and we don't have enough horse power to drive them up any further for the studios to take notice and change their video product strategy.
     
  13. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    That's my attitude in a nutshell. I'll recover from the financial shock within a few days. The BRD will last a lot longer.
     
  14. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    With great regret I agree with this. As I have no intention of starting a new hobby late in my life, I am buying all and any of my favorite films when they appear on disc. My ambition - and I think I am going to succeed in this - is to have so many of my favorite films, that I won't worry too much about a missing handful when the supply of new discs finally runs out.
     
  15. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    Where were you buying your LD's from? The format was a cornucopia of titles blockbuster, cult, and obscure. I still have stuff on Laserdisc that's never seen the light of day on DVD.

    Even in the 90's, new titles on VHS were often still being priced for rental far higher than most Laserdiscs.
     
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  16. cineMANIAC

    cineMANIAC Cinematographer
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    I too still get excited over new announcements and releases. I think the issue with most collectors is that their collections have reached the saturation point they're satisfied with. Excepting a handful of key upgrades (The Abyss, anyone?) many of us are happy with our current collections. The release of It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World earlier this year was the "big" one many people were hoping to complete their collections with, and with that out of the way, some folks may say, "what else is there to look forward to"? I remember a time when certain big films hadn't even made it to DVD yet and people kept asking "when is Spielberg going to release E.T." or "what about the Bond films" and all of those have been released multiple times so the excitement is all gone. I think the only big "event" titles left are the unaltered versions of the original Star Wars trilogy and those now have a good chance of being released now that Lucas is out of the way.

    I think there's a chance for some of that initial excitement to return to the hobby if studios changed a few things:

    Drop the endless disclaimers, forced trailers and other junk you can't skip.
    Establish a two-tier release strategy: barebones and special edition but drop combo packs. If you haven't gone high-def yet you're likely not interested.
    Release non-exclusive collectible packaging. Steelbooks are hot collector's items these days.
     
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  17. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    Mostly from local video stores and record stores which were willing to make special orders, and/or if they had some new copies in stock of more popular then-recent titles.

    In the case of special orders, most of the ones I requested rarely ever arrived.
     
  18. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    I pretty much reached the "saturation point" after 6 months or so, after buying a bluray player in late-2011. Most of the stuff I wanted (mostly action and sci-fi movies) were already in the $5 bluray dump bins. Other than a few titles, I never had these movies on dvd, vhs, or laserdisc. (Over the entire 2000's decade I only had around two dozen or so dvds, which was mostly stuff like Cheech and Chong, Terminator, Beavis and Butthead, Star Wars, Star Trek movies).

    Since then, it's largely been slim pickings for me. Briefly I went scavenging through the $2 dump bins for later titles from "has been" action movie stars of yesteryear, largely to find out most of their film output was largely mediocre or outright garbage.

    In terms of what I'm looking forward to on bluray, so far nothing.
     
  19. cb1

    cb1 Stunt Coordinator

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    yup again..
    apocalypse now went for $100 for the two cassette VHS. Dad bought it as it was the 1st VHS movie we bought for our two piece, top loading behemoth of a player. LOL
     
  20. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    Back when I first starting buying a lot of dvds in 2011, initially I dismissed bluray using similar excuses and rationalizations. At the time, I was mostly buying a lot of tv season sets, which were not released on bluray at all.

    What changed my mind by late-2011 was that my dvd player ceased to function. I went shopping for a new dvd player, where I noticed the bluray players were not much more expensive than the dvd players. I also noticed many movies I was interested in were already in the $5 bluray dump bins. (I didn't really buy dvd movies during 2011). By then none of the anti-bluray excuses were valid anymore to me, and it made more sense to just buy a $50 bluray player and numerous $5 blurays of movies, than buying a replacement $25-$30 dvd player.
     

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