What happened to Weinstein?

What happened to Weinstein?

It occurred to me that a certain company involved in the HD DVD camp has been suspiciously quiet lately. The Weinstein Company is this company. They were one of the two exclusive Hollywood studios to support the HD DVD format before Paramount/DreamWorks dropped their support of Blu-ray (Universal is the other exclusive). But what happened to them?

I checked the website HDDVDstats.com and found the last release on HD DVD by the studio was on 12 June, more than three months back. In the meantime, Weinstein has released several high-profile movies on DVD, including 1408 out this week. It’s interesting to note that they are putting out Hard Boiled included on the upcoming Playstation 3 game, John Woo’s Stanglehold (not included on the Xbox 360 version).

The Weinstein Company logoEarly this year a few titles from Weinstein on HD DVD had playback issues with players blamed on some added DRM. Other studios have postponed releases due to DRM issues as well, most notable Fox on the Blu-ray side who had not released anything between May and this week citing problems implementing BD+ security.

Some people have brushed the absence of Weinstein off citing Fox and MGM’s six-month dulldrum. However, Fox and MGM remained active in promoting the format and was very vocal in expressing their support of the format while Weinstein has been utterly quiet.

I’m not one to speculate about why they haven’t made an appearance, and I most certainly don’t want to feed the fanboy trolls claiming Weinstein is looking to Blu-ray. It could very well be they’re finding the market is just too small for a company of their size to turn any profit (looking at Paramount’s sales where they sold all off 500 of a certain title gives this some weight), and that would have to be my initial guess. However, I’m just curious about why they’ve done this.

Does anyone have any ideas?

About Steven Kippel

Steven Kippel has worked as a systems designer for a leading high-end audio/video custom integrator in Southern California since 2003. He is responsible for researching new technologies and integrating them into existing systems and new construction projects. He has designed several high-profile systems for discriminating clients on the cutting-edge of technology. When he is not hard at work, Steven is spending time with his wife, playing with his band or promoting concerts and bands in the Inland Empire. His favorite bands include The Cure, U2, Eisley, Living Sacrifice and DragonForce.

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4 Comments on “What happened to Weinstein?”

  1. I had an email into Weinstein about 4 months ago, but they failed to respond to my questions.

    On another note, all this speculation about HD releases being “unprofitable” could be completely BS. FirstLook studios recently released “The Contract” straight to home video (DVD and HD DVD). The HD DVD even included PiP commentary and other exclusive HD DVD special features.

    After the release, FirstLook claimed that they made all their money back from the HD DVD release and were very pleased with the results. With a low profile title like that making money on HD DVD, I’m sure most other titles are making money as well.

  2. Here’s the article that talks about First Look’s first HD DVD release, The Contract.
    http://www.videobusiness.com/article/CA6465211.html

    From this article:

    He said First Look also is pleased it has already made all its money back in its investment on HD DVD. Wilson did not break out standard-definition and HD DVD results on Contract.

    “The HD DVD more than broke even,” he said. “It cost extra money to author [than standard-def.] And in my measurement, that is good.”

  3. I double checked my emails and it was 3 months ago that I contacted Weinstein, not 4. Regardless, I’ve sent them another email today to see if they can give me a statement on their current high definition format stance.

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