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Amazon Exclusives removing Features from certain Blu-ray Titles!

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by David Norman, Nov 14, 2018.

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  1. Message #1 of 23 Nov 14, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2018
    David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    At Robert Crawford's request -- please feel free to edit the title or content since I wasn't entirely sure how much you wanted to include. If this isn't quite what you were after let me know

    Amazon.com has always had exclusives from certain companies and releases, but usually with some added benefit like other store exclusives -- extra discs, unique slipcover, etc. Nothing unusual since BBY, Target, Walmart and even FYE and BN on occasion have done the same.

    In 2018 this has take an odd and uncomfortable turn especially regarding their Warner 3D releases with Amazon removing parts of the release. These items are often not only more expensive than the std release, they often aren't clearly labelled as Exclusives, and it isn't always clear what's it included or not included since it's been common for the release to be revised multiple times up to and after release. This continues to lead to confusion and sometimes anger which has often been directed at Warner instead of Amazon. All of these Amazon exclusive items have seem to have their own unique UPC and often initially listed at $48 (std Warner 3D has MSRP 34.99). While it's not been unusual for certain stores to have stripped down items with limited content (Walmart BF specials with only a BD, etc) usually this was to make them significantly cheaper. Amazon went the opposite direction.

    There may be other examples, but a few I'm aware of"
    Justice League 3D -- the std Warner item has BD+3DBD+ Digital HD, but the Amazon item actually drops the Digital copy. Initially this showed a stock pic and with a Digital copy listed in the description. Eventually the picture changed show the current item, but the description continued to list a Dig copy until several days after release. Initially Warner did replace some of the digitals due to the listing errors, but quickly stopped allowing it. Amazon eventually starting labeling their item in the header or item description with some sort of designation like AMZ/3DHD/BD or Amazon/HD3D-Blu-ray+Blu-ray. This was even more confusing since Wonder Woman 3D showed the same thumbnail 3D+BD, but actually was the normal Warner release and included the Digital copy.

    Amazon Listing -- $30
    https://www.amazon.com/Justice-League-3D-Blu-ray/dp/B0788XRYRN
    Standard Item -- $20
    https://www.deepdiscount.com/justice-league/888574594534


    This escalated as the next wave of summer Warner 3D with them adding the Digital back, but removing the 2D Disc. These discs are not hybrid disc so will not play on 2D equipment.
    Tomb Raider 3D seemed to be a normal release other than the fact it's been Temp OOS pretty much since Release day

    Rampage 3D $45 is a 3DBD + Digital. No 2D Disc is included at all so most if not all of the the Bonus material is removed. The original listed showed 2 discs +Digital (normal), but went through several revisions. It is now shown in the description (Amazon/HD3D-Blu-ray + Digital), but the title gives no indication it's an exclusive.
    www.amazon.com/Rampage-3D-Blu-ray/dp/B07CPDVQRN

    Std 3D Release -- nowhere to be found on the Amazon now though initially it was hidden nested deep under the Prime Video Section. I think people still have preorders unfulfilled. MSRP $34.99, but has sold under $25 a couple places already
    https://www.deepdiscount.com/rampage/888574678234


    RPO 3D Amazon/HD3D-Blu-ray + Digital) (3DBD)
    $32 -- Again this was initially listed as if it contained the 2D disc as well, but it was changed late in the prelisting and is a 1disc 3D and Digital only. No 2D disc and missing almost all the Bonus

    Std release
    https://www.deepdiscount.com/ready-player-one/888574662318


    Meg, The (3D+BD) $30 -- again no 2D disc and most/all of the extras aren't included. In the details it is listed (Amazon/HD3D-Blu-ray + Digital) (3DBD), but unless you are looking for this, it's very easy to miss,
    www.amazon.com/The-Meg-3D-Blu-ray/dp/B07G1YNCPD

    Std release BD+BD3D+Digital
    https://www.deepdiscount.com/the-meg/888574721367


