Posted July 12 2004 - 05:42 PM
Responding to what Mr. Staddon stated in his post:
If FOX was truly "disappointed" with the sales of Season One of "Lost in Space", because the "pricepoint was too expensive for an inpulse purchase", then perhaps more research should have been done to determine what the appropriate pricepoint would have been to sell the desired number of units. If the retail pricepoint had been (for example), 30% less, then perhaps sales would have increased enough to make it more profitable for FOX. So instead of being so greedy (which all studios are, unfortunately), expecting "Lost In Space" (for example) to sell 100,000 units at a $80.00 pricepoint; then perhaps it would have been more reasonable to expect to sell 150,000 units at a $55.00 pricepoint (this would have provided a $250,000 improved profit margin). This is the very reason why FOX reduced the pricepoint of "The X-Files" DVD sets, starting with Season 9. They obviously knew that reducing the pricepoint 30% would sell many more units and, therefore, make more profit. My point is that the studios need to learn that a little profit is better than none! So, (according to my retail sources), it is NOT true that "Lost in Space" sold poorly, in fact, it sold well (this is NOT another "Mary Tyler Moore" situation, by any means!); it's just that it did not meet FOX's UNREASONABLY HIGH expectations, and that is a BIG difference. Again, some profit is better than none, so if FOX had set a "less greedy" pricepoint, more "casual fans" would have found it affordable to make the purchase, which would have obviously sold many more units and made more profit. That's just common sense. That logic would dictate that FOX would have learned the lesson from Season One, and would therefore release a "Complete Second Season" with a reduced pricepoint, and then could rationally expect for sales to be higher; but NO, - that's not good enough, because they want even MORE profit than that.
Mr. Staddon's second and third points contradict each other...
If the "only way of effectively reducing the price, was to split the set in half", then how do you justify "nearly twice the packaging costs, twice the freight and handling costs, twice the merchandising costs, twice the inventory holding costs, etc." of a split-set??? Are you going to try to tell me that Fox expects to make a lot more profit by splitting the set into 2 parts, with the doubling of all the various costs which Mr. Staddon mentioned??? Logically, the only way to make more profit in that situation is to increase the COST to the retailer for "Part One", over half that of the previous COST of "The Complete First Season". So if a "rudimentary understanding of business would enable anyone to understand" that splitting a full Season set doubles the cost to the manufacturer (which indeed it does), then how could FOX even afford to sell it, since the doubling of costs would obviously, eat up most of the profit??? I'll tell you how. It is because FOX is increasing the COST to the retailer, to slightly more than half the COST that the retailer originally paid for "The Complete First Season"; which the retailer, will in turn, pass along the slightly increased retail price (of a little more than half that of the first complete set) to the consumer. It will only be a $2-$4 retail increase, but just multiply that by 100,000! And, since FOX knows that all the "committed fans" of the show will not just settle for half a season, they see this as a brilliant way to make A LOT more profit from the money-strapped consumer who hopefully, will not notice/care about the small price increase of purchasing each separate half of a "Complete" set. And THAT my friends, IS the definition of GREED! Is FOX really going to try to convice us that they think that sales will be 50% more (for example) for "Season 2-Part One", just because it's CLOSE to being half the cost of "The Complete First Season"??? They really think that this many more people are going to buy it than bought "Season One", offsetting their "doubling of costs"??? C'mon people, GET REAL! The average RETAIL price for "Lost in Space: The Complete First Season" was about $75.00, so how much do ya wanna bet that "Season Two-Part One" won't be at least $40.00....? As I said in my original post, this is really just an experiment by the studios (FOX is not the only one planning this, you know) to see how stupid the "sheep" are, who they believe will buy anything, in any form, for any price.
As far as Mr. Staddon's fifth point stating that if split sets don't sell, then they will just give up releasing complete season sets, - give me a break! FOX has made much more profit than ANY other studio by far, with all its VERY popular "Complete Season" set releases of the various TV titles in its stable. So I guess this means they're just going to quit TV releases altogether, if the split sets don't sell, huh? Wake-up people, this is just a scare tactic to insure that everyone buys the split sets, so FOX can make its EXTRA profit.
Finally, Mr. Staddon asks in his summation "What would we suggest they do, ...not release the show at all?" NO Mr. Staddon, what we would suggest you (and other studios) do is just make a DEFINITE commitment, to release each and every Season of a series (especially short ones like "Lost in Space"), no matter what. Sure, some seasons will sell worse than others; but eventually, the sales of all the Season sets combined over time, will make the releases profitable. If sales for a particular "Complete Season Set" of a series are just "fair", then give it more time to sell more units. Even if we had to wait a year between releases, many of us would prefer to be patient in doing that, if it meant we would be guaranteed to get the next "Complete Season" set, instead of a "split" set, or worse, no set at all. NO MORE "Mary Tyler Moore" debacles (another example of how the sales of the set didn't match the UNREALISTIC expectations, given the unusually high pricepoint). Everyone knows that sales of "MTM - Season One" were poor, due to the fact that this was the weakest season of the series; and because fans were waiting for the rest of the series to come out, in order to obtain their favorite seasons/episodes. If "MTM" had been released in a schedule similar to that of "The Dick Van Dyke" show, then the First season would have sold much better in conjunction with the other Season set releases, and we would not have to be here complaining today about FOX's abandonment of that show. One suggestion for "Mary Tyler Moore" is for FOX to sell its licensing rights for the series to another studio who will release the remaining six seasons in a profitable manner. It is ridiculous for FOX to stubbornly hold on to this show, when it knows it has no intention of ever releasing it!
And anyone with half a brain knows that the MOST likely reasons that "Lost in Space: Season One" did not meet FOX's expectations is that because not only was the First Season in "Black and White" (which would obviously deter the "casual fan"), but also that "word spread" about the below average transfer done for that set. FOX expected to make tons of money, on a bare-bones set without even doing a decent job of remastering or including some very basic special features. And now they whine and complain that they "were very disappointed in the sales for Season One" What do they expect! They obviously don't get that you "have to spend money to make money", but again, greed doesn't allow for this logic. So, with the vast differences between the Season One and Season Two releases (from B&W to Color, and from no remastering for Season One, to a supposed, decent transfer for Season Two), FOX actually believes that sales for a "Complete Second Season" would be as "disappointing" as the sales for Season One"???!!! I'm sorry, but THAT's the real definition of INSANITY, and flat-out WRONG! And if it is "insane to do exactly the same thing again and expect a different result", then how does FOX explain the decision to release "The Complete Second Season" in Region 2, when fewer Season One sets were obviously sold there than here. Let's hear their reasoning behind that one...
(knowledgable AND dangerous!)
As a Post Script, I will say that FOX (as well as the other studios) should take their cue from Paramount, and Image Entertainment, who were courageous (and smart) enough to realize the potential market for "Complete Season" sets of the various "Star Trek" series, and "The Dick Van Dyke Show".
Despite the fact that some Seasons of TV series DVDs always sell better than others, both of these studios made the commitment to release the ENTIRE SERIES in individual Season sets (with all Seasons being released within a short time frame as well), knowing that it would take some time to make their profit; but meanwhile, ensuring the satisfaction and loyalty of the consumer. Even the "disappointing" sales of "Star Trek: Voyager" this year, did not deter Paramount from its commitment to release the remaining seasons (In my opinion, Season's 4 & 5 should sell the most units...). Bravo! -I salute them.