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TWILIGHT RELEASES LACK OF INTEREST

Twilight Time

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#1 of 346 OFFLINE   Ernest

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Posted March 21 2014 - 10:08 AM

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If you received the latest e-mail message from Twilight advising of a big sale they are having you can understand the studios reluctance to release old catalog titles on Blu-ray.  Even though only 3000 copies were mastered Twilight still has inventory for Demetrius and the Gladiators, Desiree, the Rains of Ranchipur and many other titles released over a year ago.  This is really really bad. If Twilight can't sell a measly 3000 copies of any movie whether it be considered good or bad the studios are going to withhold releasing catalog titles on Blu-ray.

 

Look what Fox is doing. They are releasing many old catalog titles on DVD-R in 4 x 3 letterbox or full screen.  None of the recent titles I checked out included "Enhanced for 16 x 9 TV's" feature.  I purchased Sodom and Gomorrah which is the full length version of 154 minutes presented in a cropped full view.  Picture quality is decent for DVD.  I also purchased King of the Khyber Rifles and that title is presented in 4x3 Letterbox.  

 

I feel like I have taken a step 'Back to the Future" buying these Fox titles is like buying Laserdisc.  I sold my Pioneer Laserdisc players and 100's of Laserdisc years ago.  

 

For this reason I purchased a Region-Free Blu-ray player so I could buy some of the old catalog titles in Blu-ray. Titles like El Cid, Fall Roman Empire, Alexander Great, Runaway Train, and many more.  

 

For the record I have purchased 12 titles from Twilight.  I admit at $29.95 they are expensive so I do have to be selective.  The bottom line is if there are titles in Region B you are interested in buy a region-Free player so you can purchase the titles.  Don't wait for a Region A release because in all probability it won't happen.

 

 


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#2 of 346 OFFLINE   Worth

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Posted March 21 2014 - 11:10 AM

That 3000 isn't a completely arbitrary number. If a catalogue title sells more than 3000 units, that's pretty good. As hard as it is to believe, I remember reading somewhere that Jason and the Argonauts struggled to sell more than 1000 copies on blu-ray.


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#3 of 346 OFFLINE   Ethan Riley

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Posted March 21 2014 - 11:37 AM

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Why does everything have to sell out in a year?
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#4 of 346 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted March 21 2014 - 11:40 AM

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It still shocks me that many of the titles released by Twilight Time struggle to sell 3,000 copies. It's a telling reality regarding the current state of physical media and perhaps a sign of a difficult future,

 

I had read Ron's comment in the Frozen thread about how the hobby just doesn't seem as fun as it did in the heyday of DVD, and I agree with that. Quality is better than ever, but the enthusiastic base, apart from this forum, seems to be absent. I love Blu-ray and still get the same charge collecting and upgrading compared with 10 years ago and DVD, yet there's something missing. Seems like in the late 90s and beyond, whenever a new release or catalog title came out it was a big deal. Now, it's hard to notice. 

 

It seems like recent releases on Blu-ray are doing OK, but anything more than a year or two old sits on the shelf. There's definitely a "shift" going on with regard to how people consume media. Streaming, etc. have a much bigger piece of the pie and that's sad to me. 

 

I find it tough to get excited over a download, but having a shiny disc in my hand does something indescribable. Compared with Blu-ray, there's no romance in digital downloads or streaming. It just doesn't feel really cool to me to have a collection on a hard drive as opposed to displaying it on a stylistic set of shelves. It's convenient, but boring. 

 

Oh well, the world can pry my discs out of my dead hands. I'll likely make my own physical media in the future and try to remember a time when life didn't have to be so convenient all the time. 


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#5 of 346 OFFLINE   EddieLarkin

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Posted March 21 2014 - 11:44 AM

As hard as it is to believe, I remember reading somewhere that Jason and the Argonauts struggled to sell more than 1000 copies on blu-ray.

 

Considering 3000 copies of Mysterious Island were shifted in well under a year, from a single niche retailer for $30 plus delivery, I do indeed find that pretty hard to believe. Similarly, the two Sinbad sequels (one of which isn't even very good!) also got through their 3000 copies in a couple of months!


