It's not as bad. If anyone really thinks you can track every sale then you believe the moon is made of green cheese. Transformers was a hd-dvd only title and sold about as many as Spiderman 3 did on blu-ray only. I will admit the bluray side is better at getting movies out than hd-dvd is. I suspect that is because Paramount and Universal aren't very good at putting out catalog titles. It would be interesting to see Amazon's numbers since they had a buy two and get one free sale on both hd-dvd and bluray.
There were also more blockbuster exclusives on Blu-ray this quarter than there were for HD-DVD. BD's catalog roster which consisted of Close Encounters & Cars shamed HD-DVD's Old School, Pride & Prejudice & Tremors. The numbers swing so wildly from week to week depending on what's being released, that it's hard to grow too attached to any of these figures at this early juncture. Once we are out of the Holiday blockbuster season, we'll have to see what happens then. I too have admitted that the Paramount and Universal catalog line-up for quarter four was not only dismal, but MIA for the most part. aside from new blockbuster titles like Shrek & Transformers, both of which sold very well, the only other two must haves were Trek & BSG - and those are expensive box sets. I guess Bourne is coming in two weeks, but the week before that BD will have Pirates & Superbad. Paramount & Universal still have yet to announce any must have's for Jan or Feb 08. Dreamworks has literally announced nothing. I don't know what kind of strategy they're following, but they really need to do a much better job than they've been doing at promoting the HD-DVD format. Having cheap players alone will not do it. For example, I've seen countless Sony & Disney sponsored commercials playing endlessly on Universal HD (Hello? Universal!?) & HD-NET and not a single HD-DVD commercial to be found anywhere. My mother even mentioned to me that if it weren't for me, she wouldn't know that HD-DVD even existed, as she's only seen the countless BD ads and commercials.
I don't know what Graffeo & the HD-DVD promotions group are doing, but they've done a really poor job promoting the format this 4th qtr with a lack of quality catalog releases and television ads promoting the benefits of the format.
Right now catalog titles are really only selling on both formats when there is a BOGO or other big sale. New releases are the only thing that really sells on either format. I also don't believe the 100000 number for Die Hard. Even if you double the official VS numbers to cover retailers who don't report (very generous, and enough to have the BD studios say Paramount was lying with the Transformers numbers) you still get less than 80K sold.
You are correct that catalog releases do not seem to sell well on either format. I heard that sales for 2001: A Space Odyssey were pretty dismal on both formats, and this is definitely a major catalog release. I mean, did Close Encounters even make it into the top 10? If major titles like 2001 & CE3K can't sell for squat, then the studios are probably pretty justified in not releasing them until there's a much larger market for them.
You hit the nail on the head. As more players make it into the market you will see the bigger catalog titles. We saw the same thing on DVD. How long did it take for the big catalog titles? Several years. CE3K may have cracked the top ten for the week it was released, but it is not even close to being in the top ten HD releases, not even close. Some catalog titles sell in the 100s, not even breaking 1000....
Reggie, I think film buffs are going to get expose to more classic films in high def. on television than on HDM. I am so happy that DirecTV has expanded their HD channel lineup so much over the last 2-3 months. If TCM would go High Def., I would be a very happy man.
Yes but the bigger question in the early days of DVD was "When are we going to get a day and date release of a new movie?" That took quite a while and then much more before more than 50% of the movies were release day and date. Of course those were the days of rental pricing so there were two "day and date" dates for many titles, rental release date and then sell-thru date. Revenue sharing and DVD aimed solely at sell-thru (once the studios figured that out because they were amazed that people would buy DVDs rather than rent VHS) eventually eradicated rental pricing and DVD no longer lagged VHS on new releases.
Okay there was also that other really big question "When will Disney release its animated classics on DVD?".
The same lags occurred with CDs back in the 80s. How long did it take for DVD to reach 300-400 titles? And sometimes it's better to be patient (did people forget the rush to release Kubrick films on DVD and the fiasco that resulted?). I see that FMJ is already in its second hi-def release (I've specified on my Christmas "wish list" that any Kubrick HD DVD anyone wants to buy for me has to have the BLACK background on the cover, not the WHITE one).
In any event, much like DVD-A and SACD, I plan to be format neutral and grab up whatever interests me that's made available. I still buy CDs (but never before checking if the same title is availabe in hi-res audio), and so I will likely still buy SD DVDs, but with the same precaution. In the end, it's all about the movies, right?
