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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MattHR, May 1, 2002.
I notice Ron is quoted in this article. But that the basis of the article is to defend the full-screen MARring of the titles Disney is putting out. Boo; they've simply been given the same platform for self-defense that The Bits already gave them (same guy, too, plus a friend). AND they made our forum out to look like a bunch of crackpots.
Pathetic. Disney is basically saying, that in their estimation, by not putting out an OAR version, hell, we're only losing 10% of potential sales. I don't know about you guys, but that does not sound like sound business. They mention that the widescreen Princess Diaries only accounted for 20% of sales. I don't know how much revenue that 20% was, but basically Eisner is saying, we don't need or want it. Pathetic.
I have been concerned about this ever since the outset of the dual release for OAR and P&S method became standard. The sales department can simply say that one out-sold the other without any mention of which version was produced or stocked in higher volumes. I also think that consumer confusion has played a major role in this war and it's one that the studios seem to have no interest in fixing. I almost bought the wrong version of Jerry Maguire last night, since the old and new versions look identical except for a small line of white text at the top. Why can't they change the cover artwork between widescreen and P&S or between old and new versions. (NOTE: I am aware that the old version of Jerry was widescreen). The consumer shouldn't have to strain or search through piles of DVDs to find the version that they are looking for, and when most consumers don't know what they're looking for, it's easy to tweak the sales data.
My biggest question is, why do the studios insist on spending the extra money required to edit a movie for P&S when the same money could be spent to educate the consumers?
Hopefully, my rambling made some sense.
As a Home Theater Enthusiast, I could care less how "carefully" edited a full frame version is, dammit!
This whole 'confusion' issue is absolutely ridiculous. Has the 'joe 6 pack' public become so stupid that they can't read either? One DVD says WIDESCREEN right on the top or bottom. The other says FULLSCREEN right on the top or bottom. What the hell is so confusing about that?
You guys should read the new Entertainment Weekly. On the list they have for DVD sales they have Spy Game :WIDESCREEN listed at #1 followed by Spy Game: Fullscreen at #2. The proof is in the pudding.
Also, The Princess Diaries sucked. I can understand why it only sold 10% in widescreen. But you can't base that movies sales on every other future dvd release.
As John mentioned, and I had posted in another thread, the WS version of "Spy Game" seems to be nicely outselling the P&S version.
Is that Taps I hear?
I'm pretty well disgusted by the way studios are caving to the fill-my-screen mindset.
I embraced DVD because I felt I'd be able to (eventually) get all of the films I love in their original aspect ratio. This was an option I didn't have on VHS. Now this option is been weeded out of DVD on a movie-by-movie basis.
Already there are 3 announced films that I would have bought that I cannot, and will not buy.
Prior to getting into DVD I was buying a Widescreen video tape each week. If anyone remembers what the selection of Widescreen VHS looked like (one rack at Best Buy or Suncoast) than you know that this was no small feat. Some weeks I'd buy a film I was lukewarm about to encourage further widescreen releases.
I saw DVD as my panacea, nearly a utopia for films as they should be seen in the home (in my home). However, as with every utopia, the cracks begin to show, and the original premise breaks.
In order for a full catalog of films to be released on DVD (and thus available to me in widescreen), we required mass-market penetration. With that same mass-market came many who never understood the benefit of DVD. Those consumers who agree with Blockbuster that you can and should rent 4 for the price of buying one. Those consumers who see DVD as VHS without the annoying rewinding. With mass-market came the end of DVD as I have come to love it.
I'm not giving up. Don't ever get the idea that I'd give up, but I'm really distressed over the recent developments. Sure we've had unpleasant developments in the past, and we've overcome them all. Yes, they were all uphill battles. But the incline of that hill seems quite steep today, and it doesn't seem that the studios want us to climb it. They've already got their marketting guys out there pushing for the pan and scan vision. They are selling the public and the press on the benefits of pan and scan as they've never sold the benefits of widescreen.