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#6 of 346 OFFLINE   Jari K

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Posted March 21 2014 - 12:00 PM

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Ah, another TT thread.
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#7 of 346 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted March 21 2014 - 12:16 PM

I alluded to, along time ago...and regarding 3D, the demise of the "world market" and retracting to Germany and Brazil.

 

Why those two, specifically?

 

Those two countries are the last bastion(not counting Japan...excluding them cause the whole..."at least German and Portuguese menu's are the same letters...ish") of SACD/DVD-A.

 

If the buyers market shrinks that much...maybe we will have to import. Fact of market constriction. And I'm only including esoteric titles. I'm shocked that Frances Ha even has a(n upcoming) Criterion.



#8 of 346 OFFLINE   bruceames

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Posted March 21 2014 - 02:08 PM

3000 is quite a few for a middle/lower tier Blu-ray catalog, and especially so at a $30 price point.  So actually I take the opposite view and say that I'm pleasantly surprised that Twilight Time is able to move product that well at a price 2x to 3x higher than similar titles cost from other labels.   Blu-ray catalog has never sold that well except for the most popular titles, and unfortunately there is no Archive program comparable to the DVD side of things since they won't sell burned discs on Blu-ray (and thus make it financially infeasible to release hundreds or thousands of movies that they otherwise would be able to, like Warner and Fox are doing on DVD-r).


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#9 of 346 OFFLINE   lukejosephchung

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Posted March 21 2014 - 02:13 PM

Catalog blu-ray, except for the sure-fire sellers like "Gone With The Wind" or "The Sound Of Music", has become a niche market, much as we all want it not to be so, which is why Twilight Time and others now exist...to fill that niche!!! I'm not complaining, as TT, Criterion and Olive Films allow me to pretty much purchase the titles I want domestically without having to delve extensively into the international blu-ray market for region-free pressings of these movies...


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#10 of 346 OFFLINE   Billy Batson

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Posted March 21 2014 - 02:36 PM

Oh I dunno, all the companies have sales. The only time some people buy Criterion Blu's are in the sales. I'm sure TT are releasing a lot more popular titles than they thought they would be able to, due to the big studios preferring to license out titles rather than to release them themselves. It'll be interesting to see what's released in the second half of the year, I'm thinking of Columbia & United Artists (Sony & MGM). I'd think by the end of the year with all these releases, TT will know if their business plan is working, or in need of a tweak.
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#11 of 346 OFFLINE   Ed Lachmann

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Posted March 21 2014 - 03:06 PM

Ernest, I feel the same way.  A lot of factors may come into play, the fact that Amazon shows TT titles that sell at SAE for $29 listed at over $45 (BYE BYE BIRDIE is one), which is quite a lot for a single BD without much in the way of extras.  And, most codgers do shop at Amazon as they like one stop and free shipping for multiple titles.  Still, a title like THE EGYPTIAN sold out with an SAE price tag of $40.  There also seem to be a helluva lot more classic film aficionados of all ages in Germany, France, Japan and Spain than here in America.  Plus, the TT titles cost a lot more over there when you include the shipping.  Still, how many copies do Criterion sell of the more arcane titles they put out?  How much success does Olive have with the more obscure stuff they've been offering lately?  I haven't even heard of many of those titles before.  I really don't understand not selling out of DEMETRIUS (which I would have thought to be as popular as THE EGYPTIAN), PAL JOEY or PICNIC.  In the meantime, you have Eureka in England putting out DeMille's CLEOPATRA, THE WAR LORD and RUGGLES OF RED GAP in BD.  Shock in Australia puts out TARAS BULBA and are still selling them.  I just hope we see more of the widescreen adventure stuff in the future.  And, I wonder how Fox is faring with 300 SPARTANS and AGONY AND THE ECSTASY.  Still, compared to the Laserdisc and DVD days, the pickings sure are leaner for the BD loving classic film collector today.



#12 of 346 OFFLINE   ROclockCK

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Posted March 21 2014 - 03:13 PM

Catalog blu-ray, except for the sure-fire sellers like "Gone With The Wind" or "The Sound Of Music", has become a niche market, much as we all want it not to be so, which is why Twilight Time and others now exist...to fill that niche!!! I'm not complaining, as TT, Criterion and Olive Films allow me to pretty much purchase the titles I want domestically without having to delve extensively into the international blu-ray market for region-free pressings of these movies...

