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Hyuck, I mah gone have git me some help pickin’ me up one them thar Annihilation four kay casettes and sendin’ it across the waters!     ....better?

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WILL DREAMWORKS LET US HAVE A CURSE OF THE BLOODY WERERABBIT BLU SOME TIME???   Sorry. I am just a little frustrated about that one.

I picked up the Groundhog Day UHD at Best Buy. It’s a wonderful disc. Outside of the opening scene which is a bit grain heavy, the HDR pass really brings the transfer alive. Daylight scenes in particu

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Most catalogue releases are £19.99 here, even from Disney, which is not too bad, and more and more are ending up in 2 for £30 offers quite soon after release now which is pleasing, but five or so knocked off retail would still be a big help. Some studios like Warner still push 24.99 which is ridiculous. I'd like to think increased disc manufacturing once PS5 and XBSX games start requiring 66GB and 100GB UHD discs may pave way for lower prices of movies, but if it does we're unlikely to see a benefit until 2021.

 

It's funny that Lionsgate should tout physical as a "robust" platform as they seem to be slowing down on their roll out of catalogue releases, and even diverging more and more to digital only (Dirty Dancing and The Limey most recently, and Hurt Locker coming to streaming in February). This is the studio that did discs of Van Wilder and Dirty Grandpa! They've never once released anything from the Miramax library that they have access to either (on disc or streaming) which I always found curious, as there's arguably a far better catalogue of great films sitting there than in their own collection.

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Just copying the catalogue pricing and moving to a ~£20 new release price rather than the £27 some want would be good. We seem to have settled on £10 DVD, £15 Blu, £18 3D, £27 UHD for major new releases, and that looks ridiculous. 
 

Particularly when so many of them turn up in 2 for £30 a few months later, when the Blu equivalent is 2 for £25 or 2 for £20. 

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A report on UK sales data caught my attention this morning:

 

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Figures released by the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) and based on data from the Official Charts Company and Futuresource Consulting, show that the home entertainment sector grew by 9.5 per cent in 2019, bringing the total market value to £2.6 billion (€3.05bn).

 

A proliferation of consumption models, including traditional physical media and digital consumption at home and on the move, means that access to home entertainment content is more pervasive than ever before. With subscription streaming services now an entrenched layer of the home entertainment industry, 65.9 per cent of market value is generated by SVoD services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

 

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The picture is far from black and white, however. With 39.6 per cent of SVoD subscribers also transacting on physical or digital formats, as well as the 7.2 million consumers without subscriptions, the transactional home entertainment market remains vital and worth more than £891 million in 2019. 54 per cent of that value is attributed to the purchase of DVD, Blu-ray and 4K formats, underlining that where ownership is concerned, the disc is currently still the preferred choice for many fans, collectors and gifters. In fact, 42 per cent of consumers who made a physical transaction within the past 12 months did so to add to a collection, 43 per cent bought to give as a gift, and 46 per cent so they could re-watch on multiple occasions.

 

When purchasing physical formats, UK consumers are increasingly seeking out the highest quality home entertainment experiences, with Blu-ray now accounting for 27 per cent of the disc market value, up from 24.3 per cent in 2018. The enduring appeal of disc is seeing consumers invest in higher-end hardware, and utilise the Blu-ray and 4K capabilities of games consoles, in turn driving the premium disc market with an increase in average selling price across the Blu-ray format, up 4.7 per cent year-on-year to £14.88. Within the Blu-ray format, 4K sales have seen yet another year of growth, now representing 16.3 per cent of the Blu-ray market, and a total of 4.3 per cent of the overall disc market. With a host of marketing assets promoting the benefits of the ultra-high definition format now in retailers nationwide, fans are able to build their 4K collections with more than 450 titles now available on the format.

 

At the same time, growth in EST (electronic sell-through, or digital purchase) of 4.5 per cent volume and 3.5 per cent value suggests that the digital revolution that has taken place in recent years is increasingly permeating the choices consumers are making for owned media too, with increasing numbers of consumers opting to grow their digital collections as well as the collections on shelves at home.

