Many video formats: success or desperation?
November 11, 2008 6:39 AM   Subscribe

Does a movie studio releasing many, many different video formats (multiple SDVDs, HD DVD, UMD, VOD) of a particular movie indicate that this movie performs well at retail? Or is it more likely a desperate attempt to recoup from a disastrous theatrical run?
posted by TheManChild2000 to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
It could be either or really. The marketing of dvds, accessories, etc, is where a majority of movies really make their long term money.
posted by scarello at 7:20 AM on November 11, 2008

Its impossible to tell. Usually a studio markets their products as a package. Say your want to sell The Matrix at your video store or show it on cable. The studio will sell you The Matrix but wrapped up in a package that includes five or so of their movies released around the same time that were poor performers. So now you have the Matrix but you also have My Best Friends Wedding and War Games II to sell. That's why you see so much junk on cable and at the video store and why so many random movies are suddenly out on all these formats.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:40 AM on November 11, 2008

Yeah, could be either. But it could also be a studio putting out its feelers for how different formats perform in the market. Now that there's so much integration between studios and the companies who make home video equipment (think Sony), there's significant incentive to think about the hardware along with the movie.
posted by Rykey at 9:01 AM on November 11, 2008

I think it may have more to do with the fact that we're in a sort of transition time. Standard def DVD currently has the biggest market share, so it would be foolish not to release on DVD. The studios are trying to push Blu Ray as the new physical format while at the same time online streaming / downoadable distribution is starting to take hold. It's not yet clear to the studios which of these formats will be the big winner, so they hedge their bets and release on both.

UMD can make some money too, if the movie is a hit with the right demographic, though I'm not sure if anyone other than Sony has ever gotten behind it.
posted by jjb at 9:40 AM on November 11, 2008

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