20th Century Fox launches ‘DVDs on demand’ service.
20th Century Fox have announced a new scheme in the US which is such an obviously good idea it’s amazing no other studio with a major back catalogue hasn’t done it before.
Fox, which owns the rights to MGM’s movies, have teamed up with a DVD duplication company called Allied Vaughn to launch what is essentially a made-to-order movie fan’s heaven.
Using Vaughn’s manufacturing on demand technology, the program will allow various retailers to offer MGM’s Limited Edition Collection at around 20 dollars per disc. Each DVD (but no Blu-ray, as yet) will then be manufactured for each specific order. If a movie doesn’t sell, it doesn’t matter, because it hasn’t yet been made. Which allows the studio to risk making more obscure titles available: ones not cost effective enough to get a numbered run.
Initially, more than 50 films will be offered, but the plan is to release more than 400 titles within the next 18 months, all of which have never been available on DVD before.
The service will be in the US only of course, so it’s not yet clear if international shipping will be available due to possible issues over territorial rights. But if the scheme is successful, hopefully it will transfer to the UK in the near future.
Of the 50 titles to be released first (some of which have been available before, but many of which have not) notable movies include: Still of the Night (1982) starring Meryl Streep and Roy Scheider; Rolling Thunder (1977) starring William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones; The Hawaiians (1970) starring Charlton Heston: Bad Jim (1990); By Love Possessed (1961); Diary of a Madman (1963) starring Vincent Price; Westworld sequel, Futureworld (1976); The Satan Bug (1965) directed by John Sturges; The Spikes Gang (1974) starring Lee Marvin; and Vigilante Force (1976) starring Kris Kristofferson; The 7th Dawn (1964) starring William Holden; 99 River Street (1953); Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl (1954); Crusoe (1989); Flight From Ashiya (1964) starring Yul Brynner.
Eric Doctorow of MGM said: “MGM is deeply committed to making its library of films and TV shows available to as wide an audience as possible. Movies-on-demand provides an ideal solution to retailers who wish to expand the MGM titles they offer to their customers, without having to make an inventory investment. Our relationship with Allied Vaughn means we can now offer a simple MOD solution to any retailer who has a website and wishes to participate in this efficient business model.”