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Why people are not getting Episode I DVD

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by Ewan_tw, Oct 8, 2001.

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  1. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 19, 1999
    Premiere Magazine gave the TPM DVD a glowing review. The reviewer acknowledged that some people did not love TPM but insisted that the DVD will improve the Episode I experience for just about everyone.

    I just wanted to mention this before the gushers start in on the "media conspiracy" against Lucas and Star Wars.
  2. Jenkwombat

    Jenkwombat Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jan 23, 2001


    Regarding the "media conspiracy" against Lucas:

    I don't think it's a "conspiracy" in the sense that those in the media sit around, smoking cigarettes and "plotting" on how they can hurt Lucas.

    However, I do think there is an underlying resentment toward him and the non-Hollywood success he's had.

    Look at the evidence:

    With the exception of Roger Ebert, all of the critics give his films bad reviews, in spite of the fact that usually his films are LOVED by the general public.

    'The Phantom Menace' is routinely implied to be a "flop", yet it's the 3rd Highest Grossing film of all time (and 2nd World-wide). In the Premiere article you talked about, the reviewer points out "not everyone loved 'The Phantom Menace'". I mean, why put that in? Not everyone love 'Star Wars', 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return Of The Jedi' either. For example, 'Star Wars' got a very nasty review from Pauline Kael. So what? You don't see people reviewing the video for 'A New Hope' putting in the the word, "not everyone loved 'Star Wars'..."

    'Star Wars' is routinely (and wrongly) blamed for "killing 'personal films'" and giving birth to the "Blockbuster Mentality". (Lucas's critics apparently forgetting about 'The Exorcist', 'The Godfather', 'The Poseidon Adventure', 'The Towering Inferno', 'Jaws', etc....). Never mind that films like 'Shakespeare In Love' and 'Out Of Africa' are financial successes AND Oscar winners. Never mind that MORE Merchant/Ivory-type films (or so-called "quiet and serious films") are made these days than before 'Star Wars' came out.....

    The most glaring and obvious recent example is 'The Matrix' winning the Special Effects Oscar over 'The Phantom Menace'. Now, no matter what your thoughts are about 'The Phantom Menace' as a whole, few un-biased people could say that "'The Matrix's effects were better" and keep a straight face at the same time. 'The Matrix's effects were basically the same "freezing in mid-air" bit, done over and over. We've all seen that stuff before on Television commercials....

    (I won't even touch on the 'Annie Hall' thing....)

    I'm sure you'll disagree with all of the above. It probably DOES sound "paranoid" to say the media doesn't like Lucas. I don't think there's anything I (or anyone else) can say to convince you otherwise....

    I just call 'em as I see 'em.


    MORMEGIL Jedi Youngling star 2

    Aug 1, 2001
    Greedo came to take Han's ship or life. Since one was sort of interchangeable with the other, I think there's no cold blood involved in Han smoking him. If someone walks up to you with a weapon, you can use any means necessary to A) get away or B) get them out of your way. You can think of it this way: Greedo might as well have fired first the moment he assaulted Han with the blaster.
  4. Ozzel

    Ozzel TF.N Foreign Book Covers Staff star 5 VIP

    May 14, 2001
    Let's not turn this into another "Greedo shot first" thread. I was meerly proving my point.
  5. Darth23

    Darth23 Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 14, 1999
    Yeah, That's the only major thing Lucas was ever wrong about. Let's leave it at that. :D

  6. C-3P0

    C-3P0 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 20, 2001
    No he wasn't. :p
  7. Ternian

    Ternian Jedi Youngling star 4

    May 16, 2000
    The DVD version of TPM kills the Theatrical version!!!

    It is the best!!!
  8. Darth23

    Darth23 Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 14, 1999
    Check ou the teaser trailer and listen really closelly when "Every Saga has a Beginning" is on screen, right before the shot of Anakin's Pod. :D
  9. Ozzel

    Ozzel TF.N Foreign Book Covers Staff star 5 VIP

    May 14, 2001
    Darth, I checked that out: that's awesome! I'd never noticed that before. :

    And it appears that our Earnest friend has gone. I guess he could handle my facts. Some people just always have to be right.
  10. VladTheImpaler

    VladTheImpaler Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 13, 2000
    Do we have any sales figures yet? If not, when do they typically get released?

