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Who determines DVD releases? (and why)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald G, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Ronald G

    Ronald G Extra

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    I ask this partly in jest but also in seriousnes as well. For instance 2 movies that I love and haven't seen since I switched over to DVD in 1998 are "The Brinks Job" and "The Friends of Eddie Coyle." Both these movies have good reviews, good direction and stellar cast. Yet with hundreds older movies being released every week, most of it being drek, why haven't these two examples seen the light of digital day? Some older movies have been released and voila, re-released with new sound and picture elements. Who decides? What is the criteria (other than money? Sometimes it seems a newer version has to be just about released when the old film makes its DVD arrival (King Kong anyone?). Anyway, just venting, feel free to add your 2 cents.
     
  2. Jake Yenor

    Jake Yenor Stunt Coordinator

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    Money + Demand. If there is demand for the film and if they think they can make money on it then it will be released. It's all business and money making in the end.
     
  3. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    You see, they put all the titles into a hat, mix them around, and then re-release a popular comedy except this time with a lame cheesy edition title tacked on.

    Seriously, it's all money. But sometimes you'll get some really weird choices.
     
  4. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    I often wonder about this.

    As I understand, an important factor is how well the title sold on VHS. However, what if the film was never released on VHS?

    Take Wyler's Detective Story as an example. Why was that released? Is Kirk Douglas back in fashion?

    Or was it because they found the film elements to be in good condition, realised it had never been released on home video, so decided to make amends for a lost opportunity?

    Sometimes I think it is some very smart people with business degrees just taking moderately educated guesses, without having any greater insight than any other fan of classic film.
     
  5. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    Look at paramount, WARNING SHOT, HELLO DOWN THERE was never released on VHS, but they released it on DVD, while they do nothing with other MIA on video titles in their library like FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE, THE OUTSIDER, BLUE WATER WHITE DEATH or SKIDOO. Why, did David Janssen became more interesting than Robert Mitchum that month, or a very obscure Tony Randall comedy was more fashionable than a major Jackie Gleason cult title? Sometimes the mind boggles.
     
  6. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    I can't wait to see Skidoo. I'm a big fan of 60s Preminger, but that is Preminger in normal world. Preminger in bizaro land must be worth seeing! Well at least once perhaps? :-D
     
  7. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    Too bad they don't release titles based on how many responses they get in threads on this forum.
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    As opposed to what? Marketing firms base their decisions on many aspects. I'm sure fans have a lot to do with it, but there are too many other factors that also fill that equation.

    As was mentioned, the bottom line is business and not film appreciation.

    I can guarantee you that there are a lot of people here who think they'd be a great judge of what would sell well on DVD, and I bet a lot of them would be financially wrong.

    You see, the equation isn't always:
    Great movie = great sales.

    it's more like:
    Great interest = great sales.
     
  9. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    Studios need to be willing to do some sort of Rhino Handmade limited edition where they make just enough to fill a demand.
     
  10. ted:r

    ted:r Second Unit

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    I know I probably would be. But heck, we're film fans here, trying to justify the marketing of our faves, not marketing fans (is there such a creature?) looking for what makes a buck.
     
  11. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    I'd love to know a little more about the process as well.
    Some of the choices are incomprehensible to me as well. Anchor Bay and Image have made a living releasing the types of movies that studios shun. I would love to know whether
    they attempt to use any numbers when they make decisions.
     
  12. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    They let Bingo the Chimp pick the titles out of a barrel. The best classics and cult favorites are usually residing on the bottom of that barrel (no offense to Warner, but I honestly used to believe that, several years ago. However, I LOVE this studio and in the past few years they've truly become my #1 studio!) [​IMG]

    Seriously now - it doesn't always make sense to me. I understand that the main focus has to be on what will sell the most, and presumably this might be gauged on past sales of VHS tapes. But this is not a gurantee either. I recall many years back where I desperately wanted all 83 episodes of LOST IN SPACE to come out on videotape. Well, Fox decided to release the first 7 or 8 episodes to "test the waters," I'd guess. But they weren't really gauging anything, as myself (and other LIS fans I spoke with) refused to buy ANY of the first several VHS tapes unless they could get the entire series. So there, the studio logic didn't work and they didn't get an accurate read on what would sell.
     
  13. Mark Philp

    Mark Philp Second Unit

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    My gripe is that the studios tie up their production facilities releasing the same movies again and again because they know the their are folks who will double/triple/quadruple dip anytime the studios claim the new editions have "six newly found frames never seen before".
     
  14. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    I look at this two ways: if you release a film often enough, and it is put on at promo prices, then sure it will eventually turn out to be a success!

    Alternatively, the REASON certain titles are reissued often is because they are "safe", the people who make the decisions don't see e.g. The Sound of Music as much of a risk as a "release project", and there for the people who make the decisions are assured that the release will be at least a moderate success.
     
  15. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    I'm not sure that they are safe. It's interesting as the number of SEs go up, sales of movies on dvd have plummeted.
    The only thing that is up is tv which has done much less double, triple, or quadruple dipping.
     
  16. David Stanley

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    I agree. My purchase rate has dropped drastically since SE and TV mania has taken over the market. When the studios get back to getting their catalog titles out, I will start buying again. (For the record I'm at about 1500 titles in my collection)
     

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