WHV Press Release: The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary UCE (DVD/Blu-ray)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Snappers! Again, as consumers we have the right to express our criticism, but we're defeating our purpose if we insist on insulting them while doing so.






    Crawdaddy
     
  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    David,

    MORE THAN ANY OTHER STUDIO they have addressed and corrected
    concerns brought up by consumers who reside on forums like this.

    I know no other studio that shows more concern for feedback expressed
    on this forum than Warner. However, that doesn't mean we are going
    to get everything we ask for. I also agree that throwing out insults
    defeats the purpose of providing them with helpful feedback.
     
  3. David Wilkins

    David Wilkins Supporting Actor

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    Ron,

    Perhaps with some of the issues that are discussed regularly in this kind of forum, such as quality/presentation issues...but have they ever backed off from a decision of this nature?
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yes, I remembered when other releases such as this one was announced without any mention of a no-frills release that came out months later or viceversa. People were complaining about the double-dipping. This is what I'm hoping for from Warner regarding this title and others like Casablanca and Gone with the Wind.
     
  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    And even if a company has never done something in the past, it doesn't preclude that they might respond positively to proper feedback.
     
  6. David Wilkins

    David Wilkins Supporting Actor

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    Then this is Warner's chance to shine.
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    So are you saying they haven't in the past? If so, I disagree with you, but whatever.
     
  8. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I have to agree that it's a poor decision by Warner to offer the Blu-Ray ONLY in the "kitchen sink" version. A lot of people just want the film, not baubles and trinkets.
     
  9. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Once upon a time, George F. famously mocked these kind of inanel, lily-gilding repackagings ("we have no plans of releasing a 'here are your letters of transit' special edition"). It seems like ever since Bewkes became CEO a couple years back, the 'feel' of Warner has changed. It may just be me, but this just doesn't feel like the same company that instituted thin-paks for multi disc sets because they knew that a primary customer need at that point had become space.
    Releases like this (and presumably the upcoming GWTW and others) are not being concieved with OUR wants/needs in mind. A large form factor package that can justify a high msrp is all about what matters to a big corporation- higher return for little extra effort. Warner has come to represent , to me anyway, $80 'Letters of Transit' style Blu-ray SEs and $20 interlaced DVD-Rs.
    I miss the old Warners.
     
  10. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Sorry if my anger got the best of me, I should rephrase what I said: Warner is trying to maximize it's profit by offering the Blu-ray consumer only one very expensive option. Because of this and their other attempts at maximizing profit (Casablanca, Woodstock, the coming GWTW) I am very upset and will not buy this or any of their other Ultimate editions.
     
  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    I would buy Wizard Of Oz in a heartbeat on Blu-ray if I could get the discs without all of the extra packaging and toys. I've tried getting some of the deluxe-style releases before (the Blade Runner briefcase comes to mind) and I just never end up looking at that stuff. Heck, I have the three disc Wizard Of Oz from 2005, and I don't think I've ever looked at the postcards and whatnot that come with it.

    As much as I want Wizard Of Oz on Blu-ray, as much as I want Casablanca and Woodstock and a bunch of other titles, unfortunately I just don't have the money or the storage space to justify what will undoubtedly be a beautifully packaged set. Like many others here, I hope Warner will reconsider this recent trend and start putting these out with an option to buy just the discs.
     
  12. BillyFeldman

    BillyFeldman Supporting Actor

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    While having this coffee table set is nice and will be attractive to a certain segment of Blu-Ray purchasers, I think Warners is going to find out just what a mistake this is - these are perilous times and the fact is we all know that down the line, when they realize their error, they will make a two-disc set available without all the additional and unnecessary (for most) items. I'm sure it will sell decently but I don't think it will sell anywhere near what they'll need it to sell in order to justify having spent this kind of money in the first place. No matter how you slice it, with anger, without anger, it is a slap in the face to consumers who have tried to be loyal to this particular studio on this particular forum - and it's losing them the unconditional support they had, and it will lose them sales. The bottom line will, in the end, win out. But at a cost.
     
  13. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    I do too. I think a lot of people still have the old Warner's on the brain and the apparently the good will that went along with it. The new Warner's seem far more concerned with increasing their margins than please their customers (e.g. the Matrix Revolutions BD issue still remains unresolved).

