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An open invitation to Warner to discuss your catalog titles

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#21 of 112 lukejosephchung

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Posted March 10 2014 - 11:16 AM

It's an unfortunate reality that the market paradigm has shifted from physical media to streaming for home theater purchase/rental...the under-50 generations prefer internet access to using discs/USB sticks for the sheer convenience factor and the disc market is shrinking in population as a result...we're suffering from this as collateral damage!!! :o



#22 of 112 Brandon Conway

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Posted March 10 2014 - 11:47 AM

The slower the rate of migration, the longer the wait, the more likely the oldest films will decay beyond viability to the point that decay happens faster than release.

 

You say this as though preservation/restoration and home video releases have a 1-to-1 correlation. That's not the reality. All the major studios have preservation/restoration efforts that are not tied to video sales. Warner is actually one of the best at turning those efforts into home video releases, however, because of the Warner Archive program.


Edited by Brandon Conway, March 10 2014 - 11:47 AM.

"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


#23 of 112 Rick Thompson

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Posted March 10 2014 - 12:46 PM

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It's an unfortunate reality that the market paradigm has shifted from physical media to streaming for home theater purchase/rental...the under-50 generations prefer internet access to using discs/USB sticks for the sheer convenience factor and the disc market is shrinking in population as a result...we're suffering from this as collateral damage!!! :o

 

Funny isn't it? We went through all this digital changeover to have HD on big screens, and the young folks would rather watch movies low-rez on a 10-inch iPad.  We could have stayed with NTSC for that and saved lots of $$$$$$.


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#24 of 112 John Morgan

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Posted March 10 2014 - 01:57 PM

Although I buy a lot of newer release titles, I am, at heart, a classic film buff. I think I have bought every classic Warner title that has been released on Blu, and that includes MGM and RKO titles. 

 

But I am at a loss at why some classic films get the Blu ray treatment and others have not. I guess there are a few films Warner's own that original materials are just not in good enough condition to warrant a blu ray release. To name a few, THE INFORMER, HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1939), GUNGA DIN I would think sell better to the average classic fan than something like THE WOMEN (1939) or even THE POSTMAN RINGS TWICE. But judging from the earlier DVDs of those first 3 titles, I wonder if there are element problems.

 

And certainly films like YANKEE DOODLE DANDY, THE BIG SLEEP, would attract buyers. And we have out MAD WORLD (2 blu ray releases), THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES, and even THOSE DARING YOUNG MEN IN JAUNTY JALOPIES, but no THE GREAT RACE or AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS.  Will it take some kind of box set like the GANGSTERS COLLECTION to get some of these titles out? (By the way, I have bought or pre-ordered every fillm I mentioned in this post that are out or available for preorder.

 

I know every company has different ideas of what a success in sales is. When Twilight Films sells 3,000 copies of a title, that is a big deal and for them, a very successful release. I have the feeling if a Blu Ray sold 3,000 under the Warner banner, that would be considered a failure and not worth the trouble.

 

The last couple of standard DVD box sets for Errol Flynn (war time, westerns) for the most part, looked Blu Ray ready. I don't know if the negatives or fine grains were scanned and the masters were made in HD standards, but all of the war films looked and sounded superb and they upconvert very well, but they still are not HD quality.  

 

There just has to be more than 3000 people out there like me. I am not that special.



#25 of 112 Brandon Conway

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Posted March 10 2014 - 02:06 PM

I think you may be over estimating the sales numbers of some of these Warner catalog releases. I bet they print just around 3000 of them (or perhaps less) for many of them without advertizing it as limited (in that they can do a new run if they get low on stock).


Edited by Brandon Conway, March 10 2014 - 02:11 PM.

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"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


#26 of 112 MatthewA

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Posted March 10 2014 - 02:27 PM

Some of the RKO titles looked like they needed some TLC.


Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#27 of 112 Rob_Ray

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Posted March 10 2014 - 02:27 PM

Although I buy a lot of newer release titles, I am, at heart, a classic film buff. I think I have bought every classic Warner title that has been released on Blu, and that includes MGM and RKO titles. 

 

But I am at a loss at why some classic films get the Blu ray treatment and others have not. I guess there are a few films Warner's own that original materials are just not in good enough condition to warrant a blu ray release. To name a few, THE INFORMER, HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1939), GUNGA DIN I would think sell better to the average classic fan than something like THE WOMEN (1939) or even THE POSTMAN RINGS TWICE. But judging from the earlier DVDs of those first 3 titles, I wonder if there are element problems.

I think it's safe to assume that there are element problems with nearly every RKO title, especially in comparison to one from MGM.



