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Paramount: PLEASE DROP YOUR PRICES (1 Viewer)

Chad Gregory

Supporting Actor
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Oct 11, 2000
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630
Mr. Blythe,
I for one did notice the lower price points on the January releases, and am sure that many others around here noticed it as well. I think that the praise is harder to come by than the complaints.
I do have two questions for you.
1. Is this now a consistant price point for catalog releases?
2. Are there more previous releases scheduled for a price drop soon? That would go a long way towards more sales.
-Chad
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Dave Barth

Stunt Coordinator
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Jul 21, 2000
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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.
(1) Paramount is not pricing to maximize its profit per disc. They "should" be pricing to maximize their total profit. To make the point extreme, I'm sure if they put a price of $1000 on the Godfather box set, someone would still buy it. This would be a higher profit per disc (or sale), but they would certainly lose more than enough sales to reduce their total profit.
(2) What kind of restoration Paramount films get should affect the disc price only inasmuch as it changes the demand for the disc. Paramount's marginal cost per disc are unchanged by the decision to restore a film. If restored films cost more, it should be because there is more demand for them.
(3) Many other media companies out there are also publicly held, so I don't see this as a strong explanation.
As a consumer, I'm not a fan of Paramount's higher prices. Ditto for Criterion's higher prices. Ditto Miramax's higher prices, in some cases essentially infinite. On the other hand, when I buy a Paramount or Criterion disc, I know the transfer was done with more care than usual. I can't say the same for MGM's cheap discs or Miramax's expensive ones.
Not surprisingly, of the companies I've named, I own exactly one Miramax title: Chasing Amy. And it's a Criterion title too - and note the transfer is screwed up because of the Miramax affiliation. I'll buy Pulp Fiction SE if a decent one ever comes out, and Red/White/Blue SEs, but that's about all of the Miramax catalog I'm jonesing for these days.
I have the second fewest Paramount discs because they have fewer catalog SEs than other studios and I don't find the price nearly competitive enough for bare bones discs, but they aren't nearly as bad as everyone says. At least their movies look good. Discs from firms like Madacy and Fox Lorber are unwatchable.
 

David Lambert

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Addams Family[/I] and Addams Family Values...both definately Paramount, both $27.99 at Best Buy, same as BV's Adventures in Babysitting!! I'd love to pick up both, but not for $28.]Quote:
Martin, that's really terrific. I honestly had NOT noticed. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
I was speaking to already-released titles, though. What's the outlook for lowering the prices on them?
Also, it's great that Sabrina, et al, are among forthcoming releases getting an SRP of $24.99. But why do new titles like Pootie Tang (11/27) and Soapdish (12/4) get SRP's of $29.99?
Mind you, I'm grateful that Paramount can put out a 2-disc set like Forrest Gump or Star Trek: The Motion Picture for the same $29.99 SRP as the 1-disc Tomb Raider. But then, it also makes you feel like you're perhaps paying too much for the 1-disc item, rather than paying too little for the 2-disc item.
Ah, such is the mind of consumers.
wink.gif

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Chad Gregory

Supporting Actor
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And I agree that neither of those companies has anything to do with Blockbuster, so maybe my "thinking out loud" was a load of shit. I'll be man enough to admit it.
I'm not saying that your theory is a complete load of shit it just seems more like a coincidence than a conspiracy. I would guess that a case could be made against Paramount, but sometimes I think that they get crucified unjustly.
Personally I find Universal and BV to be the biggest culprits. If you were to do a correlation of price to quality on releases both of these companys fail miserably. There are plenty of shoddy (and non-anamorphic) early releases by both Universal and BV that still hold high prices.
-Chad
 

David Lambert

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Two other bad examples. :) Both of these disc had price drops to a $24.99 MSRP and can be had for $17.49 at DVDEmpire and others.
Just researched it, and I concede the point.
For the record, Best Buy has it at $27.99 in their system; it's not that they marked it down and my local store forgot to change the tags; I asked them to check a couple of weeks ago. It's also that way at their web site:
http://www.bestbuy.com/search/sr10.asp?m=270&Page=&SC=title&SV=addams+family
Before I look stupider than I do, I'm going to go back through my looooong wishlist and find all the Paramount titles on it, then see what the current prices are on them.
If Paramount has been quietly marking down prices in the past year, then I owe them and Martin Blythe a big apology. However, first impressions last a looong time, as we are proving here. The markdowns should not be "quiet", or losers like me never know about 'em.
And this is from a pretty DVD-dedicated guy, who's always followed the lists on various websites that report titles being marked down just as soon as the price cuts are announced!
I'll check into it over the weekend. Thanks for setting me straight, Chad.
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David Lambert

