LOTR disc(s): consumer backlash against multiple versions, _L.A. Times_.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jack Briggs, Aug 6, 2002.

  1. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Los Angeles Times Calendar section reporter Susan King has a front-page story in this morning's edition, regarding consumer backlash against studios announcing multiple versions of popular films on DVD. Given this title's high-profile standing here, you might find this story interesting. Better access within the next couple of days, however, as the Times won't leave it open to the nonsubscribers for long. Enjoy.
    http://www.calendarlive.com/top/1,14...-68283,00.html
     
  2. Jesse Leonard

    Jesse Leonard Second Unit

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    Yes, it does suck to have choices in life [​IMG]
    I applaud New Line in doing this and how they are handling it. The announced the extended version at or about the same time as the regular version and they are giving rebates to those who buy the first one! Well done New Line!
     
  3. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

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    I think New Line has done an outstanding job keeping the customers informed of the two releases. They announced that the 4 disc version was on its way right when they announced the 2 disc version. They are also offering a rebate coupon if you buy both, and even including a promo about the special edition on the 2 disc. What more could they have done?

    This just proves that you can't please everybody. Had they just released the 4 disc version without the 2 disc, people would complain that $40 is too much cause they just want the movie, people would complain because they didnt have the theatrical version available. So what do they do? They offer two versions for people, let them know from the start, and people still complain.

    Sadly, the people that are complaining now are the J6Ps, the people with the majority buying dollar. Complaints like this could potentially hinder future Director's Cuts. I, for one, do not have a problem buying two versions of a movie, as long as the studio announces plans prior to the first release. Columbia, New Line, MGM, and Buena Vista have both been very good about this. Actually, the only studio to not follow that unwritten rule is Universal with their Ultimate Editions.

    Sigh...theres just no way for everyone to be happy...
     
  4. Kami

    Kami Screenwriter

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    New Line is taking extraordinary steps (compared to any other studio) to warn consumers that a bigger, better version is coming. Need I mention Black Hawk Down for one? You need to be a member of a forum like this, or some DVD news fiend to know that a SE has always been planned.
    Hopefully a few insignificant articles like this won't change New Line's mind for the DVD releases of The Two Towers and Return of the King. I'd rather have a August/November schedule like this than wait for the entire thing all in one big package in november.
    New Line gives them a choice, and it seems some people are incapable of doing this. [​IMG]
     
  5. Richard Harvey

    Richard Harvey Stunt Coordinator

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    I concur. New Line should be commended for their handling of this title. I knowingly bought the 2-disc version even being aware of it, but had I not known in advance I certainly would have felt cheated to a degree.

    New Line -- don't change a thing!

    Rich
     
  6. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    New Line is also doing a good thing by making the two releases as different as possible. The theatrical release has the theatrical version of the movie (obviously), and a few special features. The extended release has the new & longer cut of the movie, as well as ENTIERLY DIFFERENT SPECIAL FEATURES! And it's not like they've exactly been hiding this information.

    It really bothers me when people complain about how companies behave, when clearly they didn't do enough research before coming to a purchasing decision.

    If New Line wasn't telling anyone that the extended cut of the movie was coming out until October, and had all of the same stuff as the August release, then yes, I'd be pissed too. Many of us would. And then New Line would be at fault. But here, it's entirely the customers responsibility to make an informed shopping decision.
     
  7. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    Their concerns would be addressed partially if they released at least some of the versions simultaneously. But I don't see the problem of having the extra deluxe 3 disc set versions being released at a later date for a higher price. Your average person is not necessarily going to want to buy it at $80 or whatever.

    However, annoying as the Collector's/Special Edition effect can be, it's much less annoying to me than seeing so many P&S versions in the store cluttering up the shelves. Interestingly, around where my GF rents her DVDs, nobody could care less that P&S versions are not carried. In fact, the Blockbuster down the street ended up closing despite supposedly catering more to the Joe Sixpack crowd.
     
  8. Youssef

    Youssef Stunt Coordinator

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    I completely agree with all of you. Especially what mike said about if New Line did in fact release the 4 disc edition, people would definitely complain about it being too pricey and that they just wanted the movie.

    J6P's of the world can blow me for all I care.
     
