Paramount: PLEASE DROP YOUR PRICES

Andrew Walsh

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I'm always astounded by the price Paramount charges for their DVDs. HMV currently has a big sale on, and you see DVDs from $15.99 to $24.99(Cdn), then there's a whole bunch of $29.99 discs. EVERY ONE is a Paramount release. These are considered bargain prices? Your movies aren't any more special than anyone else's. If your DVD sales seem low, it just might be your considerably higher prices. There are many titles I might have picked up if they hadn't been so expensive. Please adjust your prices and I'm sure you'll see a spike in sales.
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David Lambert

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I agree with Andrew. Frankly, (US)$24.99 isn't worth it for the Addams Family movies, Clue, The Shootist, Sons of Katie Elder, Deep Impact, or Pet Semetary. But I never see these cheaper...not anywhere!
As time moves on and these releases get older, I'm not even sure I'd go for a $19.99 price point anymore. Not when I can get so many comparable releases from other studios at $14.99 each.
Universal has it even worse, with many older titles sitting at $27.99 or higher each: Last Starfighter, Dante's Peak, American Grafitti, 1941, and Field of Dreams. I would add all of these to my collection at a decent price point, definately no higher than $19.99 as I said above. But, I don't care how special these special editions (or, more accurately, Collector's Editions) are. They ain't worth almost thirty bucks to me! I've bought lots better for lots less.
Paramount doesn't even have the SE stuff going for their titles. Just about everything is bare-bones, which is why I think I'd go as high as $20 for the Universal discs but I would prefer $15 for the Paramount titles.
As I said, it's all good stuff. No complaints about the quality of the movies at all; from what I've heard or seen, it's all good. I've knuckled under and bought a few (Dead Zone, When Worlds Collide (not yet viewed, tho'), all the Star Trek films, and for Universal I got Blues Brothers & The Thing as gifts or used).
But, price-vs-features -wise, these just aren't comparable to what, in my opinion, is the industry norm. $5-$8 makes a difference when two of these costs you another film entirely!
Martin, if you're monitoring, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this issue. Thanks,
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DAVE/Memphis
[Edited last by Robert Crawford on September 30, 2001 at 05:33 PM]
 

Adam Tyner

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Paramount has been experimenting with other price points in the past few months, and if those titles sell particularly well, I'm sure we'll be seeing more of 'em. Paramount and Buena Vista's Miramax titles are priced slightly higher than average, but if they weren't getting decent sales (or at least meeting their expectations), those titles wouldn't bear that $29.99 or $32.99 sticker. I think you'll be seeing a steady stream of $24.99 MSRP titles from Paramount in the future, but I don't expect (nor would I) the $29.99 price point to fully disappear. For a movie such as Stuart Saves His Family, I can't imagine someone paying $30 (even though few people actually pay full MSRP) for it when there are so many comparable comedies on DVD for $5-$10 less, but I can see the appeal for Paramount with titles like The Wonder Boys or The Virgin Suicides. The target audience for those films will probably be willing to shell out a bit more money than the average consumer, and if they don't mind handing out a few extra bucks, why shouldn't Paramount take it?
Personally, Paramount's $29.99 prices don't bug me, but for some reason, Miramax's incrementally-higher $32.99 price does. Maybe it's just seeing that first '3' that throws me off. Whatever.

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Jeff Ulmer

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When I can buy a jam packed SE of The French Connection AND its sequal for the same price as a single, bare bones Paramount title, guess which one gets bought. I can't even recall the last Paramount title I bought, not that there aren't dozens I would have if the pricing was anywhere near where my comfort zone is for DVD purchasing.
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Matthew Chmiel

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What Paramount should do is make all movie-only editions with an SRP for $19.99 and the DVDs that actually have some extras have an SRP of $24.99 - $29.99. I still haven't bought Clue, Ferris Buller's Day Off, The Virgin Suicides, and a few other titles due to their high prices.
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Wes Ray

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I've not bought a Paramount title in...I'm thinking over a year now. I think the last one I bought was Braveheart. I too am waiting on some type of price drop before I purchase Clue, Airplane, The Naked Gun, and some of the others mentioned by others in this thread.
And their barebones, yet expensive, treatments of horror films like Pet Sematary and The Dead Zone (not to mention the entire Friday the 13th series) hasn't helped persuade me toward purchasing anything from them either.
Barebones releases should be $19.99, special editions should be $24.99. Isn't this pretty much the industry standard for most major companies?
 

