I purchased the movie Slumdog Millionaire on DVD a few days ago. It’s a fantastic movie that I saw twice in theatres, falling in love with the beautiful cinematography, wonderful soundtrack and unique storytelling. Consequently, I was looking forward to not only watching it again, but also viewing the making-of featurette and deleted scenes that were advertised on the back of the DVD. In a frustrating discovery after watching the movie, I found that none of the special features were on the disc.
After some quick research, I learned that Fox had made a mistake and shipped the wrong discs with the retail versions. If you encountered the same issue that I did, you can visit this website and sign up to be sent a replacement disc. I wanted to inform others of that, but I also thought that the reason this mistake was possible in the first place might make an interesting topic for discussion…
Apparently this whole thing is an error in the implementation of a new plan that Fox Studios has to start differentiating between retail DVDs and rental DVDs. Slumdog Millionaire was the first movie to adopt this strategy, where the discs available for rent are stripped of the special features, increasing the incentive to buy, rather than rent movies. This also decreases the incentive to wait until a movie is “previously viewed” to purchase it, as you would still get more bang for your buck by buying at a retail outlet and having all the special features (if special features are important to you).
Personally, I don’t mind the idea, and I kinda wonder why it took the studios so long to implement it. It seems logical to me to offer a little extra incentive to buy versus rent. I usually don’t have the time to go through special features and commentary tracks anyways in the short day or two you’re given with a rental movie. That being said, I can see this being an issue for a lot of people. There are many who don’t buy a lot of DVDs, preferring to be more budget-conscious, and I even talked to someone today who buys DVDs through his rental store. He rents a movie and if he likes it, pays the difference to purchase it. Obviously there would be less appeal to do that if this strategy is adopted by more studios and more major releases.
So what do you think? I’m curious to see what others make of this new idea. I find it ironic that a tactic Fox obviously hoped would boost new DVD sales is likely going to cannibalize sales of the Slumdog DVD once replacement discs are sent out and those who receive them give their old discs to friends. That is unless Fox is really smart and decides to ship only the special features on the disc, excluding the feature film. I guess we’ll see. But let me know your opinions. Do you buy DVDs at retail or wait until they’re previously viewed? Do you even watch the special features? Does anyone sit through commentary tracks?