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Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

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Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Old 02-18-09, 05:18 AM
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Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

George Feltenstein of Warner Home Video talks about future releases and why it takes so long to bring Golden Age gems to Blu-ray:

Link

An excerpt:

As an industry executive, however, he understands all too well the studios' quandary over whether to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars on a per title basis to remaster classic films – and that's what it costs if you need to start from "scratch" – when demographic research shows "typical" buyers could care less about the classic genre. And, Feltenstein adds, "The fact that we are in a recession-slash-depression and the world's economy is going to hell in a hand-basket doesn't help things."
Some titles and the restoration/remastering required are also discussed. However, I was shocked to see Citizen Kane won't come out until 2011 (70th Anniversary edition, I guess).
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Old 02-18-09, 06:29 AM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

This isn't surprising, since the US market seemingly lives and dies by whatever is newest, flashy and exciting. People just want whatever was in the multiplex a two months ago, no matter how terrible it was, as long as they can show off their big TV to friends. I have to shake my head whenever I see someone mention that they won't buy anything but Blu-ray now -- there's so, so, so much more to film than a gleaming, high-definition transfer. At least UK and French distribs are doing a better job at releasing older and classic movies. Now we only need to do something about region-coding once and for all.

Also, High Def Digest could use a refresher course in grammar:

"typical" buyers could care less about the classic genre.
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Old 02-18-09, 08:31 AM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

That trio, however, is just a warm-up for what Feltenstein calls a "murderer's row" of classic releases later this year that will include such AFI 100 masterpieces as 'Gone With the Wind,' 'The Wizard of Oz,' and 'North By Northwest.' Hitchcock's thriller underwent a $1 million restoration ...
That's awesome ... I just watched North by Northwest on DVD again yesterday, and was thinking it would be nice to have on Blu-ray. I hope they do it justice.
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Old 02-18-09, 08:46 AM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

I'll definitely buy several classic titles if they put them out on Blu Ray.
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Old 02-18-09, 10:20 AM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Very good read. Nice to know there are some executives out there who actually care about quality. I'd love to see more pre-80's films released on BD, and the studios aren't pumping them out at the rate I'd like.
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Old 02-18-09, 10:25 AM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Well that does not explain the DNR/EE added to releases to several mono tracks getting the lossless treatment (Being There)
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Old 02-18-09, 11:02 AM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Originally Posted by Cosmic Bus View Post
This isn't surprising, since the US market seemingly lives and dies by whatever is newest, flashy and exciting. People just want whatever was in the multiplex a two months ago, no matter how terrible it was, as long as they can show off their big TV to friends. I have to shake my head whenever I see someone mention that they won't buy anything but Blu-ray now -- there's so, so, so much more to film than a gleaming, high-definition transfer. At least UK and French distribs are doing a better job at releasing older and classic movies. Now we only need to do something about region-coding once and for all.

Also, High Def Digest could use a refresher course in grammar:



Yep, this is what happens when the most popular blu-ray player is a video game console.
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Old 02-18-09, 12:43 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

but they haven't even ported over the HD-DVD titles onto bluray:

Mutiny on the Bounty
Grand Prix
Forbidden Planet

come on...
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Old 02-18-09, 01:16 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Originally Posted by Giles View Post
but they haven't even ported over the HD-DVD titles onto bluray:

Mutiny on the Bounty
Grand Prix
Forbidden Planet

come on...
Because HD DVD owners didn't buy those titles. I can see why they're slow to release them on BD.
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Old 02-18-09, 01:21 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema View Post
Because HD DVD owners didn't buy those titles. I can see why they're slow to release them on BD.
I don't have dates, but those were released within the first year of HD DVDs life, right? How many potential customers were there compared to the 10 Million (counting PS3 obviously) on Blu-ray right now? Warner should have no problems locating a few BD25 discs to toss these on.
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Old 02-18-09, 02:29 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Just curious, but how many years did HD DVD exist to where we could buy them? But I don't get it either how Grand Prix hit HD yet they don't release it on BD. Can't they just use the same transfer?
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Old 02-18-09, 02:49 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Originally Posted by trespoochies View Post
Just curious, but how many years did HD DVD exist to where we could buy them? But I don't get it either how Grand Prix hit HD yet they don't release it on BD. Can't they just use the same transfer?