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Okay; I just finished researching it!
Besides the Addams Family titles and Clue, there are only a few others that I want whose price is (now?) lower than I recall: Scrooged, and the 3 Naked Gun titles. That's it!
Here are Paramount titles I would buy instantly, if they came down at least $5 off of the current SRP of $29.99:
  • Airplane 2: The Sequel
  • American Gigolo
  • Barbarella
  • Barefoot in the Park
  • Children of a Lesser God
  • A Clear and Present Danger
  • Coming to America
  • Coneheads
  • Hatari!
  • Let It Ride
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  • The Nutty Professor
  • An Officer and a Gentleman
  • Paint Your Wagon
  • Patriot Games
  • Pet Semetary
  • Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
  • The Rainmaker
  • Rosemary's Baby
  • Searching for Bobby Fischer
  • The Shootist
  • Soapdish (coming soon)
  • Sons of Katie Elder
  • Stalag 17
  • Still Smokin' (Cheech and Chong)
  • Trekkies
  • What Women Want

I can't locate any of the above for less than $22.99; I don't desire any of them at more than $19.99.
27 instant purchases, allowing for money-flow of course.
I won't even go into the $24.99 SRP titles that ought to street for $14.99-$17.99...like the entire Friday the 13th Series, IMHO.
It's funky to me that a Paramount "bargain" DVD is a tired old film, a bare bones 1-disc entry for $17.99!! (Deep Impact, for example). I'm getting stuff from every other studio - including BV and Universal - for $9.99 - $14.99 range...easily!
Yes, I've shelled out for Paramount titles for the SRP $29.99 before. Examples: Court Jester, Dead Zone, The Firm, Ghost, Heaven Can Wait, King Kong, Mommie Dearest.
Elephant Man will probably be worth the $29.99 SRP as well...an outstanding movie.
Mostly I have bought the majority of my Paramount titles used. I pay less that way. :)
Verdict: Paramount gets an "E" for their recent efforts. But my mama used to tell me, "Never confuse efforts with results". The result here is that there are still too many titles on the market that are about $5 too high, by my standards.
I turned out the above list in just a short time, based on strictly my own wants and desires. I'm sure different people will turn out different lists. I'm sure many of them are less of a collector than me, a 900+ disc guy. And I'm sure they have less disposable cash laying around, too.
Martin, after careful consideration I must strongly suggest that, while the pricing strategy of new releases seems to be heading the right way (with at least a couple of notable exceptions), your company ought to review the existing DVD catalog and determine a schedule to start bringing down the SRP prices of discs already on the market.
I also suggest you work with Best Buy and other major retailers to ensure that they are aware of all of your markdowns, and have received the price protection on them they're entitled to.
Oh, and ADVERTISE that you're doing taking markdowns. "More affordable than ever before!". Etc.
I'll be right there, kickin' it with my Master Card! :) Thanks for listening to my input!
DAVE/Memphis
 

Wes Ray

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 11, 2001
Messages
507
Yes, I still say that Paramount needs to work on their pricing issues. They should definitely lower their prices on certain titles. *cough*Friday the 13th Series*cough* And they wonder why the current discs haven't sold very well.
rolleyes.gif

I will be picking up Clue though, now that I'm aware that its price has been lowered.
I hadn't thought about An Officer and a Gentleman. That's another one that I'd buy at a much lower price.
 

rhett

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 11, 2001
Messages
571
I have little will power to resist a film I like on DVD, thus I have bought several Paramount DVDs. But I agree, the prices are wayyyyy too high. There was once a time when Paramounts audio and visual quality were the best in the biz, and a high price was justifiable...but companies like Buena Vista, Columbia, Fox and MGM now all offer stellar transfers for much cheaper prices. Either put more extras on your discs or lower the prices, something has to change.
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Dave H

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6,001
All I know is that my next two Paramount purchases can be bought at 19.99 (Star Trek:TMP - 2 discs) and (What's Eating Gilbert Grape) at 17.44. Not the worst....
 

