Buena Vista: Rental and Retail details...

As you may have read on The R2 Project, Buena Vista are planning to introduce a DVD rental window. From 1 October, Buena Vista will start to release extra-free (just like most of their other titles!) rental DVDs. All rental DVDs will have a four-month window and will retail at £55/disc meaning we'll have to wait a long time before we see any retail versions available to buy.

On top of this, they have also announced a four-tier pricing structure for their retail line-up and it looks like unless they do something special we could end up with a lot of angry consumers...

* The most expensive will be released under the Walt Disney Classic Collector's Editions banner. These will (apparently) be stuffed to the brim with extra features - and will more often than not include a second DVD disc. These titles will retail for £24.99. Examples include the upcoming Tarzan: Collector's Edition.

* Next on the list are the Walt Disney Classics. These will retail at the slightly lower price of £22.99 and will once again be packed with extras. These releases will consist of just one disc.

* A-List films are those which are most likely to be included in the rental strategy. They will once again include a number of extra features and will this time retail at £19.99.

* Finally, B List / Support Films will retail at £17.99 and will include less mainstream movies. Extra's should still be present but in much more limited quantities than other releases.

I have no real objection to three of these tiers. Unfortunately the ones I do have the problem is are the Walt Disney Classics - £22.99 is too much to ask for ANY DVD regardless of how many extra features it holds.

Sean over at DVD Web was lucky enough to be present at a Buena Vista staff meeting on a boat in the Thames! He has details on a number of upcoming releases which will be released under the new rental/pricing structure. I won't repeat it all here, but there are some interesting things in there including a Region 2 release of Dinosaur which will come in both a Collectors and Standard edition - much like this years Tarzan. Dinosaur should make an appearance on 9 April 2001.

Other major titles to gain dates are Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Gone in 60 Seconds and Fantasia 2000... I've added all the retail titles listed by Sean to the Release Schedule.

Pop across to DVD Web for more information.

Colin Polonowski

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