Malcolm R

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My Walmart has cut their movie section in half in the past week. They didn't have a lot to begin with in this store, about 4/5 of one side of one aisle, plus a couple end caps and dump bins. Today half the aisle space has disappeared, and I only saw one of the two dump bins.

Basically just a few new releases, a handful of Marvel/Star Wars titles, one dump bin, and one holiday-themed display.

Oddly, they used some of the space to expand the book section. I guess books are selling better than DVD's these days.
 

JackieT

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I'm fine with that4K news. Better than watching a DVD or blu ray quality movie.
 

Ejanss

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The US Japanese-anime fans have a different, and more realistic (and perhaps less handwringing) perspective on the decline of retail, since we feel a little guilt that we were partly responsible--Well, make that NO guilt, because we know Best Buy was completely responsible: :angry:

It may have started with what fans call "the Bubble", in the mid-00's, when online stream-sites like Crunchyroll and Funimation.com hadn't been invented yet, precious few rental outlets stocked most anime titles, and if you were interested in a series, you had to buy it. If your kid is hooked on, say, Attack on Titan or My Hero Academia, ask him how he'd have like to have bought it in six serial volumes of 4 episodes for about $29 each, and that was assuming he knew the series. And once Japanese licensors started realizing there was a new American market (that they barely paid attention to before), there was a soon-to-be-busted boom market in licensing any new currently airing hit series to the highest bidding company, and the retail market became flooded with obscure and not-particularly well-liked new titles (while a growing bi-coastal Internet fandom spread the review buzz), in unhelpful and undescriptive covers, selling for more than the new US feature films were. Problem is, most of those companies would do a double-dip complete-season boxset at the end, and weary customers who did want the series caught on to realizing they were smarter to just wait out the six serial volumes, save themselves $180, and just buy the boxset.
This was bad news to Best Buy, who had just smelled a "trend" in the new 00's popularity for Dragonball Z, and opened up a whole retail wing of "Anime Central" in their DVD/pop-culture section. The DBZ and Pokemon titles may have sold, but Vol. 2 & 3 of a lesser-known series did not, and BB found themselves with a lot of unsold product, while Target didn't even attract core fans out of the Pokemon mainstream to begin with.
Now, I'd like to emphasize that ADV Films' release of "Princess Tutu" is a pretty darn good show, just to underline the particular (feminine-health)-iness with which BB broke off their sales deal with ADV, complaining about unsold surpluses of, quote, "too many shows with Princess in the title". And once Target dropped their anime sales except for the mainstream-reliable Pokemon titles, industry analysts scribbled the writing all over the wall.

And once retail began cutting back on THOSE shelves, others followed.
Creating the vicious spiral, where Warner only began releasing Harry Potter and Batman re-dips with big boxsets and plastic collectible figures, claiming that they "couldn't sell" anything else that didn't get visible display shelf space.

(4K, OTOH, was a different issue: Nobody wanted it except core home-theater fans, and those are the ones who had been buying off of Amazon since the days when stores WEREN'T selling them, period.)
 
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bmasters9

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My Walmart has cut their movie section in half in the past week. They didn't have a lot to begin with in this store, about 4/5 of one side of one aisle, plus a couple end caps and dump bins. Today half the aisle space has disappeared, and I only saw one of the two dump bins.

Basically just a few new releases, a handful of Marvel/Star Wars titles, one dump bin, and one holiday-themed display.

Oddly, they used some of the space to expand the book section. I guess books are selling better than DVD's these days.
Same way as mine, basically-- one side was stocked with televisions, and the other was where the scant selection of discs were. I guess everyone wants instant these days, apparently.
 
