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We knew it was coming: A new trend in standard vs SE pricing?


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#1 of 55 OFFLINE   MattHR

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Posted August 25 2005 - 11:21 AM

Here's a bit from an article posted today at homemediaretailing.com, regarding a new studio and retail pricing strategy. It's been tested before, but I think we're going to see more of this type of marketing.



Quote:
Warner Home Video has announced it will release the holiday theatrical hit The Polar Express in two DVD configurations Nov. 22: a single disc with the movie only and a two-disc special edition filled with extras. There’s only a dollar difference in the suggested retail price: the single-disc version lists for $28.98, while the double-disc special edition is priced at $29.95. But Warner Home Video president Jim Cardwell said this strategy lets retailers “hold on to their margins” by blowing out one version to remain competitive while charging close to list on the second. The big mass merchants, like Wal-Mart and Target Corp., typically sell new theatricals for less than $15 their first week out. That’s several dollars below their wholesale cost, but they use DVDs as loss leaders to drive traffic into their stores. Having a two-disc special edition available for just pennies more, wholesale, gives them a chance to make up for any losses they may incur, since the wealth of extras justifies a higher markup.

The full article is at:
http://www.homemedia....=2&newsid=7927

#2 of 55 OFFLINE   Greg Kettell

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Posted August 25 2005 - 11:58 AM

In the case of Polar Express, the SE is only $2 more than the barebones at deepdiscountdvd.com. On Amazon they're listed at the same price.

I doubt this will really work out the way Warners intends. Maybe the B&Ms can get away with that.

#3 of 55 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted August 25 2005 - 12:23 PM

Since I primarily buy catalog stuff, I guess I don't 'worry' that much about this possibly growing trend. I really could only see the biggest of the big new titles (although probably alot of kids movies) getting two releases at the same time. I know that's not a rule (look at the I Heart Huckabees 2 disc) but I think it's a somewhat safe generalization.

So even with a new movie like The Devil's Rejects, I won't be seeing two versions of it... not on the same day anywayPosted Image

#4 of 55 OFFLINE   David Williams

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Posted August 25 2005 - 02:50 PM

I imagine this trend will have the opposite effect than they planned. For most serious fans, they know that usually the best prices for catalog titles and TV on DVD are already on-line. Now first run movies may be getting cheaper on-line as well.

This may be the final nail that drives me from retail stores if online sites like Amazon continue to issue sweet deals on WB's 2-disc SEs like Batman Begins. I figure the retail price on that one will be at least $19.99 (similar to prices on Phantom of the Opera), but Amazon is selling for $15.98, same price as the 1 disc. Posted Image
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#5 of 55 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted August 25 2005 - 03:27 PM

this has been happeong for the last year or so.
some examples.
i heart huckabees
kinsey
mystic river
phantom.

i'm sure there are others.
not a new trend but is becoming more prevalent.
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#6 of 55 OFFLINE   MattHR

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Posted August 25 2005 - 03:45 PM

Quote:
this has been happeong for the last year or so.
some examples: i heart huckabees, kinsey, mystic river,
phantom. i'm sure there are others. not a new trend but is becoming more prevalent.



I was aware of those titles, but I believe they were all released at about $10 more than the standard edition. Paramount also released A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS with two different versions about $10 apart. Disney used to release their animated hits in two versions, sometimes listing them at $30 vs. $50, and it was the $30 version that received the heavy discounts at stores.

This new strategy refers to the two versions being list-priced only $1 apart. Warner used this strategy on CONSTANTINE recently, list-pricing the two versions at $29 and $31. The mass-merchants sold the standard edition for about $16 (a $13 savings), while the deluxe edition was sold for about $25 (only a $6 savings).

It's obvious they (the studios and retailers) feel they can squeeze a few extra bucks from the hard-core collectors (most of us here). It's going to start looking like the laserdisc days all over again, if this becomes a trend. If successful at the retail level, I wouldn't be surprised to see many online merchants jump on this bandwagon.

#7 of 55 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted August 26 2005 - 12:33 AM

OH Ok i see that noW.
I DIdint see that before.
the only a dollar or so differnce i guess isnt such a bad idea compared to the previous tactic.
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#8 of 55 OFFLINE   Frank@N

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Posted August 26 2005 - 05:04 AM

I really hate this trend and think it has something to do with sagging boxoffice revenue.

Studios realize that home video is now (sadly for us) where they need to make their money.

Started with Master & Commander 2-disc being priced far beyond the barebones version.

Mystic River SE suffered the same fate.

Fox released a slew of light releases (Man on fire) and DDed almost immediately.

Constantine barebones doesn't even have the commentary from the 2-disc version.

#9 of 55 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted August 26 2005 - 06:45 AM

Quote:
Constantine barebones doesn't even have the commentary from the 2-disc version.


