Warner Bros. is Releasing DVDs for Old People

Erm…maybe that came out wrong. What I meant to say was that Warner Bros. is opening its vault in a “made-to-order” manner, trying to scare some life back into the home video business (BTW, wasn’t it just a year ago they were telling us that the movie theater was dying and the future was in home cinema? I guess that was before Dark Knight, huh?):

Over the last 12 years, Warner Home Video has released about 1,200 vintage films from its vast library on DVD. But that still leaves about 3,800 feature titles that have yet to make their digital debuts. At the studio’s current release rate of 100 per year, they wouldn’t all be available until midcentury.

So in an industry first, the company today is, in a manner of speaking, inviting the public into the vaults to order what it wants. And like the neighborhood pizzeria, it won’t make it till you order it.

The consumer who visits http://www.warnerarchive.com initially will find 150 classic titles from Warner Bros. Pictures, MGM and RKO that each can be ordered either as a computer download ($14.95) or as a DVD ($19.95) that arrives in the mailbox approximately five days after purchase.

The studio says it intends to bolster that list at the rate of 20 new titles a month — including TV series and TV movies. Many of the movies and shows were once available on video cassette, but none has been on DVD, and many others have never been available for purchase at all.

Some of the works listed: Clark “Who?” Gable films, including “Possessed” and “Men in White”; Greta “When?” Garbo’s silent version of “Anna Karenina”, “Love,” ; Joan “WhoShotWhointheWhatNow?” Crawford’s “This Woman Is Dangerous”; and “Wisdom,” with Emilio Estevez and Demi “Hey that Chick that Married Ashton” Moore.

~ by Gabriel Malor on March 23, 2009.

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