Do studios really think they can judge the potential sales of 1 show based on another

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Mark To, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    Is that really the thinking? I like all of the cheesy Irwin Allen Sci Fi shows but I don't like Star Trek. But I'm sure there are fans of Lost In Space who don't like Voyage for instance. Man from UNCLE fans wouldn't all necessarily buy GFU. Fans of Combat might not be fans of all of the other WWII dramas. And so on and so on. But by what reasoning does a studio assume one show will predict the success of another? Makes no sense. But then I guess that's what you get when decisions are made by people who have no idea about the relative popularity of a title.
     
  2. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    It's all relative, man! [​IMG]

    Seriously, I wish I could get into their brains and see what formulas they use for calculating expected sales. How Fox based all pre-1990 shows on the sales of Mary Tyler Moore.

    If they assumed I would buy one of show because I bought another similar show, they're wrong. I choose shows based on whether I enjoy them, as does everyone. The same goes for films. If I don't buy one film because I don't like it, that doesn't mean I won't buy a similar film that I do like.
     
  3. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    As for Star Trek, they could put those two words on a box set of "Hello Larry" and watch it fly off the shelves.
     
  4. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Well, what else should they judge it on? What is a better indicator of people being willing to fork over their hard-earned money than sales of shows with similar characteristics?
     
  5. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, exactly. Comparisons can be tricky, and sometimes one might think two shows are comparable when really one will sell much better than the other. (Studios have a tendency, I think, to assume that "old" shows are comparable to each other simply by virtue of being old.) But this kind of comparison, done correctly, can be a hell of a lot more helpful than polling people about whether they would, hypothetically, buy a certain series. It's always a lot more helpful to take a look at what people are actually spending money on.
     
  6. Scott_F_S

    Scott_F_S Second Unit

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    I think it's probably one of many indicators that the studios use. I seriously doubt that there's any kind of formula or hard-and-fast rule. I don't think that because MTM didn't meet expectations, that automatically rules out anything pre-1980. But I would suspect it would cause them to look at it more carefully and be a little skeptical.
     
  7. Mark Lx

    Mark Lx Second Unit

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    I think they could estimate pretty accurately. I think people buy a lot of DVD sets or none at all. There is a fixed market of people with that kind of mentality. That group is divided into age ranges. There is probably a huge number of people who bought, say Gilligan, who'll buy The Munsters. Adjust for price, features, and quality of set, I bet they can estimate within 10% of actual sales.
     
  8. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    Okay, so since Gilligan's Island sold well then I guess we should look forward to seeing It's About Time and Dusty's Trail. Great theme songs, insipid plots and writing, just like GI. Since Combat is out then Gallant Men and Twelve O'Clock High will soon follow? Sorry, but I don't see the connection.
     
  9. Scott_F_S

    Scott_F_S Second Unit

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    Huh? What are you referring to?
     
  10. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Well, that would be because you're apparently trying to do the most superficial analysis using a less-than-intuitive method for determining which shows would be considered "similar".
     
  11. Al (alweho)

    Al (alweho) Second Unit

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    Very few entrainment concerns do any kind of marketing research.

    Usually it's just what the head guy in sales wants, which is mostly what his biggest account demands. All filtered of course through a couple of higher-up executives that have never set foot in a venue or shop.

    Think I'm kidding? Just ask around.
     
  12. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    How about just putting EVERYTHING out, over time? Some will sell millions, some thousands. In the long run, the studios will make a profit.
     
  13. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Yep, I can easily see the boss' wife asking for a certain show.

    I would have thought that they'd pick them by their ratings when they first aired. That would make the most sense to me, with the exception of shows that needed work due to age.

    They really should come out with a poll. They could put the ballots in the DVD cases of other shows. That way it wouldn't get slanted. Even if it ran for a year, they would have a better idea of who was buying and wanting what.

    Glenn
     
  14. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Polls are nice, but I must admit, I voted in that Columbia poll for The Critic and haven't gotten around to buying it yet. There's nothing quite so indicative of people being willing to spend money on something as them spending money on something like it.

    As to using ratings to judge... Well, the percentage of people who watch a show that will buy it on DVD is not constant across shows. Thus, we have low-rated shows like Firefly and Family Guy selling well while NYPD Blue does not so well.
     
  15. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    quote:
    Okay, so since Gilligan's Island sold well then I guess we should look forward to seeing It's About Time and Dusty's Trail. Great theme songs, insipid plots and writing, just like GI. Since Combat is out then Gallant Men and Twelve O'Clock High will soon follow? Sorry, but I don't see the connection.


    Huh? What are you referring to?

    If you don't know, look it up in a TV reference book.
     
  16. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Don't you think the fact that one of the shows is easily recognized without "a TV reference book" makes comparing it with the others which aren't somewhat unreasonable?
     
  17. Scott_F_S

    Scott_F_S Second Unit

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    Don't need a TV reference book to try to follow your logic, which I was trying to do.
     
  18. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I have no idea what kind of 'logic' lumped those shows together, but I can only hope that no one is following it.

    I think. - Ok, maybe not

    What would be the right way to judge what is to come out?

    The second seasons I'm a little bit hesitant on with some shows. I do like the 'fresh and new' or whatever you want to call it, that I see in new shows. More so for the sitcoms than anything else, as character development runs different in a comedy, but for the 2nd and later seasons, some of the cast seems a little bit too smug in their positions. A lot of them change their hairstyles too, oftentimes for the worse, IMO.

    Maybe it is my perceived smugness that gets a sitcom killed later. It just may take more seasons for the network to see it (although the way they kill them today, I'll take that back)!

    No, I haven't done it yet, but I know that sooner or later, I will only be picking up the 1st seasons of some shows.
    Just another way to screw up the demographics.

    Maybe the studios should just release the minimum amount for every series, and then see what happens.

    Glenn
     
  19. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    Spelling it out:

    Gilligan's Island - stupid sitcom produced by Sherwood Schwartz with a moronic level of humor.

    It's About Time and Dusty's Trail - other stupid sitcoms produced by SS, with the same moronic level of humor. If I was doing the marketing, I would promote the other two shows as by the creator of GI. All kidding aside, if you think GI is actually funny you would like the other 2 shows which are just as bad (or good depending on your perspective).

    Likewise the point I was trying to make about Combat, the best of many WWII dramas.
     
  20. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Supporting Actor

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    Even if Gilligan sold a million sets, It's About Time and Dusty's Trail would never see the light of day. They didn't even make it past one season back in their time. Was Gilligan Shakespeare? No, but popularity and quality rarely go hand and hand.

    The show has to have a name value today in order for the studios to even consider it and rightfully so. They have to continue making money so more TV comes out on DVD.

    There really is no other way to judge what people will and will not by except for comparsions to other shows. You can ask people in surveys, but the way to send your message to the studios is with your dollar.

    Mark, no offense, having repeatedly read your posts, I think the person who doesn't understand the popularity of titles is you. I love a lot of the old shows too and I hope they get released, but you have to have a little perspective in these things. It is 2004 now. Most people don't know about these older titles and they aren't going to plunk down $30-$40 on something they don't know just because the blurb of the box sounds good.

    Paul
     

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