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Studios To Separate DVD Purchase and Rental Release Dates?

It bothers me that it's always someone else's fault when DVD sales are down. Piracy, rental companies, and recession - studios blame everyone and everything except the movie itself. They can ignore the fact that many movies are just not worth owning but eventually they will be forced to understand that if you deliver a poor product then no one is going to want to buy it - Economics 101.

I don't think this new plan will work in the long run to increase sales. Land of the Lost, Aliens in the Attic and The Invention of Lying are rentals - period! Not making them available to rent for another 4 weeks isn't going to affect their sales numbers one little bit. People aren't going to think, "Well heck, I can't rent it; might as well waste spend $20 and buy it now." I think what studios need to focus on is spending and investing their money more wisely.

Let me give you an investment scenario - I want you to give me $10 and in 6 months to 1 year I might give you back $11 or you could only get $5 back. Would you make an investment like that? Of course not, but that's what studios do on a consistent basis. They spend stupid amounts of money to make, produce and promote a film just too barely break even, make a 5% profit or, even worse, lose 50% or more at the box office. Too many times they rely heavily on the DVD sales of a film that fails horribly at the box office to help make up for the loss.

Now let me give you another investment scenario - I want you to give me $5 and in 6 months to 1 year I might give you $6 dollars or you could only get $2.50 back. This is a better investment scenario because you are risking little to make a profit and the monetary loss is limited. Both scenarios offer a minor return with a chance for loss, so why wouldn't you go with the one that offers you the lowest financial risk? There is no "sure thing" in Hollywood right now and to gamble large sums of money in this current economy is ludicrous to me.

Too often audiences go to see films that are over-produced, over-funded and over-hyped just to walk out feeling ripped-off asking the question "Where did they spend that money?" Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project and District 9 are good examples of a low investment yielding high returns; say what you want about whether each of those films was actually good, my point is, the initial investment was so low that the movies were bound to make money.

Now, let's compare that to the "big budget" films, Land of the Lost and X-Men 3. LotL was a financial disaster; it was made on a budget of $100 million and, to date, has only brought in $49 million domestically. X-Men 3 may have fared better at the box office with a $234 million domestic take,but it took an investment of $210 million to get there.

Can you see my point here? Why must it be the consumer's fault for declining DVD sales? Have the studios ever thought that there are some films people just don't want to buy? Nah! It's still our fault that we don't fall for the ads and tagline promises and buy their crappy movies.

What do you think about the plan to delay DVD rental releases until after the release for purchase date? Do you consider the move to be a slap in the face by studios?

Source: LA Times

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