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


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#21 of 328 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 10 2009 - 02:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wilkins
Correct me if I'm wrong, but have they ever (or any other studio), listened to such criticism about packaging issues?
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.






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#22 of 328 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 10 2009 - 02:18 AM

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.

 

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#23 of 328 OFFLINE   David Wilkins

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Posted June 10 2009 - 02:23 AM

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?

#24 of 328 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 10 2009 - 02:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wilkins
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 of this nature?
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.

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#25 of 328 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted June 10 2009 - 02:37 AM

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

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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#26 of 328 OFFLINE   David Wilkins

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Posted June 10 2009 - 02:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Frezon
And even if a company has never done something in the past, it doesn't preclude that they might respond positively to proper feedback.

Then this is Warner's chance to shine.

#27 of 328 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 10 2009 - 02:51 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wilkins
Then this is Warner's chance to shine.
So are you saying they haven't in the past? If so, I disagree with you, but whatever.

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#28 of 328 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted June 10 2009 - 02:54 AM

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.

#29 of 328 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted June 10 2009 - 03:09 AM

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.

#30 of 328 OFFLINE   Jay E

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Posted June 10 2009 - 03:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Crawford
Let's stop with the below the belt shots at Warner as we want them to listen to us without being insulted in the meantime.






Crawdaddy

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.

#31 of 328 OFFLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted June 10 2009 - 03:30 AM

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.

#32 of 328 OFFLINE   BillyFeldman

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Posted June 10 2009 - 03:45 AM

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.

#33 of 328 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted June 10 2009 - 03:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_Scott
I miss the old Warners.

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.
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#34 of 328 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 10 2009 - 03:58 AM

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.

 

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#35 of 328 OFFLINE   Jonathon M

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Posted June 10 2009 - 04:01 AM

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).

#36 of 328 OFFLINE   GlennH

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Posted June 10 2009 - 04:04 AM

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.

#37 of 328 OFFLINE   David Wilkins

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Posted June 10 2009 - 04:20 AM

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.

#38 of 328 OFFLINE   BrettB

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Posted June 10 2009 - 04:21 AM

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.

#39 of 328 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted June 10 2009 - 05:07 AM

From the Woodstock review thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Hickey
Walmart just has the standard size bluray case with the 2 discs with the paper insert for $29.96.
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.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#40 of 328 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted June 10 2009 - 05:56 AM

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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