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jcroy

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The US Japanese-anime fans have a different, and more realistic (and perhaps less handwringing) perspective on the decline of retail, since we feel a little guilt that we were partly responsible--Well, make that NO guilt, because we know Best Buy was completely responsible: :angry:

It may have started with what fans call "the Bubble", in the mid-00's, when online stream-sites like Crunchyroll and Funimation.com hadn't been invented yet, precious few rental outlets stocked most anime titles, and if you were interested in a series, you had to buy it. If your kid is hooked on, say, Attack on Titan or My Hero Academia, ask him how he'd have like to have bought it in six serial volumes of 4 episodes for about $29 each, and that was assuming he knew the series. And once Japanese licensors started realizing there was a new American market (that they barely paid attention to before), there was a soon-to-be-busted boom market in licensing any new currently airing hit series to the highest bidding company, and the retail market became flooded with obscure and not-particularly well-liked new titles (while a growing bi-coastal Internet fandom spread the review buzz), in unhelpful and undescriptive covers, selling for more than the new US feature films were. Problem is, most of those companies would do a double-dip complete-season boxset at the end, and weary customers who did want the series caught on to realizing they were smarter to just wait out the six serial volumes, save themselves $180, and just buy the boxset.
This was bad news to Best Buy, who had just smelled a "trend" in the new 00's popularity for Dragonball Z, and opened up a whole retail wing of "Anime Central" in their DVD/pop-culture section. The DBZ and Pokemon titles may have sold, but Vol. 2 & 3 of a lesser-known series did not, and BB found themselves with a lot of unsold product, while Target didn't even attract core fans out of the Pokemon mainstream to begin with.
Now, I'd like to emphasize that ADV Films' release of "Princess Tutu" is a pretty darn good show, just to underline the particular (feminine-health)-iness with which BB broke off their sales deal with ADV, complaining about unsold surpluses of, quote, "too many shows with Princess in the title". And once Target dropped their anime sales except for the mainstream-reliable Pokemon titles, industry analysts scribbled the writing all over the wall.

And once retail began cutting back on THOSE shelves, others followed.
Creating the vicious spiral, where Warner only began releasing Harry Potter and Batman re-dips with big boxsets and plastic collectible figures, claiming that they "couldn't sell" anything else that didn't get visible display shelf space.
I'm not really into anime, but this explains why so many local dump bins were filled with anime dvds back in the early-2010s.

I suspected these dump bin anime dvd titles which I never heard of before, was the sort of thing which only really attraced the hardcore crowd. Whoever was making/stocking all this stuff previously, must have greatly miscalculated the actual market demand for such obscure titles.
 
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Ejanss

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Whoever was making/stocking all this stuff previously, must have greatly miscalculated the actual market demand for such obscure titles
It was more a case of an industry expecting a runaway mainstream retail trend for a niche audience based on the most visible hit, and sweeping the brush to think the trend itself would hold true for every title that showed up, while the fans themselves who knew their product were getting savvier about the market system changing.
(Fans who wanted to just watch a series out of curiosity were gravitating to an Internet community of homemade "gray-market" subtitled files on BitTorrent, and then buying the disks later if they found a keeper--The popular streaming site Crunchyroll started out as an illegal bootleg site, and when they started paying money to license new-airing series legitimately, the BT files dried up and an industry was born out of the popped pig-in-a-poke Disc-license bubble.)

More to the board topic, that's also what happened to TV rerun boxsets:
They made good display fodder in mainstream big-box stores, but were too expensive for the impulse buys they were supposed to be, and for every Friends, Seinfeld and X-Files that had loyal completist fans, there were two or three current-series that didn't.
Even worse was when the industry smelled "Trend?" over vintage-classic boxsets after the novelty sale of All in the Family, but that didn't mean everyone rushed out to grab Mary Tyler Moore's S1, or even Disney's classic Muppet Show boxes.
The industry bailed on selling TV boxsets as anything but a new cable-era "life-preserver" for rerun distribution, and stores stocked them more for shelf ornamentation than for sales.

And, like anime, where were all the true niche boxset fans? Buying them online at Amazon, since you needed every 10-15% discount you could GET.
 