#28 of 112 ahollis

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Posted March 10 2014 - 02:43 PM

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There are a lot of titles I want on Blu. The list is almost endless but understand where the market is and that many titles I want will not appear. Being that the fact I am very happy for what I have and what will be released in the next five or so years. I know that no matter how much I complain or jump up and down cussing that it will not change. I am not a streaming guy and not sure if I can embrace so I guess I will just be passed by but I have my 5000+ DVDs and Blu's so that should make me happy
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#29 of 112 Rob_Ray

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Posted March 10 2014 - 02:52 PM

I'm mainly interested in the classics from about 1920 to the mid-sixties and, having collected laserdiscs, DVDs and BluRays since about 1983, have almost every title I could possibly want in one form or another.  DVDs upscale nicely on my machine, and while I would love to get many more titles on Bluray or whatever new physical format may replace it, I can live nicely with what I have and call it a day as a collector if it comes to streaming or nothing.  It will be Warners' loss, not mine.  My wallet would be most grateful, in fact, if physical media were to become obsolete.


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#30 of 112 MatthewA

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Posted March 10 2014 - 02:59 PM

Some of us young whippersnappers would like to see these movies you old folks have been raving about for decades, but we've been spoiled by the picture and sound quality expectations. If anybody wants something, it should be preserved and made available for release. If that was the price to pay for owning physical copies of HD remasters and not being at the mercy of your ISP to get consistent picture quality throughout, I'd give up pressed discs if I could be sure the BD-Rs were of the best quality.


Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#31 of 112 bruceames

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Posted March 10 2014 - 03:07 PM

I think you may be over estimating the sales numbers of some of these Warner catalog releases. I bet they print just around 3000 of them (or perhaps less) for many of them without advertizing it as limited (in that they can do a new run if they get low on stock).

 

I think you're right about that quantity, at least it's not that far off.  For that reason that's why I said that they should just market it as such and create some urgency about people picking it up sooner rather than later.   If TT can sell out of their supply on many titles (12 so far and many more will sell out over time) at a $30 street price, then Warner can do the same with their Archive and they have so many high caliber titles to choose from that would definitely sell out.



#32 of 112 MatthewA

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Posted March 10 2014 - 04:44 PM

If they're not doing any advertising, no wonder these discs aren't selling.


Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#33 of 112 ROclockCK

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Posted March 10 2014 - 05:15 PM

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I think you may be over estimating the sales numbers of some of these Warner catalog releases. I bet they print just around 3000 of them (or perhaps less) for many of them without advertizing it as limited (in that they can do a new run if they get low on stock).

 

Agreed Brandon. But with a caveat...except for a handful of surprise over-achievers, most of these *unofficial* limited editions will likely never get re-run either, at least domestically.

 

Assuming you could ever get a straight answer, just ask any of the major studios what their typical 1st run is these days for a catalogue title on Blu-ray, or even DVD. From what information I've been able to glean (anecdotally, and resolutely 'off the record'), the actual numbers would be shocking to many who assume that there has to be more potential customers interested in that particular <fill-in-the-blank> title, since it was a major, award-winning, global B.O. hit. It's just unimaginable that there aren't 10s of thousands who would gladly jump on that baby day one.

 

Of course there still is kinda/sorta...just not on Blu-ray or DVD anymore. What's changed drastically since the late '90s through mid-'00s is the '800 pound gorilla which is no longer in the room'...i.e. disc rentals. With the spectacular retrenchment and eventual demise of Blockbuster plus so many other rental outlets in recent years, the studios quickly lost a major source of assured disc revenue. For many vintage catalogue titles the studio's chief justification for larger runs was the near-certainty that the major rental chains could be counted on to immediately take 4 or 5 digits of stock off their hands, with the big boxes accounting for the rest. Simple math: those larger guaranteed-market runs = a lower per unit cost.

 

However, once those guaranteed outlets for larger disc runs dried up and renting shifted to streaming and downloads (plus PVR recordings off cable), studios have pretty much been left with only the core collectors like us who still care enough about these titles to actually want to buy them (yet again) in HD...which is further constrained by the huge numbers of now dirt cheap DVDs still in circulation satisfying casual movie fans who feel "hey, an upscaled DVD is good enough for my modest-sized monitor."

 

So despite superior A/V specs, through no fault of its own other than its late-to-the-party timing, Blu-ray has naturally become a niche collector format, at least for deeper catalogue titles already widely available in other cheaper and more convenient or 'good enough' form. Anything with a residual, dedicated fanbase and usable HD master will eventually get done on Blu-ray though...if not by the home studio, then someone. We'll just have to get used to the greatly reduced economies of scale, and be patient as [much] smaller runs become the norm via multiple other sources, including the studios' own archiving programmes (such as the WAC).

 

Bottom line: with disc rentals gone, and legacy SD disc ownership still so high, there are simply fewer ancillary markets left these days for new HD discs. At least at the scale a multi-national like WB needs to justify a minimally profitable hard media release.


