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Insights from home entertainment industry experts. Home Media blogs give you the inside scoop on entertainment news, DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases, and the happenings at key studios and entertainment retailers. “TK's Take” analyzes and comments on home entertainment news and trends, “Agent DVD Insider” talks fanboy entertainment, “IndieFile” delivers independent film news, “Steph Sums It Up” offers pithy opinions on the state of the industry, and “Mike’s Picks” offers bite-sized recommendations of the latest DVD and Blu-ray releases.

January 25, 2011
Retailers Slow on 3D Discs

While 3D might dominate discussion about the future of packaged media, the Blu-ray offshoot has yet to find much traction at retail.

Though it is still early in the format’s lifespan and only a handful of titles have been released, the 3D versions of titles are not being offered on shelves at places such as Target and Walmart. For now, electronics specialists such as Best Buy seem to be the place to go for 3D product.

Target, however, is continuing its aggressive loss-leader Blu-ray pricing on new releases. Jan. 25 saw a Blu-ray version of Red offered at a low $13, same as the DVD version.

Best Buy, however, cornered the market on exclusives for Red, offering a comic book with the Blu-ray/DVD special edition version, as well as a free movie ticket to see Drive Angry.

The only other exclusive of note came via Walmart’s offering of elastic character bands with the DVD of Sony Pictures’ direct-to-video sequel Open Season 3, which was offered at $19.96, the same price Walmart offered the Blu-ray.

Best Buy, on the other hand, didn’t include Open Season 3 in its weekly ad circular.

By: John Latchem

January 18, 2011
Justifying a Blu-ray Purchase

With the debut of the direct-to-video prequel Death Race 2 Jan. 18, only Best Buy was allowed to sell a boxed set containing the Blu-ray versions of both “Death Race” movies, offered at $29.99.

Target, on the other hand, didn’t bother to put Death Race 2 in its weekly ad circular. Instead, it made a big deal about the new movie version of Freakonomics, which it offered at $17.99 bundled with a paperback version of the book upon which it is based.

In what might not be a good sign for TV on Blu-ray at retail, only Best Buy stocked the Blu-ray version of Justified: The Complete First Season, while other retailers had the DVD set on shelves (at about $19.99). But Best Buy still didn’t bother listing the $24.99 price in its weekly ad.

Best Buy also included a copy of the first episode of the second season through its CinemaNow service with purchase of the season one boxed set.

Other Best Buy deals included double Reward Zone points with a purchase of Despicable Me and a selection of recent hits from $12.99 to $14.99 on DVD and from $16.99 to $19.99 on Blu-ray Disc.

By: John Latchem

January 11, 2011
Plenty of Early Year Bargains

Not much fanfare greeted the few new releases that hit shelves Jan. 11. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s The Social Network was the biggest new release, but most retailers shied away from any major promotional deals.

Best Buy and Amazon.com, however, did offer Social Network at an incredibly low price typically reserved for a holiday sale: $12.99 for the DVD and $16.99 for the Blu-ray.

Best Buy also offered a deal on a couple of other recently released Sony Pictures titles: a $10 discount with the purchase of the Blu-ray versions of both Resident Evil: Afterlife and Salt.

Another sale at Best Buy offered Blu-ray two-packs at anywhere from $12.99 to $16.99 each, and recent TV DVD releases at $19.99 each.

Target offered the new Chuggington: Ride the Rails kidvid DVD at $12.99 with exclusive soundbook packaging: a case that plays sounds associated with whatever button is pressed.

Other deals at Target included Disney Blu-ray/DVD combo packs offered at $19.99, an assortment of catalog titles at $4.75 and $10 each, and a selection of TV DVD seasons from $8.99 to $14.99.

By: John Latchem

January 04, 2011
Quiet Start to the New Year

Some retailers are still shaking off the lingering effects of the new year. Checking in at a Walmart in Long Beach, Calif., most of the DVD shelves had yet to be restocked after the post-Christmas sales, leaving the new releases with much more prominent visibility.

Walmart had been offering a selection of catalog titles for about $10 apiece.

Target also continued to offer steep discounts on catalog titles, with selections at $7 and $10 each.

The only major promotions tied into the Jan. 4 new releases could be found at Best Buy, which offered the Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Blu-ray at $9.99 (a $10 savings) with purchase of the new Dinner for Schmucks Blu-ray (offered at $25.99). Best Buy also offered a $5 store gift card with purchase of Dinner on either DVD or Blu-ray.

Post-holiday sales at Best Buy included a 50% discount on select TV DVD titles, a selection of Blu-ray Discs at $9.99 or $14.99 each, and a “Slim Down and Shape Up” fitness-DVD promotion offering an assortment of titles at $9.99 each.

Best Buy also has a section for award nominees on disc at BestBuy.com/awards.

By: John Latchem

December 28, 2010
Finding a Retail ‘Afterlife’

Resident Evil: Afterlife, the fourth live-action film in the franchise, garnered the most attention the new-release week of Dec. 28, which was otherwise light in the wake of the Christmas holiday.

Best Buy offered an exclusive boxed set of the four “Resident Evil” films on Blu-ray for $69.99 in collector’s glock packaging.

Walmart offered the Afterlife Blu-ray in special steelbook packaging. A few months ago, Walmart offered the earlier films in special steelbook Blu-ray Disc cases as well.

A week earlier, it was Best Buy playing the steelbook game with its Blu-ray packaging for Sony Pictures’ Salt. Best Buy also offered an exclusive Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo pack for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

In terms of big post-holiday sales, Target offered more than 100 DVD and Blu-ray Disc titles at a 50% discount, with movies such as The Blind Side going for $5.99 on DVD, and a selection of TV DVD favorites at $14.99 each.

Best Buy has some recent titles for less than $15, such as The Expendables Blu-ray combo pack for $12.99.

By: John Latchem


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