Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > DVD Discussions > DVD Talk
Reload this Page >

20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

DVD Talk Talk about DVDs and Movies on DVD including Covers and Cases

20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

Old 03-14-09, 12:28 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: USDA Zone 6a
Posts: 1,720
20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

...all in an attempt to boost retail sales - lame.

As reported in Video Business:


-- Fox differentiates sales, rental DVDs by added-value

-- Slumdog Millionaire, Marley & Me first titles under new strategy

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, in an effort to invigorate slack DVD sales, is creating two classes of discs: premium versions with added-value material such as digital copy for the sell-through market and stripped-down offerings for rental.

Starting with March 31 releases Marley & Me and Best Picture Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire, wholesalers will be “authorized to sell rental accounts only the rental SKUs and to sell retail accounts only the retail SKUs,” according to a letter sent to accounts by Fox senior VP of sales Don Jeffries and obtained by VB. Fox will impose the same restrictions on direct accounts, according to the letter.

The rental DVD of Slumdog, for instance, carries only the movie and trailers, but the retail DVD also has special features including deleted scenes and commentaries. The rental Blu-ray Disc does have the bonus features, but the retail Blu-ray adds digital copy.

There are variations by title, however. Marley & Me, for example, has special features on both the retail and rental DVDs. The Marley Blu-ray also carries bonus features, but the retail Blu-ray is a combo pack with a DVD movie and digital copy.

Other titles being released under the new strategy are The Day the Earth Stood Still, due in stores April 7 (prebook March 11); The Wrestler and Notorious on April 21 (prebook March 25); and Bride Wars, April 28 (prebook April 1).

Fox confirmed the strategy in a statement but did not provide details.

“We have developed product variations to feed different consumer consumption models and behaviors,” the statement said. “For rental customers, we’re delivering a theatrical experience in the home while promoting upcoming releases; for retail [or sell-through] customers, we’re offering a premium product that expands the entertainment experience of that particular property to further enhance ownership.”

Fox will allow rental retailers to purchase retail copies for sale, but only in amounts that are consistent with the account’s sales history on similar titles.

The previously-viewed DVDs often sold by rental retailers would presumably be the bare bones versions, creating a value distinction between new and used product.

Fox’s ability to enforce its terms is limited, however, by the First Sale Doctrine, which gives retailers the right to rent any legally purchased copies.

Distributors and retailers contacted by VB said they understand Fox’s desire to add value to retail product and drive consumer sales, particularly given the current economic challenges and DVD’s falling sales industrywide, but many are not happy with the move.

Wholesalers lamented that they can’t prevent retailers from buying a premium sell-through version of Slumdog elsewhere, for example at Wal-Mart, and turning around and renting it to their customers.

“Distribution is now in the position of being the cop, and I don’t like being in that position,” said one wholesaler source. “Distribution is mad as hell. The video store owners aren't supposed to buy [sell-through] versions from us, but they’ll go buy it elsewhere.”

Some stores, such as Seattle’s Scarecrow Video, are already planning to creatively get around Fox's rules.

The store will bring in 30 rental DVD copies of Slumdog from its distributor and go to another store to buy at least one of the bonus-filled sell-through DVD versions, which it will keep on the shelf for rental long after it sells off as used most of the designated rental copies. The outlet plans to do the same thing for Wrestler.

Mainly, Scarecrow is worried about annoying customers, who might wrongly assume they’ll get bonus features with the rental Slumdog and Wrestler standard DVDs.

“Can you imagine explaining this to all of your customers?” Scarecrow buyer Mark Steiner asked. “People will think when they rent, it should have everything on it. And why shouldn’t it? This is just silly, and consumers aren’t going to be happy.”

Most of the Video Buyers Group’s 1,800 indie rentailers will likely follow Fox's rules, VBG president Ted Engen said.

“We understand the plight of studios trying to add value to the sell-through side,” Engen said. “And I’m under the impression we’ll be able to get all the sell-through and the rental copies we’ll need.”

