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Twilight Time indicates they will re-license some sold-out titles. BREAKING!

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#181 of 192 Robert Crawford

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Posted July 11 2014 - 10:48 PM

It's that combination. They are releasing 3000 copies of this Sony film. Sony is not releasing catalog product as they are not interested. Physical media will be dead soon, etc. Saying all these things, without question, implies to the consumer that that 3000 copy run is it for that title. It would be entirely different had they ever said at the outset "Well if it sells well enough we would certainly attempt to re-license the movie again." It was all very misleading IMO.

I'm sorry you feel that way, but I don't agree with your opinion.  Circumstances change over time especially in that business.  Anyhow, you have the right to feel that way as we all have our own opinions.


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#182 of 192 Michael Allred

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Posted July 11 2014 - 10:49 PM

I don't have a problem with the reissues on sell-out titles, as long as they do it very selectively (on a small percentage of the sell-outs).   Otherwise with routine reissues there would be no urgency to buy before they're gone.  And with the reissued being improved in some way the case can be made to wait a few years for the better release because $30 is a lot of money to spend on a disc that will second best in a couple of years.  

 

In any case TT has already stated that most sell-outs will not be reissued by them, which I think is a good call, not only to the long term value of their brand, but also making it possible to release more NEW-to-Blu titles rather than some new and some reissues (like Warner does for example).   The limited edition model (buy before they're gone!) has proven very effective, and excessive reissues would somewhat damage the effectiveness of that model by reducing or eliminating the urgency to buy from them.  

 

BTW, I don't have any of the titles they're likely to reissue, but then I'm not a horror fan so I probably won't buy any of them anyway.

 

TT *should* be actively looking at releasing new to BD titles rather than re-release others. The limited "get it NOW before they are gone despite the high price tag" feel of the whole thing will be greatly lessened to many of their customers and IMO will only hurt their brand.



#183 of 192 Robert Crawford

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Posted July 11 2014 - 10:51 PM

TT *should* be actively looking at releasing new to BD titles rather than re-release others. The limited "get it NOW before they are gone despite the high price tag" feel of the whole thing will be greatly lessened to many of their customers and IMO will only hurt their brand.

You do realize that they've increased the number of their releases per month compared to when they started this business model?  Now, I think you're being a little unfair to TT in my opinion.


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#184 of 192 Michael Allred

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Posted July 11 2014 - 10:59 PM

You do realize that they've increased the number of their releases per month compared to when they started this business model?  Now, I think you're being a little unfair to TT.

 

and that's great, really but that doesn't negate the idea of wasting their limited resources on a re-release.

 

Just as a side note, I was never a big time TT basher when this model of theirs came about. Somewhat critical, sure but I never blathered on and on about it. However I don't agree with your assessment that I am being unfair in my statements.

 

Anyway, I've said what I wanted to say on the topic. Thanks for the responses.



#185 of 192 Persianimmortal

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Posted July 12 2014 - 12:21 AM

The limited "get it NOW before they are gone despite the high price tag" feel of the whole thing will be greatly lessened to many of their customers and IMO will only hurt their brand.

 

This is definitely a distinct possibility, and the fact that TT also recently had a sale of sorts also undermines the impact of their model a little bit in my opinion. It's certainly true that in the early days, the TT model was all about encouraging people to buy a title as soon as possible, rather than the usual practice of waiting for the discounting cycle to begin. So I can understand if people misunderstood the sense of urgency implicit in the model as being some sort of indication that "once they're gone, they're GONE".

 

But as noted, the market has changed, TT has grown and evolved, and I really can't bring myself to see it as a bad thing that certain sold out titles are being re-released, with more extras or a better transfer. It's not like the existing releases have suddenly turned to junk; they're still highly watchable. The concept of re-releasing a film with more extras and/or a new transfer is not unique to TT, and if you really love a movie, a few extra dollars to buy the newer version is a small price to pay. Put it this way: if the first edition hadn't been released by TT, and hadn't sold out, we probably wouldn't be getting a newer version anyway.


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#186 of 192 Robert Crawford

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Posted July 12 2014 - 03:19 AM

and that's great, really but that doesn't negate the idea of wasting their limited resources on a re-release.

