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Who Decides?

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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 OFFLINE   nikkif99uk


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Posted February 28 2009 - 09:00 AM

I've always wondered who decides which older films deserve to get a DVD release. Some films have been released on VHS and not DVD etc. Are there research and development teams within distribution companies that research how popular a film would be, do they take on suggestions from the general public etc? If anyone has any knowledge please let me know, its something that has always fascinated me.

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   cineMANIAC



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Posted February 28 2009 - 10:36 AM

Who decides? You, of course. Apparently you (and I and alot of other people) didn't enrich the studios enough when they went out of their way to dust off creaky old movies and released them to disc in recent times. I don't blame the economy because, despite the bad times, people still buy and go to the movies. Maybe people are buying bootlegs off the street or downloading off the internet. Wait a second. The bootleggers don't deal in old flicks, just the current junk. Anyway, yeah, we just aren't buying enough of the good stuff so don't expect the corporations to waste their time.

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   nikkif99uk


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Posted February 28 2009 - 11:02 AM

I don't just mean early movies but anything up to recent times that has never seen a release, like many 70'-90's movies

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Thomas T

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Posted February 28 2009 - 12:49 PM

It's all about money and profits. The home video companies aren't releasing classic films out of a sense of duty to cinematic history or culture. Even older films that wouldn't have a chance on their own like Cash McCall or The Formula get stuffed in a Natalie Wood set or Marlon Brando set (with no individual release) to make them commercially viable.

I remember during the laser disc days asking a home video distributer if Fill In The Blank would eventually come out on laser and him saying it tanked big time on VHS so why would they release it on laser disc.

Similarly, I'm kind of amused (or maybe not) by the types who sniff, "Oh, I think I'll just wait for the blu-ray which will come out eventually". Has it occured to them that if standard DVD sales are weak, why would they bother with a Blu Ray release? For example, if sales on the recent 2 disc Touch Of Evil were underwhelming (I don't know, I'm just using it as an example), is there any incentive for Universal to put out a Blu-Ray release which is a much smaller market than standard DVD?

If Paramount thought it could turn a profit on Ace In The Hole, The Furies or White Dog, do you think they would have licensed those titles to Criterion? I think not.

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   nikkif99uk


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Posted February 28 2009 - 12:57 PM

For instance Prehysteria (1993) and its sequal were all released on VHS but have never been on DVD, this was a favourite from my childhood and Heidi's Song (1982) another fave on VHS but not DVD and thats a Hanna-Barbera classic

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   nikkif99uk


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Posted March 02 2009 - 11:10 PM

I wonder what the job title is for the people who help decide which films get released, I would love a job like that

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   mona_r



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Posted March 03 2009 - 02:39 AM

i would think its an executives job to decide, but i bet they do a bit of field of relative research.

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Mark_TS



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Posted March 06 2009 - 10:25 AM


It would think it is likely left to heads of Home Video Depts and then a subdept for Special Projects, who probably now have to think long and hard about what to release-and fight for funds- if not get disbanded.

During better times, at least, one would like to think that the mainstream release dept would throw a little of the buckets of cash to subsidize things, but those days are probably soon over-
I would think since they are a "cheap luxury" that sales may soften but not
fall off a cliff-unless we have a SMC and the "D" word fully hits us.
Sales of players and TVs will likely drop sharply-as there are still plenty of layoffs coming:

BLS has six methods of figuring Unemployment-but they cherry pick-the U3 accounting method gave us the 8.1% of today;
ie:-if you exhaust benefits-you are no longer counted-even if youve found no work.
Many argue that the U6 method is much more accurate-14.8%
The Official HTF 'elitist' lol....
"War is God's way of teaching Americans Geography"-Ambrose Bierce

#9 of 17 OFFLINE   felipenor


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Posted March 06 2009 - 02:51 PM

But how would they decide it? "I like this movie better and I think it should be realeased"? Or "I think this movie will sell better"? And if so, they do any research, or do they just assume this title is likely to sell better?

