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WHV Announcement: Warner to offer Blu-ray combo packs on all new release titles


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#1 of 33 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 17 2009 - 01:10 AM

WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES TWO BLU-RAY™ PACKAGING INNOVATIONS OFFERING CONSUMERS MORE VALUE AND PORTABILITY ON THE MOVIES THEY WANT TO SEE

 

Studio To Begin Offering Blu-ray™ Combo Packs On All Theatrical New Release Titles;

Blu-ray Disc, Standard Definition DVD, And Digital Copy All-In-One At No Additional Cost

 

Also Introducing The Industry’s First Line Of Affordably Priced “Blu-ray Double Features;”

Sets Will Include Two Of Warner’s Top Catalog Hits On Blu-ray Disc

 
 

Burbank, Calif. December 16, 2009 - Warner Bros. Home Entertainment today announced two Blu-ray™ packaging initiatives that will give consumers greater value and portability when shopping for the best possible way to watch movies at home. Beginning in the first quarter of 2010, Warner Home Video will be releasing its entire Theatrical New Release slate as Blu-ray combo packs, containing a Blu-ray Disc of the film with exclusive special features and exciting BD-Live interactivity, a standard-definition DVD and a Digital Copy of the film.  For no additional cost, Blu-ray combo packs offer consumers significantly more value by merging the unsurpassed quality of Blu-ray with the convenience of being able to watch the film in any format, on just about every playback device.  

Warner Home Video is also launching the industry’s first line of Blu-ray Double Features, priced at $24.98 (SRP). Beginning February 23, the attractively packaged and entry-level priced Blu-ray Double Features pack will include a pair of well-matched catalog hits spanning multiple genres – comedy, action, drama/thriller and horror.  The first wave will include “Dirty Harry” and “Magnum Force” starring Clint Eastwood; “Analyze This” and “Analyze That” starring Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro; “Presumed Innocent” and “Frantic” starring Harrison Ford; “Miss Congeniality” and “Miss Congeniality 2” starring Sandra Bullock; and Grumpy Old Men and Grumpier Old Men starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon.

“When people experience Blu-ray – they love it, and with Blu-ray combo packs on all of our top new releases, we are giving consumers the titles they want without having to sacrifice convenience and portability,” said Ron Sanders, President, Warner Home Video. “And our new Blu-ray Double Feature sets make it easier and more affordable than ever for consumers to build or expand their home movie libraries and discover why Blu-ray is simply the best way to watch movies at home.”

According to third quarter figures compiled by the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), Blu-ray is on the rise.  In 2009, Blu-ray Disc set-top player sales grew 112 percent over the same period last year and this holiday season consumers are seeing Blu-ray player prices starting around $100, making it that much easier for home audiences to see the films they love the way they were meant to be seen. Blu-ray devices are at the top of many consumers’ holiday wish lists this year are projected to be in 15 million U.S. homes by the end of this year.

 
About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group 


Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution, interactive entertainment/videogames, direct-to-DVD production, technical operations and anti-piracy businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. WBHEG is responsible for the global distribution of content through DVD, electronic sell-through and VOD, and delivery of theatrical content to wireless and online channels, and is also a significant worldwide publisher for both internal and third party videogame titles. 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 33 EnricoE

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Posted December 17 2009 - 01:21 AM

wtf... first universal and now warner?

screw that shit... i'm not buying any blu-ray that is a combo!!! give me an option to choose or no more sale... end of story!!!




#3 of 33 Sam Posten

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Posted December 17 2009 - 01:26 AM

/img/vbsmilies/htf/thumbsup.gif MAJOR thumbs up.  Warner gets it.  Always has.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/rock.gif  Hope Universal gives up on the flippers and goes the same way.

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#4 of 33 Sam Posten

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Posted December 17 2009 - 01:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by EnricoE 

wtf... first universal and now warner?

screw that shit... i'm not buying any blu-ray that is a combo!!! give me an option to choose or no more sale... end of story!!!

/img/vbsmilies/htf/thumbsdown.gif
No, this is two disks in one pack, not a flipper like Universal.  One SKU = you can't buy the DVD without getting the BluRay, which means MORE BluRays in the market which means EVERYONE starts collecting BluRays even if they don't own a player yet.

This is GOOD.  REALLY good.


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#5 of 33 Jason Charlton

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Posted December 17 2009 - 01:42 AM

What's good is the line about "no additional cost".  If that really rings true, then I'm all for it, but honestly, I'm not going to hold my breath.

What's bothered me the most about current "combo" packs, especially those from Disney, is the added cost.  $45 MSRP on "UP"?!?!?!  When the only way to get a Blu-Ray is to pay a premium because it includes a DVD that you may not want, that's when I get upset.

Thankfully, places like Amazon help mitigate the extra cost, but I know many people who don't think to check Amazon and wind up paying exhorbitant B&M prices.

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#6 of 33 dpippel

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Posted December 17 2009 - 02:17 AM

This IS good! Flippers = BAD / Blu-ray disc+Standard DVD = GOOD. I could care less about digital copy. Kudos Warner! Now how about strongarming Universal into giving up their flipper program? /img/vbsmilies/htf/biggrin.gif

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#7 of 33 Scott Merryfield

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Posted December 17 2009 - 02:34 AM

This is much better than Universal's flipper disc plan, as long as the "at no additional cost" statement holds.

The news on the double feature discs is not as great, though, for those of us who already purchased Grumpy Old Men and only are interested now in buying the sequel. Hopefully an individual release will be forthcoming, but Warner has yet to do that with some other films, such as Batman Returns and the other Batman sequels.