 

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“In a year that has seen consolidation between studios and independent distributors alike, the reality is that consumption habits are changing and are likely to continue to do so, with the debut of D2C services like Disney+, Peacock and HBO Max all likely to further catalyse that change,” noted Liz Bales, Chief Executive, BASE. “At the same time, it remains clear that ownership – whether on the best possible physical formats like Blu-ray and 4K UHD or, increasingly, digital ownership with its own set of flexible benefits like watching wherever on the go and instant access – remains of significant value to many of us. Collection, curation and gifting are clearly continued gateways to the transactional video sector, but so too is the fact that planning a night with friends or family has an emotional resonance that many of us remain wedded to. Opportunity often comes from change, as evidenced by the UK production boom, and so we look to 2020 with excitement and a wealth of content and delivery well equipped to meet evolving audience needs.”

 

Full article:

https://advanced-television.com/2020/01/03/data-uk-video-category-grows-by-9-5/

 

I still can't believe there has been no move to establish Movies Anywhere outside of North America. Since UV died, and with UV never being good to begin with, we no longer have any form of digital code packaged with physical media in the UK. Hard to say whether studios would look at the data here and take it as an incentive to bring Movies Anywhere across the water or look at the data and see it as further evidence that they should keep gouging people who are willing to pay twice.

 

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It really will be interesting to see how much of an impact next-gen consoles will have on disc sales. One would expect some bump, naturally, but whether the new systems are all coming a little too late to see studios delve deeper into their catalogues remains to be seen.


It strikes me that one substantial benefit for the format when the new consoles do come onto the scene will be that the days of asking “where’s x?” and “where’s y?” are a thing of the past because some of the most popular films and franchises that people are historically more eager to repurchase are already on sale. “Where’s E.T, Close Encounters, 2001, The Shining, Die Hard, Alien, Ghostbusters and Blade Runner?” Right there. “Where’s Gladiator?” It’s available. “Where are all the Batman movies, the Harry Potter movies, the Matrix and Mission Impossible movies?” Step this way! “Are all the Marvel movies available?” Yes indeed they are. 
 

Really we’ve seen a reverse on tradition whereby this time studios have been priming the market with most of the biggest sellers before lower priced TVs, players and coming of the next gen consoles help charge a notable boost in the ownership of UHD devices, instead of waiting for market saturation of hardware to increase before throwing out the most popular titles.

 

I felt a few years back that we wouldn’t be waiting as long for some biggies as the market simply doesn’t allow for studios to vault and sit on golden eggs like they used to, but for all my lamenting why certain anniversaries have been missed, it’s only when I stand back and look at what’s actually already available that I think the studios have generally been playing things VERY well, so well in fact that it’s hard to think much of this has happened merely by chance as we hurtle towards PS5 and XBS. 


Now add that the Pixar catalogue will be completed by March, Jaws and the Back to the Future trilogy being on the way, all of the Star Wars movies coming plus indication that the Lord of the Rings will appear in 2020, plus chance of the remaining James Bond films emerging, and the year ends with the next-gen consoles hitting the scene with an absolute bounty of film favourites ready and waiting. The biggest unknowns left would effectively be Paramount’s timeline for getting the legacy Star Trek movies, Godfather Trilogy and Indiana Jones films out there.

 

So I guess my hope for what Disney turns to putting out in future having cycled through the entire MCU, Pixar and Star Wars libraries so quickly applies to the other studios too given that many will have their biggest catalogue titles and franchises complete and on the shelves by the end of 2020. One would hope with the biggest and most popular titles catered for that they will all then naturally shift focus to other favourites that might be in demand and be welcomed on disc by fans/collectors. 

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Lynch's Elephant Man has surfaced with an April listing with European retailers. More black and white UHD! This will be a Studio Canal disc here. I'm not sure if Lionsgate have the US rights to share this one. I really hope this is one of Studio Canal's better encoded discs. 

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Interesting turn of events. Warner and Universal will be forming a ten year join venture to distribute content on physical media in the hope of making their operations more efficient in the dwindling market.

 

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The studios announced that Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment entered into a pact to form a new joint venture to distribute DVDs in North America for new releases, library titles and TV content for up to 10 years.

