Petitions, OAR, and intent to buy

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Bardon, Aug 26, 2001.

  1. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

    Jul 4, 2000
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    This showed up in another thread, but I thought it deserved its own discussion.
    As most of you know, the Wonka petition got over 10000 signatires, while the Cats & Dogs one is still around 2000. Members here are imploring people to sign these petitions because "not releasing OAR is a crime against the film". While I'm all for OAR, I believe that signing a petition for a movie that you don't intend to buy is ultimately going to hurt the cause.
    Put yourself in Warner's place. They decide to release P&S only of family titles because that's what their research indicates will sell better. Suddenly, there's an outcry about Wonka from people who want the disc in widescreen. 10000 signatures on a petition and many phone calls and letters later, they decide a WS version is feasible, and release it. If the people who signed the petition buy the disc, then they make money-WB is happy.
    Suddenly, a 10000 signature petition for Cats & Dogs arrives, and they decide that a widescreen version of that is merited as well. They release it, and it tanks. Those that want P&S buy the P&S, and many of those that signed the petition ignore the disc cause the flick is a steaming turd. All of a sudden, WB who expected to sell at least 10000 copies of Cats & dogs in widescreen loses money, and all pull that we have for the future is gone.
    My point is-this is something that should be done on a film by film basis. If people really want to buy cats & dogs in widescreen, then by all means sign the petition. But I think that signing the petition should indicate an intent to buy the disc. Neverending story-I'll buy that one in a second in widescreen. Harry Potter-guessing I'll want this one in widescreen too. Cats and Dogs-I could care less..
    I guess the point of this long rant is-let's not shoot ourselves in the foot. WB has every right to release a P&S only product, and it's up to US to keep them happy about widescreen. If a WS Wonka or Cats tanks, then future films like Harry Potter may be in jeopardy. So the short of it:
    -Only sign petitions for films you intend to buy
    -Follow up on those by actually buying the film
  2. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

    Aug 13, 2000
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    I understand what you are saying. However, I'd like to help the minority viewer group. Even if, for example, a small percentage of viewers want widescreen for Cats and Dogs, I don't think they should be left out. Taking it further - I do understand that economics are the bottom line for Warner - if they can't make money from it, then they won't do it (nor should they). On the other hand, I just don't think this is the case and I don't think they would lose money by creating widescreen and full frame formats.
    I don't know - why can't Warner follow the ways of other studios who don't have these problems?
    [Edited last by Dave H on August 26, 2001 at 02:35 AM]

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