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MatthewA

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How many of those box sets were actually complete? Many of them were missing scenes and music. I imagine lots of people got tired of paying premium prices for sets that were not 100% complete or were poorly mastered/unrestored. Ratings then don't mean anything regarding DVD sales now. I don't have enough hands or feet to count the hit shows that struggled to sell on DVD. Some of them were even Emmy-winners. You also have outiler shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy that are still ongoing concerns despite their best days being behind them.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show got a complete set that costs now as much as season one cost when it was new, but only after Oprah begged for the Sue Ellen and Georgette years to come out at all. Fox cut as many corners as they could to maintain whatever profit margins they had. But that was a studio set. So was M*A*S*H which sold well enough without extras that they saved them for the Complete Series set. They were more invested in the latter because they actually made it. All the other now-Disney-by-proxy MTM inheritances (the two Bob Newhart shows, Rhoda, Lou Grant, WKRP, Hill Street Blues) ended up at Shout! except Remington Steele because Fox started it when there was a chance Pierce Brosnan might have continued as James Bond. They used every excuse not to finish St. Elsewhere before The Mouse got into the mix. Now they say to settle for Hulu. But it won't be there forever. Just ask The Golden Girls.

Likewise, All in the Family needed Shout! to get the post-Jeffersons years out; so did The Jeffersons for that matter for the years when George switched from racial slurs to fat jokes even though those episodes, ironically, got higher ratings when they were new. They both stalled at season 6. The "woman power" trio of Maude, OG One Day at a Time, and Mary Hartman Mary Hartman needed the box sets to get past square one. Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life got split between Sony, Shout, and Mill Creek (who only got what Sony already released), and the rest are met with refrains of either "poor sales*" or "we can't afford the music rights." The only Tandem/TAT/Embassy shows that got finished by Sony were Sanford and Son, Good Times (Janet Jackson's presence in the post-John Amos years probably was a factor there), and Married With Children, and those got Mill Creek re-releases that, ironically, restored many of the cuts and music replacements of earlier Sony sets. Funny how little ol' much-hated Mill Creek could pony up the dough for "Love and Marriage" but big ol' Sony, which is one of the major players in the music industry, would not. The Sinatra family washed their hands of the mess and blamed the publishers for wanting more money each season. Cue the "it's the 1980s or afterwards so you should have taped it" brigade. In that case, I did manage to tape most of the end of MwC before they moved it away from Sunday nights. But the cable box for some reason generated wavy lines with the Fox station that didn't change until the affiliation changed, and by that time the show was canceled for more animated shows.

Soap was also part of the Sony/Mill Creek deal and they fixed some, but not all, of the problems of the old set.

Disney and The Muppet Show: well, maybe if the 2011 movie hadn't focused so much on the humans, and if the 2014 movie hadn't been gutted in post, they would have bothered to try to clear seasons 4 and 5. There's a lot of things they could have done differently with the Muppets. And in general. The list of what they didn't release and why would double this post.

*Not because of me. I bought Silver Spoons and 227 when they came out. And I bought them at Best Buy. At least the latter managed to get majority-uncut cable reruns on TV One before they started rotating unreleased seasons on Crackle while a "shoe-bootie" will tide me over for the other until someone forks over the money for music rights clearance in perpetuity in all media like they should have done. Nobody foresaw it then, but everybody budgets it in now.
 
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mark27b

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Ratings then don't mean anything regarding DVD sales now. I don't have enough hands or feet to count the hit shows that struggled to sell on DVD. Some of them were even Emmy-winners.
Also annoying are the series that started off on Blu-Ray and DVD in the USA then switched to DVD only but other countries eg Germany and UK still had a Blu-ray release

eg
Homeland
Ray Donovan
24: Legacy
Hawaii 5-0

or where the DVD and Blu-ray are issued months apart in the USA such as DC Black Lightening where the Blu-ray and DVD was issued for the first series both on June 26, 2018. The DVD was issued for the second series on January 10, 2020 and the Blu-ray on October 27, 2020 some 10 months later by which time I had already bought the DVD as I assumed the Blu wasn't being released.
 
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John*Wells

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Same way as mine, basically-- one side was stocked with televisions, and the other was where the scant selection of discs were. I guess everyone wants instant these days, apparently.

I went to a Target in Columbia last week and noticed they had cut theirs too. That said, they still had a good amount
 

Josh Steinberg

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This is what I’ve been trying to say for a long time, to little avail. Physical media is a wonderful hobby. I enjoy it and the advent of digital hasn’t changed that. But it’s unwise to view physical media discs as an archival medium; it’s not. If the mindset behind a disc purchase is, “now that this has been bought, it will last forever and I will never have to think about it again,” that’s a recipe for disappointment.