Yet, it will be impossible to completely stem the flow of retail copies to rental, Engen acknowledged.

“There’s no question that some rentailers will go and buy from Wal-Mart and rent out the copies, and you can’t stop that,” added Engen. “But it’s not going to be that big of an issue as people think. The main thing is that studios have to add value to get customers to buy, and they aren’t buying. Numbers have been falling through the floor.”
Doctor Gonzo is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 12:30 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Boba Fett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 6,087
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

That's gonna hurt rental re-sale.
Boba Fett is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 12:50 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DJariya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Palma, CA
Posts: 56,266
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

That's fine with me. You figure that most people who rent DVD's only care about the movie and then return it. My local Mom and Pop store doesn't even rent out the 2nd disc of 2-disc special editions anymore because he knows that most of his customers don't give a shit about the extras when renting a movie.

How many of you have actually watched the movie and attempted to watch every single bonus feature on a rental including a commentary track? Probably not unless the movie was so damn good, then your going to want to buy it to watch the bonus material.
DJariya is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 12:59 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Maxflier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 11,777
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

Seems like a smart business move for them.
Maxflier is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 01:00 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Torchur317's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Shelbyville, Indiana
Posts: 3,385
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
That's fine with me.
I guess you don't buy used DVDs from blockbuster or family video?
I'm not happy about this at all....
Torchur317 is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 01:05 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 955
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

Originally Posted by Torchur317 View Post
I guess you don't buy used DVDs from blockbuster or family video?
I'm not happy about this at all....
The idea is fine with me also... maybe because I don't buy used DVDs... but most any DVD will eventually drop to a low price point that's close to, if not the same price as a used. Just might have to wait a little longer to get the title though...
shyguy1083 is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 01:08 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DJariya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Palma, CA
Posts: 56,266
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

You can buy a New Copy of a movie 6 months to 1 year old for $9.99 or less these days which is the same price you would pay for a Used copy at Blockbuster.
DJariya is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 01:53 AM
  #8  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 134
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

For rental customers, we’re delivering a theatrical experience in the home
So I guess they won't be mad opening week if people say "Fuck going to the theater! We can get the same experience if we wait and it will cost less too."?

I don't think they should do this but between not buying Fox DVDs much, waiting until most DVDs I buy period are on sale, and being very cautious with the few Fox DVDs I buy because they love to double dip, this won't really effect me. I'm not going to get mad about it but I think it's stupid.

And I really have to question if this would deter people buying rental versions anyway. Depending on what the special features are I sometimes like them and I know there are tons of people that absolutely do. But for countless movies where they've put out barebones and special editions at the same time I've still seen a lot of people happy with buying barebones copies. In a way this might be good for people that don't care about special features because perhaps these rental copies will be sold for significantly less since there's nothing "special" about them.
Doctor Zoidberg is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 02:10 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 430
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

I'm ok with this. I have Netflix and if I like the movie I'll buy it, if I don't then I don't care about how they made it. Hopefully this will encourage better special features to entice renters to go out and buy the movie.
Elpresidentepez is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 02:53 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
tylergfoster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,540
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

I don't like it because I buy used DVDs from Hollywood Video. It only takes a month for them to show up on the used racks, and there's almost always a deal of some sort going that will knock it down to $10 or less apiece if you buy a couple titles.
tylergfoster is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 03:27 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Sitting on a beach, earning 20%
Posts: 9,917
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

I don't mind, and this has been common practice in every country outside North America for years now.
DonnachaOne is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 03:36 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 627
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

Isn't Fox sort of already doing this with their almost featureless 1 disc versions and feature-packed (hah!) 2 disc versions (where the 2nd disc is just a shitty digital copy)? I'm sure the rental places are only buying the 1-disc versions now.
SPRBD is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 03:40 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Sacramento, Calif.
Posts: 13,526
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

I wouldn't chalk this up as a huge loss. It's not like Fox has made a worthwhile film in awhile, anyway. I think the last one I saw and liked was The Simpsons Movie (unless you count The Wrestler, which was Fox Searchlight).

