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Retailers Overwhelmed by Mid-Range Releases

19 Jan, 2010 By: John Latchem

The selection of new releases Jan. 19 may have been vast, but the selection apparently wasn’t exciting enough to inspire retailers’ promotional efforts.

With many stores still heavily promoting catalog titles at clearance prices, some of the newer titles seemed lost in the shuffle.

Best Buy, for example, didn’t even bother including Anchor Bay’s Pandorum or Sony Pictures’ Damages: Season Two in its weekly ad circular. Instead, the chain trumpeted the new Blu-ray flipper discs for the “Bourne” movies (at $17.99 each) and an exclusive Blu-ray boxed set of the two “Smokin’ Aces” movies ($29.99). The original Smokin’ Aces hit Blu-ray Jan. 19 in time for its direct-to-video sequel.

Despite its gestures toward raising Blu-ray’s profile, Wal-Mart doesn’t seem to have made great strides in promoting the high-definition format. A store in Long Beach, Calif., had a few token catalog Blu-ray titles next to its new-release section, but otherwise the depth of title selection was lacking. The store didn’t even have a Blu-ray copy of the Jan. 19 release The Invention of Lying on display anywhere.

The store did have a “Movie Spotlight” display filled with football movies, no doubt to take advantage of the current NFL playoffs. But again none of the featured titles were offered on Blu-ray.

As far as Blu-ray players go, the Long Beach Wal-Mart had dozens of Magnavox BonusView players stacked in a rear aisle, listed at $128 each.

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