Tuesday, July 27

The Halfhearted (Fumbled?) Video Distribution of The Collector (2009)

This is one of those entries where my speculation is probably entirely untrue and mostly unfounded, but I've observed some odd things regarding the video distribution of Marcus Dunsan's The Collector. Over the past weekends, even almost the weekend of the film's video release, I noticed folks at several different swap meets selling legitimate DVD copies. Okay, spotting a couple of new releases of dubious origin in places like that isn't new. Yet, these different peddlers had what seemed like piles of copies. I'm aware that this potboiler didn't ignite the box office or particularly go gonzo on video, but it's simply unheard of to find such an abundance of "real" overstock of any film at a swap meet.

Then we have Amazon.com. The world's largest e-tailer simply doesn't sell either the DVD or Blu-ray directly. Other online merchants do (i.e. - DVDEmpire, DeepDiscountDVD), but Amazon only offers both editions through their seller Marketplace. The film's distributors, Vivendi Entertainment and Genius Products, are powerhouses in terms of video properties and you probably own a slew of discs from their stables. So it just doesn't calculate that Amazon, at least for the weeks I've been checking, never has and still doesn't carry the video releases. What gives?

The Blu-ray edition also appears afflicted. I can remember contemplating buying the BD upon its day-and-date release with the DVD. The DVD arrived on April 6th, but the high def release couldn't be found anywhere in-store. Checking around online yielded the same deal. It was only after a few weeks that I noticed the Blu-ray popping up for sale. Either Vivendi screwed the pooch on readying the BD on time or lost interest in releasing it. If they indeed figured it wasn't worth the trouble, deciding to sell off the initial run (usually numbering 3-5k), the Blu-ray might become rarer over time. Could be worth bumping this up on your purchase list if interested before seeing it quadruple over retail in a couple years.

Of course, I'm more-or-less throwing out hearsay, and the reality of the situation is probably much milder. I've personally never seen such strange circumstances surrounding a video release. It seems Vivendi doesn't particularly care or totally bumbled the handling of this film's home debut. You can certainly find The Collector, but something is off with its availability (or non-availability) through certain channels. As for the flick, I stand behind my prior assessment. With the plausibility of a polka dotted elephant, it's a nice little slice of overly stylish sadism and exactly the kind of horror junk food I can't resist from time-to-time.


Buscemi said...

Initially this DVD was released only through Blockbuster (seven months after the film's theatrical release). It's possible that some of the overstock came from ex-rentals.

Jayson Kennedy said...

Thanks Buscemi for the info!

I had no idea of that, that goes a long way in explaining what's going on...most likely.

I should at least walk into Blockbuster more often...

...do you dare tread upon the staircase?

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