I am always interested in knowing how, say, Paramount does with their catalog titles, i.e. are they finding them lucrative enough at the low price point to continue adding new titles and, as you say, if some in particular do well enough to justify an eventual re-issue with bonus materials. I'd love to have DRAGONSLAYER with Matthew Robbins/ILM team commentary, and a lengthly behind-the-scenes doc, but the chances seem pretty slim. I don't know how one finds the sales stats on titles that aren't new releases or top-sellers; if and we could access them, would they even make sense in light of the very complex way in which movies (and I assume videos) turn a profit (or don't).
I'm not sure if studios are willing to make such info available to the public but I don't see why they wouldn't since box office receipts are made publicly available in countless formats (I.E. print,internet,television,radio etc.), why not DVD sales. Dragonslayer cost roughly $14 million but took in 2 1/2 mil so in a studios eyes how much is good enough, over the years what are the combined sales of VHS, LD & DVD for this title? Does it approach 14 mil? Does that mean it has a reasonably large fanbase that would rush out for any SE they might put out or does it mean (in the studios estimation) that the same fans are buying it over several different formats?
In the case of ROTLD MGM actually said they would release an SE of the Director's cut if the sales were good enough...again how much is enough, how did the current release do? There much be something out there that tracks DVD sales, I mean just like at the box office these products are put out there in public view for anyone to see how well they do or badly they flop, if I can find out how badly Dragonslayer did at the box office back in 1981 then you would think I should be able to find how well it did or didn't do in 2003/04.
It should also be known that sometimes Studios fudge movies BO so it looks better on stock reports. I remember near the end of Charlie's Angel 2 it had like a 200% increase in BO from last week making 2 milion, there was speculation that Sony took money else where and put it there so that it would hit 100 mil and they could say they had a blockbuster on the shareholder's report. That's all speculation but from what I hear it happens a lot.
Eric, not only is that against the law, but in the case of a publicly owned and traded company the risk of doing such is so severe both financially and criminally that this most certainly does not happen a lot - in fact I would be willing to bet it happens extremely rarely.
These types of accounting modifications are easily checked and the consequence of making that kind of an alteration where by the price of their stock would be effected would be enough to risk the entire company's future and put a lot of people in jail.
If anything, studios have a record of reporting highly inflated budget costs so that they pay less in taxes and don't have to pay as much for contracts that include profit sharing of box office receipts. But as for box office sales records, these are easily tracked by government and shareholder audits and thus it would be tantamount to corporate suicide if a studio tried to fudge those numbers in a way that would effect the perceived value of their stock.
Well, my copy of Dragonslayer just showed up yesterday, so add 1 to the figures you find.
Seriously, though, I would think it would be very unlikely that Dragonslayer will ever see another DVD release unless Paramount changes their basic policy. They hardly ever revisit a title. Unless this sold WAY beyond their expectations, this is probably it. The next home video release would likely be HD-DVD, unless it sells so poorly that they don't bother.