Why are some series so expensive?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Chris Bardon, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Is there something incredibly complicated about releasing particular series on DVD that isn't immediately obvious? I was trying to figure out why I just had to pay $80 for Season 5 of the Sopranos, where I was able to get the fourth season of the West Wing (24 episodes vs the Sopranos 13) for $55. I can't see mastering or production costs being that different for these two series, and I don't think we can argue that either of these series qualifies as "unsuccessful", so why the huge price difference?

    I thought there might be some hope since the fourth season of Oz had 16 episodes for $50, but I notice that season 5 is the same price for only 8 (the same as seasons 1-3).
     
  2. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    A lot of people say that because HBO doesn't have syndication and advertising revenue, they have to make money back by charging so much.

    I would think they would make a lot more money if they lowered the price, even in half. That way more people would buy them.

    As they are now, as much as I love THE SOPRANOS, I only bought the first season (since I missed a few episodes, and it was before I was with Netflix where I could rent them). I've never bought any of the follow up seasons, even though I like them more than a lot of the TV shows I have bought the box sets for.
     
  3. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    some companies feel like milking the fans for every cent they have. Others would rather sell to a wider audience. Paramount knows they have X-amount of Trekkies who would spend $150 for their DVD's even tho if they charged $59.99 or so, they could hook in new generations of Trekkies who don't wanna blindly spend $1000 for a series.
     
  4. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    ^ Jay, and therein lies the problem with Paramount as a whole. Fox released 24 Season 1 shortly before the second year premiered. 24 and Enterprise debuted together in 2001. Which one is now off the air and which one is sitting pretty for at least another two seasons?

    Paramount isn't even close to being on the ball with current shows. If you sold each set for $50, $60 even and released Enterprise Season 1 back during the summer of 2002 (before S2), then they could have hooked in more people to watch the show, brining ratings up and it could still be on the air.

    Someone dropped the ball big time on this one. Even Fox reduced the price on their X Files sets. It's insane to see Trek standing out at $100 or more a pop and something like 7 episodes of Farscape retailing for under $20.
     
  5. John*Wells

    John*Wells Stunt Coordinator

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    I love Star Trek but I have a serious problem Paying $110.99 at Besy Buy for season 1 and $99.99 a piece for the other 2

    I never really caught on with TNG or any of the others although I have tried to get interested in them.
     
  6. Jonathan_Clarke

    Jonathan_Clarke Second Unit

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    Price is a HUGE factor. I stopped with the X Files sets at season 5. Then they dropped the price and I bought S6. Best Buy has a sale for $50 so I just bought S7. I may even go back for S8 before the sale ends!

    Meanwhile I'm watching Deep Space Nine on Netflix. I'd love to own it but I just can't justify the cost.
     
  7. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    It's been a long time since an HBO or Paramount TV box has found its way to my shelf.

    I'm just glad that I was able to get the complete original Trek for under $200 at Costco. I'd be really ticked off if I had to try and justify paying the usual prices for that (more likely, I wouldn't have bought it at all).
     
  8. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    It's about what the market will bear. For some products, the studio figures that they can sell a million copies at $100 versus one and a half million at $50. If they can, then that is what they should charge, from a sales perspective - their goal isn't to get a set into as many homes as possible, but to make the largest profit they can.
     
  9. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Re: Paramount

    While Paramount's pricing on the Star Trek series is "out of this world," they do have some titles with more down-to-earth prices. I was able to pick up both seasons of The Andy Griffith Show for under $30 each and, thanks to a $15 Paramount mail-in rebate in Andy Grffith, Season 2, I'm able to get Cheers, season 1 for under $10. I've seen MacGyver reasonably priced as well, along with a few other Paramount titles. I suspect that Paramount may eventually follow the path that Fox has taken with their price reduction on the X-Files. By the way, A&E is another company with mostly overpriced titles.
     
  10. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Exactly[​IMG] Paramount must be selling Star Trek and HBO must be selling nearly everything if they continue to sell it at the same price.

    Despite current sale prices, The X-Files sets aren't really that cheap. The MSRP is at $100 (the same as HBO prices). Granted, they used to cost $150 MSRP but it's still $100 while other Fox stuff is $70 MSRP (at the absolute highest).
     
  11. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Bob, I was thinking the same thing. Paramount is a mixed bag. Yes, the Star Trek sets are way off the charts, price wise. But then you have sets like TAGS, I Love Lucy, Hogan's Heroes, and others that are priced very inexpensively.

    And you are also dead on about A&E. They are the true king of overpricing, IMHO.

    Gary "a person can pick up TAGS Season 1 for $20 right now at DDD with the coupon codes working this week" O.
     
  12. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Aside from Trek, Paramount's TV pricing is very inexpensive... (well, I think CSI streets for around $65... that one could be lower).

    Inexpensive TV titles from Paramount / CBS include:
    The Andy Griffith Show
    Charmed
    Cheers
    Frasier
    Happy Days
    Have Gun Will Travel
    Joan of Arcadia
    Laverne and Shirley
    MacGyver
    Mork and Mindy

    ... among others. So, Star Trek is pretty much the exception, not the rule for Paramount.

    Jason expressed the pricing strategy perfectly.

    Much as I'd like Star Trek prices to be lower, they are evidently at the price point that maximizes profit for the studio. It's business.

    My guess (and it is only a guess) is that after all the Trek series have been released, and after they play around with a few boxed sets (a la the Picard set), that the prices will eventually be dropped.

    -Scott
     
  13. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    IIRC, CSI is like $89.99 itself, definately not a cheapie
     
  14. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    So, I guess this means that all of the Trekkies are very rich?

    How can a studio know that overpricing these will bring in the maximum? If they went down to $100 (MSRP) how many more people would get them?

    Glenn
     
  15. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    He said "street" price vs. list price. Anyone who pays full list is either foolish or has enough money that they don't care about prices.

    And as Jason says, manufacturers price their products as high as they think the market will bear and still move product. You paid the $80 for "The Sopranos" so apparently it's a product you feel is worth paying that price for. If people didn't pay $80, they'd drop it to a lower price point.

    I also think there's some prestige/ego factor in there. HBO probably feels it has a superior product for which people should be willing to pay more. BBC Video does the same thing.
     
  16. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    The list price of The Sopranos Season 5 is $100, but I've seen it priced for as low as $61, which means that the wholesale price must be about $50.
     
  17. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    I am not a Trekkie, but I hate Paramount's assumption on that. I know friends who are Trekkies and they aren't loaded. Paramount thinks Trekkie's only like ONE SHOW: Trek. The Trekkie I know ALSO buys X-Files, Buffy/Angel, Sex And The City, I Love Lucy, Roswell and others... yet Paramount thinks Trek fans like one show and only one show, and that is not the case. They charge the DVD's so high that some Trek fans can't buy other series
     
  18. SteveVM

    SteveVM Stunt Coordinator

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    I got all 5 seasons of the Sopranos for $280 last week at Best Buy. They had them all on sale and if you bought all 5 you got an extra $100 off. Plus I am a reward zone member with them and will be getting a $10 gift card for my purchase. That was a pretty good deal. I would have never bought them unless there was a good deal like this one.
     
  19. MarkBrumfield

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    I wouldn't mind getting Highway to Heaven, but is season one really going for $90 at some places, like my dad said as he saw it at Best Buy??? Helloooo!
     
  20. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

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    Not $90, but I remember seeing it somewhere in the $50 range. Way too expensive for that show, IMHO. Should be priced somewhere around $30-$35 at a discount store. In the MacGuyver range, which is a great deal. I can't see how Highway to Heaven will sell enough copies to profit and complete the series. Oh well.
     

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