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Customer Discussions > Blu-ray forum

Why are Blu-Ray movies suddenly so cheap during the holiday buying season?

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Showing 1-15 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 12, 2012, 12:28:59 PM PST
I'm curious why the price of Blu-Ray movies has plummeted from an average of $20-25 bucks for one disc down to as low as $3.99 for some of the hot sales on Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and a few other retailers this year?

I understand that there are always black-friday door busters and such, but I continue to see many great movies which were once $25 bucks down to a mere $3.99 (just bought the Green Lantern blu-ray on Amazon last week), and $5 for the Terminator 2 Skynet Blu-Ray. $10 for the Oceans Trilogy!? Amazing prices! I'm snagging them up even if I don't really NEED them (how often do we watch all the movies we buy??) because of the cheap prices.

So, that brings an interesting question. After the first of the year, will the prices go back up to normal? Some of the movies on sale are already priced back up, albeit they are still lower then they used to be, i.e. the $3.99 ones are now $9.99 or $14.99 but still way down from their original $20-30 dollar price tags.

I have two theories. The movie studios need to boost sales of certain low-performing titles so they authorized a huge slash of the prices. My other theory is that they are dumping the blu-ray titles to make room for the new 4K HD format that will be pushed upon consumers next year, forcing us to buy yet another new TV, new player, and re-buy all our old movies again.

What are your thoughts?

Posted on Dec 12, 2012, 12:38:03 PM PST
BTW, as a follow up, I found this most recent sales figures for blu-ray vs DVD. Looks like DVD is still killing blu-ray in sales, at 20% blu ray, 80% DVD, so maybe they are trying to drive that number in the other direction... Realizing that the average consumer isn't willing to pay more for blu-ray..

Posted on Dec 12, 2012, 12:41:18 PM PST
turkish says:
I havent purchased a single DVD for the last 4 years

Posted on Dec 12, 2012, 1:46:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 12, 2012, 3:43:53 PM PST
A M says:
"The movie studios need to boost sales of certain low-performing titles so they authorized a huge slash of the prices."

The studios do not control prices. The retailers do. That is why almost nothing sells at MSRP. The Manufacturer only SUGGESTS the Retail Price.

"they are dumping the blu-ray titles to make room for the new 4K HD format that will be pushed upon consumers next year"

4K TVs are on the market, but there will be essentially no content. Almost all feature films and TV have been mastered at 1920x1080 or 2K for the last ten years. Only a handful of films and restorations have been done at 4K or 6K. There are no standards for 4K for a consumer format yet. It may happen. But it won't be for quite a while.

Retailers are probably trying to clear out excess inventory. Possibly even at a loss just to get rid of the product. They know that people are out and shopping right now. Presumably for gifts. But because there are so many people shopping right now, it can lead to impulse buys just because something is so cheap (I mean, they got you).

That is part of what drove DVD sales in the beginning. A new movie was only $20, where for 20 years a new VHS of a movie was more like $90. You could only buy catalog titles at cheap prices. So people would see it on a supermarket shelf or at Best Buy and just grab it. It took 10 years for people to realize that they would essentially watch the movie once or twice (unless it was a kids movie) and it was a waste.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2012, 2:08:06 PM PST
That's an interesting comment you make about studios controlling prices. Unless retailers are enjoying a 400% markup on the price of a blu-ray movie, which I highly doubt given the normally slim margins that most big box stores run under, I highly doubt they would mark down their movies and take a huge loss on them unless there was some sort of pricing support from the movie studios. I would guess that when they purchase inventory, they have a certain right to return the excess inventory, but I am merely speculating here. Hopefully someone with more inside information on how the industry works will see this post and comment on it.

Posted on Dec 12, 2012, 3:50:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 12, 2012, 4:05:48 PM PST
EdM says:
It may be that expectations for BD have not been entirely met. IF so, there is plant availability for pressing BD titles, and for not much cost basis, older titles that have paid off their mastering and studio costs, can be offered for pretty cheap. After all, a plant making low cost BDs is making something, even if only some of its costs, while a plant sitting empty is not earning anything.

