I forgot how expensive Laserdiscs used to be!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Nathan*W, Jul 13, 2002.

  1. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

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    When I got into LD in the mid '90's the only place around town to buy 'em was Suncoast. Whenever I'd get a disc, I'd slip the receipt into the jacket.

    Well now that I'm selling off a few titles ($28 for all four BTW), and I'm pulling these receipts out of the jackets:

    12/3/95 Apollo 13 LTBX THX Sale Price $40.48
    1/14/96 Die Hard WS THX AC3 $45.98
    10/1/96 Jurassic Park LTBX $44.98
    10/29/96 Toy Story WS THX AC3 Sale Price $26.99

    How did I ever AFFORD this hobby???
     
  2. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Tell me about it. I only got into LD a few months before DVD was released, and it wasn't uncommon to be walking out of the store with a bill for $3-600 for a handful of titles.
     
  3. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    and now look...DVDs are cheaper than most CDs!

    happiness
     
  4. Michael St. Clair

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    It wasn't that bad for me. I constantly joined and quit the Columbia House LD club, typically choosing 3 expensive titles for enrollment (free or a dollar) and buying 2 cheap titles for fulfillment. Also, back then 2 or 3 of their sales each year were actually a good deal.
    I would also haunt the Camelot Records cutout bins, and bought many 'A' titles for $9.88 to $14.88.
    Nope, LD was a blast, and on average I really spent only a little more than DVD prices.
    Too bad some of you guys didn't know the right way to collect LD. [​IMG]
     
  5. Dave_P.

    Dave_P. Supporting Actor

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    I ordered most of my LD's from Ken Crane's (AKA DVDPlanet), Laser Exchange and the defunct Laser Craze for 30% discounts which would bring the average price down to around $30. It was a hell ofa lot better than paying full reatil at Tower or Suncoast! LOL, I wanted to try to get rid of about 150 of my DVD-replaced LD titles and I got a bid for about $4 each!
     
  6. DeanR

    DeanR Second Unit

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    I have had a laserdisc player since 1983 and only probably purchased 180 discs brand new. They were too expensive. I rented discs from a local store that had a very big inventory. I would say around 120 of those discs were purchased after 1993 from Columbia House for an average cost of around $20 each. Since I bought a DVD player in 1998 I have purchased 700 plus DVD's. Most of them purchased again from Columbia House for an average of $9-10 each. Everytime I replace a LaserDisc with a better DVD version I sell the LaserDisc or give it to a friend. I think I have around 120 LaserDiscs left.
     
  7. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I decided not to bother selling of my LDs, since some of them still aren't out on DVD, and the monetary loss wasn't worth it. I just recently spent over $100 on a Japanese copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which before I found it on Ebay, I didn't even think existed. That joins my copies of The Swimmer, The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane, the Star Wars OT, and a few other discs as reasons to hold on to my LD players.
     
  8. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I bought a LD player because of the Beatles Anthology; Tower had it on sale for $100.
    Now unless it's new or something I really like , I buy the LD.
    I can get most for under $10 generally under $5.
     
  9. Andy Olivera

    Andy Olivera Screenwriter

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    I got into LD in '98 when DVDs were first getting started. I would've had a hard time choosing if Paramount had been supporting DVD at the time(I had to have a copy of Event Horizon). Since that time I've collected around fifty, and still pick one up every now and again. LD will always be around for the true film buffs, even when HD-DVD takes over. Just think of all those Criterion discs with supplements that'll never be seen outside of LD...
     
  10. Chris Brunner

    Chris Brunner Second Unit

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    I'm sure that the reason I buy DVDs with such wild abandonment is because of their price compared to Laserdiscs. I used to actually NOT BUY movies that I LOVED because I just couldn't justify $40 for it.
    A particular Camelot Music in Maryland used to have "blow-outs" of older LDs from time to time. I would make the hour long trek so I could stand in line with scores of people waiting for the store to open. Then, we'd feast like starving pigs on a trough of discs marked down to.... $15-$20!!!! We were all just grabbing anything that mildly interested us. I picked up some AWESOME titles including box sets & Japanese imports, AND, some discs which STILL have me asking "what was I thinking?"
    Now, new blockbusters come out at 1/3 the price that LDs did. That seems like a STEAL to me, so I buy them up and, somehow, think I'm SAVING money. Fortunately for my bank account, my wife doesn't seem to see it that way. [​IMG]
    C
     
  11. Craig W

    Craig W Second Unit

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    I got a LD player in high school and still have it to this day, but I have less than fifty discs. I could not justify those high prices when I was in college.

    When DVD was announced, I was excited since it sounded like it was going to be a cheaper way to collect movies overall. So the first thing I bought when I got my Bachelors degree was a Sony 3000. I had more DVDs within 4 months than I had collected over five years with LD.
     
  12. Brian Kaz

    Brian Kaz Second Unit

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    What's sad is, I complain when I can't get a great, feature-packed DVD for under $20 when I used to have no problem handing over $40-50 just to get a movie in widescreen w/ digital sound.

