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Imagine visiting your local movie theater to find that the only way to get in is by purchasing a $25 ‘combo’ package which includes an I-MAX ticket for the movie you want to see in addition to the regular ticket you came in for. 


Not only is this ‘combo’ package significantly more expensive than the regular, $15 admission price, but you don’t even have an I-MAX theater near you.


I think most people would agree that whoever came up with such a marketing idea, can’t have thought it through very well. Sad to say, although they haven’t done it with movie tickets, the normally customer-savvy folks over at Disney are trying a similar idea with their latest DVD release.  


As those of you with young children probably know, this week, Disney opened their vault to re-release Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. As usual, the newest version has been tarted up and includes plenty of worthy extras. However, this time, instead of releasing the DVD and Blu-ray versions as separate entities, Disney combined the two discs in a single package. 


So what? 


Well, usually when a new Disney DVD comes out, for the first few days or so you can get it for around $15.99 in places like Target, but this time, presumably because it’s a DVD/Blu-ray combo, the discount price for Snow White is $25. Best Buy also had it on ‘special offer’ for the same price.


Normally, I’d have bought two or three copies (my autistic teenage daughters love the Disney classics, but they tend to scratch DVDs). However, I didn’t buy them this time. 


I’ve no doubt it’s a wonderful home-theater system, but I don’t have Blu-ray, and judging by the ratio of DVD to Blu-ray shelf space in my local stores, nor do a lot of other folks. 


Why should we have to buy the more expensive ‘combo’, when we can’t even play one of the disks?


I suppose some smarty-pants at the company (probably the same genius who decided they’d make more money from their most popular movies by NOT selling them on DVD for years at a time) decided that the costs savings achieved by doing it this way would outweigh the revenue lost from people like me, who decide not to buy the movie at all. 


Maybe that’s true, but big companies also need to keep a healthy balance in their ‘public goodwill’ account, and, at least as far as I’m concerned, this little trick has made a big dent in that.


I wonder what Walt would say.


How about you?


Do you have Blu-ray?


If other companies follow suit with this kind of 'all or nothing' deal, will you pay extra for a combo package like the one above, or will you walk away?






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( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 10th, 2009 12:06 pm (UTC)
And then they are shocked people just download movies through torrent sites. :/

If other companies follow suit with this kind of 'all or nothing' deal, will you pay extra for a combo package like the one above, or will you walk away?

I'll take the fifth on that. ;)

Oct. 10th, 2009 12:31 pm (UTC)
I could understand if the economy was booming - you could assume that a significant number of people will upgrade to Blue-ray and its more expensive disc over the next few years - but I imagine for most folks, Blu-ray is way down on their 'things to buy' list.

Thanks for sharing :)
Oct. 10th, 2009 01:18 pm (UTC)
Blu-ray is way down on their 'things to buy' list.

As opposed to, say, cat litter and cat food. ;) DVDs are too hard to chew.
Oct. 10th, 2009 12:06 pm (UTC)
I don't have a Blu-ray, and no way would I pay that much for a film! Life is expensive enough as it is right now, without big corporations squeezing extra cash out of people like this.
Oct. 10th, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
It's weird. Some business decisions make good sense, but this one doesn't, and Disney are usually pretty good.
Oct. 10th, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
The only way I would buy it is if I had a friend with Blu-ray who split the cost and the videos with me.
Oct. 10th, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC)
That's an idea, though there may be a fight over the DVD case :)
Oct. 10th, 2009 02:00 pm (UTC)
I've been saying it for years--Walt would HATE the company that bears his name. He might have been a savvy businessman, but he also loved his work. That Pixar is a part of the 'evil empire' is upsetting.

I don't have a blue ray. I think either the conglomerate as a whole or some key employees must have stock in the tech, because this is a HUGE push for a technology that just hasn't caught on the way some might have hoped. Will I buy one? Meh--maybe if, like VHS, DVDs become obsolete.

The all-or-nothing deal? Yeah, I'd walk.
Oct. 10th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
It just seems so unlike them.
Oct. 10th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
Typically, I don't buy any technology that comes out that is supposed to be the next great thing, when it first comes out. VHS, CD, DVDs, Gaming Systems, i-pods, e-readers, Blu-ray, etc.

