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Featureless Rental copies?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Ric Easton, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Well-Known Member

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    Don't know if this is the proper forum for this... but here goes...

    Over the weekend I went to Blockbuster to rent "The Time Traveler's Wife." I got the DVD because the two Blu-ray copies were out. After the wife and I watched the movie, I proceeded to look for the special features to see if there was anything interesting. There were no special features. Not one.

    I found this kind of odd. I looked at the cover and below the usual stickers, but printed on the actual cover insert were the words "Rental Copy" in big bold letters. I looked at the disc itself, and again there were the same words "Rental Copy." It looked like it was printed like this at the factory and not by Blockbuster.

    When I went to return it, I looked at the copies for "The Time Traveler's Wife" that they had on sale. Sure enough, there was a making of doc that was not on my rental copy, listed right on the back. The clerk said that yes, over the last few months some DVDs have been released for rental like this but he did not know why. He also didn't think it was studio specific, but after further investigation, by me, it seemed to be all recent Warner Bros (and New Line) movies, ie... The Informant, Terminator: Salvation among others. Oh, and the Blu-ray had the Special Features.

    So, what is the purpose of this? I cannot believe it is cheaper to make "featureless" copies of these movies. I mean, once you are stamping 'em out, what difference does it make? What, is the plus for Blockbuster when I can get the exact same content at home by ordering the movie "On Demand" at home for the same price (and in HD) I mean, part of the reason I rented the flick was because I like to browse thru the extras.

    I don't get it. It's not like video stores need another reason for folks to stay away from them. I used to rent from Hollywood Video, but the stores near me have closed down, so I don't know if other video stores are also stocking "Rental Copies."
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Ric:

    As you and I have discussed in the past, I purchase a number of used discs at rental shops...mostly Hollywood Video and Blockbuster.

    I have recently picked up a BD copy of GI Joe: Rise of Cobra (Paramount) and it has only one disc in it...meaning only the feature and commentary are available. The second disc--with all the features--is MIA. But the cover art has been changed so that you'd never know it was missing unless you knew better.

    I also recently purchased the DVD of (500) Days of Summer (20th Century Fox) at HV. Is labeled (both disc and cover art) as a 'Rental Exclusive.' It is devoid of any special features--outside of a couple of trailers. The regular DVD has deleted scenes and other features.

    Also, HV's rental copies of the BD of The Day the Earth Stood Still (also Fox) is only a single-disc effort missing it's features and the '51 film.

    I'm sure there are a number of other examples. Those are ones I just happened to notice recently.
     
  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Oh...but OTOH, I also picked up a BD copy of Marley & Me which had the same exact cover art as the regular BD (Three Disc "Bad Dog Edition")...but when I purchased the PV'd copy it only had Disc #1--no special features disc or digital copy.

    I wonder what happened to the extra discs? They probably never got them for rentals.
     
  4. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, though I still don't get it! Oh, and I did mean to mention that their Previously Viewed copies for sale, were also, of course, the featureless rental versions. It seems to me, that if you just wait for Best Buy or Amazon to have a sale on semi-recently released films, you could probably spend near the same amount and get more for your money. Granted, a lot of folks could care less about special features, but I still find it to be a curious practice.

    Thanks for the info, Mike!
     
  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Yup. For example, you can get the BD of TDTESS for $16.99 by itself or for $12.50 if you buy two BDs (2/$25).
    Or...just go to amazon right now where it's $14.99 (for ALL 3 DISCS--including the '51 edition and special features).
     
  6. Anthony_H

    Anthony_H Well-Known Member

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    Ran into this policy this evening and I am, like Ric, clueless. Why would in this case Blockbuster pay EXTRA to have less features? You realize they have to press these separately which means MONEY. The one benefit that I saw out of the blu-ray conversion is that I could stop by my local BB and get a new release WITH SE content again. This had not been true since DVD went two disc crazy. Could it be studio mandated? If so...why haven't they done this dvd in the past?
     
  7. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Well-Known Member
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    Just rented The Blind Side on Blu from Netflix, one of the first to fall victim to the 28-day delay, and it, too, was feature-less. The only thing that bothered me more was the fact that the trailers were forced, thus locking out my remote until the main menu appeared.
    Blu-ray replication pricing must have finally come down for the studios to have separate retail and rentail runs.
     
  8. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    IMO, like the 28 day rental delay window, it's another misguided attempt by the studios to drive disc sales. Want the extra features? You've gotta BUY the title. They're probably hoping that it will also take a bite out of the used rental disc market. Again, no extras if you don't purchase the retail version of the title.
     
  9. Adam Gregorich

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    I had a friend who rented Sherlock Holmes BD from Netflix and it was feature free too. I think they are trying to discourage previously viewed sales. When Redbox started signing deals with studios one of the stipulations with some studios was destroying a certain pertentage of titles rather than re-sell them.
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I don't see that as a workable strategy.

    It won't dissuade me from buying previously-viewed discs. And I'm a fairly informed shopper. For me, I'll take just-the-film to get the discount. I rarely have time for the bonus features.

    And, I gotta believe most shoppers (and I consider most are fairly uninformed) probably won't be thinking, "Oh, I'm not buying Title XYZ on Blu-ray used from my local rental shop because the director's commentary is missing."
     
  11. Adam Gregorich

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    I didn't say it was workable /img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif I think they are trying a little bit of everything to boost their profits. They don't want rentals to cut into sales, they don't want Redbox rentals to cut into Blockbuster rentals (since they get a cut of BB revenue), its all about the bottom line.
     
  12. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I didn't say you said it was workable. [​IMG]

    I said it was unworkable.

    They might be on to something about getting rid of rental shops...because most of the ones I know are going under. /img/vbsmilies/htf/wink.gif
     
  13. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Well-Known Member
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    Just wait until the environmentalists get wind of this..... Remember their reaction to DIVX and FlexPlay?
     
  14. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Well-Known Member
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    I have a feeling the studios will soon be owning Blockbuster Canada.....



     
  15. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Well-Known Member

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    Do you guys really not get why they do this? Obviously they're figuring that some people who really want the special features will buy instead of renting, and some of those will be people who otherwise would have rented that title.

    Rental stores (which also sell new discs) might also think some people will still rent, then buy when they realize there is extra stuff they didn't see, just like some people buy the same movie over and over when the next Super Ultimate Deluxe 13th Anniversary version comes out.

    Whether this results in extra sales for them, I don't know, but it seems pretty clear what the reason is for it.

    It wouldn't surprise me if they have surveys showing that most rental customers don't care about special features, so most people won't be upset by this.

    As a renter, I'm not a fan of this, either, but it is their content that they are free to include or not include as they see fit.
     
  16. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Did you not read the thread? I addressed your point already. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif
     
  17. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Well-Known Member

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    Those of us who listen to commentaries are probably in the minority, so many people won't care if features like that are included or not.
     
  18. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Exactly. Which is why I think the concept is dubious at best.
     
  19. Doug_H

    Doug_H Well-Known Member

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    I believe this has more to do with the fact that BB has a deal that allows them to come out with some discs while NetFlix and RedBox have to wait 28 days before they can rent them. If you want the extras, you can wait and order from alternative vendors.
     
  20. Matt^Brown

    Matt^Brown Well-Known Member

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    I have the BB online service and I am finding that more and more of my rentals are the stripped down versions. I enjoy the bonus content if I really like the movie but it is not enough to make me go out and buy the disc. I hope this is something that will slowly fade out and that they will go back to the complete disc.
     

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