    Can anyone say, "spoiled"?
     
  13. Larry Bevil

    Larry Bevil Second Unit

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    I got into laserdiscs in 1983. Back in those days, there were very few titles to select from so I tended to purchase titles I might otherwise not purchase. It was easy to develop a compulsive buying habit with laserdiscs in the early days. Unfortunately, it tended to stay with me until I accumulated about 1,600 laserdiscs. Many of them were purchased at the Camelot close out bins, so I didn't pay the full price for any of my lasers. Most I bought at 20% discount from Ken Cranes. Even at that, they were quite a bit more expensive than DVD's. I was very glad to see DVD's come along at a lower price point. Unfortunately, some of my early compulsive buying habits still remain. One problem over the years with laserdiscs was that at some point, they would discontinue the title, never to be released again. That influenced how you purchased them as well. I've sold probably 200 of my laserdiscs, and still have quite a few titles available that are not yet available on DVD. They were nice - better than tape, but I personally like the DVD's much better.
     
  14. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

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  15. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    I just started collecting LDs about 3 months ago, and it's already becoming expensive [​IMG]
    I've got about 20 discs, with more on the way...and I can't imagine how expensive the hobby must've been in it's heyday.
    Old school LD Fans...I salute you [​IMG]
     
  16. Charlie Essmeier

    Charlie Essmeier Stunt Coordinator

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    I own about 500 laserdiscs, the most expensive of which was a Japanese 16 disc set of Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds series, for which I paid $750....USED!

    I had no problem paying the asking prices for new laserdisc, after all, they were far better than the alternative, and there was no rental pricing. I could buy a title right away on LD that was months from release on VHS.

    The last two years have been great for buying discs, as the whole world continues to dump their discs for pennies on the dollar.

    And people still complain about the high price of some new DVDs -"Criterion wants $35 for that??? No way!"

    No sympathy, here.

    Charlie
     
  17. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    The sales numbers on DVDs just goes to show what I'd been saying all along about laserdiscs though- if they had lowered the prices, laserdiscs would have sold a LOT better than they had been! I remember when getting anything on laserdisc for under $20 was a miracle! I still wonder if there were any overpriced titles that didn't sell a single copy ($40 for Pauly Shore in Jury Duty??!!?))
     
  18. Lyle_JP

    Lyle_JP Screenwriter

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    It would have been difficult to lower the price of laserdiscs. For one thing, the manufacturing and distribution costs were much greater on these 12" beasts than DVD. And let's not forget the higher replication defect rates. Then there's the economics involved with a niche format. If you have a smaller market to sell to you will sell less copies, so those copies need to cost more to break even on the cost of mastering them.

    Of course, your point would be that by subsidizing them for a period of time (selling them for less than they cost) could have grown the laserdisc market enough that the sell-through volumes would reach the level DVD has reached. I'm not convinced that this is true.

    DVD had the support of virtually every hardware manufacturer from the very beginning, and all the studios involved were willing to subsidize the costs of the software to grow the format. With the exception of Pioneer, manufacturer support of laserdisc has been woefully spotty throughout it's entire lifespan, and most of the studios didn't bother distributing the software themselves, prefering to leave it up to Pioneer and Image Entertainment. Also, the laserdisc's size and inconvenience made it appear to be a consumer-unfriendly format. It was reminiscent of the dead (at least from a mass market standpoint) LP format, and the size and wieght of the discs also caused far greater wear and tear on the players than DVD does (I can't count the number of players I've had with worn out brakes).

    I can't see any way laserdisc could ever have gotten beyond niche status. At it's heyday (mid nineties) people who had learned the joys of widescreen and discrete digital sound were still staying away from LD because they knew DVD was on the horizon. There was never really a "right" time for laserdisc to thrive.

    -Lyle J.P.
     
  19. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    Between 1992 and 1999 I bought about 200 LDs. Since the total demise of the format, I've added another hundred to my collection, all for $2 to $10 a pop. The Ken Cranes blowout was fantastic, if a little depressing.

    I remember Criterion's sales when they were about to lose the rights to a title -- $7.99 a disc, minus 20% if you were a member of the club (i.e. you had spent a lot of money in the past with them).

    I also remember paying $189.99 (Canadian) for the Pinocchio CAV box set, $194.99 for Criterion's Brazil CAV box, and $70 a pop for the Star Wars THX CLV discs. Those were three expensive days.
     
  20. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Right when DVD started coming out Pioneer dropped the prices on several older titles (mostly MCA and Paramount movies) to the $20-25 range, which was greatly appreciated but still too little too late. I bought the "Family Dog" 3-disc set for only $14.99 list price, but still ended up getting a DVD player a few months later (and even cheaper LDs marked down by the stores to get rid of them!)
    BTW the first laserdisc movies on the MCA Discovison label were priced around $15.98, and that was for 3-disc sets all in CAV format since they hadn't perfected CLV yet. Of course, as one can see from these, the manufacturing costs turned out to be more than they expected in order to get discs with little or no flaws!
     

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