But seriously, it seems like a logical marketing tactic. People aren't buying DVDs like they used to.
My Other Self is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 03:48 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Legend
 
JeffTheAlpaca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: CA
Posts: 11,983
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

How many of you have actually watched the movie and attempted to watch every single bonus feature on a rental including a commentary track?
I watch almost all the features except for commentary.

it gives you the full experience and you don't have to buy the dvd.

I have not seen Slumdog but I was looking forward to seeing any music videos or behind the scenes footage when it becomes available for rent.


This decision sucks.
JeffTheAlpaca is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 03:49 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Sacramento, Calif.
Posts: 13,526
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

Slumdog is WB so you're fine.
My Other Self is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 03:51 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DJariya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Palma, CA
Posts: 56,266
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

Originally Posted by mcfly View Post
Slumdog is WB so you're fine.
WB? The article says it's being released by FOX. Also it's a FOX Searchlight movie.
DJariya is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 04:06 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Sacramento, Calif.
Posts: 13,526
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
WB? The article says it's being released by FOX. Also it's a FOX Searchlight movie.
Yeah I Just looked. Warner Limited produced it, Fox is distributing it on video. Did not know that. My bad.
My Other Self is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 06:33 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 7,602
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

$100 says the rental versions will still have the forced trailers and other crap at the beginning.
rw2516 is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 06:36 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Sacramento, Calif.
Posts: 13,526
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
$100 says the rental versions will still have the forced trailers and other crap at the beginning.
Of course they will. Still need to advertise.
My Other Self is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 06:51 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,238
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

Awesome news! It's about time
LosingMyMind is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 08:16 AM
  #21  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 173
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

I'm a sucker for the bonus features. I usually watch them all on everything, unless I totally hated the movie, so this sucks for me. However, the article said this won't affect Blu-Ray (yet), so it shouldn't cause me too many problems.
JakeNeff is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 08:39 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
xfilekr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Johnstown, PA
Posts: 1,891
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

My issue is the 'used' market. Will they be listed differently on amazon marketplace for example? Will I know I'm buying a used 'featureless' dvd instead of just a regular used one?
xfilekr is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 09:03 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Pizza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,126
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

Originally Posted by xfilekr View Post
My issue is the 'used' market. Will they be listed differently on amazon marketplace for example? Will I know I'm buying a used 'featureless' dvd instead of just a regular used one?
You make a good point but that's not Fox's concern since they don't make a dime from resale. I believe you got every right to be fearful of the used market also not being concerned at properly labeling their product. I'd imagine some sellers won't even realize there's a difference while others won't care.

I would think this would cost Fox some extra cash to produce two different DVDs per release and i don't believe it will increase sales. You're dealing with two different groups of consumers. I'd imagine the majority of the rental public (I'm not one) won't give two cents if they don't get the extras.

If Fox really wants to bolster sales, lower the price. Quite frankly, the real issue here is the studios don't like the resale of the rentals. I imagine those who buy rentals won't be happy but will still want the bargain price of used DVDs.
Pizza is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 09:08 AM
  #24  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: knoxville, tn
Posts: 1,600
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

Eh, I skip pretty much all the extra features these days anyway. I'm not going to miss what I wouldn't watch otherwise.
canaryfarmer is offline  
Old 03-14-09, 10:05 AM
  #25  
Challenge Guru & Comic Nerd
 
Trevor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: spiritually, Minnesota
Posts: 34,724
Re: 20th Century Fox to cut bonus features from rental DVDs

I don't understand the need or financial savings of making two different versions of a one disc release.

I understand only releasing disc 1 of a multiple disc release to the rental market, but why manufacture an entirely different disc 1?
Trevor is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.