Earlier this year, 20th Century Fox decided to stop distributing DVD extras to rental outlets, offering Netflix and its ilk discs that only contained the movie itself. If you wanted the bonus features, you’d have to buy the DVD (or find that extra footage online). Now Disney has decided to take the same approach.
Starting in June, DVD releases including Confessions of a Shopaholic and Jonas Brothers: The Concert Experience will be available as movie-only discs through rental outlets and premium versions with the usual extras through retailers.
Unlike Fox’s program, though, Disney will allow stores that also offer a rental program, like Blockbuster, to rent out the bonus-feature discs. Disney will also force outlets to pay more for the premium discs than they would for the movie-only versions. Fox charges retailers and rental outlets the same for both versions and dictates that only the pure movie version can be rented.
It’s understandable that in the wake of decreasing DVD sales, studios are finding ways to get people to pay for these discs. For Disney in particular, first-quarter titles like Shopaholic and the Jonas Brothers’ 3-D concert film were busts at the box office, so it makes sense that the Mouse House would try to boost sales for DVD releases of such titles by forcing people to pay for extra footage.
But as with Fox’s program, we wouldn’t be surprised if Disney’s extra features quickly showed up online. However, we don’t think of Jonas Brothers fans as Bit Torrent users, so it’s possible that Disney might have more success with its plan.
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