    I guess this is mainly in the BE CAREFUL what you think you're buying esp with BF and Holiday shopping underway and people aren't aren't digging into the details. Even more bothersome since Amazon is the 900 lb Gorilla for online sales it may not even be obvious that Amazon is selling anything other than normal Warner releases. Since the production/distribution of Warner 3D moved to Warner Archive division 16 months ago that means other than Best Buy Exclusive and a store like Bullmoose, virtually none of these are available at B&M stores and many folks don't look further than Amazon anymore
     
  2. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    Walmart has been doing doing screwy things with Disney Blu-ray, too, by removing the digital copies and touting these as "exclusive," but pricing them the same as the regular retail versions. To confuse matters, Disney has even included DMR code inserts in these titles, leading unsuspecting people to believe that is also a digital copy code, but find that the code does not work on Movies Anywhere. and since the package has been opened, it cannot be returned.

    For example, Christopher Robin:
    Walmart "Exclusive" Blu-ray/DVD: $25.73
    Best Buy Standard Retail Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD: $22.99
     
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  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Thank you guys as I welcome any additional comments regarding this issue.
     
  4. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Return period on The Meg for Amazon seems to run until Jan 31, if anyone wants to return the Amazon version and buy elsewhere. Just be sure not to open the shrink-wrap.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Does this issue extend to Warner's releases in the UK?
     
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  6. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Not sure. The UK listing for The Meg 3D lists the following:

    Extra Content:
    DVD
    Chomp on This: Making The Meg
    Blu-ray:
    Chomp on This: Making The Meg
    Creating the Beast
    Shooting in New Zealand

    But the current cover shown does not indicate what discs may be included in the 3D package.

    [​IMG]

    I haven't purchased any Warner 3D from UK, as they've still been releasing domestic versions so far. Prior to The Meg, however, I was getting the Warner 3D's from Best Buy.
     
  7. Message #7 of 23 Nov 14, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
    TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    I buy all of the latest releases I can from Amazon.ca, especially any 3D. They are always priced exactly as they are in stores that still carry physical media.

    Amazon.com is reserved for catalogue titles, which are usually labeled as “imports” here and given a price that is 2x what it would be in the states. I use a US postal box in Niagara Falls as my address. Postage to Canada from the US often doubles the price of an item, so we never order directly.

    I have had really good luck ordering any 3D discs not available in North America from Amazon.uk. To avoid duty these are sent to the US postal box. They arrive a little late, but all have been region free and I love the much more solid cases they use.

    (I ordered the region free Hong Kong 3D disc of “Valerian”, but that was through Amazon.com.)

    For the first time I am pre-ordering from Amazon.de. Germany appears to be one of the few countries getting “Venom” in 3D Blu. I plan to borrow the Blu ray from the library and copy the English cover.
     
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  8. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    One more point! All of my 3D disc packages have included a flat disc.
     
  9. David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    Not as far as anyone can tell. Amazon.ca has been getting the standard Warner HV release with slipcover and not teh Warner Archives distributed US version, but everything else appears normal.

    I have heard no reports of any of the other Amazon International doing these "Unique" items.

    As mentioned Walmart has several of these items though so far all of their differences have been the missing/left-out Digital Code.
    If they were selling it $3-5 less than everyone else -- great, no problem. None of Walmarts listing have labelled as exclusives unless there was some other reason to make it an exclusive, but generally the listing and the picture have been pretty accurate.

    At least they're not promising anything that's not in the package though at least one person said their SOLO Walmart had a Digital code when the packaged suggested it didn;t. I don't know whether they just saw the DMR sheet and assumed rather than being able to redeem for a digital.
     
  10. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    The digital codes rarely work here in Canada, even for discs bought here, so it is lucky I don’t have any interest in them.
     
  11. David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    Even stranger -- I have never had much trouble redeeming them (Warner codes specifically) using some of the various workaround methods.

    I do it so infrequently, it takes me far longer to figure out how to work the VPN than to redeem the code once I'm there.