Brian W. Ralston

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 4, 1999
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605
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Los Angeles, CA
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I agree about the Paramount pricing being too high. I have found a solution to this though. I usually wait to buy my Paramount discs "previously viewed" at Blockbuster for $9.99 each. Usually I can find a copy in really good shape. And since Blockbuster uses their own cases for the rental copies...that artwork is almost always in good shape as well.
If the MSRP prices were lower, I would buy the discs new and give Paramount my money instead of Blockbuster.
(well I guess they are getting it anyway due to paramount and Blockbuster's Viacom connection......but at least my sale is not showing up on Paramount Home Video's profit line)
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Brian W. Ralston
"Success is a journey, not a destination." - Unknown
[Edited last by Brian W. Ralston on November 04, 2001 at 09:28 PM]
 

Mark Zimmer

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Jun 30, 1997
Messages
4,314
Just a word of positive feedback:
I refused to buy Addams Family & Addams Family Values at the earlier price point. When they dropped to under $20 street price, they were added to my collection.
Sounds like maximizing profit to me. $0 or $maybe a little less than you hoped.
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Chad Gregory

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 11, 2000
Messages
630
David,
I found the dvdfile news from February 1st that listed the discs that received the price drop from $30 to $25.
from dvdfile.com
Looks like it is shaping up to be a bit of a Paramount week here, with lots of news coming down from the mountain. No sooner than I lamented yesterday about some of rather high (in my opinion) prices of Paramount catalog titles, then they go and announce reductions no 45 titles. Dropping from $29.95 to $24.95 are 1997's The Saint, Kiss The Girls, The Ghost & the Darkness, First Wives Club, Breakdown, Switchback, Deep Impact, Event Horizon, Private Parts, Hard Rain, Escape From LA, 48 Hours and Another 48 Hours, Snake Eyes, Black Rain, Jade, Escape From Alcatraz, Internal Affairs, Night At The Roxbury, War Of The Worlds, Relic, Virtuosity, The Phantom, Drop Zone, Witness, Gallipoli, Payback, Congo, the first two Friday The 13th films, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Tommy Boy, Scrooged, Rattle & Hum, Chinatown and its sequel, Beavis & Butthead Do America, The Presidio, both Addam's Family movies, Jennifer 8, Clue, all three Naked Gun films and finally the westerns Shane, True Grit and El Dorado. These price drops become effective on February 1.

I believe that this was the only price drop that Paramount has issued. The good thing is that most of the new catalog releases are coming at the $25 price point, comparable to the other studio price points.
-Chad
 

David Lambert

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Chad,
First, I should mention Romeo and Juliet, possibly my wife's favorite movie of all time. Believe it or not, I paid SRP price of $29.95 for this at Suncoast on day of its release. The one and only time I've done that! I must love her a whole bunch.
wink.gif

As to the titles in the DVD File article I apparently missed so long ago:
I got 48 Hours and Ferris Bueller as Christmas gifts two years ago. If not for gifts, I never would have paid more than used ($14.99 or less) for either of these. MAYBE $20 for Ferris; I've watched it a couple of times. 48 I've watched once, right after I got it.
True Grit and El Dorado I got last spring, they came together in a 2-pack at Costco for $29.99. Now THAT'S my kinda price!! :) Actually, I would have paid more for these great westerns...I paid $20 for Rooster Cogburn, for instance.
War of the Worlds my wife and I got at full (street - $24.99) price back in March 2000. We broke down and bought it because we love great sci fi like this one. It was worth it, like some of the others I've mentioned.
As to the other titles in the announcement: aside from the one's I've already mentioned (Clue, Scrooged, The Addams Family's, and the Naked Gun's), I'm not myself interested in any of the others.
Paramount now has a list of 27 titles to think about reducing. I'm sure the list ought to be longer, because - as we've just seen - my tastes are different from a lot of other people's.
At 916 DVD Discs, my average price per disc is an even $14. I don't get so many in my collection by paying premium prices, okay?
Cheers,
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Chad Gregory

