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Walmart Takes Advantage of Amazon-Disney Preorder Dispute

15 Aug, 2014 By: Chris Tribbey

Walmart wasted little time taking advantage of the fact fans of Disney discs are being shut out from preordering titles from Amazon.

The option to preorder DVDs and Blu-ray Discs for new releases from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment disappeared from Amazon earlier this month, an apparent repeat of what Warner Bros. suffered earlier this summer during contract negotiations with the online retailer.

Walmart — the No. 1 retailer of packaged media — this week began offering deep-discounted preorder options for discs from the studio, in an apparent attempt to grab any disc fans unsatisfied with Amazon’s negotiating tactics.

“We kicked off a promotion this week to customers to let them know that we have sought-after Disney titles, and the response has been strong, with a 90% increase in combined DVD and Blu-ray sales for Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and a 40% increase in sales for other Disney titles,” Walmart spokesperson Jaeme Laczkowski told Home Media Magazine.

Streeting Sept. 9, a DVD version of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (which pulled in nearly $260 million at the domestic box office) is available for preorder for $14.96 via Walmart.com, half the $30 list price. The Blu-ray combo pack version is listed at around $30, 25% off the $40 list price.

The first season of the ABC/Marvel tie-in series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” — also streeting Sept. 9 — is discounted 13% for Blu-ray and 31% for Blu-ray combo, via Walmart preorder. No preorder options for the Disney discs are available via Amazon.

Beyond Marvel, Walmart is using the Amazon-Disney spat to lure in fans of the Angelina Jolie film Maleficent (streeting Nov. 4), with the DVD version discounted 43% off the list price, and the Blu-ray combo pack discounted 33% (to $24.96, from $36.99).

“The most sought-after Disney titles … are available on Walmart.com for preorder at everyday low prices that are up to 40% off the list price,” Laczkowski added.

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