    I created a little Notepad file with the step by step and password, but it still seems I screw something up each time
     
  12. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I don’t even know how they’re allowed to make and sell those 3D-only set. The BDA (the trade association that owns the Blu-ray patents and is in charge of the specs) mandates that all 3D releases must be backwards compatible for 2D equipment. Content producers have the option of achieving this by either including both the 3D and 2D version on the same disc, or by including separate 3D and 2D discs within the same package. The spec does not allow for 3D-only discs being packaged on their own. The inclusion of a 2D digital copy does not satisfy the spec requirement; the spec requires a 2D version to be playable on disc.
     
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  13. battlebeast

    battlebeast Cinematographer

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    What is the benefit of removing material from a release? Why would they want to screw the customer???
     
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  14. David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    1) I would assume it would cost less plus the 20-40% Amazon surcharge from folks that apparently have forgotten there
    are other active retailers in the world -- makes Amazon happy since everyone seems to think its Warner fault

    2) Conspiracy theory -- ticks off enough customers and lowers sales enough that Warner can shut off the spigot like everyone else in the US
    in regard to 3D. If the US falls, Canada gets sucked down with it and we're left with International only as long as that holds.
     
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  15. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Cinematographer
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    If I was a betting man, I'd say it has more to do with Amazon having to pay WB less for these discs, thereby making more profit when they sell them to the unsuspecting public for the same price as other retailers. Never underestimate Amazon's quest for profit.
     
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  16. albert_m2

    albert_m2 Second Unit

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    I bought Solo at Walmart for the same sale price as other places.... but no digital copy.
     
  17. anorthosite

    anorthosite Auditioning

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    The Amazon version of The Ladykillers (1955, Ealing Studios, StudioCanal Collection) apparently deletes all of the special features (commentary, interviews, etc) listed on the back of the box and in various reviews. It's a bare-bones, film-only copy. I'm angry and disappointed. One hand: It's a great film. I value having a quality copy. If sold with an obvious "modified edition" disclaimer, then no complaint. After all, I willingly buy bare-bones Warner Archive disks for about the same price. Other: Omitting the extra content without warning is a small fraud. You get less than the full value printed right on the product packaging. Amazon has become an untrustworthy vendor for video content. Their near-monopoly is becoming a problem.
     
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  18. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Amazon has a pre-order listing for the 3D of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald that seems to be another 3D + Digital only (no flat blu-ray). On the other hand, their pre-order listing of the 3D The Grinch seems to be the full package including blu-ray.

    Not sure if one of these is incorrect, or if it's just studio-specific content as FB is a Warner title (similar to prior 3D+Digital only releases) and The Grinch is Universal. Though it'll be interesting if the 3D of The Grinch is actually released as there was no domestic 3D release for the last Illumination title from Universal, Despicable Me 3.
     
  19. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I'm not sure how Warner is continuing to get away with releasing these 3D+Digital packages which do not conform to spec. The BDA mandates that all 3D releases be backward compatible to 2D displays, and studios may achieve this by either including both the 2D and 3D version on the same physical disc, or by including separate 2D and 3D discs within the same package. Including a 3D-only disc and a 2D-only digital copy does not meet this requirement. I guess there are just too few people left who collect 3D discs to make a stink over it, and that the BDA has lost their interest or ability to police a release that will appeal to a very small percentage of the customer base to begin with.

    I think the likely outcome here is that the version of Fantastic Beasts: The Crime Of Grindlewald sold on Amazon will be one of those special Warner pressings for Amazon that's just the 3D disc and a 2D digital code. As far as I've seen, Universal does not have a special deal with Amazon, so they are listing the standard product configuration for The Grinch. But I'm skeptical that we'll actually get that 3D disc when all is said and done; I think it's more likely that Universal is finished supporting 3D for animated domestic releases.
     
  20. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    So far the full sets have still been available from Amazon.ca.
     

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