Tuesday Call Sheet: Blu-ray Undersold?, Netflix Titles Gutted, 'The Grey' Hits Home Video

BLU-RAY'S BIG 'PICTURE PROBLEM'

Interesting article where the author floats the theory that part of the reason Blu-rays aren’t selling like they should is due to the fact that the studios undersell them:

By all objective measures, Blu-ray offers the best high-def picture; it's better than streaming (far better, in fact), better than cable and satellite, better even than what you see at your local movie theater.

So why doesn't Sony, and its studio colleagues, say that. … In addition to getting a percentage of each Blu-ray sale/rental, the studios generate revenue from streaming rentals, cable and satellite VOD purchases and, of course, movie theater receipts. The Blu-ray divisions of the studios don't want to diminish the value of these competitors because they are actually on the same team. They all bring in money to the studio.

It's a half-baked theory, though, and this dilemma isn’t unique to the film business. You don't see GM claiming that we should buy their luxury cars because they drive better and are more reliable than their economy cars.

Another issue is diminishing returns. Blu-ray might look better than streaming and cable, but cable and streaming still look pretty darn good. Is perfection worth the added expense when good is good enough?

Finally, there's the soft spot no one will talk about. Movies just aren’t worth purchasing anymore. Over the past couple of weeks, I've seen nearly a dozen new flicks and not a single one hit the sweet spot. In fact, it got to a point where I was grateful when something simply didn’t suck.  I wouldn’t buy a single one on Blu-ray or DVD. In fact, I wouldn’t watch any one of them again for free.

TWO MOVIES SNEAK-RELEASED ONLINE

Magnolia and Lionsgate had to do this quietly or  face a bunch of crybaby buggy whip manufacturers theatre owners:

Theater owners have yet to react to a report that both Amazon and Google are currently offering Magnolia Pictures’ The Hunter for streaming, ahead of its theatrical release on April 6. The report appeared Friday on Home Media magazine’s website, which also reported that Google is currently offering Lionsgate’s Dark Tide, which doesn’t hit theaters until March 30. The trade publication observed that the two video websites have been offering the films “quietly” and are pricing them at $9.99 for a 48-hour rental. Some theater owners had previously threatened not to screen films that were released online while they were still playing in theaters — and that was when such rentals were priced at $30, a price that few consumers seemed willing to pay.

$9.99 for a new flick in the comfort of your own living room is a remarkably good deal.

The real test of this idea will come in May when "Get the Gringo," an action pic starring Mel Gibson, is released exclusively on DirecTV PPV for $10.99. If that proves anything close to successful, we can start to expect a lot more.

My guess is that the first titles released in this manner, will be more in line with the kind of titles with big names that usually go straight to DVD (like "Get the Gringo"). You know the titles I'm talking about -- the ones you see on the shelf at Blockbuster with A-list stars that never saw the inside of a theatre outside of Los Angeles.

Over time, though, bigger films will start to trickle out.  

With our widescreen TVs, 7.1 surround-sound, and the miserable experience that now defines movie-going for so many of us, it's inevitable.

'SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS' SURPASSES THE ORIGINAL AT WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE

Because it started out slow at the American box office, this will always be unfairly be remembered as a disappointment.

LIST OF NETFLIX TITLES EXPIRING IN MARCH

Ouch.

It will be nice, though, to no longer have my left eye spasm at the sight of "Thirtysomething."

 

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LAST NIGHT'S SCREENING

The Killing (Season One) - I keep hearing how awful the first season ends, but 5 episodes in and I am hooked. Superb drama, another home run for AMC along with "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad."

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COMING SOON TO HOME VIDEO

THE GREY: Available on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack with UltraViolet™, DVD and Digital Download --May 22, 2012

When a plane crashes in the remote Alaskan wilderness, the survivors must battle extreme weather conditions, devastating injuries and a pack of rogue wolves in order to stay alive in the riveting action adventure The Grey, coming to Blu-ray™ Combo Pack with UltraViolet™, as well as DVD, Digital Download and On Demand on May 22, 2012, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.  Starring Academy Award®-nominee Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List, Taken), The Grey pits man against nature in a non-stop, life-or-death battle that Jake Hamilton of FOX-TV calls “mesmerizing, electrifying and terrifying,” adding, “The Grey is a viciously unnerving epic adventure that will hunt you with excitement, bury you in panic and outright scare the hell out of you.”

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SCOTTDS' EPIC LINKTACULAR

MALCOLM MCDOWELL FINALLY GETS HIS STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME

DIRECTOR JACK BENDER DROPS OUT OF THE NEXT JACK RYAN FILM

BOX OFFICE SHOCKER: 'HUNGER GAMES' HAS POTENTIAL FOR $130 MIL TO $140 MIL DEBUT

 AS "LETHAL WEAPON" TURNS 25, WE ASK, IS RICHARD DONNER UNDERRATED?

WILL 'BEETLEJUICE' SEQUEL FEATURE JOHNNY DEPP CAMEO?

DAN AYKROYD AND CHEVY CHASE TEAM FOR COMEDY SCREENPLAY

'TWO AND A HALF MEN' ENLISTS KATHY BATES AS GHOST OF CHARLIE SHEEN'S CHARACTER

SO WHAT DOES A PRODUCER REALLY DO?

COOL INFOGRAPHIC: THE "MEMENTO" TIMELINE

ACTOR TOPHER GRACE EDITS THE "STAR WARS" PREQUELS TOGETHER INTO ONE MOVIE

THE 25 CRAZIEST PARTIES IN MOVIES

A LOOK BACK AT NICKELODEON'S "THE ADVENTURES OF PETE & PETE" WITH THE CAST AND CREW

HOW WEB FILM JOURNALISTS ARE RESHAPING FILM IN THEIR OWN IMAGE

32 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM THE "REQUIEM FOR A DREAM" COMMENTARY

WHEN SCREENWRITERS GET LAZY

WHEN - AND HOW - GREAT MOVIE NARRATION WORKS

WHY DON'T WOMEN NARRATE MOVIE TRAILERS?

10 MOVIES THAT TOTALLY CHANGED THE PLOT OF THE BOOK

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CLASSIC PICK FOR TODAY

TCM:

4:00 PM: Lust For Life (1956) -- Passionate biography of painter Vincent van Gogh, whose genius drove him mad. Dir: Vincente Minnelli Cast:  Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, James Donald. C-122 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format.

Two big actors who knew how to act big without over-acting. Lost art. Classic stuff.

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Please send comments, suggestions and tips to jnolte@breitbart.com or Twitter @NolteNC.


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