 

azgl.png



#13 of 346 OFFLINE   AnthonyClarke

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Posted March 21 2014 - 03:23 PM

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I think the fault if ay lies in the very limited sales methodology which means news of TT titles reaches only the well-heeled cognoscenti in the States and maybe only a few hundred people outside the States. This extreme marketing selectivity would have to stifle sales. I know the fact that if I do buy a TT title it has to be via the very expensive Screen Archives website (expensive postage, no retailer discounting) acts as a strong deterrent.


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#14 of 346 OFFLINE   jcroy

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Posted March 21 2014 - 03:29 PM

I had read Ron's comment in the Frozen thread about how the hobby just doesn't seem as fun as it did in the heyday of DVD, and I agree with that. Quality is better than ever, but the enthusiastic base, apart from this forum, seems to be absent. I love Blu-ray and still get the same charge collecting and upgrading compared with 10 years ago and DVD, yet there's something missing. Seems like in the late 90s and beyond, whenever a new release or catalog title came out it was a big deal. Now, it's hard to notice.

 

How much of this can be attributed to "burnout"?

 

In my case, I was completely oblivious during heydays of dvd and bluray/hd-dvd.  I didn't start buying a lot of dvds and blurays until 2011.  Previous to 2011, I largely didn't care at all about dvds/blurays for the entire 2000's decade.   (So my perspective is largely that of a "johnny come lately" or "interloper").

 

I found that after about a year and a half of buying a lot of blurays and dvds, I was largely "burned out" from collecting.  Today, even stuff that would have caught my interest in the recent past, I no longer find exciting anymore.  Not even $5 blurays.



#15 of 346 OFFLINE   Persianimmortal

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Posted March 21 2014 - 03:52 PM


I think the fault if ay lies in the very limited sales methodology which means news of TT titles reaches only the well-heeled cognoscenti in the States and maybe only a few hundred people outside the States. This extreme marketing selectivity would have to stifle sales. I know the fact that if I do buy a TT title it has to be via the very expensive Screen Archives website (expensive postage, no retailer discounting) acts as a strong deterrent.

 

I really don't think this is a major determining factor behind low sales of catalog titles. Even in the early days of Twilight Time, here in Australia I first stumbled upon their releases by doing a search for Pal Joey on blu-ray on Amazon.com. So even if you don't visit any home theater forums, or review sites, or see any overt advertising, or you live in some remote part of the world, chances are that if you're genuinely interested in a particular catalog title on blu, you're going to find it via the usual channels (Amazon, Google, etc.).

 

In my opinion, catalog sales on blu are poor simply because (a) aside from some really well-known titles, most people don't really go out of their way to watch classic movies, and (b) most people aren't willing to upgrade to Blu-ray, and even if they have a Blu-ray player, they usually satisfy themselves with the DVD version of a title.

 

It's easy to forget that DVD is good enough for most people, especially if they've already been building up a collection of their favorites on DVD over the past 15 years. This is also probably why collecting Blu-rays isn't quite as fun, because DVD was the first truly collectible home movie format for many of us.


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#16 of 346 OFFLINE   jcroy

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Posted March 21 2014 - 04:01 PM

It's easy to forget that DVD is good enough for most people, especially if they've already been building up a collection of their favorites on DVD over the past 15 years. This is also probably why collecting Blu-rays isn't quite as fun, because DVD was the first truly collectible home movie format for many of us.

 

My first collectable movie format was laserdisc, back in the early 1990's.  But I never found it exciting at all.

 

The (relative) high price and scarcity/unavailability of titles, is what turned me off from collecting it after a few months.

 

 

For bluray, the main reason I found it exciting initally, was that I found many of my favorite movies for $5 a pop.  Almost like being in a candy store at the time.  :)



#17 of 346 OFFLINE   ScottHM

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Posted March 21 2014 - 04:04 PM

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Even though only 3000 copies were mastered Twilight still has inventory for Demetrius and the Gladiators, Desiree, the Rains of Ranchipur and many other titles released over a year ago.  This is really really bad. If Twilight can't sell a measly 3000 copies of any movie whether it be considered good or bad the studios are going to withhold releasing catalog titles on Blu-ray.