 

The companies expect the proposed JV to be operational by the first quarter of 2021. The North American joint venture, comprising leadership from both studios, is to be headed by longtime Universal exec Eddie Cunningham (pictured above), who is currently president of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

 

In addition, under a separate agreement, the studios struck license agreements to divvy up DVD distribution in countries outside North America. Under that arrangement, UPHE will handle distribution of Warner Bros.’ DVD home entertainment products in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan, expected to go live in the third quarter of 2020. Warner Bros. will assume responsibility for distribution of Universal’s DVD products in the U.K. (including Ireland), Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, expected to occur in the first quarter of 2021.

 

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The moves come amid the long, slow decline of physical disc sales — which show no signs of reversing — and the ascendancy of streaming video. Sales of DVDs in the U.S. fell 9.4% in 2019, to $5.9 billion, down from about $9 billion in the U.S. in 2011, according to trade group DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

 

While they intend to merge DVD distribution operations, under the proposed structure, the studios will continue to operate their digital distribution businesses independently — and retain content and consumer marketing for both physical and digital entertainment products.

 

According to Universal and Warner Bros., the tie-up on the DVD sides of their houses will help both of them gain operational efficiencies and be able to better respond to evolving customer demand. The North American JV will combine sales, retail marketing and distribution for the two physical home entertainment operations and be responsible for Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD distribution through 2031, under the proposed terms.

 

“As the home entertainment landscape evolves, we are continuously working to deliver the best entertainment range and value to our fans,” Ron Sanders, Warner Bros. president, worldwide theatrical distribution and home entertainment, and EVP international business operations, said in a statement. “The physical business is still an important and active category for the industry. This proposed joint venture with Universal gives us the best opportunity to foster innovation in this business, optimize the physical offering and extend the lifespan of the format for our fans and consumers.”

 

Peter Levinsohn, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group president and chief distribution officer, commented, “With market conditions and consumer viewing behaviors continuing to evolve, we wanted a partner who shares in our commitment to deliver the best consumer proposition going forward. This proposed JV presents a significant opportunity to continue to work with our retail partners to ensure the format’s strength and sustainability for years to come.”

 

https://variety.com/2020/film/news/universal-warner-bros-dvd-joint-venture-home-entertainment-1203467934/

 

 

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On 1/15/2020 at 8:54 AM, Angry the Clown said:

really hope this is one of Studio Canal's better encoded discs. 

 

Definitely.  It seems like they've been on a winning streak lately with Don't Look Now and Angel Heart, so hopefully they're able to keep that going (or, in other words, keep paying David Mackenzie).

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30 minutes ago, Adam Tyner said:

  

 

Definitely.  It seems like they've been on a winning streak lately with Don't Look Now and Angel Heart, so hopefully they're able to keep that going (or, in other words, keep paying David Mackenzie).


It’s seems like a lottery as to what ends up in his hands (the recent Studio Canal disc of Leon wasn’t sent to him and is apparently problematic). I’d also really hope that Flash Gordon gets a good disc. I need to get Don’t Look Now now that there is a disc only release available without the collector’s edition paraphernalia.
 

I’m still surprised they didn’t do Stargate last year. It’s not even mentioned amongst the titles they hyped for 2020. Total Recall seems on track for this year (I’m really keen to see if they’ll consider their forthcoming restorations of Breathless and Serpico for UHD as well). 

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That list contains the first mention of The Blues Brothers that I know of too. I’d welcome that.

 

I wonder if Parasite will get a belated UHD in the US off the back of awards? There’s only a Blu-ray for now, but France and Germany are doing 4k discs (however neither will have English subtitles). We won’t get one in the UK as its distributor here doesn’t support UHD.

 

I’m sad that Lionsgate and A24 are not doing a UHD of Uncut Gems in the US either. Lionsgate seem to have really stepped back in their commitment to 4k discs. It feels like eighteen months ago they would have put Missing Link and Uncut Gems out there, but now they’re more selective and the days of them regularly delivering two catalogue discs a month seems to be a thing of the past. I suppose some award season love for Missing Link and Uncut Gems could lead to a late disc release as we saw with Moonlight, but with the latter ignored at the Oscars and Missing Link facing strong competition, I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

 

I saw a list someone had done of the catalogue discs put out each year since UHD launched and 2019 was really quite depressing to see the numbers dwindle. I have to cling to my hope that we’ll see more once the majority of big titles/franchises are out there as you’d think that would leave studios with little choice but to then dig deeper into their libraries, but then the alternative could be that they just largely end up focusing on new releases and little else from 2021 onwards.

