Further Proof that Blockbuster Does NOT have a clue!!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Koch, Oct 17, 2001.

  1. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi:
    I read through some of the posts criticizing Blockbuster (and others) for only having The Mummy Returns in P&S. I do not rent (nor was I interested in this title), so I take it on faith that Blockbuster specifically only has P&S versions.
    Obviously, this was a conscious decision on their part. Now here is the ironic part: I saw an ad on TV last night for Blockbuster, showing clips of some of their new releases. Yes, it included Mummy Returns... with black bars on the top and bottom of the screen!!!!
    So, explain this to me: why is Widescreen OK for the ad, but not for rental?
    (The question is rhetorical; I hope I just gave you a good laugh!)
    dave
     
  2. JasonKrol

    JasonKrol Supporting Actor

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    actually..its not just Blockbuster doing it..WalMart, Target, etc are all on the P&S bandwagon. They each got a few WS in but for obvious reasons they were gone almost immediatly. I dont believe you can rent the WS ver from NetFlix etc.
    and just a side note, I dont know if Blockbuster creates those commercials, or if they are just created and voicedover for Blockbuster/Hollywood/BestBuy etc.? Thatd be my guess though. (would the studios trust blockbuster enough to create a pysudo-preview of their movie, possibly making it look bad?)
    just my 2 cents!
    ------------------
    - Jason
    My DVD Collection | My Home Theater
    "what ya got here is two people dragging a third..."
     
  3. JasonKrol

    JasonKrol Supporting Actor

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    sorry, but here is a blurb from the recent Shrek preview on thedigitalbits.com:
    One other thing that I wanted to mention today, and that's a very disturbing trend by retail chains (including Target, Walmart, Best Buy and others) to favor stocking full frame DVD product over widescreen, on titles where two versions of a title are available. Case in point - I recently went looking around my local Target store to see how The Mummy Returns was selling. There was not a single copy of the widescreen version of the DVD to be found anywhere, while TONS of full frame copies were collecting dust on the shelves. When I inquired about the discrepancy, I was told by the head of the electronics department that only a small percentage of the DVDs they got were widescreen, and that they had sold out the first day. I found this same situation at Walmart, and even at my local Best Buy. It seems retailers are short stocking widescreen deliberately, in an attempt to stave off complaints from their customers about "black bars" on their TVs. Blockbuster, too, seems to have many more copies of the full frame version of this film available for rent than widescreen. And The Mummy Returns is not an isolated case. Couple this with the fact that some studios (Warner anyone?) have recently tried to omit releasing widescreen versions of certain titles on DVD altogether, and this may become the next battle we DVD advocates will have to fight for the future of the format. Thankfully, Warner and most of the studios seem to have gotten the message that DVD fans demand anamorphic widescreen releases of all widescreen films. Releasing full frame versions as well is fine, either on the same disc or in a separate release. But what good does this do if stores simply stop carrying the widescreen copies?

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    - Jason
    My DVD Collection | My Home Theater
    "what ya got here is two people dragging a third..."
     
  4. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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    When I approached the manager at my local Blockbuster about The Mummy Returns and asked why there were no widescreen copies, he explained to me everyone complains to him about the black bars. He then said something like "why should I spend $60 per copy when the widescreen version is just going to sit there?" First, I doubt he gets as many complaints as he claims. It probably seems like more when you get 1 or 2 a day.
    Second, I don't know whose leg he thought he was pulling, but $60? Yeah, right! Maybe for smear-vision VHS!
    ------------------
    My Scary DVD Collection
    [Edited last by Will K on October 17, 2001 at 09:13 PM]
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    I actually rented The Mummy Returns from Hollywood Video, but noticed in the parking lot that it was full-screen, not wide. I took it back, complained to the clerk, and exchanged it for a different title.
     
  6. Chris M

    Chris M Second Unit

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    On the topic of the commercials... I noticed my cable company advertises movies in PPV and the Movie channels as widescreen. But the actual channels only show the movie in P&S. I don't get it. I asked someone and they claim it's because that's the material they are sent for advertising.
    Sigh.
    Oh well.
    Chris.
     
