4K Blu-ray Makes Quiet Retail Debut1 Mar, 2016 By: John Latchem
The official debut of Ultra HD Blu-ray didn't get much fanfare at retail, with Best Buy the only big chain really promoting the new 4K format.
Some Best Buy stores have been selling the Fox UHD BDs for a few weeks, and a store in Costa Mesa, Calif., did set up a dedicated section for the titles, which expanded on March 1 to include Warner, Sony Pictures and Lionsgate titles, all for $29.99 each. Clerks on the floor, however, weren't very helpful in guiding customers toward it. One clerk, while standing less than 10 feet from the rack containing the titles, said the store hadn't set up a display, and suggested checking the UHD display in the TV department. A clerk there wasn't aware of a display either, suggesting a few titles were distributed with the new releases (they weren't), though one of the customers there was able to say where the actual display was, nestled next to the 3D Blu-ray section in a middle aisle.
In terms of retail exclusives for the weeks' new titles, Warner's Creed came with a steelbook Blu-ray at Target, while Walmart once again offered its bizarre extras-free DVD option without bothering to stock the regular edition, even though their vanilla version is the same price with different box art. Given how few extras were actually on the disc to begin with, it's a wonder why Walmart thinks such a thing is still a worthwhile exclusive, or why the studio bothers giving it to them.
Walmart also offered a two-pack of Sony Pictures' The Night Before DVD with a double feature DVD containing The Interview and This Is the End.
Another Walmart exclusive involved a special edition of Cinedigm's God's Not Dead, containing an exclusive preview of the sequel accessible through the Vudu.com streaming service. The DVD cost $12.96.
Target offered a couple of exclusive deals with some new kidvid titles. Those who purchased Universal's Barbie: Spy Squad DVD ($9.99) or Blu-ray ($14.99), or a $17.99 doll based on the movie, could get a free Spy Squad Pet toy valued at $3.99. And, Target gave a $5 gift card with the purchase of Nickelodeon's Paw Patrol: Brave Heroes, Big Rescues DVD ($7.99) with a $9.99 Air Rescue pup toy.