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Lionsgate has only brought 4 of A24's films to UHD BD.  The last new release was Hereditary back in 2018, although they did revive The Witch last April.  They can be stingy enough with Blu-ray for A24 titles; In Fabric is being saddled with a BD-R release, ditto for Climax and The Souvenir, Low Tide and Slice were DVD only in the States, etc.  I guess they consider UHD for A24 to be a failed experiment.

 

I'm still hopeful for an Asian release of Parasite with English subtitles.  A domestic UHD BD would be neat, but Neon/Universal's 0.000 batting average in that department leaves me pessimistic.

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Lynch's Elephant Man hits disc on 6th of April in the UK.

 

 

 

It will be another similar Studio Canal £35 collector's edition on release, so I'd expect a cheaper disc only version 6-10 months later. Why they don't just release both options at the same time I don't know. It's frustrating. I simply don't have the shelf space for these kind of packages. It would help if they had regular cases inside the box alongside the art cards and whatever else they typically bundle in there as I could simply shelve that and store all the other stuff, but they always opt for foldout digipacks instead. I do so adore Lynch and this film though, so may well give into getting this asap (particularly if it does happen to end up one of SC's better discs).

 

91X50yHTg5L._SY679_.jpg

 

Special Features:

  • NEW - Interview with Frank Connor, Stills Photography
  • NEW - BFI Q&A With Jonathan Sanger
  • Interview With David Lynch
  • Interview With John Hurt
  • Mike Figgis Interviews David Lynch
  • The Air Is On Fire: Interview With David Lynch at Cartier Foundation
  • Joseph Merrick: The Real Elephant Man
  • The Terrible Elephant Man Revealed

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Adam Tyner said:

I guess they consider UHD for A24 to be a failed experiment.

 

I wonder whose call it actually is? Could be up to A24 themselves much like Fox just do whatever MGM requests with the Bond discs.

 

Speaking of MGM, I believe their distribution agreement with Fox is due to expire this summer. My guess is they will shift to a partnership with Universal as they're already establishing a decent relationship sharing international theatrical distribution with them on a number of films (notably No Time To Die, but some others too), and Universal handling the Blus of those films already. Might not lead to more MGM UHDs beyond further 007 discs, but you never know. 

 

Did anyone get the Craig Bond set last year? I'm continuing to hold out as they were not individually packaged which seemed silly since there's still one more Craig film to come, and while they are each getting individual releases in the UK and US this April I'm going to continue to wait and see what happens with the rest of the series (I could see them putting them in a 25 movie box set when No Time to Die hits home video, leaving only the Craig films available individually).

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1 hour ago, Angry the Clown said:

I saw a list someone had done of the catalogue discs put out each year since UHD launched and 2019 was really quite depressing to see the numbers dwindle. I have to cling to my hope that we’ll see more once the majority of big titles/franchises are out there as you’d think that would leave studios with little choice but to then dig deeper into their libraries, but then the alternative could be that they just largely end up focusing on new releases and little else from 2021 onwards.

 

 

Here's that aforementioned list (credit to brainofj72 at Blu-ray.com forum). 

 

These are total figures purely based on catalogue releases in North America:

 

