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DVD Prices

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  • DVD Prices

    Is it just me, or are the DVDs pretty expensive? I mean, you get 22 or so episodes, a couple commentaries, a couple documentaries, and the on-screen datafiles and all that stuff. Why is the price so much fo these DVDs?

    I really like Babylon 5, but I dont have the kind of money readily available to buy the DVDs...

    Does anyone know, was it WB who set the price for the DVDs?

  • #2
    In terms of TV Series Season Boxsets, B5 DVDs are relatively cheap by comparison. Just look on


    • #3
      I buy my dvd's online from like costco or walmart. Amazon is a good place as well. Big retailers like Media Play, Circuit City and Best Buy have to charge more. They have higher margins on there products.


      • #4
        Well if the case of B5 DVDs being so cheap, then the Stargate SG1 DVDs must be a real bargain?

        Wal-mart price on Stargate SG1 boxed sets: 48-50$

        Wal-mart price on Babylon 5 DVD boxed sets: $69.87-$77.58


        • #5
          The B5 discs are on the higher end of things - see the Buffy and Stargate sets for proof of that. You can sometimes find Buffy sets for $40.

          It's basically a reflection of what they can get away with or how much they think they'll sell. Babylon 5 is slightly more of niche show even within the niche of sci-fi (+$10), and it's fanbase is extremely loyal, as proved by previous disc sales, so they'll all buy the discs anyway (+$10-15).

          Just be glad you're not trying to pull together the Farscape sets. That will surely send your wallet screaming in terror.
          Radhil Trebors
          Persona Under Construction


          • #6
            Originally posted by Radhil
            Just be glad you're not trying to pull together the Farscape sets. That will surely send your wallet screaming in terror.
            Exactly what I was thinking. I "lost" the Sci-Fi channel, when it stopped airing in Scandinavia. At that time Farscape had not been sent for a very long time. Therefore, I decided that I would look for Farscape on DVD. I never got as much into that series as I did with Babylon 5, and after seeing those prices, I am still considering whether I should buy them or not. As a student, I have to be careful with money.


            • #7
              The Buffy and SG-1 sets are a real bargain. Different companies play the supply and demand game differently:

              1) If you've got a pretty big following, but mostly among younger people with less disposable income, you can price an item lower and make more profit thanks to the increased sales volume.

              2) If you're aiming at a really huge fanbaes with more older viewers and more disposable income, with a high proportion of fanatical collects who buy any piece of merchandise with the show's name on it, you can charge very high prices and still sell huge numbers - and thereby generate even higher profits.

              Buffy and SG-1 are examples of the former. The Paramount Trek sets are examples of the latter. They retail for over to $100 US based on a retail price of $130 (for the current season release of a show) or $140 (for the earlier seasons) per set. X-Files sets are also up there with a list price of $150 and a typical retail price of just over $100.

              B5 falls somewhere in between, with a list price of $100 and a typical retail price between $70 and $80. Fans of the show tend to skew older and more affluent, and are very loyal. OTOH there hasn't been a lot of B5 merchandise or other spin-offs, and fans tend to be selective rather than completist about this stuff. I have the DVDs and some of the books, for instance, but was never interested in the RPG and don't own any of the music CDs. So we're not so fanatical that WB can soak us and still be assured of us paying what they ask, like Trek fans, but there aren't so many of us who are "on the bubble" or short of cash that cutting the price much lower would increase sales by a lot.

              So the studio tries to price the sets where they can make a reasonable profit based on the number of sets they expect to sell, without setting the price so high that large numbers of people refuse to pay. The total pool of possible B5 DVD buyers is a lot smaller for any of those other shows, but the DVD production cost for similar numbers of episodes and some reasonble extras is not that much lower, so the studio has to strike a balance.