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Bruce Morrison

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Posted March 09 2009 - 01:18 AM

It's "Accountant". Do you really want that job?
Bruce Morrison

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin Martinez

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Posted March 09 2009 - 06:42 AM

What the hell is going on? Not one thing anyone has uttered in this thread sounds like it's being written by a human being on planet Earth. I expect better from you people.

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   cineMANIAC



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Posted March 11 2009 - 12:55 AM

The rule of thumb is, supposedly, we, the consumer, demand a product and we're supposed to be catered to. That theory goes out the window when we consider that dozens of movies that we have demanded over the years still have not been released or properly done, the way we want it. It works the other way around: they (studios) keep giving us what we DON'T want. Everybody wanted real special editions of Poltergeist and Beetlejuice, not just a movie in a box. Many of us want to see Night of the Creeps hit the market before a comet hits the Earth again. And we don't want just the movie with altered soundtracks and trailers for other movies. So, who decides? Its certainly not the consumer.

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   smithb



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Posted March 11 2009 - 04:28 AM

I think you also have to take into consideration other things, such as who owns the rights to a given movie, do they have the money to push a release to DVD, and are there any legal complication in doing so, to name a few. If it is owned by a major studio with no complications then I would assume it is based simply on cost and revenue. What is the cost to prepare it (e.g., digital remastering, packaging, extras) and what are the projected profits. Are the profits high enough to be worth the effort. In addition, time since you can't just put them all out at once. I'll bet many that you would think should have been released by now are caught in some of those other considerations. Two I always wondered about were "African Queen" and "High Road to China". I'm pretty sure both had some issues with who owns the rights and distribution.

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Rick Thompson

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Posted March 11 2009 - 04:43 AM

Actually, The African Queen has had a DVD release. It was a legit R1 release, but from Asia or Latin America. I actually have it. I have read on a board elsewhere (and don't ask me where) an interview with a Warner (I think) exec, who said African Queen is in the process but a long way off. It's been a while, so by now it's within a year -- or cancelled. Haven't heard a thing about "High Road to China," and it's a film I'd like to get. If you watch ebay, overseas legit R1 releases turn up. That's where I got my African Queen and also The Fourth Protocol. They were both in English, and in Protocol's case widescreen.

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   sestamuch


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Posted March 11 2009 - 07:46 PM

I'll be on the lookout for it thanks for the tip.

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted March 11 2009 - 11:16 PM

Seems to make sense logically, doesn't it? Except that - again - there's always the chance that someone who never bothered with the title on DVD would spring for the Blu. More realistically -- did it ever occur to you (or the studios) that OF COURSE nobody who owns a Blu-ray player is now going to buy or re-buy a standard DVD where they can avoid it if there's a chance of a Blu-ray sometime. For example -- THE ODD COUPLE is now being re-released on DVD, and I am not going to bother buying it. I already have the film once on regular DVD, and if I bother dipping again at all it'll be for Blu-ray. So wouldn't the studio have enough sense to realize that maybe THIS is why "this title is not selling" at this point? The same thing happened with MARY POPPINS, I believe -- they re-release it ... many Blu-ray owners hold out because they don't see the point in re-buying a DVD and want a Blu-ray..... and this immediately registers to the studio as: "well I guess there's no market for this particular film" ...? That's just dumb. By the way, I already own the first DVD for TOUCH OF EVIL ... I therefore refuse to buy the new recent one... now, does this necessarily mean there's no market for the Blu-ray with me if it ever gets released? Not at all. Sometimes I think it's Bonzo the Chimp who decides what to release.

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   TravisR


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Posted March 12 2009 - 01:23 AM

Maybe but I'm not buying Touch Of Evil or Sunset Boulevard or To Catch A Thief, etc. for a second or third time in the hopes that it leads to the Blu-ray release that I actually want. If they don't release it on Blu-ray, I still have the movie on DVD and I didn't have to rebuy it yet again.

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