How to sell high-def
Even with fanboys, who buy every movie they can simply to support their format of choice, several high-profile library releases have barely made a dent in high-def sales. I believe this comes from the fact that most consumers don’t want to repurchase movies they already own on DVD.
This week I got my hands on Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Blu-ray Disc) and Blade Runner (HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc). They were both so impressive. I was saying to myself, “This is how to double-dip.” Not to say these recent versions sold gangbusters, but they certainly give us an idea of what a next-generation release should look like.
I was very disappointed with Goodfellas, a Scorcese staple and a defining gangster film. It got a sub-par transfer and practically nothing in the way of features, and especially nothing new. These other films got great packaging, piles of extras and several versions of the film along with top-notch transfers. This is certainly the way to represent an older film.
I should add the Star Trek: Season 1 (HD DVD) box set. Although it was priced out of the atmosphere, the treatment it received earned the price of admission. Completely remastered with new special effects and loads of features, even coming with a phaser gun, it is the standard for a box-set.
However, nothing beats the deal that Warner achieved with Blade Runner coming in at $27.95 on Amazon with five versions of the film, two documentaries and dozens of other special features. It’s the same price as single disc movies and comes with five! This Ridley Scott classic is surely the deal of the decade.
If as much care was placed into every library title, I believe more people would clearly see the benefits of high-def movies. It is the best version of your favorite film ever. Best picture, best audio, best features, best packaging. You can’t go wrong with that. Kudos to the studios that truly care!