    *crosses fingers*
  11. son_of_the_tear

    son_of_the_tear Jedi Master star 5

    Jun 23, 1999
    Funny, most people I encounted in he so called REAL WORLD as you put it, either liked it, loved or just thought it was fun.

    Very few people I encountered hated it.

    So there goes that argument.

    And I am not talking about 5 people I know. But people in the cinema and around the office and my friends and their friends, etc, etc.

    How about you get a life? Internet critic? get a real job.

    Like Joe Rogan said, all critic are just dodge ball victims.

  12. C-3P0

    C-3P0 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 20, 2001
    Here are some initial numbers if you guys want to go through them.

    From [link=][/link]:

    [blockquote]Episode I DVD Sells at Lightspeed
    October 18, 2001

    Fastest selling DVD of all time.
    Nearly three years after its theatrical release and almost 18 months following its VHS release, eager consumers have made Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace the fastest-selling DVD of all time at traditional retail outlets nationwide. Episode I has outsold the year's previous reported sales velocity record-holders in the same 24 hour period. Total Day One consumer generated DVD purchasing revenue for Episode I is more than $17 million.

    "The Phantom Menace DVD set a record when it sold more on its release day than any other title in Musicland's DVD history," said Peter Busch, vice president of video for Musicland which operates more than 1,300 Sam Goody, Suncoast, On Cue and Media Play stores nationwide.

    The #2 film of all time and available on VHS for nearly two years, Episode I sales on its initial release on April 4, 2000, surpassed five million units in its first two days of sales. Marking the first film of the Star Wars saga to debut on DVD, consumers have purchased more than $260 million in Episode I home entertainment products (VHS and DVD).

    From TFN's [link=]news page[/link]: [blockquote]

    Episode I DVD To Set Records
    Thu, Oct 18, 01 10:26:11 AM EDT

    [link=]Variety[/link] reports:

    Based on stellar opening-day returns, ""Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace'' is on track to better the first-week DVD sales record of two million copies set just last week by Universal's ""The Mummy Returns,'' 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment said Wednesday.
    Fox also claimed a first-day sales record at ""traditional retail outlets,'' reporting $17 million in consumer spending on the disc on Tuesday. Last week, Disney's Buena Vista Home Entertainment said DVD sales of ""Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'' raked in a record $20 million-$25 million on its first day, fueled by an aggressive preorder campaign and placement in Disney Stores.

    Universal announced last week that consumers snatched up a record 2 million copies of the ""Mummy Returns'' DVD in its first week.

    While ""The Mummy Returns'' is one of this year's biggest theatrical releases, ""Phantom'' was released about 2-1/2 years ago and is already in millions of homes on VHS.

    The VHS edition broke all records in April 2000 when it sold 5 million copies and generated $100 million at retail in its first 48 hours of release. Fox said total video spending (VHS and DVD) on the film is now more than $260 million. The ""Phantom'' DVD carries a suggested retail price of $29.98.

    Sources say that stores could run out of the 2.4 million copies of ""Phantom'' that were shipped on orders of about 3.3 million.

    Visit the link above for more. Thanks to Padawan70 for the alert!


  13. Darth23

    Darth23 Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 14, 1999
    Thanx for the links!

    I could be wrong, but it seems to me that 243 million (260 - 17) is more than the 176 million earnest kept quoting.

    Apparently the dvd sales record is 5.5 million units (Gladiator). Unfortunately it's has hard to regularly find accurate sales figures for DVDs as for VHS tapes. I guess we'll have to hope for more news reports.
  14. wizard8

    wizard8 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Jun 19, 2001
    Ok, Ernest Rister. So I guess that it seems that Disney films are the best selling films on video. Why?
    Is it because they have such a huge fan base of fans?

    My sister is a few months pregnant, her and her husband do not watch Disney films, wouldn't watch Disney films, and haven't seen any Disney films in years.
    Yet, along with the crib and the baby clothes, they've already preordered the entire Disney collection on DVD.
    Alot of people buy Disney movies and other cartoons to babysit their kids. Alot of parents don't sit down and watch these films with their kids, they just put them in and press play, and then they can do house chores or whatever.
    I remember an ex-girlfriend of mine used to babysit all the time and the Disney films were always on hand on VHS to calm the kids down.
    Disney videos are a parent's necessity, right under diapers and toys.
    It's no wonder Disney films are the most popular DVD sales.

