Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fox drops the ball on "Slumdog" DVD - A debacle ensues

20th Century Fox recently announced it would be "changing its policy" on video rentals - from here on out, all of their DVDs will be released in two forms - one for retail, and one for rental.  The difference?  None of the rental DVDs will have special features, in effect forcing viewers to buy the DVDs to watch any bonus stuff.

Sound stupid? Just wait.

There is a national defect with ALL Region 1 (US and Canada) "Slumdog Millionaire" DVDs (released today).  NONE OF THEM have special features.  The back of the box promises a commentary, deleted scenes, and some other stuff, but clicking on the special features tab on the DVD's main menu only takes you to a bland array of upcoming movie trailers.  This is not a minor problem.  It's been reported from Walmarts, Best Buys, Targets, and Amazon.com.  The latter even has a giant disclaimer on the Slumdog DVD page warning you not to buy it because the special features are not there.

So, let's recap: Fox decides to release Slumdog on DVD while it's still in theaters, potentially making double profits on it from a speedy release.  They even release many copies in those flimsy, "green" cases to cut back on supply costs.  Then it turns out they'll have to due an immense product recall, stores will have to deal with an overhaul of returns for the DVD, and there will be at least a 3-week turnaround until the "real" DVDs will be available.  Yikes.

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