Friday, 26 May 2017

UK cult movie fans are seriously being let down by the home entertainment companies

[Duplicated from my Meditations From The Abyss blog]

I am a great fan of the Phantasm movies so I have been looking forward to the release of the final movie in the series, Phantasm: Ravager, especially as it the last movie of Tall Man actor Angus Scrimm who died during the post-production process.

I was scanning a magazine when I noticed that a new box set was being released containing all five movies so I thought I’d go along to my local HMV store to see when it was due for release and how much the DVD of Phantasm: Ravager costs.  Imagine my surprise when I saw the complete movie series box set on the shelf but couldn’t find the individual release of the movie.  Upon making enquiries, I found that not only is Phantasm: Ravager not available on its own but that the box set is only available on Blu-Ray.  This is a serious problem for those of us who don’t have Blu-Ray players or the money to buy one and fans of the Phantasm series who may have the first four movies already and are unwilling (due to the cost of a box set containing four movies they’ve already got) or unable to buy the box set (because they don’t have the relevant player or the money to purchase the set).

Below is the text of an e-mail conversation I have started with the Customer Service department at Arrow Films who have released this new box set.  It gives more detail to my arguments that would be pointless to repeat here in this introductory section.

Subject: Phantasm V: Ravager

Could you tell me if Phantasm V: Ravager will be available separately and in the DVD format?  I only ask as I am a fan of the series and would like to complete the story arc (I already have the first four films) and only have a DVD cinema system and no money to purchase a Blu-Ray player.  I'm sure I'm not the only one in this situation.


Myles Cook

Hi Myles,

Thank you for your email. There’s nothing confirmed on this at the moment as we’re concentrating on the Limited Edition release but it could be a possibility further down the line.

Kind regards,

Anthony Newcomb
Customer Service Supervisor

Hi Anthony,

Surely a release of the fifth film on its own as the box set of the series came out would follow the market lead of individual releases of films with its inclusion in a box set?  I understand that your company didn't release the previous films (or at least not to my knowledge) but an individual release for this film would increase your sales amongst the people who have already got the previous films in the series and who are unwilling or unable to purchase an expensive box set (especially as the box set seems to be only available in Blu-Ray which is a platform that not everyone has yet due to the expense of Blu-Ray players).  An individual release of this film would be a sound marketing move on Arrow Films' part and to make it available on DVD (which is still the dominant platform with regards to sales) would likewise be a sound move.

I have noticed that there are many films being released by your company on Blu-Ray only, some of them are films I would willingly purchase despite already having them already because I admire Arrow's loving attention to its releases; however, by only releasing some movies in Blu-Ray format, you risk alienating some of your most ardent supporters who only have DVD systems and reducing your profitability by ignoring the presently dominant platform with regards to sales.

I really am on Arrow's side because of your genuine respect for the films you release.  I just wish your respect extended to your customers and their needs.


Myles Cook

I will post any further interactions on this blog as they happen.

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