The cost alone is usually the most prohibitive factor. But then you have to consider availability of software/tapes, extra features that you must pay for ( which will be free later on ), and quality of the product. Sometimes you even have the format wars when a new item comes out.

No Blu-ray for me. At least untill it becomes a lot cheaper.
Oct. 10th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
I guess at some point TV/DVD combos will become TV/Blu-ray combos, though I don't think it'll happen anytime soon.
Oct. 10th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
My kids think I'm from the Dark Ages, but I still use a VCR (to record stuff off TV), so no, I do not have a Blue Ray nor do I have any intention of buying one until I am forced to. I don't have HD tv either, although I do have cable. I think the picture quality of my old style tv is just fine and don't feel the need to see every bump and pore. I think the HD package costs $10 a month more, and I think having to pay $60 to watch tv is ridiculous enough as it is. Why is tv so expensive?
Oct. 10th, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
I'm with Cablevision. HD is the same price as regular - though that may just mean their regular price is expensive :)
Oct. 10th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
Nah, I don't have Blu-Ray. Much as I love movies I'm not willing to shell out that much for a Blu-Ray player or for Blu-Ray movies. Maybe in a couple of years when the price goes down. But I'm not in a rush.
Oct. 10th, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
That's the good thing about technology. Eventually the price comes down :)
Oct. 10th, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC)
Excuse me? They MAKE you pay for a Blu-Ray version to get the regular DVD? What a ridiculous idea! That's like Amazon saying, "In order to get the hardcover book, we're going to make you pay $10 more for the Kindle version, even though you don't own a Kindle and won't be able to read it." Jeff Bezos may not be Mr. Nice Guy but he's got more sense than the marketing geniuses at Disney. Does Disney own Blu-Ray or something? That's what it sounds like.

Oct. 11th, 2009 09:36 am (UTC)
This is one of those marketing ideas that just doesn't make sense to me. Mind you, I've never understood the 'Disney Vault' concept either.
Oct. 11th, 2009 01:15 pm (UTC)
It wouldn't make any sense for me to spend the extra money on the combo package. I don't have blue-ray, and even if I did I wouldn't by both, the exception being perhaps if I had children with a normal dvd who would tear it up. Not to mention, I don't even have a friend with a blue ray to gift the disc to. Maybe they're planning on everything being in blue ray in the future and not forcing people to buy the same movies over again. I had that problem with the whole vcr to dvd switch-a-roo.
Oct. 11th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
I'm just hoping it doesn't become the accepted practise.

Thanks for the input :)
Oct. 12th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
I'd prefer having them re-re-release Fantasia on DVD.
Oct. 12th, 2009 08:39 am (UTC)
Yeah, I really don't get the logic behind the Disney Vault idea.
Oct. 12th, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
Well, rarity does increase the value. It still sucks.
Oct. 12th, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC)
I bet the the Marketeers are thinking that the $25 is for the Blu Ray and they are throwing in the DVD for free.

Blu ray only makes sense if you have a HD TV (with HDMI cables) larger than 42 inches. Any smaller than that and the movie looks the same as a DVD. Otherwise, the only advantage of BR over DVD is that they don't scratch as easily.

I do intend on getting a Blu Ray player one of these days, but even then I'll only be buying BR disks for the movies where it might actually matter, like big blockbuster movies or maybe Pizar type animation where the picture will really pop. For the average drama, comedy, etc, DVD will continue to be the format of choice.

Would I buy a combo package with both disks? Depends on the movie. :) The way I see it, if my wife and I go to see a movie, it's $18 just for the tickets. If we get snacks, the night'll cost close to $25 anyway. And that's not even taking into account baby sitting fees. Getting a disk for now and a disk I'll be able to use in a few years for the price of seeing the same flick once in the theaters makes sense.

Granted, it made more sensebefore the economy tanked and I got laid off (last month).

Oct. 12th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
I'm just hoping this is a one-off. My girls scratch through about two DVDs a week :(
Oct. 13th, 2009 02:12 pm (UTC)
I started backing up my sons' DVDs on the computer and burning off "viewing" copies for them while keeping the originals high in the closet.

Yes, it's legal to back up your own copies and reburn them. As long as you're not selling them. ;)
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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