Supporting Actor
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Messages
630
David,
I didn't exactly have a point to prove to you, just wanted you to know what the price drops were.
Let me put it out there that I am a big Paramount fan. (Except for the missing Major League, grrrr...) The worst thing is that I purchased the only titles that I am interested in (Tommy Boy, Chinatown, Clue, Beavis and the first Naked Gun) before the price drop and the funniest part is that I paid less for them when they were $30 than you could find them for now that they are $25.
I would agree that there are more titles that could use a price drop at least all of the non-anamorphic titles. Or better yet, just go ahead and change the transfers and add extras. But the thing that has to be remembered is that Paramount consistantly produces great transfers for there films. Definitely better as a whole than most other studios (possibly Columbia is better). I will always be more inclined to go ahead and pay a little more to have the film presented in the best possible fashion.
I would argue though that a definitive price structure should be followed though. I nice two-disc SE is $30, a nice one-disc SE that cost money to restore can still be $30, but a bare bones catalog release that did not receive the grand restoration treatment can not be higher than $25. Mr. Blythe pointed out the January catalog releases are at $25, if that is going to now become policy I can understand, it is the variance that becomes bothersome.
I would conclude that on the whole I would prefer that the older titles get revisited than have their price drop from $30 to $25. That drop won't convince me. If I didn't buy it on release day, it must not have wanted it that badly and the nominal $5 price drop would do anything to change my mind.
-Chad
 

Henry Carmona

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Just like to add my voice to the "lower price point" cheer.
I also would love to have some Paramount titles, but they are too expensive for me
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David Lambert

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quote: I didn't exactly have a point to prove to you, just wanted you to know what the price drops were.[/quote]
Agreed. I probably just felt like I had to get "the last word in" :) I DEFINATELY appreciate your finding and posting that article. I also appreciate it when someone plays Devil's advocate with me (no, not the Pacino film).
quote: I would conclude that on the whole I would prefer that the older titles get revisited than have their price drop from $30 to $25. That drop won't convince me. If I didn't buy it on release day, it must not have wanted it that badly and the nominal $5 price drop would do anything to change my mind.[/quote]
I heartily disagree. I don't need the ask Paramount to revisit the one's I didn't buy yet. If *I* didn't buy them, it's not because I wanted a better transfer, etc. It was simply due to the price. As you and others pointed out, the transfers Paramount gives us have been great (Top Gun excepted, of course). No, I held off buying them simply because of the price. I don't buy a B-title like Pet Semetary for $25, and I don't buy a "leave your brain at home" serial/sequelitis film like Friday the 13th for $20, either (I paid $39.98 for the entire box set of Elm Street, for perspective).
I buy a lot of my DVD's based on a "How much is this feature worth to me?" basis. It's gotta be the right price point for the perceived enjoyment of the movie. I tend to break them into "Want", "Really Want", and "Must-Have" sections. That's literally on paper, or rather on-disc. My wishlist is part of my DVD Database and is marked that way: plain black, plain red, bold red. Ft13 series is marked as plain black. Mentally, I also think to myself "bargain basement or used". American Gigolo is also plain black, but willing to buy "regular" and not waiting for a discount table price. Scrooged is plain red...now that I know about the new price. ST:TMP is bold red...I'll gladly get it at Best Buy today for $20, but $25 wasn't out of the question at all.
If Paramount wants to revisit existing titles, they can do so to the higher-end titles that I DON'T object to paying extra money for. THOSE I won't mind "investing" in a Special Edition. Wrath of Khan and the rest of the Star Trek line is a good place to start.
If, OTOH, Paramount decides to re-do the lesser titles, then that's good news for me, too. It means that the prices on the bare-bones acceptable-to-me editions already out will inevitably fall. Which is all I'm waiting for anyway.
Thanks - to Martin as well as Chad and the others - for letting me (thoroughly) vent on this subject. :) I hope it give Martin something to discuss with his colleagues.
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[Edited last by David Lambert on November 06, 2001 at 05:30 AM]
 

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