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Every Big Catalog DVD Release Is Now a ‘Five Star' Title

9 Dec, 2002 By: Stephanie Prange

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's has cancelled its “Five Star” line of beefed up DVDs, but the move actually is evidence of the popularity and ubiquity of extras-packed discs, rather than an indictment of them.

Special editions are not quite so special any more. Studios have done a great job of offering numerous extras to consumers at a reasonable price, pulling out all the stops to produce a truly fine product on catalog titles. In fact, the product is so desirable that catalog titles can often be treated like new releases, with the event marketing to back them up. Studios don't need a special line to call attention to great DVDs. The titles speak for themselves.

“We can move on to producing catalog [special editions] as event releases in their own right rather than as part of a collection,” said Fox SVP of marketing Peter Staddon during a n online chat with the Home Theater Forum.

Many marketing execs have noted that catalog titles on DVD have all the punch of new releases. Witness the special bashes thrown by Paramount for “The Godfather Trilogy” and Grease, and by Artisan Home Entertainment for Reservoir Dogs. In the old VHS sellthrough days, a spccial line and flashy silver packaging seemed to add value to the cassette. DVDs simply don't need it; they stand on their own.

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