BREAKING NEWS: Warner Archive Collection Announces First Blu-Ray Releases

Oliver Siegel

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Walter Kittel said:
I have no idea what titles are getting conventional releases and what is going to be handled via the WAC, but since this is morphing into a wish list thread.
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan
The Illustrated Man
The Killing Fields
Klute
McCabe and Mrs. Miller
Night Moves
Point Blank (1967)
Straight Time
and I'll mention the previously posted titles...
Local Hero
Lone Star
The Naked Spur
The Time Machine
The Wind and the Lion
Really looking forward to a proper release of Fearless.
- Walter.
Great list!
 

Dick

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Felix Martinez said:
Interesting! 
Wow, replicated BDs?  So then they are not BD-Rs? That would be fantastic!
Replicated simply means "copied." These apparently will be BD-R's.
 

Dick

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MattH. said:
Neither has The Witches which I'd also like to see as part of this program.

Here's a big SECOND for THE WITCHES, which was 1.33 on DVD (it might have been shot that way, or was an open matte video, but no one has ever confirmed this). It's a terrific, funny/creepy movie that kids and adults can enjoy equally, from the intimitable Nicolas Roeg.
 

Dick

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Moe Dickstein said:
No, replicated means pressed.
From the American Heritage (printed) Dictionary: "Rep-li-cate - To fold over or bend back, duplicate, copy or repeat." It doesn't matter how they are copied, the word "replicated" applies.
I would like to think you were right about these being pressed, Moe, but wouldn't that defeat the whole purpose of the Archive series? They can't press these things one-at-a-time on demand, but they can burn them that way, with no fear of leftover inventory.
 

Paul Penna

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An earlier post in his very thread includes a screen cap from WAC's Facebook page in which they state "These are traditional, replicated Blu-Rays. Not BD-R."
 

Guest
Dick said:
From the American Heritage (printed) Dictionary: "Rep-li-cate - To fold over or bend back, duplicate, copy or repeat." It doesn't matter how they are copied, the word "replicated" applies.
I would like to think you were right about these being pressed, Moe, but wouldn't that defeat the whole purpose of the Archive series? They can't press these things one-at-a-time on demand, but they can burn them that way, with no fear of leftover inventory.
I believe when WB Archive thinks they will sell a good amount of something, they sell at least the initial run as pressed discs (after all it is cheaper at a certain volume). The Cheyenne TV show 4th season I just got was pressed even though it is sold by the Archive. There are many other reports such as this. The upcoming Bowery Boys set will be pressed. There was even a thread for pressed WB Archive discs in the DVD forum. Some also believe BD-R is less reliable than DVD-R, although my personal experience is contrary.
 

TonyD

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Paul Penna said:
An earlier post in his very thread includes a screen cap from WAC's Facebook page in which they state "These are traditional, replicated Blu-Rays. Not BD-R."
I was wondering when someone would mention that.
 

Michael Allred

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I remember when I first posed the idea of Blu on demand in a Twilight Time thread and nobody thought it'd happen for quite some time....HA, HA I say! Anyway, I guess this'll be the only way "Return of the Living Dead part II" gets a BD release.
 

Garysb

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I thought I had read there is currently no such thing as BD-R because the industry has not yet set the standards for what exactly this would be.
 

Billy Batson

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Larry-Bender said:
OK Warner- Bring on THE GREAT RACE----LOCAL HERO--- MICHAEL COLLINS--HEAVEN AND EARTH.--WIND AND THE LION.---RYANS DAUGHTER.
I'd very much hope that The Great Race would be a mainstream release (& the same goes for The Wind & The Lion). All those b/w movies, & war movies & westerns, & fun films like, Helen Of Troy & The Land Of The Pharaohs, & cults like Start The Revolution Without Me, & great stuff like The Last Of Sheila & Hooper. Warner really are spoiled for choice. Mind you, they need good HD transfers first..
 