 

Just as a side note, I was never a big time TT basher when this model of theirs came about. Somewhat critical, sure but I never blathered on and on about it. However I don't agree with your assessment that I am being unfair in my statements.

 

Anyway, I've said what I wanted to say on the topic. Thanks for the responses.

As much as TT caters to a relatively small group of on-line consumers that desire to own certain film titles on BD, they're in this business to make a profit.  They're no different than any other company that releases video product.  I'm pretty sure their marketing data indicated that certain titles re-release will sell very well again for them.  I can't fault them nor any other company for trying to increase their profit margins.  Who's to say that these re-releases as well as increasing their monthly releases of first time BD releases wasn't part of their long-term business strategy when they starting this business model.  More likely, the profit results of this business model has allowed them to expand their strategy to include both, more first time releases and re-releases.  Either way, I don't see it as a bad thing for me nor them.  

 

Anyhow, I've had my say on this topic so I'll leave it to others to continue this discussion.


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#187 of 192 Dick

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Posted July 12 2014 - 04:25 AM


Actually, I agree with you in general regarding animal cruelty Malcolm, especially that SOP "horse tripping" in vintage westerns.

The worst offender in my book, and the sole reason I will not own or watch it ever again, is CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE (1936). They must have had to destroy a hundred or more horses just for the sake of their goddamn stunts.

 

Sorry to divert - and this could be a thread-killer.

 

I have no problem with TT re-licensing, as I said elsewhere.


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#188 of 192 ROclockCK

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Posted July 12 2014 - 10:19 PM

*
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To be fair, I don't think Twilight Time themselves have ever said "once they're gone, they're gone." If you read their interview with HTF from a few years back, they've always made it clear that the licensing period is only three years, and only for the US. So it's been fairly obvious, especially with frequent releases of TT-licensed titles in other countries, that it was never strictly about this being your last, final, from now until the end of time chance to get a particular title on Blu.

 

It's more correct to say that given the limited release nature of TT titles, it's quite possible that it may be your only chance to own a title on Blu, as it may otherwise never be released elsewhere, or re-released by Twilight Time.

 

Thanks Koroush for reminding everyone about Adam Gregorich's 2011 HTF interview with Twilight Time's Nick Redman

 

In recent days and weeks I have read so many out-of-left-field comments about TT's upcoming 4 reissues, not so much here but elsewhere, which just did not seem to jibe with what I recalled from that piece. I was especially nagged by a term Nick Redman used twice to describe TT's role: as a kind of "petri dish" experiment for the studios. Moreover, I couldn't recall anything from TT anywhere stating that a sold out title would never be re-issued...just that this would not (could not) occur for at least 3 years. 

 

At the time of that interview, TT was licensing from only 2 studios, Fox and Sony, each with a slightly different approach and set of expectations. So it might be worth revisiting some key excerpts from that piece pertaining to (then hypothetical) re-releases*.

 

What TT's 3 year window would mean in practice:

 

HTF: Obviously you have licensed the specific number of units, but is there any timeframe associated with that?   Could Sony, for instance come out with their own Columbia Classics Blu-ray of Mysterious Island tomorrow?

Not really, it wouldn't make sense.  We said, “Look, it’ll be great if we sell out within a couple of months of releasing a title, but then if you turn around and license it to someone else, or if you do it yourself very shortly thereafter, you will undermine consumer confidence.  Because when people are buying a limited edition, they don’t want it to come out again a few months after they bought it.

So they agreed that if the title sold out very early it would lie dormant for three years. And then of course there are going to be other cases where we are going to get to the end of three years and find that we have not sold 3000 units. Whether it’s Fox or Sony, they will look at a title that hasn’t sold 3000 units in a three year period and there will never be any demand for that title again whether it’s a sublicense or whether the studio would want to do it themselves...

 

...In all honesty we cannot say that the studio will never reissue these titles in the future or that they won’t sublicense to another label down the line.  What we can say is that won’t happen for a minimum of three years and likely longer, and even then it is very unlikely that the studio itself will do it.  So only another sublicense is a possibility.

 

Specifically about their deal with Fox:

 

HTF: So if the consumer wants a title, just buy it.

Yes.  And they can buy it with pretty good confidence that most of the titles that we are putting out will not come out again in the short term.  What we can't guarantee is what the foreign territories do. Fox US doesn’t mandate what they do and there doesn’t seem to be much reciprocity between the international territories.