  9. Bill McCamy

    Bill McCamy Second Unit

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    Youssef: a little harsh there. Ouch.

    A disappointing reaction to the multiple sets if it affects the future releases of extended versions for parts two and three.

    I did like this quote:

    "Of course, Lasorsa admits that New Line is already thinking about an ultimate boxed set of all three "Lord of the Rings" films in 2004.

    `But just like what we are doing with August and November, anything that comes out later will be something that will not feel like you already own it,' he says."
     
  10. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    I too fully back New Line's approach. You just can't please anyone these days, it's insainty. There's a lot of this on the news here, that New Line are ripping off the consumer. Are people being forced to buy both? No. I don't really know any hardcore fan of the series who is not happy to buy the August and November releases.
    We can't have the big set right off the bat as they are still fine tuning the supplements...etc
    Had the theatrical cut been contained in the November set alongside the 3 and a half hour cut people would moan about having to wait 11 months after theatrical release to own any incarnation of the film on DVD.
    Had the August 6th release gone ahead as it has, but the Nov release included the theatrical cut and same supplements, those who got the August disc would feel a bit cheated in having bought the two disc.
    People love to moan, they really do, any given excuse I swear to God, it drives me insaine. We're given a wonderful choice... people should be greatful. [​IMG]
    End rant. [​IMG]
    Dan
     
  11. Richard Waller

    Richard Waller Second Unit

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    I gladly bought the 2-disc set today and I will be buying the 4-disc set in November. I am glad that New Line announced both versions in advance. This gives consumers the chance to purchase whichever version(s) they want.

    I can think of quite a few instances where other studios did not make a formal announcement - I had to read about future special editions on the boards.
     
  12. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    The confusion could have been avoided though if they'd just waited until November to release both versions side by side. Of course, then there'd be complaints about things being too "confusing". But, I hope that any negative publicity this causes doesn't derail plans for the next two films-I want the deluxe 4 disc versions of ALL of them thank you very much...
     
  13. George See

    George See Second Unit

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    The only thing that bothers me in that article is the end where it says new line is thinking of an Ultimate Box Set in 2004...i'll buy the movie twice but even i'm not gonna buy it three times so I would hope the ultimate box set would contain nothing extra that i won't already have after november.
     
  14. Peter D

    Peter D Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the LA Times was pretty misguided using LOTR as an example of this trend, since this really is one of the few instances in which a studio went out of their way to get the word out *way* beforehand of two separate releases. And Disney at least put info out about the various editions of Pearl Harbor before their first release. It's Columbia and Universal that are without a doubt the worst offenders.
     
  15. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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  16. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    New Line did it as right as it could be done with a film of this scope, and the sales will bear that out. At least the article mentions the whys behind the decision-making. Wow, an article with some research...what's the world coming to?!?
    As for the aficionado who just learned of the release...seeing the film once does not make you an aficionado. Visiting the website once since the DVDs have been announced would explain everything.
    Fortunately, the almighty dollar is actually ON our side in this case...sales will be just fine, and 2003 will hold the same joy (actually, the most joy of all) as 2002.
    Take care,
    Chuck
     
  17. Kenneth Vestergaard

    Kenneth Vestergaard Stunt Coordinator

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    I just wanted to chime in with applaud to New Line, for the way they are handling the release of FOTR.

    I couldn't have dreamt of a better way of doing it myself.
     
  18. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    The L.A. Times piece was a hatchet job if you ask me. They quoted three people who apparently weren't aware until recently about the SE version. Apparently, no attempt was made to speak to a fan who was happy about the situation or New Line's handling of it.
     
  19. Claude Brault

    Claude Brault Auditioning

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    I will not buy two version...let alone three. I will rent now and buy when I feel it is appropriate. Let your dollars do the talking.[​IMG]
     
  20. Aaryn Chan

    Aaryn Chan Supporting Actor

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    I wish I had the email of SUSAN KING the author of that article. I consider her as a "J6P dude". She doesn't know crack about DVD and try to talk about it.

    I am very happy with New Lines and their release of LOTR. And it's a sure bet they are releasing TTT and ROTK Extended also. If I find the interview, I'll post the quote from the producter here.
     

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