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Billy Batson said:
I'd very much hope that The Great Race would be a mainstream release (& the same goes for The Wind & The Lion). All those b/w movies, & war movies & westerns, & fun films like, Helen Of Troy & The Land Of The Pharaohs, & cults like Start The Revolution Without Me, & great stuff like The Last Of Sheila & Hooper. Warner really are spoiled for choice. Mind you, they need good HD transfers first..
I have no problem with this 'mainstream release' vs. Archive release. In many cases, even 'mainstream releases' aren't mainstream
Take, for example Strangers On A Train. It was almost impossible to find that title at a retail outlet. The only market seemed to be online.
So, if your only option is to purchase it online, what is the difference between Amazon or Twilight Time (Screen Archives) or WBA? To me, it is a silly distinction.
And some WBA titles (and MGM MOD titles) have shown up on Amazon, and even in stores. So that exclusivity isn't all that exclusive.
As for transfer quality, that is also a mixed bag. 'Mainstream releases' don't guarantee a better quality than an exclusive release. Its now on a film by film basis, depending on the source material, and a variety of other factors (none of which are related to the film's popularity or perceived status).
David
One other thing. MOD stands for Manufactured On Demand. It does not equate to -R discs. It merely means that the disc you purchased was created for you when you ordered it. It might have been Pressed for you, or it might have been Burnt for you.
 

Jeff Ulmer

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So, if your only option is to purchase it online, what is the difference between Amazon or Twilight Time (Screen Archives) or WBA? To me, it is a silly distinction.
It's a difference of >$10 and free shipping, $35+ or $20+ per title. For 99% of the titles that could show up it equates to will buy, won't buy, might buy. That's a pretty clear distinction to me.
 

Billy Batson

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David Weicker said:
One other thing. MOD stands for Manufactured On Demand. It does not equate to -R discs. It merely means that the disc you purchased was created for you when you ordered it. It might have been Pressed for you, or it might have been Burnt for you.
Well I dunno (there, I've admitted it), but I wouldn't have thought a Blu-ray would be pressed just for me. I'd have thought they would get, say 500 copies pressed & see how it goes, if a title sells real slow, I wouldn't think it would get re-pressed, so maybe a few titles going oop over the years. I buy all my discs online these days, even importing it's just a click of a mouse. The big difference between archive & mainstream is price, & maybe the mainstream will have a few extras. The big news here is that titles that stood no chance of a Blu-ray release now have a chance, of course they cost more that the big best sellers, but who wants to be with the crowd.
 

Paul_Scott

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I hope that 12-24 is just a lowball estimate quick to be overtaken because I could easily come up with 24 titles across all genres and have hundreds left over.
OTOH, it does give me hope that I may actually see certain things sooner now (for example, The Accidental Tourist which will have an anniversary next year), as they don't have to be justified in the broader retail marketplace.
In the meantime, here's my humble wishlist
The Accidental Tourist
A Little Romance
The Year Of Living Dangerously
Wolfen
The In-Laws ('79)
Seven Brides For Seven Brothers
Demon Seed
The Prisoner Of Second Avenue
The Goodbye Girl
There Was A Crooked Man
The Wind
The Mosquito Coast
Mister Roberts
Out Of The past
The Thing From Another World
The Changeling
 

David Weicker

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Jeff Ulmer said:
It's a difference of >$10 and free shipping, $35+ or $20+ per title. For 99% of the titles that could show up it equates to will buy, won't buy, might buy. That's a pretty clear distinction to me.
Price can be a distinction, and with Twilight Time (SAE), it is a constant. However WBA do have a lot of sales, sometimes with free shipping. And often WBA (and other MOD distributors) are available through other outlets, which often charge less.
And 'mainstream' doesn't always equate to cheaper. Both of the Abbott and Costello Blu-Rays released last year have consistently been in the $20+ price. The same goes with quite a lot of the Disney classic films - they rarely, if ever drop to, what might be considered, a low price.
I feel that with the titles that will show up in the WBA program, instead of a will buy, won't buy situation, it is more likely a case of the will be on Blu, won't be on Blu situation - meaning it is a will buy, can't buy situation.
And for myself, if I saw half the titles that have been mentioned here released, I would be happy, since most (despite their great, sometimes awesome qualities) are probably considered second tier when it comes to prospective sales.
David
 