So therefore, as has just happened with The Egyptian, for example, Fox in Norway or somewhere can sublicense the title with another label and they can put out their own Blu-ray of The Egyptian.  There is nothing we can do about that, we have no influence.  But what we are saying is that in the US, Fox won’t do anything with our titles and Sony/Columbia won’t reissue our titles at the very least until after the minimum license period.

 

Specifically about their deal with Sony:

 

HTF: So how do you pick the titles that you will be releasing?

Our deal with Columbia is different.  With Columbia the films that we are releasing are titles they have ready for Blu-ray but are not on their schedule.  They are films that are already on DVD in the Columbia catalogue.  They want us to focus on Blu-rays they seem to feel there isn't a market for themselves.  So that is how we got things like Mysterious Island,  Fright Night, Picnic and Pal Joey and other titles.  We are happy in a way to be guinea pigs for the studio. If they want to know how something is selling, we will tell them.  If we sold 200 copies of a title in the first six months that will tell them, boy, aren’t we glad we dodged the bullet and didn’t put that out!  If we sold 3000 copies over a few weeks they might think down the line that one might be worth revisiting.  So in a way we are kind of a petri dish for the studios, which is how we characterize it to them:  as an experiment, a limited edition experiment to really test the waters for catalogue both on DVD and on Blu-ray. So far the DVD statistics seem to be quite weak.  Some of the early titles that we put out on DVD are not selling encouragingly well, whereas the Blu-rays do seem to have a little bit more life to them.

 

Elaborating on why a studio might favour the TT "petri dish" for catalogue titles:

 

HTF: Unfortunately I think you are right.  Now, obviously every studio is a little different and you can't speak for studios but Fright Night is a title where so many people have said, I don’t understand why Sony isn't releasing this.  It would sell way more than 3000 titles.  Based on your gut feeling and experience, what does a studio need to see in sales to decide that it’s worth it to release a title?

Let’s take a hypothetical and Fright Night is a good hypothetical.  Let’s say that a studio says we have got this film that we made 26 years ago and a remake has just come out and we are going to assume that the remake will do decently well.  So therefore we will piggy back on the remake when the remake goes to Blu-ray, we will do our Blu-ray of the title and we will go head to head with the remake and see what happens. In order to make it worth their while they would have to manufacture probably somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 units

The first thing they are going to do is look at the DVD sales and say well, this thing sells an average of 681 copies a year.  If we have to go out with 100,000 units that might be a bit of a stretch for us, you know, because a lot of them are going to come back.  Then they get their people selling it in to places like Wal-Mart and all of the chains, asking themto take 10,000.  So in the end let’s say that they get orders for about 70 or 80,000 Fright Nights.  Then they have to worry about how much money they are going to charge for it. If it’s only $7.99 or something like that, they are going to make pennies on the unit sale. If it fails they are going to get back 70,000 or 80,000 of the 100,000 units that they pressed to their warehouse where they are either destroyed or remaindered and written off for $1 each to a Wal-Mart-like entity where they then take a complete loss, and the title is further devalued.

Alternatively they can say to Twilight Time, why don’t you put it out in your limited edition format!

Being in business with us represents no risk.  They get some money to show for the sale. And then they can try to use their market research to analyze what Twilight Time did or didn’t do with the title to see whether or not it’s worth doing again in the future.  So again, like we said earlier, we’re sort of a petri dish. It is perfectly understandable why the studios are becoming increasingly reluctant to mass-produce catalogue titles in an ever more uncertain market.

 

Flash forward 3 years, and TT's "petri dish" experiment has resulted in 4 of their titles not only selling out fast enough for TT, but also performing well enough in the aftermarket to indicate some residual life. Yet as Nick Redman predicted (and significant vis-à-vis this discussion), it is interesting that the licensor studio(s) still don't want to run wider with those sold out titles - at least not in Region A.