That's what bugs me the most. When the studio actually strips the Disc One features from the standard package. This seems to be common with the 1 and 2 disc releases from WB.
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#10 of 55 OFFLINE   DaveGTP

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Posted August 26 2005 - 09:21 AM

That's a backfire to the studios. When the expensive SE thing comes up, I just don't buy it. I wait for a pricedrop like I do on video games, or a DDD 20% sale. It took almost a year for me to get Mystic River SE (from the DDD sale). I wasn't buying the cheapie snapper case version, but neither did I want to pay the big $ for the SE. So I bought neither.
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#11 of 55 OFFLINE   RyanAn

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Posted August 26 2005 - 03:05 PM

This is a great idea, especially since I always go for the bigger set anyway.

Tony, I would like to know where you got your Huckabees set, everywhere in town had the SE for about $10 more than the barebones disc.

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#12 of 55 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted August 26 2005 - 03:25 PM

i realize that ryan. thats exactly what i was referring to in that first post.

i was corrected to what this thread is more specifically about in the next post.
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#13 of 55 OFFLINE   AaronMK

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Posted August 27 2005 - 12:41 AM

I really don't see anything to sinister about this. Before, the barebones would ususally have an MSRP of around $30 and SEs around $40. Now both are around $30. I don't recall seeing blowouts on SE releases when a barebones was available along side of it or had be released a while before anyway.

The only real change I see is that retailers will keep more money from the sales of the SEs online retailers who do blanket discounts may offer lower prices on them.

I think the real frustration people are having is that extra features that used to be standard are now being limited to more expensive seperate releases. I think that people's mentality of either paying more or not leaving the store with lesser release is more of what will backfire on the studios. I agree that release structure is a step backwards, but I'll take this over Fox's manipulative double-dipping tactics anyday.

#14 of 55 OFFLINE   Dane Marvin

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Posted August 27 2005 - 03:09 AM

If I'm going to buy a DVD, I want the best version available. Pure and simple. So this doesn't really affect me since the SE prices are not being jacked up.

#15 of 55 OFFLINE   Dome Vongvises

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Posted August 27 2005 - 05:02 AM

I'm a special edition nut as I love to revisit special features when taking in a movie. If anything this really sucks for people who only want the movie, but it all works out for other people.

#16 of 55 OFFLINE   John Berggren

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Posted August 27 2005 - 05:16 AM

I find this frustrating mostly because B&M retailers don't seem to discount the SE versions at all.

However, I find more and more that I wonder if I should slow my DVD buying in favor of whatever Hi-Def format will be winning next year.
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#17 of 55 OFFLINE   Roger Rollins

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Posted August 27 2005 - 05:43 AM

I think it's fine. It's better than what other companies like SONY or UNIVERSAL do by releasing a bare bones disc and then an SE a year later. If both releases are simultaneous, the consumer has a choice and Amazon or DDD will provide great discounts.

It's also not price gouging like Fox on MASTER & COMMANDER.

These prices are fair, and are in no way (IMHO) indicative of laser-like prices.

#18 of 55 OFFLINE   DaveGTP

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Posted August 27 2005 - 12:06 PM

Quote:
I'm a special edition nut as I love to revisit special features when taking in a movie. If anything this really sucks for people who only want the movie, but it all works out for other people.

Dome
I don't get this logic. Maybe I read the initial posts better.

Quote:
If I'm going to buy a DVD, I want the best version available. Pure and simple. So this doesn't really affect me since the SE prices are not being jacked up.

Again, I don't think you guys read carefully. SE prices are being jacked up - by not discounting the % off MSRP on them, and only deeply discounting the barebones disc.

Barebones: MSRP $29
SE: MSRP $30

Barebones: discounted, maybe $16
SE: barely discounted, maybe $23.

That sucks for those of us that want the best version available, i.e., the SE. Effectively an $8 price raise on the SE. That's why I didn't get Mystic River for so long, I wasn't paying $23ish, that's frickin anime pricing, I spend enough on those as it is.
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#19 of 55 OFFLINE   Dome Vongvises

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Posted August 27 2005 - 12:35 PM

Okay, so I am reading it wrong. I was under the impression that special edition pricing wasn't really changing. Oh well. Posted Image I have no idea what's going on anymore.

#20 of 55 OFFLINE   Dane Marvin

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Posted August 27 2005 - 05:31 PM

I've not gotten many 2-Disc SE's before for less than $20-23 anyway (except for used on DVD Talk), so I don't really see what you're saying. That is my comfort zone as a SE-loving consumer. And I go even higher for 3- and 4-disc stuff. Luckily, there are some instances that break this trend: I got the Gladiator 3-disc EE at Nebraska Furniture Mart this week for $17.99.

Now an example of price gouging is Universal's Limited Editions. While the Seabiscuit package was top-notch and worth it, the extra content on Ray was not enough to warrant the huge asking price (which is the same price as the upcoming Cinderella Man, though I'll be buying that anyway). The second disc content on Ray was scant at best. Could have probably fit it all on disc 1.


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