    It's a known fact that movies these days don't have the "legs" that older films had. Does this mean newer films aren't as good?
    Not at all. It took years for the original SW films to be released on video.

    Movies back then were re-released in theaters over and over because there wasn't a home video format, or at least it was in its early stages. In the '80s, Lucas and Spielberg didn't release their films on video for years.

    It took years for the original SW films to be released on video.

    Yet, even though people knew they weren't going to see Empire Strikes Back on video for a while, and most people didn't even own a video player, they didn't come out in droves to see it in the theaters. Why not? It was a sequel to one of the most beloved films ever made.
    ESB was considered a dissappointment in comparison to the first. I have the 1980 world book/year book that states it was considered a critical and commercial dissappointment. It wasn't very highly regarded when it was first released.
    Is ESB not as good as the other SW films?

    Alot of people I know didn't buy TPM on VHS because they wanted it on DVD. These people aren't huge fans of SW, but they like the experience of the film and they want the 5.1 surround sound and superiour picture and sound quality.

    Some people I know bought it on VHS and won't buy it on DVD.
    There are alot of people out there that purchase films on DVD that they don't have on VHS. They still regard their VHS collection highly and don't regard DVD to be such an improved home video format that they will repurchase their entire VHS collection on DVD. Some people have watched some of their VHS films so many times that they don't want to watch them again, even if they realize DVD is a much better format.
    If Cameron re-released Titanic on DVD in superior sound and video to the original release, would it be an amazing seller? I seriously doubt it. Alot of people have it on DVD, and that's all that matters to them.

    Another movie that really polarized movie audiences this year was AI. I loved the film, I thought it was one of the best films I've seen this year, and alot of my friends thought so too. Alot of critics felt that way too. I felt it was flawed, but I felt it was a refreshing effort from Spielberg especially after some of the other stuff he's done.
    Alot of people hated AI, I just spoke with a couple of people in the last couple weeks that thought it was the worst film this year.
    The film was a box office flop unfortunately. It lasted 2 weeks in all of the major theaters around here. I know alot of people that wanted to see it and kept putting it off, they were very surprised it was gone so quickly.
    But most of them said, "hey, I've got DVD, it'll be out in a couple months and it'll look and sound as good as it did in the theaters."

    There are movies that are released in the theaters that go absolutely nowhere, despite being good and having good word of mouth. Suddenly they are released on DVD and they're huge.
    Unbreakable lasted about as long as AI around here and I know alot of people that purchased the DVD without even seeing it. Ditto for Memento. Those
  15. Ozzel

    Ozzel TF.N Foreign Book Covers Staff star 5 VIP

    May 14, 2001
    I've never even seen Titanic! (Well, I've seen tons of clips, parts, and little bits here and there, but I've never sat down and watched the whole movie.)

    And proud of it! :D
  16. MountainMan

    MountainMan Jedi Youngling star 3

    Aug 11, 2001
    It appears that our Ernest friend has run for the hills, but perhaps we should re-title this thread "Why people are getting the DVD!" as The Phantom Menace has knocked the doors off yet another sales record. This is from a Variety report:

    Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace has set a new first-week sales record, with an estimated 2.2 million DVD units purchased by consumers since the title was released on Oct. 16.

    That sales figure, which equates to more than $45 million in consumer spending on the DVD, barely eclipses the old record set by "The Mummy Returns" just two weeks ago, when Universal reported first-week sales at 2 million units.

    Funny how a film so universally "despised" by the public seems to sell like mad whenever it's released in any format. Me thinks folks were not nearly as disappointed with the film as a handful of cynics would have us believe.

    (Note: the report specifies that those 2.2 millions copies sold were "purchased by consumers", so nobody try to use the ol' "Those numbers only apply to units shipped" crap!)
  17. Darth23

    Darth23 Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 14, 1999
    I still think Shrek will beat TPM is sales. Maybe not, since a lot of parents will buy it for the kids on VHS instead.

    It would be cool to see TPM beat Gladiator's 5.5 million record, though.
  18. Jenkwombat

    Jenkwombat Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jan 23, 2001

    Ha Ha!!

    Every store in my area was "Sold Out" of 'The Phantom Menace' DVD by Wednesday, October 17.....

