WHV Announcement: The Wizard of Oz 2012-2013 Moratorium

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Anticipating spectacular 75th Anniversary celebration, Warner Home Video announces


    THE WIZARD OF OZ

    2012-2013 MORATORIUM

    For North America


    Burbank, Calif., February 14, 2012 – Warner Home Video (WHV) has announced a moratorium initiative in North America on one of their best-selling titles -- The Wizard of Oz -- which will celebrate its upcoming 75thanniversary in 2014.


    The magic that is The Wizard of Oz began in May, 1900 with the publication of L. Frank Baum’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, upon which the beloved film was based. Now, beginning May 1 of this year, the title will become very scarce when WHV North America will cease new shipments in all formats until 4th quarter 2013. Only The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Edition 2-Disc DVD will remain active until October 2012, at which time no The Wizard of Oz home entertainment products will be available until the 75th Anniversary release.


    “2013 will see the re-launching of The Wizard of Oz franchise in a multi-platform, unprecedented rollout that will include new and restored formats with major sponsorships and branding, as well as massive media support. We expect 90% – 95% consumer awareness, with a kickoff event consistent with only a handful of titles that are considered the crown jewels of our WB library,” said Jeff Baker, WHV’s EVP and GM, Theatrical Catalog.


    The Wizard of Oz’s 70th Anniversary home entertainment editions sold more than two million units, with life to date sales of more than 10 million units across all platforms and the 75th Anniversary is sure to be just as highly anticipated.


    Because the film is such an icon of popular culture and a ritual for many families at holiday time, WHV will share the joy of a glorious new restoration in time for holiday viewing in 2013.


    Adapted from L. Frank Baum’s timeless children’s tale about a Kansas girl’s journey over the rainbow, The Wizard of Oz opened at Graumans Chinese Theater on August 15, 1939. The film was directed by Victor Fleming (who that same year directed Gone With the Wind), and starred Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow; Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, and Jack Haley as the Tin Woodman. Frank Morgan was seen in six different roles, including that of the "wonderful Wizard" himself. Dorothy was portrayed by a 4'11" sixteen year old girl who quickly earned her reputation as “the world’s greatest entertainer”-- the incomparable Judy Garland.


    The Wizard of Oz received six Academy Award nominations (1940), including Best Picture, and captured two Oscars® -- Best Song (“Over the Rainbow”) and Best Original Score -- plus a special award for Outstanding Juvenile Performance by Judy Garland. The Wizard of Oz’s magical story and heartfelt performances have enabled it to grow from a perennial classic to its current status as a treasured icon of popular culture.


    About Warner Home Video With operations in 90 international territories, Warner Home Video, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, a division of the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Warner Home Video's film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Home Video and New Line Home Entertainment.


    About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution, interactive entertainment/videogames, direct-to-DVD production, technical operations and anti-piracy businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. WBHEG is responsible for the global distribution of content through DVD, electronic sell-through and VOD, and delivery of theatrical content to wireless and online channels, and is also a significant worldwide publisher for both internal and third party videogame titles.
     
  2. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    Another restoration? Don't get me wrong, I love Wizard of Oz and have pentuple-dipped over the years, but I thought the Blu-ray "box-o-stuff" release was the ultimate version. It certainly looks the part. What bothers me is in returning to the same titles over again, Warner could be in the position MGM is in with the Bond titles - practical market saturation - where even the most die-hard fans will think twice about buying their nth version of their favourite movie. In that event, could Studio executives use perceived public apathy in an event release as an excuse to reduce spending on restoring and releasing catalogue titles? Although I'm confident our friends at Warner Bros. would be unlikely to follow that reasoning there are Studios who are already disinclined towards catalogue titles.
     
  3. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    I haven't bought this film on Blu yet, although it's my childhood favourite. I figured they'd do it again for the 75th anniversary. Just wondering... how much can it possibly be improved?
     