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#34 of 112 JWPlatt

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Posted March 10 2014 - 06:14 PM

You say this as though preservation/restoration and home video releases have a 1-to-1 correlation. That's not the reality. All the major studios have preservation/restoration efforts that are not tied to video sales. Warner is actually one of the best at turning those efforts into home video releases, however, because of the Warner Archive program.

 

I would not have expected a studio to go through the expense of preservation without planning for a release.  Long term it should be 1:1.  But beyond that, if it's not fast enough, the FILO preservation queue eventually results in lost assets.



#35 of 112 AnthonyClarke

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Posted March 10 2014 - 09:01 PM

All this is yet another argument for an end to region-coding of discs so that one decent edition can be used to satisfy world demand.

There again, I guess the present market setup means there's a good chance that if, for instance, a Region 2 release is deemed unsatisfactory by the discerning buyer, there's always a chance of a halfway decent Region 1 transfer.



#36 of 112 Brandon Conway

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Posted March 10 2014 - 09:10 PM

All Warner Blu-rays are open region.


"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


#37 of 112 Persianimmortal

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Posted March 11 2014 - 01:50 AM

Yes, let's at least give credit to Warner for not region locking any of their releases. I agree with Anthony that region coding simply fragments an already too small market.



#38 of 112 stevenHa

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Posted March 11 2014 - 02:14 AM

This is why, barring any surprises, I don't see myself buying many blu rays this year - Sabrina in April and The Time Machine when it is announced.



#39 of 112 ahollis

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Posted March 11 2014 - 06:43 AM

Agreed Brandon. But with a caveat...except for a handful of surprise over-achievers, most of these *unofficial* limited editions will likely never get re-run either, at least domestically.

Assuming you could ever get a straight answer, just ask any of the major studios what their typical 1st run is these days for a catalogue title on Blu-ray, or even DVD. From what information I've been able to glean (anecdotally, and resolutely 'off the record'), the actual numbers would be shocking to many who assume that there has to be more potential customers interested in that particular <fill-in-the-blank> title, since it was a major, award-winning, global B.O. hit. It's just unimaginable that there aren't 10s of thousands who would gladly jump on that baby day one.

Of course there still is kinda/sorta...just not on Blu-ray or DVD anymore. What's changed drastically since the late '90s through mid-'00s is the '800 pound gorilla which is no longer in the room'...i.e. disc rentals. With the spectacular retrenchment and eventual demise of Blockbuster plus so many other rental outlets in recent years, the studios quickly lost a major source of assured disc revenue. For many vintage catalogue titles the studio's chief justification for larger runs was the near-certainty that the major rental chains could be counted on to immediately take 4 or 5 digits of stock off their hands, with the big boxes accounting for the rest. Simple math: those larger guaranteed-market runs = a lower per unit cost.

However, once those guaranteed outlets for larger disc runs dried up and renting shifted to streaming and downloads (plus PVR recordings off cable), studios have pretty much been left with only the core collectors like us who still care enough about these titles to actually want to buy them (yet again) in HD...which is further constrained by the huge numbers of now dirt cheap DVDs still in circulation satisfying casual movie fans who feel "hey, an upscaled DVD is good enough for my modest-sized monitor."

So despite superior A/V specs, through no fault of its own other than its late-to-the-party timing, Blu-ray has naturally become a niche collector format, at least for deeper catalogue titles already widely available in other cheaper and more convenient or 'good enough' form. Anything with a residual, dedicated fanbase and usable HD master will eventually get done on Blu-ray though...if not by the home studio, then someone. We'll just have to get used to the greatly reduced economies of scale, and be patient as [much] smaller runs become the norm via multiple other sources, including the studios' own archiving programmes (such as the WAC).

Bottom line: with disc rentals gone, and legacy SD disc ownership still so high, there are simply fewer ancillary markets left these days for new HD discs. At least at the scale a multi-national like WB needs to justify a minimally profitable hard media release.


At one time I too thought thousands of people were waiting breathlessly for the same catalogue title I was. The introduction of Twilight Time taught me reality in the market place. The fact that most titles did not sell out the first week and it has taken many months for titles to get down to low quantities I learned a lesson, 3000 is just about the right number of people that are interested in the titles I am.

#40 of 112 Robert Crawford

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Posted March 11 2014 - 06:48 AM

At one time I too thought thousands of people were waiting breathlessly for the same catalogue title I was. The introduction of Twilight Time taught me reality in the market place. The fact that most titles did not sell out the first week and it has taken many months for titles to get down to low quantities I learned a lesson, 3000 is just about the right number of people that are interested in the titles I am.

I think part of that is the limited TT retail options.  If, for example Amazon was their main retail outlet, I bet you with their higher profile than SAE, more units would be sold and in a shorter period of time.


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