    I wonder if, now that the 'Phantom' DVD has set records, we might get a "Sorry" (or at least a "We were wrong") from the bashers.....

    Somehow, I doubt it.

    To paraphrase 'Love Story':

    "Being a basher means never having to say you're sorry...."

  19. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 19, 1999
    How 'bout a qualified admission.

    Here goes.

    From all the reports (and I don't know because I haven't seen it yet), the DVD is a very good product. Lucas made an effort to provide real value and, for fans interested in the development of the Star Wars saga, the Episode I DVD extras are essential.

    Ok, enough of that.

    But take away the documentary and the deleted scenes and the movie itself is still sub-par. If dollar sales prove anything, then it is that TPM is considered by the public to be only marginally better than The Mummy Returns, a film which most of you concede is easy to forget. I am not surprised to see the second-most successful movie ever (not adjusted for inflation) do slightly better on DVD than The Mummy Returns. But aren't gushers surprised that it is not doing phenomenally better? Shouldn't it be making twice the money as opposed to a few percentage points?

  20. C-3P0

    C-3P0 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 20, 2001
    Nope. The Mummy Returns is a new release. TPM came out on video in April of 2000.

    It's phenomenal that a movie most die hards and regular fans alike already own is doing enough business on DVD to topple a new release.
  21. Darth-Mauls-Torso

    Darth-Mauls-Torso Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 1, 2001
    You know what baffles and saddens me? That The Mummy Returns outsold The Godfather trilogy! :eek:

    Sure one disc costs less than five, but still. It's the principal of the thing!
  22. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 19, 1999
    Forcing people to buy Godfather 3 to get Godfathers 1 and 2 is nothing short of a crime.

    The Episode I DVD didn't actually sell itself on the movie, but on the "extras," so you would expect a boost over The Mummy Returns. Also, they spent a lot to market the TPM DVD, more tv ad time I would bet than for the theatrical release. With all that, they should have been able to do significantly better than a barely average movie like TMR.
  23. AT-AT_Commander

    AT-AT_Commander Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 23, 2001
    How do you get episode 1 commercials were on tv alot more than TMR. everywhere i looked there was something about TMR coming out. compared to TPM which i barely saw anything.
  24. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 19, 1999
    My contention is and always has been that Episode I is a run-of-the-mill summer blockbuster, with less energy and worse writing than much of the standard summer action fare. Episode I received a $500 million boost at the box office from the Star Wars name alone. In other words, Lucas traded away a half-billion dollars in brand equity to generate nearly a billion in box office receipts.

    The DVD is clearly not getting that level of attention. 2 1/2 years after its release, TPM admittedly is being treated like a new release film. That is the advantage of the Star Wars name, but clearly the value of TPM is diminishing over time. The issue is of course complicated by the fact that the DVD player market is not saturated like the VCR market. We're not far past the "early adopters" phase of DVD player sales.

    From a marketing point of view, Lucas was slightly trapped. If he had released the TPM DVD with the VHS product, he would have cannibalized sales from a fully mature VCR market. If he had waited another year or so for significantly more households to own DVD players , interest in TPM would have dropped much more dramatically and of course he would be interfering with the product cycle of Episode II. In all, his timing was probably good and his product was superior. He made up for the weaknesses in the film by maximizing the potential of the DVD format.

    The genius of Lucas as a marketer is his ability to kill any number of birds with the same stone. His marketing campaign for Episode I's initial release was probably the most cost-effective effort in the history of cinema. Even if the DVD barely pays for itself, it still has value for promoting Episode II, just as the Special Editions revved people up for Episode I.
  25. Darth23

    Darth23 Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 14, 1999
    "Episode I received a $500 million boost at the box office from the Star Wars name alone. In other words, Lucas traded away a half-billion dollars in brand equity to generate nearly a billion in box office receipts. "

    That's not really true. MOST sequels don't perform as well as the originals, especially if the originals did really really well. Look at ESB's performance compared to ANH. EBS made sigfinicantly less than the original, even though it had the 'Star Wars' name. Does that mean that Lucas and Kersher wasted the Star Wars name in 1980 with 'the best movie if the series'?

    TPM performed like a Super Summer blockbuster, with better legs. It has the same basic pattern of drop offs, but it did a little better.

    Once you get better than average staying power, it doesn't make much sense to expect even better performance than that.
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