Gary OS

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My history for these films:
I saw each on tv growing up 3-4 times each.
I collected them all on VHS and Laserdisc and watched them all 3-4 times each.
I collected the flipper sets on DVD and watched them all twice
I collected the box set on DVD and watched them all once.
I was getting ready to watch them all again so now I can wait for a blu ray treat.
I track the same with my viewing history of the boys, minus Laserdiscs (which I never owned). Although I've watched the boxed set DVDs multiple times since it's release.

Gary "this is probably the best news I've heard all year" O.
 

TravisR

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I normally have a problem with Shouts pricing but this set is reasonably priced for 28 films and is likely to come down a little.
Off the top of my head, I'd say this is the best price that Shout has ever offered. The Universal Horror Collections are $70 MSRP for 4 movies and the A&C set is $170 MSRP for 28 movies. Basically, these are 1/3 of the cost of the horror titles.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Then they shouldn't complain when the number of units sold is lackluster to what they expected. Their pricing is the reason why I don't purchase as many of their releases that I would've if their pricing structure was more align to my disposable income budget. In 2019, the consumer base is spoiled and they won't spend their monies like they did during the early stages of the home video era.
I don’t think Shout is complaining - I’ve never heard a peep from anyone on their team indicating they’re disappointed. I think they hold the line on their pricing so that they can turn a profit with the diminished audience that physical media has.
 
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Robert Crawford

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I don’t think Shout is complaining - I’ve never heard a peep from anyone on their team indicating they’re disappointed. I think they hold the line on their pricing so that they can turn a profit with the diminished audience that physical media has.
I read somewhere they were disappointed in the sales numbers for some of the Lewton films. If true then pricing is one factor, at least, it was with me and I'm big disc collector.
 

John Morgan

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I am happy for the full set of Universal Abbott and Costello films. If we had only a few sets of "the best" declining sales would probably stop the series dead. Too many times, in series films and TV series, once sales start to decrease, that's it. I never thought Bud and Lou would get all their films on blu ray in one fell swoop. I think Universal must be in a good mood to license these things. This goes for VCI releasing a great deal of their serials from original nitrate materials. From the couple I have seen, they are better than anything seen before on video.
I am sure Warners is more expensive and profit driven and have more rules. I heard rumors that that most of the Val Lewton titles didn't sell very well and the companies that put them out have second thoughts about continuing. Those films should have been in a set. According to Amazon, my order for ISLE OF THE DEAD is still on track with a release date, but hitting the cover icon, it takes me to a dead page. So, I don't know if that title will be still released.
But bring on Bud and Lou. I hear that Lou kept tons of outtakes from most of his films. Some are on YouTube and in one of the Universal sets, so I hope we see more of them. I did hear that all the WC Fields film Universal owns (Universal and Paramount) were brought out of storage about a year ago. So hope for their eventual Blu ray release.
 

Robert Crawford

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I am happy for the full set of Universal Abbott and Costello films. If we had only a few sets of "the best" declining sales would probably stop the series dead. Too many times, in series films and TV series, once sales start to decrease, that's it. I never thought Bud and Lou would get all their films on blu ray in one fell swoop. I think Universal must be in a good mood to license these things. This goes for VCI releasing a great deal of their serials from original nitrate materials. From the couple I have seen, they are better than anything seen before on video.
I am sure Warners is more expensive and profit driven and have more rules. I heard rumors that that most of the Val Lewton titles didn't sell very well and the companies that put them out have second thoughts about continuing. Those films should have been in a set. According to Amazon, my order for ISLE OF THE DEAD is still on track with a release date, but hitting the cover icon, it takes me to a dead page. So, I don't know if that title will be still released.
But bring on Bud and Lou. I hear that Lou kept tons of outtakes from most of his films. Some are on YouTube and in one of the Universal sets, so I hope we see more of them. I did hear that all the WC Fields film Universal owns (Universal and Paramount) were brought out of storage about a year ago. So hope for their eventual Blu ray release.
I wouldn't count on Isle of the Dead as it was taken down from Shout! Factory's site.
 
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BobO'Link

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In my opinion, they're not overpricing their product. Rather, they are simply declining to participate in the "race to the bottom" pricing that some other companies have employed. Everybody is taking their own approach to handling a severely declining market for physical media and especially catalog titles on physical media. They're in a difficult environment because, on the one hand, people will respond affirmatively to surveys and market research and on forums saying that they're eager to purchase X title, but when that title is released, the sales numbers don't come close to matching the interest that had been hinted at.