  4. rayman1701

    rayman1701 Second Unit
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    This does sound odd for a New restoration already. It's not like we've suddenly jumped to 4k home theater systems or TV's that would possibly make a difference (not that 4k would be that useful in a home system for most people, especially since 20 foot screens at home is a bit too much space and people don't usually sit 3 inches from the screen). So how much better would a new restoration at 1080p look? I know there were a few nitpicks for some on the current Blu-ray, but it's not like it was a Patton, Spartacus or other problem title, it looks incredible to me and I would be hard pressed to justify a double dip.
     
  5. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    Wonder if they'll be doing something similar for GWTW, also celebrating its 75th at the same time...
     
  6. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    “2013 will see the re-launching of The Wizard of Oz franchise in a multi-platform, unprecedented rollout that will include new and restored formats with major sponsorships and branding, as well as massive media support. We expect 90% – 95% consumer awareness, with a kickoff event consistent with only a handful of titles that are considered the crown jewels of our WB library...”


    Bleah.

    Spare me.
     
  7. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    Now who can argue with that? I think we're all indebted to Jeff Baker for clearly stating what needed to be said. I'm particularly glad that these lovely children were here today to hear that speech. Not only was it authentic public relations gibberish, it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.
     
  8. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Wait, will the Munchkins be sporting NIkes? Home Depot logos on the doors? This sounds more like a marketing spin for Nascar then a film.. major sponsorship and branding.. branding what?
     
  9. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    This film is re-released on video so many times, it's nice to know we won't have to expect a new version for at least another two years!
     
  10. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    Enough with the "crown jewels" already, they're becoming "old hat". How about the rest of the kingdom?
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Gents,


    Before this thread turns upside down, let me just say

    that I believe this release will be substantially improved

    upon what has been previously available -- and I am not

    being a shill for the studio.

    Warner certainly has not announced their full plans

    for the anniversary release. When the studio revisits

    titles like these they do make every effort to offer
    something better than the prior release. I am confident

    that people will be pleased with their efforts.
     
  12. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    I've no doubt it will be a huge improvement, Ron. Each of the past incarnations of the film has been a degree of magnitude improvement on the last. My concern has been eloquently demonstrated by a number of posters above - the onset of multiple-dip fatigue. I'd hate familiarity-breeds-contempt to spoil what will probably turn out to be the last physical media incarnation of what remains one of my favourite movies. I think people would be panting for a 75th Anniversary High Definition release if the "box-o-stuff" version hadn't happened - in much the same way the Bond 50 box would probably have been greeted with more enthusiasm had the partial release of the movies on Blu-ray not happened. I'm not Studio-bashing - a popular pastime on these forums - I'm concerned that the relationship between consumers and Studios remains cordial. After all - what's the point in having a Home Theatre if you haven't anything to show in it?
     
  13. Guest

    Yes! Hopefully the frame skip that was on the last release will be GONE! And the soundtrack will be restored and will include Judy's partial line, missing since 1998! Yes! Yes! Yes!
     
  14. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    I think Eric should be hired as a Quality Control Consultant on this one. ;)
     
  15. Guest

    Thanks for that! From your post to WB's ears! I know each frame of this film like the back of my hand.
     
  16. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Robble!!
     
  17. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    True enough, probably Oz in the summer and GWTW in the fall.


    I do tend to agree that I am not exactly anticipating another release, especially given I just got the crates of goodies versions this summer. Now, WHV may absolutely blow my socks off in 2014, but currently... feel my white hot indifference.
     
  18. Guest

    What Oz needs is a new making-of documentary. I'm so tired of the Lansbury-hosted doc that has been around since 1989. We need a more comprehensive documentary.
     
  19. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    Yeah, WB is normally solid with their releases, but I honestly can't see that they'll be able to offer a better image or sound than they already do on the current release. They could always prove me wrong; and if they do, I'll happily shell out money once again on the film. I'm definitely going to wait for reviews first, though.
     
  20. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Not me. I'm done purchasing this title. Seriously there are other unreleased movies that I'll be more than happy to spend money on. The last Oz release was deemed "perfection" (by the experts whose opinions I care about) so there's really no point to keep re-doing it.
     

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