  7. Jim Golden

    Jim Golden Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree. I bought the 10 dvd rental card (for $25) which included a free copy of Shrek. When I went to pick up my disc on Friday, I was told they had already depleted their stock. I was told they may have the DVD's in tomorrow, or next week.
    You wonder why a company would "pre-sell" DVD's and then not get a sufficient amount of stock to cover their presales? Oh well, I requested my money back, which they did do, and bought the disc at COSCO for $19.00.
    I've learned my lesson!
    Jim
     
  8. Jacob_St

    Jacob_St Second Unit

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    JasonKrol, there was an article in Video Store magazine about two weeks ago addressing this. Netflix was quoted in the article as saying that their policy is to carry the widescreen version if it is released seperately. The company said Universal mistakenly sent them the Full Frame copies of THE MUMMY by mistake and the studio is trying to figure out how to correct the problem. In the meantime Netflix is stuck with the P&S copies.
     
  9. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Screenwriter

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    My "free Shrek from BB" promo worked out great. I don't rent DVD's from Blockbuster, I just buy them.
     
  10. Nate Anderson

    Nate Anderson Screenwriter

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    Wait! We needed further proof? What is wrong with you people?
    ------------------
    "This is not a drill. This is the apocolypse!"
    My Extensive DVD collection.
     
  11. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Nate's right, no further proof is needed.
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  12. Mike Friedrich

    Mike Friedrich Stunt Coordinator

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    ~ Want to hear something *really interesting, I went to pick up my free copy of Shrek at Schlockbuster, and I asked one of the blue shirted drones why there was no WS versions of TMR for rent ?
    He goes on to reply that people complain about black bars, and that there might be a special edition available later for us so called WS "collectors". Well I told him who do you think rented your dvd's in the beginning, people with Vcr's ?
    *Now here's the very interesting thing I discovered. I walked over to their "dvd's for sale" area and low and behold they have WS copies of TMR for sale ! I then picked one up and walked over to him and put it right in front of his face and said here's what they[studios] are going to be coming out with later for us "collectors". Ohhh ya ahhhh duhhh ?
    This is a rental store, and if you don't have the knowledge or are unable to have both versions for your customers to rent, then you should not be in the business of selling dvd's, because you can't even get the rental part right !
    bodymov'n
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  13. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Mike, if you said that, your my hero!
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  14. Marianne

    Marianne Supporting Actor

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    I was in Wal-Mart the other day and noticed that they don't have DVDs on display any more - just the covers (except for a few new releases). This is due to theft, they say.
    Then I noticed a display box of TMR widescreen DVDs (must have been about 30 of them) outside the normal enclosed electronics area. I guess they didn't think anyone would want to steal a widescreen DVD!
    They had Shrek for $19.99 but I got it at Best Buy for $16.99. [​IMG]
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    Marianne
     
  15. John Gido

    John Gido Second Unit

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    I don't know where all of you are having trouble renting WS from Blockbuster, but my local store in NJ always seems to have copies of the "latest" releases in WS (unless ONLY available in P & S). Also, their selection is not as large as their VHS selection, but is constantly growing.
    Originally they only had 2 wall sections of "New Releases", now up to 5. Also, where only 1 two-sided rack of older titles were available, now 5 exist. And 75% of these rentals are available in WS.
     
  16. Mark Giesenhagen

    Mark Giesenhagen Auditioning

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    I also tried to rent The Mummy Returns from Hollywood Video. They had lots of copies of the DVD in P&S since this was one of their "Guaranteed to be there" DVDs, but not one in Widescreen. I complained to the manager, but he clearly had little say in what DVDs are sent to him. I hope that this is not a trend.
    I have not tried Blockbuster, but I assume the same problem exists.
     
  17. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  18. stephen abbot

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    My local BlockBuster only stocks WS copies cause that's all we get in R4. OK we have less movies in the catalogue, but most latest releases in R1 now occur in R4 at the same time. The concept of having a P&S version or a release with both P&S and WS just is not an option available.
    .... sigh .... the disadvantages of living in a small economy!
    Cheers
    Stephen
    [Edited last by stephen abbot on November 05, 2001 at 06:26 PM]
     

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