New monster [large volume, popular] titles on the issue date often are available for a good price, maybe $18-20 @, as opposed to perhaps $25 [or more] for lower volume content. Blowing through a high volume in the first week does several things, one of which is to limit physical disk storage costs to almost nothing. This can be reflected in somewhat lower prices. It also provides a kind of momentum, which can itself boost sales. Plus, economies of scale in production costs. Still, you don't see monster selling, great, new BDs like Marvel's The Avengers (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging) for $3.99 on day of issue.

Low prices can also serve to push sales of the format, as some will see the low cost and try BD, and become hooked on the quality that they may not have not experienced before. That is, lower costs can drive expansion of the format, just as was the case for DVDs, back when. Also, there is fierce competition in the retail side between the various sellers. It might be excess inventory, perhaps partly due to low wholesale cost for retailers to purchase content for planned sales programs.

Most likely, it is a combination of things, which, along with customers expecting to get great sales around Black Friday time, serves to produce low cost titles at this time of year to meet customer expectations.

As to the "coming" 4k, that's extremely unlikely in any reasonable near term, IMO. When you consider that it took over a decade for HDTV to catch on [if you count changeover day as the day of catching on], and that there is a bit of chicken/egg going on [hardware/content], plus there's no extra bandwidth for public, OTA [over the air - antenna based] 4k format content, it's extremely doubtful that 4k will be significant for at least a decade or more, perhaps much more.

After all, there are still close to 1/2 of all USA customers who still watch SD TV, via an analog cable setup, via a converter box w/analog, SD tube TV, etc. Not to mention that the "next big thing" was to have been 3D HDTV, which has been a niche product at best. I do look for 4k in the future, but long term only, not as a driver for sales this year or next.


"Blu-ray: The State of Play - May 2012"

"The upwards trajectory of Blu-ray market share is pretty evident in the first graph above, but the slowing down of the growth is also pretty evident in the second graph..."

Posted on Dec 12, 2012, 8:04:21 PM PST
Taylor says:
Check out the prices of blurays at

The prices of BDs in the US are a disgrace.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012, 2:40:52 PM PST
I agree, and I have bought some on there before... Last year I got the Harry Potter complete collection for like $35 bucks shipped.. Of course, this year they dropped the price to about the same here in the USA, but yes that is a great way to get discs, just need to make sure they are region free. I got the complete Star Trek DVD collection from them for like $50 bucks but it was encoded in European region so I have to use a hack to watch them LOL

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012, 2:41:38 PM PST
This is great information, thanks for sharing and I appreciate the insightful response, well thought out.

Posted on Dec 13, 2012, 3:54:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 30, 2012, 9:18:40 AM PST
JNagarya says:
The reason they've dropped the prices is very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, simple:

They want to sell them.

Posted on Dec 17, 2012, 11:52:47 AM PST
not all blu rays are cheap. new releases are not. and any title from a non mainstream company is expensive usually.

Posted on Dec 18, 2012, 12:40:02 AM PST
JNagarya says:
Because the industry is trying to get the buyers to move on from DVDs -- many of which are more expensive than the blu-ray editions.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012, 8:10:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 18, 2012, 8:17:45 AM PST
C Barbus says:
I don't really understand why the OP is singling out BDs here. Lots of stuff goes on sale for the holiday season then goes back to normal after Jan 1. There really were not that many $3.99 BD that were originally over $20, but I suspect they will go back to their regular price.

For price tracking trends on BDs, check They have a little price history graph for every title that Amazon sells for the Amazon prices. As an example, check Mad Men seasons from previous holidays. They all went on sale the last few Black Fridays for under $10 and bounced back to normal prices afterwards

PS -Checking the price history, the Green Hornet non 3D BD was hovering between $8 and $11 for MONTHS before Black Friday, so it has already returned to its regular price point.

Posted on Dec 18, 2012, 8:13:41 AM PST
Oskar2525 says:
It is all because Homeland won the Emmy.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2012, 9:21:08 AM PST
JNagarya says:
I still say it's because they want to sell them, therefore the original question is obtuse -- even though 4 of 5 disapproved my pointing to the non-necessity of this thread, the answer being so obvious.
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Discussion in:  Blu-ray forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  15
Initial post:  Dec 12, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 30, 2012

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