you'd think, considering that the Grand Prix HD-DVD edition got high marks/reviews.
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Old 02-18-09, 02:53 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Originally Posted by trespoochies View Post
Just curious, but how many years did HD DVD exist to where we could buy them? But I don't get it either how Grand Prix hit HD yet they don't release it on BD. Can't they just use the same transfer?
April 2006 - June 2008.
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Old 02-18-09, 03:48 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Okay, so i guess I got Grand Prix about a year into HD DVD sales. Damn was their life and death a quick one. Doesn't seem that long ago we were all hot and bothered over the format war. I guess this is a good way to keep HD DVD cycling for a while, by not releasing what's already been released in the HD DVD format.
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Old 02-18-09, 03:56 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

I'm surprised Forbidden Planet didn't sell well on HD-DVD. You'd think it would be a no brainer, at least for genre buffs/early adopters/techie types (i.e., DVD Talkers). I guess there aren't enough of us to make a dent in sales. (P.S. I've already broken an antenna off my mini-Robby )

Originally Posted by Cosmic Bus View Post
Also, High Def Digest could use a refresher course in grammar:
"typical" buyers could care less about the classic genre.
Here's how it reads now:
"typical" buyers couldn't care less about the classic genre.
Looks like someone from High Def Digest is reading this thread.

Last edited by seymouru; 02-18-09 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 02-18-09, 07:15 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

The Forbidden Planet collector's tin sold in the low hundreds, didn't it? (I bought one! ) It's no surprise that studios are proceeding cautiously. Frankly, it's fine for me—I don't even have time to watch the films I buy as it is. If they started releasing a lot of classic films I would fall even further behind.
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Old 02-18-09, 07:25 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls View Post
The Forbidden Planet collector's tin sold in the low hundreds, didn't it? (I bought one! ) It's no surprise that studios are proceeding cautiously. Frankly, it's fine for me—I don't even have time to watch the films I buy as it is. If they started releasing a lot of classic films I would fall even further behind.
I thinking they sold around 400-500 of them.
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Old 02-18-09, 07:31 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Found this over on the BR forum. Looks like these will be the films WB pushes next Holiday season.
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Old 02-18-09, 07:43 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Originally Posted by DthRdrX View Post
Found this over on the BR forum. Looks like these will be the films WB pushes next Holiday season.
Pretty sure that's old information. The only new thing I see is Heat (and it may have already been announced).
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Old 02-18-09, 07:45 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls View Post
The Forbidden Planet collector's tin sold in the low hundreds, didn't it? (I bought one! ) It's no surprise that studios are proceeding cautiously. Frankly, it's fine for me—I don't even have time to watch the films I buy as it is. If they started releasing a lot of classic films I would fall even further behind.
At one point David Vaughn posted some sales figures...and some of the "classic" Warner HD DVD exclusives sold really bad. Stuff like Forbidden Planet didn't sell a thousand copies in a year! Casablanca was a bit better then that...but I can see why Warner would rather release Steven Segal crap that would appeal to the current BD Demographic. I remember when Wolf Creek sold only a couple hundred copies...and I bought one.
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Old 02-18-09, 09:00 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls View Post
The Forbidden Planet collector's tin sold in the low hundreds, didn't it? (I bought one! )
Kind of reminds me of the Sega Dreamcast: there were some fantastic games that only managed to sell 100-200 copies total, a fair number of which probably to importers like myself.
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Old 02-18-09, 09:57 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

I think that classic films may see a lag time in reaching decent sales figures simply because the older people that are responsible for a significant percentage of those titles' overall sales numbers may be adopting Blu Ray more slowly. A lot of them think DVD is still kind of new(ish) and aren't ready to make yet another switch.

Give them another year or two and some more significant price decreases and many of them will get on board with Blu Ray and buy those classic titles. As it is now the big name classic titles should sell fairly well, but a title like Forbidden Planet won't see decent sales until 2010 or 2011.
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Old 02-18-09, 11:30 PM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Originally Posted by Walker Boh View Post
That's awesome ... I just watched North by Northwest on DVD again yesterday, and was thinking it would be nice to have on Blu-ray. I hope they do it justice.

Don't count on it and I wouldn't get too excited. It is WB we're talking about here.
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Old 02-19-09, 08:48 AM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Originally Posted by Daytripper View Post
Don't count on it and I wouldn't get too excited. It is WB we're talking about here.
Hmmm...

The fact that it IS WB that we're talking about is what makes me get excited. They have done a consistently great job with their classic releases over the last 7 or 8 years.
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Old 02-19-09, 09:18 AM
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Re: Warner VP discusses "slow release of classics" on Blu-ray

Originally Posted by B5Erik View Post
Hmmm...

The fact that it IS WB that we're talking about is what makes me get excited. They have done a consistently great job with their classic releases over the last 7 or 8 years.
Yeah, and expect to pay $60 for it since it just in a box shaped like an Airplane with some postcards, stick of gum and compass.
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