If you lower your retail price and/or engage in sales frequently, people will no longer purchase at full price, and the money the label makes on sale pricing often results in them only breaking even, or worse. You may sell more units in the end, but what does that matter if you're selling them at a loss?

I believe Shout understands what the market is and is simply pricing their product in a way so that they can recoup their investment while keeping in mind that the number of people who want to purchase physical media is on the decline.

This is the world we're now living in. Physical media is losing its widespread support from general consumers, which means that for it to survive in any way, shape, or form, it will be a niche product, and it will need the support of enthusiasts willing to pay prices that are more than what they might have been years ago. We've gone from an age when a DVD could sell anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 or more copies, to an era where Blu-ray catalog titles are selling substantially fewer copies - maybe a couple thousand for some titles, maybe only a few hundred or less for others. The general public isn't subsidizing this niche anymore by purchasing huge number of copies. The only way it survives is if the people who say they prefer physical media support it by paying for it.

If this doesn't sell well, I guarantee that the folks at Shout won't have a meeting and conclude, "We overpriced the disc and we need to drop the price." Rather, they will conclude that there was no longer a market for this title on physical media.
I respectfully disagree. Shout! has *always* overpriced their product or, if you like, priced it at the upper limit of what people are willing to pay. The decline of physical media seemingly has nothing to do with pricing where Shout! is concerned. I have some of their output I purchased at "closeout prices" which cost what most other distributors were charging during "normal" sales. Generally, "sale" prices from them are in line with almost every other distributor's regular price for similar product. That's been the case from their first release 'til now. I think they know their product is overpriced and just don't care. Look at their recent 4 movie collections of lesser Universal Horror films for evidence. Those are easily 25%-50% more expensive than they should be considering the films involved. Their pre-order price for the A&C set is, IMHO, at the upper limit of what the true MSRP for this product should be. Had it come from Universal I firmly believe it'd have had a MSRP at that price, if not less, and certainly much less by release date.

Using the "Universal Monster's" box set as example - its MSRP is $150 and is typically sold in the $90-$100 range. That's for 30 restored movies. Shout! has a MSRP of $170 slapped on this collection of 28 movies with a pre-order price of $136. That's for a collection that, IMHO, has a much wider appeal than do the Universal Monsters (and I'm a *huge* fan of the monster movies). To me, that says "We think you'll pay more and more people will be interested so we're charging more." That seems to be their modus operandi for "high profile" and/or much sought after catalog titles.

I doubt that anyone at Shout! feels they overprice things or take the price into consideration as a factor with low selling titles. If they do, it sure doesn't show in their pricing structure.

When it comes right down to it I just don't understand why Universal didn't do this release themselves (or the 4 disc horror collections and others).

In spite of all that, I know I'll purchase this set at some point as I really want these films on BR - as long as the transfers are true upgrades (the biggest consideration for my earlier "wait and see..." comment). It just won't be directly from Shout! as I fully expect Amazon, DD, and others to have a better price.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Using the "Universal Monster's" box set as example - its MSRP is $150 and is typically sold in the $90-$100 range. That's for 30 restored movies. Shout! has a MSRP of $170 slapped on this collection of 28 movies with a pre-order price of $136.
I'm not sure that's an apples to apples comparison, but I do take your point.

With the Universal Monsters box, Universal released that themselves. They had completed the transfers over the years, and there was a lot of redundancy between the sets. They also had multiple ways to monetize it - from the single releases for the highest profile titles in the set, and then from the mini-sets for individual monsters which were released first. They also retain theatrical rights and streaming rights and cable/television rights, so they're able to make the money back on the investment of transferring those films and remastering them in HD from multiple revenue streams. They also own the rights in perpetuity, so they have all the time in the world to recoup the investment. So, they can afford to offer it at a lower price knowing that it's not the only way they can make their money from it.

Shout Factory is a mere licensee. They have the physical media rights for these particular titles. They almost certainly don't have streaming rights or cable/broadcast rights, and they almost certainly don't have a license in perpetuity. So, they have a license for these films which they can only sell in one format, and for which there is a ticking time clock on how they long they have to make their money back.