 

Frankly, I don't see any discrepancy between what TT initially said they were going to do, and what they have actually done. I mean, they pretty much admitted up front that their fixed licensing costs, for a fixed number of units, over a fixed term meant they were obliged to take their cues from the studios (i.e. content owners) regarding the fate of a title once TT's 3 year license expired. After that window closed, there never was anything to prevent the studio from repatriating a title for wider release...or releasing it overseas at any point along the way...or even relicensing it to a competitor...and nothing at all said about TT choosing to re-license and re-issue select sold out titles because they can now include enhancements and/or features not available when originally released.

 

Nil. Nada. Nyet. ;)

 

* all highlighting and underlining mine; see full interview for all comments in context.


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#189 of 192 Kyrsten Brad

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Posted July 13 2014 - 11:08 AM

To add a little more TT Food for Thought, look at the 1980 hit film "The Blue Lagoon" (actually itself a remake of the 1949 film of the same name). This film firmly established Brooke Shields as a actress and a love fantasy of millions of teenage and early 20s males everywhere in the early 80s. TT got this film and released it on Blu quite a while ago (late 2012 I believe). Despite TBL's status as a 80s hit, it has still not sold out its 3000 units (and I did buy a TT copy). Herein lies a business risk when choosing a title for Blu release. Oh and the PQ on TBL is fantastic, especially with all that tropical ocean scenery.

Edited by Kyrsten Brad, July 13 2014 - 11:30 AM.


#190 of 192 ROclockCK

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Posted July 13 2014 - 03:25 PM

Actually, The Blue Lagoon is a pretty good example of the other side of this issue. I mean, Twilight Time couldn't have done a better job presenting this movie...transferred from a fresh 4k remaster by Grover Crisp's crackerjack team...showcasing its score via isolated track...including a background featurette plus 2 commentaries...coinciding with a new Sony 4k DCP in circulation plus exclusive promotion via You Tube video. That Blu-ray couldn't be more state-of-the-art, or pop appeal enough to attract wider attention, and yet TT's Blu-ray remains available over a year and a half later. Which brings us back to that "petri dish" relationship with the studios...no doubt this was a big "Whew, dodged that bullet" for Sony.  

 

Oh I'm sure TT's The Blue Lagoon will eventually sell out - perhaps has already reached its break-even point - but when those last discs finally do go, will the studio, or another licensee, or even TT themselves ever want to revisit it? I certainly wouldn't bet on it.



#191 of 192 Kyrsten Brad

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Posted July 13 2014 - 05:38 PM

Actually, The Blue Lagoon is a pretty good example of the other side of this issue. I mean, Twilight Time couldn't have done a better job presenting this movie...transferred from a fresh 4k remaster by Grover Crisp's crackerjack team...showcasing its score via isolated track...including a background featurette plus 2 commentaries...coinciding with a new Sony 4k DCP in circulation plus exclusive promotion via You Tube video. That Blu-ray couldn't be more state-of-the-art, or pop appeal enough to attract wider attention, and yet TT's Blu-ray remains available over a year and a half later. Which brings us back to that "petri dish" relationship with the studios...no doubt this was a big "Whew, dodged that bullet" for Sony.  

 

Oh I'm sure TT's The Blue Lagoon will eventually sell out - perhaps has already reached its break-even point - but when those last discs finally do go, will the studio, or another licensee, or even TT themselves ever want to revisit it? I certainly wouldn't bet on it.

Actually, that was the point I was going for, TT titles that have not moved very fast and their effect on the Blu-ray marketplace.  But you sum it up very nicely.  And I probably could have done a better job in my posting, that is if I was typing it on a real keyboard and not a iPhone. 

Doesn't bode well for getting the 2012 semi-remake (Blue Lagoon, The Awakening) on blu anytime soon. 



#192 of 192 ROclockCK

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Posted July 20 2014 - 12:50 PM

Update vis-à-vis OP master list:

 

Fright Night (Blu-ray):
Nov. 15, 2011 - Dec. 19, 2011
35 Days

 

The Train (Blu-ray):
May 21, 2014 - Jul 20, 2014

60 Days **

 

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (Blu-ray):
Nov. 20, 2013 - Jan.
20, 2014

61 Days **

 

Landing at #5, this makes The Train TT's fastest selling non-horror/non-fantasy title.

 

NEW TOTAL: 25 (19 Blu-rays / 6 DVDs)

 

** Sell out date on SAE; residual quantities might have remained available via TCM for a period of days or weeks afterwards.







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