David Weicker

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Billy Batson said:
Well I dunno (there, I've admitted it), but I wouldn't have thought a Blu-ray would be pressed just for me. I'd have thought they would get, say 500 copies pressed & see how it goes, if a title sells real slow, I wouldn't think it would get re-pressed, so maybe a few titles going oop over the years. I buy all my discs online these days, even importing it's just a click of a mouse. The big difference between archive & mainstream is price, & maybe the mainstream will have a few extras. The big news here is that titles that stood no chance of a Blu-ray release now have a chance, of course they cost more that the big best sellers, but who wants to be with the crowd.
I don't understand the concept behind a title going OOP. The majority of the cost is in the creation of the master 'mold', so to speak. This 'mold' (and I'm sorry that I don't know the proper term) is put into a manufacturing machine, and copies are pressed. As long as the company keeps this 'mold', it makes sense to me that they can just swap out one 'mold' with another and press whatever title they want.
I do think that they will probably press copies in batches, so that they can fill at will, but after the initial offering, these batches will be in smaller numbers. Whenever they get down below a certain threshold, the press a few more, so they always have a couple of copies on hand.
David
 

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haineshisway said:
They are doing exactly what I predicted would be done back in 2005 when I started my label. I was offered and refused conventional distribution because after having been in the music business for fifteen years I knew what killed us all - the damn returns. I said then, "I don't care if I sell 100 copies of something instead of 1000 because those 100 are never coming back - they're SALES and they stay sales." I was laughed at, I was made fun of by others in the business, people predicted doom, and I just smiled and went about my business. Then, as I also predicted that same year, all the chains began folding and the other labels who'd done all that doom-predicting and laughing began to do what we were doing. Funny how that happens.
Instead of pressing 10,000 of a title, dumping them at Target and Walmart, etc. (IF they'd even take the catalog stuff) and then getting 9,900 back and having to dump them in the 5$ bin, this way Warners sell exactly what the demand is. It's simple, and, more importantly, it's a SALE. Some titles will probably do 1000, some 2,000, some 100. But they won't be stuck with any stock and never have to give a credit for a return. I'm frankly surprised it took as long as it did for everyone to figure this out :)
Returns are a problem for anyone servicing retail. About 10-15 years ago, the publishing industry tried a limited or no-returns policy in return for giving retailers better prices, but it didn't work. The problem is that you don't want the retailer to under-order, but you also don't want them to order tons just because they know they can return them. Frankly, I don't see why the industry couldn't have a policy where the first 20% of returns are "free" and then they retailers are penalized after that, but the reality is that everyone is afraid to anger the national chains like Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy.
The publishing industry does have a model where once a title is declared out-of-print, retailers have only so much time to return them for credit.
You would think that the "superstores" have enough room that they would hold titles that didn't necessarily sell quickly.
I do have to wonder whether in today's environment, where margins have been cut to the bone, whether retailers would be open to a limited returns policy in return for gaining more margin.
 

haineshisway

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Back in 2005 when everyone was deriding me, I actually encouraged the stores ordering from me (knowing they could return nothing) to only order a few copies, then when those sold to order a few more - whatever they were comfortable with. And it's amazing how fast they adapted to it and actually liked it. There weren't big chains of course, and when Tower wanted to order from me, I ended up doing consignment with them, which worked out fine for all concerned. They sold what they sold, paid for them, and sent back what they didn't sell.
For Warners this is perfect. The deal with Blu-ray replication is completely different than DVD or CD replication - there is NO price break until you reach a huge number of discs. Therefore Warners can press 100, 500, or 1000, depending on how pre-orders look or how they think a title will do. But there will NEVER EVER be one return. That was the model I began in 2005 and that's where I knew it would be heading - and I was right :)
 

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