#8 of 33 Felix Martinez

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Posted December 17 2009 - 04:04 AM

Yes, the press release implies that these are separate discs in one package.  As long as it's not a flipper/BD-59 or whatever that hybrid being released by Universal is being called, this is a good idea.


#9 of 33 dpippel

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Posted December 17 2009 - 04:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix Martinez 

Yes, the press release implies that these are separate discs in one package.  As long as it's not a flipper/BD-59 or whatever that hybrid being released by Universal is being called, this is a good idea.
 
There's no implication. The press release states quite clearly that there will be 3 separate discs in these packages:

"...Blu-ray combo packs, containing a Blu-ray Disc of the film with exclusive special features and exciting BD-Live interactivity, a standard-definition DVD and a Digital Copy of the film."


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#10 of 33 Martin Teller

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Posted December 17 2009 - 04:36 AM

Thanks for wasting my shelf space, WB.  I really wish these "digital copies" would go away.  I'd love see the numbers on how many of those things ever get used.  I'd be surprised if it was much more than 10%.

#11 of 33 Mike Frezon

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Posted December 17 2009 - 04:44 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield 

This is much better than Universal's flipper disc plan, as long as the "at no additional cost" statement holds.
I'm not even sure I know what "no additional cost" means.   That it won't cost any more than a comparable Warner's blu-ray purchase does now?  (I think that's what we're all expecting, right?!?)  Or, does it mean it won't cost more than if you were to buy both the DVD & Blu-ray at the same time?

Oh.  Yeah.  Basically it means nothing.

Many HTF members have been heralding the arrival of lower Blu-ray software prices this holiday season.  I hope this doesn't negatively impact any possibility that that trend might continue.

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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#12 of 33 EnricoE

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Posted December 17 2009 - 06:09 AM

ahhh... ok... just like fox does right now... i misread it ;)

ok, if they want to include a separate dvd, well that's fine by me. but if it's a combo crap br like universal plans, then i stick with my statement.


#13 of 33 TravisR

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Posted December 17 2009 - 06:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Frezon View Post

Many HTF members have been heralding the arrival of lower Blu-ray software prices this holiday season.  I hope this doesn't negatively impact any possibility that that trend might continue.
 

I've looked at the prices for Blu-rays coming in January and, unfortunately, they're back to the same higher pre-holiday prices (around $25). So I'll take WB at their word and assume that the DVD won't affect the price but by the time they release them, the prices will be back to the old norm anyway.

Having said that, I think this a great move on WB's part.

#14 of 33 Scott Merryfield

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Posted December 17 2009 - 07:57 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Frezon 




I'm not even sure I know what "no additional cost" means.   That it won't cost any more than a comparable Warner's blu-ray purchase does now?  (I think that's what we're all expecting, right?!?)  Or, does it mean it won't cost more than if you were to buy both the DVD & Blu-ray at the same time?

Oh.  Yeah.  Basically it means nothing.

Many HTF members have been heralding the arrival of lower Blu-ray software prices this holiday season.  I hope this doesn't negatively impact any possibility that that trend might continue.
Well, if the prices goe back up after the holidays, then sales will go down. I have certainly been making more BD purchases over the past month or two due to the better prices, and will cut back if the prices go back up. It's a lot easier to make an impulse purchase of $10 than at a $25 price point.


#15 of 33 Mike Frezon

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Posted December 17 2009 - 08:03 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisR 

I've looked at the prices for Blu-rays coming in January and, unfortunately, they're back to the same higher pre-holiday prices (around $25). So I'll take WB at their word and assume that the DVD won't affect the price but by the time they release them, the prices will be back to the old norm anyway.

Having said that, I think this a great move on WB's part.
Travis:  Even though I mentioned the lower prices we've seen lately, you've seen me say I didn't think they were sticking around either post-holidays.  I'm just cautious that I doubt "no additional cost" really means "no additional cost."  I'm having a hard time with that part of it. 

I hope I'm wrong.  No doubt about it.  I love the concept of getting a "bonus DVD" with my Blu-ray purchase.  But getting something-for-nothing rarely happens. 


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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#16 of 33 Yumbo

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Posted December 17 2009 - 09:40 AM

 Will Warner Digital copies be ALL Mac compatible?
The randomness, with New Line editions is annoying.

#17 of 33 Mark-P

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Posted December 17 2009 - 11:10 AM

I'm sure "no additional cost" means that the combo packs will be priced the same as BD-only discs used to be. I imagine the reason they are doing this is to force consumers who don't yet own blu-ray players to pay more for DVDs. Of course the BD crowd (myself included) won't mind, but I'd imagine DVD consumers won't like it much.

#18 of 33 Mike Frezon

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Posted December 17 2009 - 12:31 PM

But there's nothing that says they won't still be offering DVD-alone versions of new releases. 

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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#19 of 33 Yumbo

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Posted December 17 2009 - 03:50 PM

 When do they begin these COMBOs?
The January listings show BD only editions.

#20 of 33 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted December 17 2009 - 10:48 PM

Good news (so far) indeed!

But yeah, might be good to be cautiously optimistic about the pricing.

And yeah, where did they actually say there won't be separate DVD-only releases anymore (alongside those BD combo packs)?

IMHO, if they want to coherce DVD consumers to go Blu, seems like maybe they should start by giving BD the leg-up on release dates before going whole hog w/ no more DVD-only releases.  If the Harry Potter BD combo pack came out a whole month before the DVD-only version (especially if the DVD came out *after* the holiday shopping season), that might've pushed a lot of folks to go Blu w/out as much potential backlash me thinks -- I gotta think they'd get some consumer backlash if they just go whole hog right away.

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