              The studios don't set the final in-store retail price. They generally set a "Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price" (MSRP) or "list price" For X-Files that's $150, for B5 it's $100. The retailer buys the sets at a discount, the more copies the retailer buys, the bigger that discount. A mom and pop video store that buys 3 copies of a given DVD might get 20% off the MSRP. That probably means they have to sell it at full price to cover their overhead and make a small profit. A Best Buy may get a 35% or 40% discount, so they can afford to sell the set for 20% below list and still make money. Costco and Sam's club buy whole blocks of DVD titles from the studios at bargain-basement prices and this, along with the lower overhead of their "barebones" stores, lets them sell for even less.

              On-line retailers, which have only a fraction of the overhead costs of a brick and mortar store, can also deeply discount, even if they're only getting 10% to 20% off list, and really big e-tailers like, or those that share warehouse inventory with brick and mortar stores like Barnes and Nobel, can often sell for even less because they get the benefit of lower operating costs and bigger volume purchases than most of their on-line competition.


              Last edited by Joseph DeMartino; 01-17-2004, 09:38 AM.
              Joseph DeMartino
              Sigh Corps
              Pat Tallman Division


              • #8
                With all that being said, how much does it actually cost WB and the manufacturer to actually produce the DVDs?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hazard
                  With all that being said, how much does it actually cost WB and the manufacturer to actually produce the DVDs?
                  WB is the manufacturer. WAMO (Warner Advanced Media Operations) is one of the largest DVD replication operations in the world, and manufacturers a lot of discs for other studios as well as itself and associated companies.

                  I don't think any members of this forum work in the industry, much less for Warner Bros., and that's the only way anyone could have specific information on what the DVDs cost to produce.

                  The discs themselve cost pennies apiece to stamp out, but that is, of course, the merest fraction of what it costs to create a disc that has any content on it. WB has to master, digitize, compress, author, and lock each of the six DVDs of a B5 set. The rule of thumb it that it costs anywhere from many tens to several hundred thousand dollars per hour of material to go through all the steps required to get a film or TV series onto a disc. That's without the cost of producing the extras (which then go through all the same expensive steps that the original film or TV episodes do), programming and testing the menus, designing the packaging, assembling, warehousing and shipping all this stuff.

                  So WB isn't actually clearing a huge chunk of that $70 or so we plunk down to buy the sets.


                  Joseph DeMartino
                  Sigh Corps
                  Pat Tallman Division


                  • #10
                    I'm so happy that the Babylon 5 DVD Box Sets are really cheap in Germany.

                    For example one DVD season of any Star Trek Show costs 100Ç and the B5 seasons are down to 20Ç!

                    I would never have seen this greatest of all Sci-Fi shows if the seasons would cost much more.
                    My UHD, Blu-Ray and DVD Collection


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Radhil

                      Just be glad you're not trying to pull together the Farscape sets. That will surely send your wallet screaming in terror.
                      Just a quick note again on the farscape sets. I bought them from who are an Australian e-tailer and brick and mortar store. Although the Australian sets are only six discs (and thuis don't have the gaggle of extras that the american sets do) if you're just interested in the show they retail for about AUS$45 each, or less than a third of the cost. Even when you add in relatively expensive shipping (AUS$72 for all 4). It's still a good deal. It only took 5 working days to get from Australia (shipepd Thursday 2nd December, arrived Wednesday 8th December) to Ireland. They have bargins on other stuff too, the B5 sets are priced at (goes off to check) aus$55 each.
                      Give it a go, I found them pleasant and professional to deal with.
                      on the "no I don't have shares in the place" ID
                      "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "


                      • #12
                        I try to buy my DVD sets at BJ's which is comparable to Sam's Club and Costco. They generally run about $60 to $65 there. To complete my collection of all five seasons, I broke down and paid $45 on Ebay. Now I'm hoping for Crusade for my birthday...
                        You can't win if you don't play!!


                        • #13
                          I have to take issue with some of the points that Joe M made earlier regarding the costs of DVDs. First of all, IÆm not sure that the various guilds have stayed on top of the royalty situations as far as paying directors, actors, etc, although that will almost certainly change when those deals are eventually renegotiated. IÆm not saying they donÆt get any money; just not as much as one would think they deserve.

