Wacky World of Movie Pricing

The pricing for movies, once they leave the big screen, is, in a word, wacky.

There is no apparent rhyme nor reason for the price structure when purchasing DVD, Blu-ray (BD), or Digital (downloadable, or Cloud-based) formats.

The main prices for discs and packages shown here will be taken from Amazon, one of the most competitive pricing retailers in the world.

Furious 7For our first example let’s look at the upcoming release of Furious 7.  As of today, the pre-order price offered at Amazon for the package containing a BD, DVD, digital (i.e., downloadable via iTunes) and an Ultraviolet (UV) copy (redeemable via VuDu, Flixster, etc.) is $22.33.  There is also available a one-disc DVD-only package available for $19.21.  Or, if you prefer just having the online digital UV version, VuDu offers it for $14.99 (SD, HD, or HDX).

Looking at the prices above, there is absolutely no logic.

Consider that a DVD by itself will cost you $19.21 but for only $3.12 more you can add the Blu-Ray disc plus an iTunes digital copy and a UV copy for your VuDu library.  That makes no sense at all.

The above really makes one ask why it cost so much for the lone DVD version or for just the UV version from VuDu? (Please note that VuDu is owned by Wal-Mart, home of “Live Better. Save Money.”)

Admittedly not all offerings are as generous as Furious 7, so, we will take another movie that has been out for a while.

John WickOn Amazon, today, John Wick is available in DVD and UV (i.e. for Flixster) for $9.69.  If you add the BD to that you may purchase the 3 versions for $11.99.  In the deal the BD is the only additional format, for an extra $2.30.  This is not as good of a deal as Furious 7, but it still shows pretty weird pricing.  However, if you just want the digital version, Flixster offers it for $13.99 SD or $14.99 HD, prices that are higher than either of the other offerings.

InsurgentOne more example.  Insurgent.  The BD/Digital edition is $17.92.  For $13.99 the DVD/Digital is available.  VuDu offers the movie in SD for $17.99, seven cents higher than the BD/Digital package and it is even worse for HD or HDX, with a price of $19.99.  If you have 3D capabilities, for only $19.99 you can get the 3D BD/BD/DVD/Digital package.

As a self-professed movie maniac I had been looking at forgetting BD and DVD altogether and going all digital via VuDu, but when one looks at the above pricing it makes absolutely no sense at all.  Other than for profiteering or price gouging.

Therefore, until the powers that be (movie moguls and retailers) can create a pricing formula that drastically reduces digital-only prices this movie lover will only purchase the best deal for the most versions that may be available (ideally like the Furious 7 package), if only because with that package the companies make less profit compared to the other offerings.

Over For Now.

Main Street One