Many have postulated that ours will be the next great technology. DVHS or HDDVD. I myself will find it hard to partake. I had every intention of getting into HDDVD when it became available and economically feasible. I had no qualms about rebuying films I'd already bought on DVD. But I don't want to get into another format that gets tainted when it hits the mass-market that is required for some of my favorite films to even be pressed. It's infuriating. I wish we could take our ball and go home. But unfortunately DVD is not our ball. It's theirs now as much as ours, and they have more members on their team.
Studios are only reinforcing the pan and scan consumer that they are right. It's hard enough convincing someone that they are wrong without authorities working to convince them otherwise.
It does irritate me also that no one in the creative community seems willing to come forward and take up this worthwhile cause. It's certainly worth fighting for.
They don't think the Muppets films will sell at least 10% in OAR if they had a seperate release!?!?
While Princess Diaries was not on my buy list, I too remember seeing only the P&S version at most retailers. What did they expect? Considering that, I'm impressed that 20% of the copies sold were widescreen.
How do those sales numbers compare to their average sales of widescreen LASERDISC titles? The laserdisc people preferred widescreen, it seems now they're just telling us to f--- off! And I guess the people who have 16x9 TVs don't matter at all either! Thanks a lot Mala Vista!
The thing that cracks me up about this, which doesn't seem to have been considered, is that obviously they ARE getting a lot of heat about this- if they weren't, they wouldn't be making all these explanations.
BTW while I'm glad to see the outcry over this, where was everyone when Columbia put out Baby Geniuses (a 2.35 film!), Elmo in Grouchland and Thomas and the Magic Railroad in pan and scan only (all these were short enough to include both formats), and when Warner did all 3 Pokemon movies in pan and scan (but included audio commentaries!)
I have an idea:
The studios can release two versions of a film and not confuse the buying public by doing this:
"Letterboxing" the DVD case picture art and denoting it as being Widescreen on the box in GIANT LETTERS; and conversely placing picture art on the DVD case that covers the entire front and describing it as "Formatted to Fit Your Screen" or "Contains No Black Bars" in even BIGGER LETTERS.
This ain't brain surgery!
We could see this day coming back when DVD started really taking off in '98 and '99.
There is a saying in Japan that states, "Business is war." That's what this feels like in a way.
Well, if Disney feels it can go it alone without us along for the ride, my attitude is the studio can proceed merrily along. We simply won't buy the studio's butchered transfers.
Sayanara, ol' mouse ears. And I detest your theme park in Anaheim, too.
Have a good day.
I think Disney (and other studios) will finally wake up when they make the shocking discovery that NO title released only in P&S outsells comparable WS or P&S/WS releases. Once they realize that EVERY P&S only title has lower sales figures than WS, then perhaps we have a chance of getting every title released in its proper OAR.
Now we can only hope that all P&S titles will indeed be outsold by titles offered in WS. Widescreen doesn't have to outsell P&S as long as all P&S only titles are outsold by titles offered in both formats or WS only (which we probably won't see anymore). The day that a P&S only title outsells a WS or P&S/WS title is the day WS may start disappearing entirely.
Agreed, Jack. But in addition to not buying pan-and-scan, if the sites like HTF, DVDFile, The Big Picture, The Digital Bits are really opposed to this behavior, they should refuse to officially review the titles. Oh, put a 'review' up all right. Put a one sentence review up for each title. A sentence that says "Due to this title not being available in an original (widescreen) aspect ratio, no review has been posted, as is our policy".
No review hurts them more than a bad review. If you post a real review, sixpackers surfing online will happily ignore the 'this is bad because it is cropped' part of the review, and the studio will still get free promotion.
We all know that the studios now view the promotional aspect of these forums and sites as the real value. Deprive them of that free promotion, but make sure that each title is mentioned, to draw attention to the magnitude of the situation (and so they see how many titles they are not getting free online promotion for). On release date, post this notice even if they didn't send an advance copy.
Will it make a difference? Probably not. But I'd bet on it being more effective than studio petitions.