Eh a $150 upconverting player at the very worst. I understand you can't take advantage of that yet(due to your old HD set) but those are the risks you take. I bought both formats so I have more risk now. I couldn't sit back and go "I can't watch xyz because it's not on the format I want". It is all about the movies in the end.
If one of these formats die and people bought into them, it will be a sad day on the forums because I can see some rabid fanboyism posts coming saying "I told you so" "BEta Ray" "HD DUD" etc etc. People know what they are buying when they are getting into this war. If you aren't willing to accept some burn here for making a mistake, then stay out. I hope the whiners and fanboys are kept in check.
It states that Walmart takes 40% of DVD market. HD market is different: There Best Buys leads by a wide margin before amazon and Walmart. Therefore it is mathematically impossible that Walmart has 40% of the HD market.
That's an interesting point you raise about the lack of commercials for HD-DVD. It made me realize that I can't remember ever seeing a commercial on tv for either HD-DVD or Blu-ray. Now, I'm watching regular cable so yes maybe there are ads on the HD channels, but shouldn't the studios also be targeting the regular cable crowd to get on board with HD?
Here's a practical example. My brother has an HDTV, but just digital cable and a regular DVD player. I have suggested that he get an HD tuner and a basic HD-DVD player, but his response was: "Is that one of those new kinds of high-def disks? I've already got a DVD player." He had only the faintest idea why he would benefit from going HD, and yet he was one of the first buyers of a DVD player (when it was hard to find DVDs in the video store), and has a medium/high end home theatre system. If people like him who watch tv and movies all the time have no idea about the benefits of the high definition formats, then I can't imagine it being very likely that JSP is aware of the benefits either. I would say that both camps have done a piss poor job of promoting the media and its benefits to the general public. No wonder more people are not stepping up to high def and into the format war.
I don't think I have actually seen a commercial on TV (or on HDTV channels on DiSH) that extols one or the other formats. All I've seen are the blurbs like "Shrek the Third: Own it Today on DVD and HD DVD" or "Ratatouille on DVD and BluRay Disc".
Like Ric Easton, I purchased one of the Toshiba players, the A3 for $159 from Amazon last week. I had held off getting into either HD formats because of concerns over which format would be dominant. However, for $159, I will not feel bad if BD proves to be more popular, as I do not think that is a bad price to pay for an HD player that also upconverts SD DVDs better than most upconverting SD players.
Making the aquisition of the players reletively painless to people like me is the only way to get more people into these formats. I chose HD DVD for the price of the player and the selection of classic movies. My 3 free titles from Amazon (The Searchers, Rio Bravo and The Shining) are all classics, and I have ordered Casablanca and Errol Flynn's Robin Hood. I will put a couple more titles on my Xmas list, but for the most part, I do not see a lot in HD DVD that I want. In fact, I will be hard-pressed to find 5 titles for free when I send in the free mail-in offer because the selection does not appeal to me. The 2 films that will come with the player-300 and The Bourne Identity would not have been purchases I would have made.
Because I am mainly into classic films, I am not at all blown away by most of the selections in either format. I am certainly not going to buy HD DVDS that I would not have even wanted on SD DVD in order to support a format. As others have said, the offerings are pretty weak for both formats because it is so early. I like those analogies with CDs and DVDs. I remember when I could only find one or two Mahler symphonies on CD-now there are dozens if not hundreds. Heck, even now, almost 10 years into DVD, we are only just now about to see El Cid make its debut on disc.
I would expect announcments at CES from both camps that will include titles that everyone will want to own. Keep in mind the following: We have already established the fact that catalog doesn't sell well. At EMA Ken G from Universal told us they were waiting for a higher installed player base before they rolled out the big guns (a certain director who starts with a S...) and no studio wants to rus out all their good catalog at once. They want to meter it out slowly. I know its frustration, but I like the fact that it has slowed down a bit. It makes it easier to pick up hte titles I want. It was rough when Universal was releasing 20 titles a month earlier this year....
I've seen several. The "I Do BLU" campaign is in full force. Discovery HD and Universal HD are the 2 most popular channels to see these new commercials on. HD and BR both have them. On the early Warner HD discs, you'll see the HD commercial.