Matthew H

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I Own 6 Paramount Discs:
The Naked Gun
The Naked Gun 2 1/2
The Naked Gun 33 1/3
'Crocodile' Dundee
'Crocodile' Dundee in LA
Mission: Impossible 2
I payed $27.99 each for the three Naked Guns (the reason being they're some of my favorite movies), $18.99 for 'Crocodile' Dundee, $22.99 for 'Crocodile' Dundee in LA (I love those films a lot too), and only $11.99 for M:I-2. I was in luck, Best Buy had a special last November where if you bought any 2 selected discs, you'd get them for $12 a piece.
Anyway, to make a long story short, I rarely buy Paramount discs because of their high prices. There are atleast 15 titles I really want, but refuse to pay because of their $24.99 price tags. Come on Paramount, give us some decent prices!
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SteveGon

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I hate to think what they'll be charging for the Indiana Jones trilogy - if they ever release it...

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David Lambert

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Okay, here's some hard numbers (mostly for Martin to think about):
I own 870 DVD discs, including supplement discs, demos, etc.
Overall, I average $14.04 per disc. I think I do pretty well (although, if you do the math, you'll see that I could have bought an extra car by now). But, it's how we choose to spend our supplemental income.
My collection's top studios by disc count are: Fox (111), WB (110), MGM (99), Columbia/TriStar (78), Paramount (68), Disney (47), Universal (40).
I went ahead and removed the following: items bought used, gifts or otherwise free items, supplement discs (so, for instance, Forrest Gump is only counted once instead of twice), etc.
I also kept it to "main features", eliminating stuff like the Star Trek tv show, X-Files tv show, The Simpsons, Stargate SG-1, etc...which we all know is reduced MSRP's per disc compared to the main features. Cost-effectiveness of TV show releases is another discussion, and I think that the ST:TNG season-by-season box sets coming proves where the winner in THAT discussion lies.
So, of those studios listed above, here are the top studios by average dollars charged per DVD SKU: Universal ($20.76), Paramount ($20.55), Disney ($18.97), Columbia ($16.61), Fox ($16.25), MGM ($14.33), and WB ($14.25).
Conclusion: Price and collectability are definately related. But then, that's not hard to to figure out, right?
I know this isn't strictly scientific, but I hope one man's vast collection can serve as an example. Paramount has plenty of stuff I want, but my collection wouldn't be this big if I always paid prices like that!
As you see, though WB's and MGM's titles often garner complaints (like MGM's cheapest items having no chapter stop lists), the often-at-or-below $10-per-disc price point means I buy 'em. But, overall, Fox has the best bang for the buck right now.
Thanks for listening.
P.S.: Believe it or not, SONY'S kids titles are pretty pricey, too. The dozen or so discs I have from them clock in at an average of $17.33 each! Sesame Street and Underdog ain't cheap!
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SteveMc

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I agree. In the past i didn't buy certain Paramount titles because of the lack of feature, but they are definately turing things around there. But now I want to pick up some older titles, and they are still $25. I usually pass becuase with the onslaught of releases coming out nearly every week, i'd rather get two titles for $40 then only one for $25. I have been wanting to pick up the Relic for halloween, but its one of those titles, as well as Mission Impossible, and the Friday the 13th 5 and 6, but I'm gonna cave on those two cuz its almost halloween
 

Dan Hitchman

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I whole heartedly agree.
$30 bucks for a bare bones movie; not even a trailer??? Come on! No wonder I have so few Paramount catalog titles.
Clean your negatives up better before you transfer them too.
Dan
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[Edited last by Dan Hitchman on October 03, 2001 at 03:59 PM]
 

GerardC

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I agree with the price point discussion: Paramount does have the tendency to charge a little bit too much. This means I never buy a Paramount disc straight away (The Godfather Trilogy will be the first), and I used Ebay recently to get Marathon Man $16 (sealed) and The Parallax View ($14). I now finally decided to get Catch-22 new from an e-tailer with the price just below $22. Play It again Sam is the next Paramount disc I will probably get (if only to make my Woody Allen collection complete). I paid full price for The Conversation but the disc is worth it in my opinion (you can probably get it cheaper now of Ebay). Nashville was again an Ebay purchase for $19.
Paramount does provide some of the best transfers images for older movies on the market as of late (Marathon Man is great, and I have high hopes for Once Upon A Time In The West next year) and their catalogue has some outstanding classics everybody needs (Chinatown, Apocalypse Now). Strangely enough, Paramount discs are cheaper here in The Netherlands (but the catalogue is very limited in R2) and for $20 I bought the R2 discs of Days Of Heaven (what a movie), The Warriors, Internal Affairs and both Airplanes. All sport excellent transfers and good audio: if they do succeed in a more consistent level of extra features I'm sure they can become one of the most respected dvd studios. But it would do them good to bring down their MSRP with $5 for all older titles: it's indeed a shame The Virgin Suicides, Wonderboys, Election and Searching For Bobby Fisher are movies that are still an exception in most peoples collection.
 

