Box set sales question

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by David Rain, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    Is there a way to find out how many copies have been sold of a certain box set ? And is there a rule of thumb about how many units have to sell in order to warrant the next season coming out ? If we knew for sure that a title sold badly at least we'd know not to get our hopes up about another season.
     
  2. Katherine_K

    Katherine_K Second Unit

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    Generally unless a company releases such information in a financial statement, than the answer is no. Generally that kind of information would be considered confidential.
     
  3. Johnny S

    Johnny S Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not sure if you are able to get an exact #. I wish we could.
     
  4. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    Hmm . . . makes me wonder what they are hiding. It's not exactly government secrets. I think consumers have a right to know how many units were sold of a title so we can know whether to expect future season set releases. I don't like waiting on some studio's whim. I had given up on Once & Again Season 2 and now here it is. Very frustrating.
     
  5. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    Excuse me, but wouldn't it frustrating if Season 2 hadn't been released? I know I'd be relieved and excited to see another season of a show I had given up on. (Like Mary Tyler Moore!)
     
  6. Katherine_K

    Katherine_K Second Unit

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    Yes, but it is a corporate secret.

    The health of a company and it's sales figures can be very important information on the financial markets. Yes, even DVD sales figures for specific titles. Unless it's disclosed in a financial statement, than it is confidential information.
     
  7. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Exactly. They aren't "hiding" anything. They're keeping information that would be helpful to the competition to themselves. Companies have a perfect right to do so (within limits in some industries where the public health or safety is involved) and the general public has no "right" to such information.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  8. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    I think they keep the total sales numbers secret so as to minimize the amount of money they have to pay out to the "talent" and for the music rights. I am sure the money paid out to these folks would be based on estimated DVD sales or actual DVD sales. Since there is no way of knowing how many actually sold, the studios can basically pay what they want and there is no way the talent would know.

    Isn't there a lawsuit going on between Peter Jackson and the studio over how many LOTR dvds were sold?

    I am wondering why Amazon doesn't release this info? I know they are only a portion, but I bet they would be a good way of getting a better estimate. I feel like they do what the studios want (not releasing the total sales info) and the studios give them a deeper discount. There is definitely something fishy.
     
  9. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    As was mentioned earlier, the public has no right to know sales figures, that is private information. There is nothing fishy about not disclosing sales information, since from a corporate standpoint, unit sales by themselves are irrelevant, it is the actual profit that matters, and without also knowing all the expenses involved in a given production, and the breakeven point, sales numbers are meaningless. If talent is paid on a royalty basis, they will get an accounting from the studio, so the nondisclosure of sales has nothing to do with trying to screw the talent.

    For an outsider, even if we had the numbers, trying to correlate sales figures with the likelihood of additional seasons being released is speculative at best. There are many factors tied into the release of a product, which sales are only a part of, and no two series have the exact same situation - one may be profitable with 5000 units, with another it may be 100,000 units. There may be marketing considerations - tie-ins with new feature films, the current visibility level of the talent, availability of talent to participate in extras, availability and condition of source elements, music rights issues, talent contracts, rights holder considerations, ad infinitum, that can either speed up a release or hold it back.

    Sales numbers alone don't mean anything.
     
  10. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    The public has no right to Box Office numbers either. But we sure hear about them. Why are the DVD numbers not treated like Box office numbers?
     
  11. Katherine_K

    Katherine_K Second Unit

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    Because box office numbers are used as a publicity tool to get more people to go see the movies. DVD sales figures do not work the same way.
     
  12. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    Katherine is exactly right. People here that a movie was number 1 at the box office and took in $50,000,000 its opening weekend, and it will cause some to take notice and go see what all the fuss is about.

    But, telling someone that Seinfeld Season 4 sold X number of units last week and earned Y dollars is not going to have the same effect because anyone that might want to see what the fuss is about can simply turn on the TV and find an episode to watch. But, they can do that without knowing how well it sold last week.

    With movie box office, you're trying to get people to see something that they have not seen yet, first run, with DVD sales especially for TV shows, they're buying something they've probably already seen at some point or another, or else they are buying something that they could just as easily watch for free. Granted commericals and other tings can make the experience less pleasant but the unpleasantness caused might not be worth the $40 it could cost to eliminate it by buying the DVD. That's one reason that TV sales still aren't as high as movie sales on DVD.
     

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