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Bluefreedom's avatar

Are DVD's of popular movies being released to the public earlier than they used to be?

Asked by Bluefreedom (22926points) March 18th, 2010

I just went to Amazon’s website and noticed that Avatar DVD’s will be released on April 22nd and this with a recent announcement that Avatar may be re-released into theaters for a longer run.

I’ve noticed in the past that mainstream popular movies in theaters don’t really have a DVD release until months after they’ve stopped showing in theaters.

I was just curious if there is a new trend to release popular movies quicker to the public or if this might be a one time occasion due to the huge popularity of the movie Avatar.

Anyone have the inside scoop on this?

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19 Answers

janbb's avatar

Yes, I think they are.

njnyjobs's avatar

In countries outside the US, movies are released on DVD within a few weeks of showing in moviehouses. It’s one way of getting the movies out on DVD in a legitimate manner. This helps people get the quality stuff rather than opting to buying copies of movies from dubious sources plus the producers reap the financial returns.

marinelife's avatar

I thought the same thing. Up in the Air was just released, and I thought it was earlier than it would have been in the past.

Cruiser's avatar

They have no choice as pirated versions are out in the market before the movies sometimes even debuts so they are only trying to get their money out of DVD sales.

CMaz's avatar

World distribution is a BIG money maker. And, it has gotten more efficient. (Netflix and such) The sooner you get those DVD’s out the better.

noyesa's avatar

Things have definitely gotten faster. I remember before DVDs, VHS tapes would take months (and in some cases closer to a year) to be released, after the movie had finished running in theaters.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

They are being released much earlier than they used to be. You can especially see the difference in TV box sets, which (for some, but not all shows) are now being released as half seasons, in order to be made available to the public earlier. It’s also more of a profit for the company releasing the DVD’s because consumers spend twice as much for a full season of a television show.

Here is an example. The first season hasn’t even finished airing, but consumers can already buy the first season pt. 1 DVD set.

noyesa's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities I seem to notice that a lot with major network television shows, whereas my favorite USA network shows don’t do that. Most of those shows take a mid-season break for a couple of months, but the DVD still won’t be released until the entire season has finished airing, which could be close to a year later. The current season of Burn Notice starting airing back in June and probably won’t be released until Season 4 starts this June.

njnyjobs's avatar

…yep, commercialism. . . . don’t you just love it!

Trillian's avatar

I had noticed that too. I don’t care for the whole “pirating” thing myself. It’s dishonest. I truly enjoy watching movies that I like more than once, and I especially like the commentaries with the actors and directors. I’ve learned a lot about movie making from those.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@noyesa That’s the way I would prefer them to be released, at the end of the season, all in one set. I can understand the shows taking a mid-season break, I just don’t think they have to make the first part of the season available before the second part even starts airing. The example I posted actually isn’t that bad in price ($21), but I have some DVD’s from other shows where each half season set was at full season price (approx. $40 per half season, so the full season ends up costing around $80). It’s rather frustrating.

Love Burn Notice!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

It may be a way to help counter piracy, or at least have a competing product in the market alongside the pirated DVDs that appear as soon as the theatrical release.

CMaz's avatar

The problem with waiting for the end of the season to release the program on DVD is then there would be greater competition.

It is always best to grab the lightning.

galileogirl's avatar

With Avatar it is simply a cash grab. The April 22 release will be bare bones, just the film. In November there will be another release with all the doodads and extras (just in time for Christmas. Then you get a premium remastered premium edition I even heard there will be a 3-D release.

filmfann's avatar

It used to be 4 months from theatrical release to DVD. It is now being moved to 3 months.
BTW, this really screws over the theater owners, who don’t make much on showings of new movies, but start to make good coin on films 3 or 4 weeks old. Now, people will just wait for the DVD.

aprilsimnel's avatar

6–12 months between theater and DVD release is the general rule now.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I noticed that the movies nominated for this year’s oscars were mostly already out on DVD. Usually, they’re a month or so apart, I think. I remeber seeing a story on AOTS about having 3 months in between theater and dvd releases. It was about Alice in Wonderland, the new one, and nobody was happy about it.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Thank you for the very good and informative answers everyone. I appreciate all of them. =)

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I suppose, but… new computers are also delivered more quickly now than they used to be. I can buy movies online and download them within minutes now, which never used to be the case.

What I’m saying is that not only technology, but also markets, production capacity and capability, and distribution systems also change.

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