YEARLY TOTALS

2016: 63

Q1: 24
Q2: 9
Q3: 10
Q4: 20

2017: 82

Q1: 10
Q2: 15
Q3: 23
Q4: 34

2018: 95

Q1: 12
Q2: 31
Q3: 28
Q4: 24

2019: 92

Q1: 7
Q2: 28
Q3: 29
Q4: 28
 

LABEL TOTALS


20TH CENTURY FOX (37)
2016: 12
2017: 3
2018: 7
2019: 5

CINEDIGM (1)
2016: 0
2017: 0
2018: 1
2019: 0

DISCOTEK (1)
2016: 0
2017: 0
2018: 0
2019: 1

DISNEY (38)
2016: 0
2017: 1
2018: 5
2019: 32

KINO LORBER (1)
2016: 0
2017: 0
2018: 0
2019: 1

LIONSGATE (61)
2016: 11
2017: 18
2018: 19
2019: 13

PARAMOUNT (31)
2016: 2
2017: 4
2018: 22
2019: 3

SONY (56)
2016: 13
2017: 16
2018: 16
2019: 11

SYNAPSE (1)
2016: 0
2017: 0
2018: 0
2019: 1

UNIVERSAL (63)
2016: 9
2017: 22
2018: 16
2019: 16

VINEGAR SYNDROME (1)
2016: 0
2017: 0
2018: 0
2019: 1

WARNER BROS (51)
2016: 16
2017: 18
2018: 9
2019: 8

 

 

 

Paramount in 2019..... 😫 What the hell happened?

 

Universal kept things consistent so I'd hope for a similar figure in 2020. Warner in 2018/2019 is hugely disappointing (four of the eight from last year where the older Batman movies!), and Sony lagging on previous years is concerning. He lumps the Craig 007 discs in as Fox releases there. Personally I wouldn't and would credit them to MGM, so I'd actually value Fox's catalogue output at one disc in 2019 (Alien).

 

A huge chunk of 2019 catalogue titles is thanks to Disney rushing out the Marvel and Pixar titles, with a few Disney animation titles here and there. Once they're done with Star Wars and the remainder of Pixar titles this spring I fear the extent of their catalogue efforts will come from being drip fed a few Disney animated catalogue titles here and there in future and nothing more. 

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2 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

 

I wonder whose call it actually is? Could be up to A24 themselves much like Fox just do whatever MGM requests with the Bond discs.

 

The scuttlebutt is that the current arrangement (effective from the start of 2019)  is that only A24 films with a U.S. box office gross over $1 million get the full Blu-ray treatment.  A24 productions that fall short of that mark -- and most, but not all, DirecTV Cinema co-productions -- are relegated to either BD-R via Amazon or go DVD only.  I'm not sure if there's something similar regarding UHD. 

 

There isn't any definitive rhyme or reason.  The 4 films that have been released on UHD BD are among A24's most successful, but the very top performers (Lady Bird and Uncut Gems) skipped/are skipping past it, and Midsommar (no domestic 4K release) grossed slightly more than The Witch (which did, eventually).

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Noticed two of Sony's forthcoming discs have been announced as being "IMAX Enhanced" (Charlies Angels and, weirdly, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood). Their first I think was Angry Birds 2? It's notable as they all mark a shift away for them from Dolby Atmos to DTS-X which is part of the IMAX Enhanced spec. What worries me about this is IMAX hyped the branding for titles last year as going through their audio AND video re-mastering workflows, and typical IMAX theatrical releases are (often heavily) massaged visually with noise reduction and sharpening to compliment the larger screen sizes. 

 

Up until Angry Birds I think it was only some IMAX documentaries that had been "enhanced" for disc release (Spider-Man Far From Home is available on FandangoNow). I'm assuming anything of 2.39:1 origin will be either manipulated to 1.78:1 beginning to end or have aspect ratio switching (which I still personally think is a silly idea at home).

 

https://www.imaxenhanced.com

 

It certainly concerns me that Sony might adopt this for catalogue titles, or even film originated new releases like Little Women. 

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Alas...
 

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However, according to IMAX, all 4K Blu-ray titles from Sony going forward will be IMAX Enhanced

 

I don’t think there are any blanket aspect ratio changes, though.  Like, it’ll change if it was shot a certain way, but they aren’t manipulating films that weren’t.  I don’t like it, though.

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On 1/23/2020 at 12:05 AM, Adam Tyner said:


Missing Link is Fox, though, right?

 

You're right!. In the US it appears to actually be a United Artists release, whose parent company is MGM, and sadly in this instance Home Video rights fell to Fox as a consequence so it was doomed to never see the light of day on UHD disc to begin with. In the UK my 4k/HDR/Atmos iTunes copy is credited to Lionsgate. 

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