                          Secondly, budgets for the so-called extras can often be relatively modest versus the amount of money the studio is making. The people who do the commentaries are often doing it for a nominal fee if anything at all, and itÆs becoming more commonplace to have people do commentary tracks while theyÆre still contracted for the projects, so theyÆre basically doing them as promotion. And some of the companies that package the extras for a DVD project often do them for very modest budgets. Not that long ago, I spoke to a friend of mine for whom I did some work on DVD interviews, and I was astonished when she told me what their average budget was, and that was the industry standard. So bearing all those factors in mind, it certainly suggests that the studios are getting a much bigger piece of the pie


                          • #14
                            DVD prices

                            When the B5 DVD sets started coming out, they were more on the lower end of the price spectrum, but things have changed since then. Note that the X-Files sets have started being reissued at a much less expensive price (now being available for $40 or less on sale). For most TV shows that were originally shown on network TV, it seems that the price is about $40 on sale for a season of an hour long show. Regarding Farscape, they are also being reissued in a less expensive format. The season sets were about $90 on sale, but now they have these Starburst editions which are about 1/3 of a season - on sale for $15-$20 or so.



                            • #15
                              50 Sci Fi classics - $20.

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                              Phone # (800) 647 - 2290

                              50 Of The Best Sci-Fi Classics On Earthà And Beyond!

                              The Astral factor - Robert Foxworth
                              Bride of the Gorilla - Raymond Burr
                              The Wasp Woman - Susan Cabot
                              HÚrrors of Spider Island - Harold Maresch
                              Kong Island - Brad Harris

                              Side B
                              The Galaxy Invader - Richard Dysel
                              Attack of the Monsters - Christopher Murphy
                              Gammera the Invincible - Brian Donlevy
                              Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet - Basil Rathbone
                              Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women - Mamie
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                              Disc 2 - Side A
                              Crash of the Moons - Richard Crane
                              Menace from Guter Space - Richard Crane
                              Cosmos: War of Planets - John Richardson
                              Destroy All ldnets - Carl Craig
                              Colossus and the Amazon Queen - Rod Taylor

                              Side B
                              The Incredible Petrifipd World - John Carradine
                              Unknown World - Bruce Kellog
                              Battle of the Worlds - Claude Raines
                              Queen of the Amazons - Patricia Morisoh
                              The Robot Monster - George Nader

                              Disc 3 - Side A
                              Killers from Space - Peter Graves
                              Phantom of Space - Ted Copper
                              Flash Gordon : The Claim Jumpers - Steve Holland
                              Flash Gordon : Akim the Terrible - Steve Holland
                              Flash Gordon : The Breath of Death - Steve Holland

                              Side B
                              Hercules Unchained - Steve Reeves
                              Herculps and the Jyrants Qf Babylon - Peter Lupus
                              Bloodtide - James Earl Jones
                              First Spaceship on Venus - YokoÆTani Zontar
                              The Thing from Venus - John Agar

                              Disc 4 - Side A
                              The Brain Machine - James Best
                              Warning from Space - Toyomi Karita
                              Assignment: Outer Space - Rick Van Nutter
                              Laser Mission - Brandon Lee
                              They Came from Beyond Space - Robert Hutton

                              Side B
                              The Lost Jungle - Clyde Beatty
                              The Wild Women of Wongo - Jean Hawkshdw
                              50'S on of Hercules : The Land of Darkness - Dan
                              Prehistoric Women - Laurette Luez
                              Mesa of Lost Women - Jackie Coogan

                              Disc 5 - Side A
                              She Gods of Shack Reef - Bill Cord
                              The Transparent Man - Maguerite Chapman
                              Santa Claus Conquers the Martians - Pia Zadora
                              Teenagers from Outer Space - David Love
                              The Atomic Brain - Bradford Dillman

                              Side B
                              White Pongo - Peter Fraser
                              The Devil of Jhe Desert Against the Sons of Hercules
                              Hercules AgainsttheMoon Man - Alan Steel
                              Hercules and the Captive Women - Reg Park
                              The Snow Creature - Paul Langton
                              Last edited by rallytbk; 01-24-2006, 12:03 PM.
                              "The world is a dangerous place---not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it" --Albert Einstein