I'm not saying that one approach is better than the other, but I think you can chalk up the price difference between the two sets to the differing circumstances under which they were released.
 

Randy Korstick

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I don’t think Shout is complaining - I’ve never heard a peep from anyone on their team indicating they’re disappointed. I think they hold the line on their pricing so that they can turn a profit with the diminished audience that physical media has.
They did recently post on FB a complaint about a Val Lewton title : The Body Snatcher" and a couple others I forgot having very disappointing sales. I get what your saying about their pricing in a dying market but I don't think that is their reasoning for it since they have always had this high pricing even back when DVD and Blu Ray were at their peak. I think its just a case of that's their pricing model and their sticking with it. Similar to TT but the only difference is a couple years back TT started having sales to move inventory and titles could be found for more accessible pricing of $9.99 and $14.99. Shout has sales but its rare to ever find one of their titles for less than $19.99 usually they are a few dollars more on amazon. So that makes a lot of titles I want from them on the wait list for a long time and some 70 minute b & w titles like the Lewton titles or Lugosi's Return of the Vampire I just won't buy at that price.
 

RICK BOND

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I hope Shout releases the Universal six movie series .... The Inner Sanctum (1943-1945) starring Lon Chaney. I would Love to see these released on Bluray. It would be just a 2 disc set ! Please Shout. Also... The Black Castle (1952) Universal. Great cast ! One of my favorites.
 

Radioman970

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is there a hack to like that 400 times for just me?

so glad I waited. so glad so glad!!! can't wait. Now if the Uni Monsters complete set on blu will drop back down to it's historical low and get it too and replace my smaller set.

good times ahead!!!!!!!
 
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Astairefan

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I'm not sure that's an apples to apples comparison, but I do take your point.

With the Universal Monsters box, Universal released that themselves. They had completed the transfers over the years, and there was a lot of redundancy between the sets. They also had multiple ways to monetize it - from the single releases for the highest profile titles in the set, and then from the mini-sets for individual monsters which were released first. They also retain theatrical rights and streaming rights and cable/television rights, so they're able to make the money back on the investment of transferring those films and remastering them in HD from multiple revenue streams. They also own the rights in perpetuity, so they have all the time in the world to recoup the investment. So, they can afford to offer it at a lower price knowing that it's not the only way they can make their money from it.

Shout Factory is a mere licensee. They have the physical media rights for these particular titles. They almost certainly don't have streaming rights or cable/broadcast rights, and they almost certainly don't have a license in perpetuity. So, they have a license for these films which they can only sell in one format, and for which there is a ticking time clock on how they long they have to make their money back.

I'm not saying that one approach is better than the other, but I think you can chalk up the price difference between the two sets to the differing circumstances under which they were released.
While I agree with a lot of what you said, I think there is at least one more factor to be considered: when Universal released that complete Universal Monsters box set last year, EVERYTHING in it was already available (well, technically, they were releasing the last two legacy collections at the same time, but still, everything was available). I think that alone affected the price. This new A & C set has 4 previously released titles and 24 new-to-blu titles. I think there is a huge difference between repackaging something previously available and putting together a set with MANY previously unreleased-on-the-format titles. I mean, when are most complete series sets cheaper upon being released? When everything in them has been released, or when a sizable fraction are seeing their format debut in that set? Either way, I think, for that reason alone, Universal was HIGHLY unlikely to ever release a set like this themselves, not without getting everything in it out first, either through multi-film sets or individual releases (and, as others have noted, that would depend on whether sales ultimately justify more being released, and Universal has already proved unwilling to release any more of their non-monster films).
 

timk1041

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I really hope sales are great, for it may pave the way for future collections, such as W.C.Fields, Mae West, or even Woody Woodpecker.
Yes..dare I say Deanna Durbin? Well..... I guess that's a long shot at best. I don't suppose they would even consider Gloria Jean or the Andrews Sisters either. Although I believe possibly many of their titles went into public domain and Universal doesn't even own the rights.
 

timk1041

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It will be interesting to see if this collection is packaged like the complete DVD collection. Will the booklet be identical? Will there be more artwork and poster reproductions on all the films? What about the title and closing cards for "One Night In The Tropics"? The VHS had the original ones, while the DVD had substitute ones.
 
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