 

Hard as it may be for some to understand, it's often difficult to justify spending $30 for a Blu-ray of a film you already have on DVD.  Not everyone has an endless supply of disposable income.

 

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#18 of 346 OFFLINE   moviepas

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Posted March 21 2014 - 04:08 PM

The amount of new Blu Rays of former popular films from Britain's past coming out is truly amazing. Many from Studio canal who own and license out many titles(Networkonair) are offering many of them. St Trinian's film series, Carry On series and so on. They must have a market to do that. These are movies that once were repeated over and over again on local TV with splices, scratches and censored scenes for language & naughty bits. Language was censored on these British films because they were once screened at a 7,30pm Friday night family viewing time when there was no late night shopping to keep people out of the house. I knew the guy who censored the Carry Ons at one channel and he lived near me and one other HTF contributor. Now I can get clean copies while they are there but I have to import. Unfortunately for the general, non-collector viewer, these titles have been circulated over & over on VHS & DVD(rare to have been on laserdisc). 

 

Most, but not all, new TV series in Australia get a DVD & Blu ray release. Sometimes you can order them before the TV special or series is even screened. How much longer will they do this for? I don't know but with streaming as Catch-up of shows missed is out there few viewers would want to collect discs. Even on VHS few people had collections but rather a tape to reuse to record when they were out and thus as time went on that tape got worse and worse for wear over over dubbing. 

 

We are in the minority & collectors have always been that. 



#19 of 346 ONLINE   Reed Grele

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Posted March 21 2014 - 05:03 PM

I'll continue to support Twilight Time by purchasing as many of their titles as I can afford.

 

Don't forget that If they didn't release these wonderful titles in high quality 1080p Blu-ray, we'd either not have them at all, or perhaps another concern would be streaming them with sub par video and audio quality, and no extras.


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#20 of 346 ONLINE   rsmithjr

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Posted March 21 2014 - 05:31 PM

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I was a big Laser collector.  The LD format had a huge "mind share" but the actual number of titles and the sales were not that high.  It was a prestige item for the studios and customers, and was seen as the parent of DVD for many years.

 

Blu-ray doesn't have that attention in some ways.  BUT, we actually are doing quite well according to many measures.  There were only about 8000 LD titles available domestically at the high point of the format.  Today we have many more Blu-ray titles than that. 

 

A lot of LD titles were released in a panned and scanned format that was never upgraded to OAR.  In general, Blu-ray titles are in OAR.  I have a number of titles (Disney's Sleeping Beauty comes to mind) that are available in the original (but never released) 255 aspect ratio on Blu-ray.   Similarly for Picnic and The Eddy Duchin Story.

 

Mad World has never been released in as complete a cut as we just saw.  The upcoming Sorcerer looks fantastic.  The new Oklahoma! restoration will likely blow us away. 

 

I now have most of the original Cinerama movies in a very viable Blu-ray presentation, with the rest on their way.  What a treat to see Windjammer again!  These films have not been available in any format since their original release (except in rare showings of faded prints in one of 3 theaters properly equipped to exhibit them). 

 

I could go on and on.

 

I still own 400 LD's.  I bought about 450 DVD's during the years of that format.  But I have over 600 Blu-rays. These are largely NOT duplicate purchases, because I keep discovering things that were either not available at all or not in as complete or good a manner before. 

 

Niche format?  Probably.  But all I have to do is to read the weekly theatrical grosses to know that my taste is not average.  How many people saw Nebraska last year?  [Hint:  buy the Blu-ray!]

 

For a great many movies, we now have a copy of the movie that is as good or better as the film ever looked or sounded in any theatre it ever played.  Amazing.  I often attend classic films at the Stanford Theater (which runs archive 35mm prints with changeovers and carbon arc projection); then I come home and watch the Blu-ray, and am just amazed at what I have at home.

 

We are doing pretty well.  Let's keep celebrating what we have, and supporting companies like Criterion and Twilight Time that keep doing the job.  [I also suspect that they are making money at it.]


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