Will all of your discs go bad in one fell swoop? That’s extremely unlikely and not a thing to be worried about. But they’re not all going to survive.

In recent years, I have switched from buying discs I had no immediate interest in watching but were onsale at a unbeatable price, to only buying discs when it is my intention to watch them nearly immediately. I prefer editions that include digital copies over ones that don’t. I take care of my stuff and expect more to last than not, but I also recognize that discs have almost no resale value and many are practically impossible to even give away, so I don’t look at it as a kind of investment that’ll one day pay off in some way. It doesn’t really change much, but I’ve moved away from collecting titles for the sake of trying to be a completist and have mostly replaced disc blind buys with digital rentals.

It’s still a very fun hobby for me, but I’ve come to understand that I’m not collecting heirlooms to be passed down for generations, I’m just entertaining myself now. And I adjust my spending accordingly. I’ve also had to reevaluate how much I watch and have stopped rebuying a lot of titles when they receive incremental upgrades. I’m sure the new Lord of the Rings 4K discs will be nice, but I’ve barely touched the Blu-rays in a decade, so maybe that’s not a good use of my resources. On the other hand, I watch Star Wars once or twice a year, so maybe that is a worthwhile purchase.

Knowing discs are finite isn’t the end for me, but it does refocus me on the here and now over “when I get time one of these days/years”.
 
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Bryan^H

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I would say so far with my 2,500 disc library i had about 5 discs that i had to throw away and most of them were the HD DVD discs.
Exactly. The error rate is miniscule for those that store their discs with care. Even those that don't store their discs with care are likely to have a good playing movie as long as they don't go out of their way to damage them.
I have had exactly 3 discs go bad out of hundreds of movie I have watched on DVD and BD. That is nothing. The sky isn't falling on "disposable discs" and those that think it is are wasting their time worrying.
 
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The Drifter

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As a DVD fan/collector since 2003, DVD rot is a very real thing. It doesn't happen often & doesn't happen to most Disks, but I do have some in my collection that have succumbed to this issue.

Scratches are another issue with DVD's, but those usually won't happen if you're very careful. That being said, this is one of the reasons I hate double-sided DVD's - i.e., they're much more likely to scratch.

Thankfully, Blu's don't seem to be as susceptible to Disk Rot, and definitely don't seem to be as susceptible to scratches.
 
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jcroy

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This is what I’ve been trying to say for a long time, to little avail. Physical media is a wonderful hobby. I enjoy it and the advent of digital hasn’t changed that. But it’s unwise to view physical media discs as an archival medium; it’s not. If the mindset behind a disc purchase is, “now that this has been bought, it will last forever and I will never have to think about it again,” that’s a recipe for disappointment.

Will all of your discs go bad in one fell swoop? That’s extremely unlikely and not a thing to be worried about. But they’re not all going to survive.
(On a tangent).

Out of all the formats/codecs which are widely available, the only one I would still consider as an "archival medium" for personal use which I can go back to in the far future, are paper books.

When it comes to music/movies, the only format/codec which I would still consider an "archival medium" for personal use which I can go back to in the far future, is playing the music on a guitar or piano and/or reciting movie quotations often enough that I can recall it many years/decades later from memory.

:drum:

;)
 

Bryan^H

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It is more likely the BD players will be the thorn in the side for disc collectors, as there are all kinds of issues regarding how specific discs are read from one player to the next. Some may freeze for a moment on one BD player, and play flawlessly on another. It is a real problem, and has been from the advent of Blu-Ray.

Of the discs that I have "gone bad" two of mine were of replication error of those particular movies (after some quick research) and one was human error, as a small scratch I made and was unaware of until I just checked recently. So I guess that doesn't even count.

The 'discs won't last argument is as real as digital content you purchased to own will be removed at some point (which I have had happen by the way, but still not paranoid about it...at least from the bigger digital "to own" services). Literally worrying about something that you shouldn't be stressing about. A non-issue if there ever was one.
 
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