    I can live with their Digibook releases. Even though I don't particularly care for them, the form factor isn't terrible, and I realize there is a desire to increase margins. But these Ultimate Editions seem crass by comparison and take it too far in my opinion.

    If there were some exclusivity window, I wouldn't mind as much, but as it stands right now if Casablanca isn't announced as a single-disc release by the end of the year then over a year will have gone by with the Ultimate Edition being the only option. That's far too long; and it isn't good to be pricing so many people out of A-list titles that could sell players and expand the format.
     
  14. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Good point. I think in this economy it is a huge mistake to limit
    consumers to expensive boxed set purchases.

    I think this release of "The Wizard of Oz" will send a strong message
    to the studio with the lackluster amount of sales it garners. With the
    exception of "Gone With The Wind" which is probably in the same
    pipeline, this hopefully will be the last titles we see subjected to this
    kind of release profile.
     
  15. Jonathon M

    Jonathon M Stunt Coordinator

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    btw, if anyone's still uppity about Casablanca, just order it from Australia. Warners have released it, disc only, regular case, and (as is my previous experience with Aus Warner blu-rays) it's actually just the US disc (with the relevant MPAA rating on it around the edge of the disc).
     
  16. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    Certainly not an oversight on Warners part. We can be quite sure that this is a calculated strategy on their part. Many die-hard fans of these classic films are earlier adopters of new technologies like Blu-ray. So first offer only an expensive frills version to capture as many high-profit sales as possible. They can then come back eventually a year or two later with a no-frills package to scoop up the rest of the market who isn't interested in or can't afford the frills version. Maybe even throw in some other new extra to squeeze a few more sales out of the absolute completists. It makes sense economically, as long as you don't think the negative PR it generates will affect the bottom line.
     
  17. David Wilkins

    David Wilkins Supporting Actor

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    In the past, such a packaging was released concurrent with the standard release, and often, after the initial release, as a collector interest only packaging. They're never going to sell mass quantities of such a packaging, and that includes people for whom the price itself is not the main barrier. Very few people want all that stuff.

    Of all the people I know, only one actively pursues collector oriented material...just ONE. They leave the original packing intact and often unopened. Such a collector will pursue this packaging in spite of standard packaging being available. In fact, the harder it is to find, the more aggressively they'll pursue it. Consumers other than those simply have no use for it.

    I'm willing to pay a certain premium over the more standard price for a two disc (or even three disc) set, just to have this great title, and to acknowledge the time and expense that went into producing it. But I don't want this packaging at any price. It's not going to happen, not even on sale.

    I wonder how much extra profit is actually made from this kind of production. The investment of time and effort by the marketing and art departments; having the separate parts and pieces assembled from multiple sources, then physically packaging them; the shipping cost for thousands of these bulky things, as opposed to the simple standard issue. And I wonder how many of these kinds of sets retailers eventually send back.

    The entire motivation seems as much wrong-headed and misguided, as profit hungry. From the above mentioned angles and others not touched upon...why bother? Consider the thousands more that would fly off the shelf during release week, if it weren't for this bulky, needless, expensive packaging that's of interest to only a relative handful.

    But these kinds of decisions are made from on high, during meetings with department heads and semi-elaborate presentations. It's difficult to imagine them backing off. The best we're likely to see, is some kind of low profile announcement that a disc only packaging will follow, with the insinuation that the wait will be shorter than is customary (but still much longer than any of us want to wait, or indeed should).

    That's my assessment and prediction, and that's all that I have to say about this issue. Over and out.
     
  18. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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    I don't like this all or nothing approach at all. The number of people who want no part of this but will end up giving in and buying it has to be miniscule. On the other hand they could do a typical 2-disc release alongside it and probably have a huge hit on their hands. Mind-boggling.
     
  19. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    From the Woodstock review thread:

    Can anyone else confirm this? If they did this with Woodstock, they might do the same thing with The Wizard of Oz.

    I certainly will not be buying this release otherwise.
     
  20. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'll admit that The Wizard Of Oz isn't at the top of my list to buy yet again but increasing the price for extra stuff that I have no interest in absolutely guarantees that I'll never buy this release.

    Why not release the super set for hardcore fans and a discs-only set for the casual fan or person that can't afford to spend that much money?
     

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