David Coleman

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I agree! It seems like every month that Paramount decides to "test" the $24.95 price point the very next month the next round of catalog releases are at $29.95. There's no consistency especially when Paramount's discs have less supplements than other studios and the only audio option is DD!
 

Ed Vandeweerd

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To Whom it may Concern,
I own a number of Paramount Titles & Wholeheartedly agree. It's high time that Paramount stops Gouging the consumers who support it with their outrageous pricing policy. I'd be happy with a price point of about $25.00 not the current $37.00 average paid for Paramount discs currently, especially for bare bones editions.
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David Lambert

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Sorry to revive a few-weeks-old thread, but I just made an observation/deduction in another thread elsewhere on HTF, and it has A LOT to do with this topic.
I'll start by reminding everyone that I have the utmost respect for Paramount...and for Mr. Martin Blythe, too. I support Paramount with my money...when I can find their stuff at prices I can afford (I own 73 DVDs from them as of right now!). I also support Ron's decision to remove the "coming in 2002" list from Paramount, simply because they asked him to.
However, if you followed this thread you know I've also tried to figure out why Paramount's DVD prices are higher than everyone elses!
The following is an observation. A "thinking out loud" kind of deduction...that I admit may or may not be along correct lines. Take it with a grain of salt.
I'm posting it here because, if possible, I'd like Martin Blythe to comment on it. Perhaps Paramount's DVD pricing structure is directed from higher up in the conglomerate than the studio/home video level?...
Any, here's what I posted elsewhere, as food for thought:
In a topic about Blockbuster and Swordfish, someone had said: "Warner is leading the studio war on BBuster, meanwhile BB has a few studios on it's side due to being owned by the same company (I forget who is who right at this moment).".
And this was my response:
!! Both should street for $14.99, tops.
Thanks for helping me put 2 and 2 together!
Thought? Questions? Comments? Flames? Revocation of HTF Membership?

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MORE TV ON DVD, PLEASE!
 

rutger_s

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Personally, I'd rather have Buena Vista look over their pricing policies before Paramount.
I mean Just Visting MSRPs for $32.99 and it only has a featurette and trailer. Bridget Jones' Diary has a nice set of added-value materials from commentary to deleted scenes and MSRPs for $29.99.
Now I see Bubble Boy will be released to DVD and has an MSRP of $29.99 with just an audio commentary and trailer.
I am just happy to see that Paramount is at least using the $24.95 MSRP on more titles.
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Carlo Medina

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Well, if you'd visited Paramount during the HTF meet, you'd know that they put a lot of restoration into their movies. That's why movies like The Odd Couple look so good for a classic film while other studios' older films look like...faded old films. Restoration, even a small job-not a Harris & Katz type, costs money. So does film cleaning, and Paramounts are among the nicer prints for DVD transfer that I've seen available, especially for their older catalog titles.
As far as subtly encouraging people to rent, I'm not sure about that. They don't have any BBuster ads in their DVDs that I've seen. And despite the fact that Viacom owns both BBuster and Paramount, I'm not sure I subscribe to this theory. They price their DVDs more to, quite simply, make more profit per disc. This may be to cover their additional costs at bringing good transfers to the table. It may also be because they are a bottom-line publicly held company with shareholders.
Whatever the market will bear. I'm sure that if their sales figures decline and they try new pricing schemes and they rise, they'll go with the new schemes. Trust me, they have bean counters working for them that will make this decision if it's necessary.
 

Rob T

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I paid about $30.00(Cdn) for the 3 Jack Ryan movies and they're barebones. Now that the SE version of them are coming I'll have to buy them all over again. I hope they aren't as expensive.
 

Martin Blythe

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Hmm, hasn't anyone noticed recent price drops in our catalog DVDs? Last time I looked, all our January releases were at $24.99 - Sabrina, Cousins, Falling in Love, Prophecy, Seconds.
 

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