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Why No ‘Serious’?

9 Feb, 2010 By: John Latchem

A Serious Man and Wal-Mart's Couples Retreat exclusive

One of the Oscar contenders for best picture hit DVD Feb. 9, but you wouldn’t know it if you browsed through Wal-Mart’s shelves. A check of a Long Beach, Calif., store showed no copies of the Coen Brothers’ comedy A Serious Man, on DVD and Blu-ray from Universal.

Granted, the film only made $9.2 million, and doesn’t seem like it fits with Wal-Mart’s core demographic, but the nation’s top retail chain was the only major outlet not to stock the title on shelves (though Best Buy didn’t list the Blu-ray in its weekly ad circular). Those willing to wait for shipping could get it at Walmart.com at $18.86 for the DVD and $19.36 for the Blu-ray.

Wal-Mart did have the only real exclusive among any of the new releases, offering a two-DVD version of the comedy Couples Retreat (the “Ultimate Vacation Edition”) containing more than 40 minutes of additional bonus content and a contest to win a trip to Bora Bora.

Best Buy promoted Couples Retreat with a sticker touting a free subscription to the USA Today e-edition with purchase of the DVD and Blu-ray.

And most copies of the movie at various retailers offered an instant $4 savings off the purchase of Role Models, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up or The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Best Buy also ran a promotion for “Valentine’s Titles for Him & Her,” discounting to $4.99 such titles as Hitch, 27 Dresses, Talladega Nights, Minority Report, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and others that hardly seem related to the holiday of love.


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