WE HAVE A PRE-ORDER
A24 is an up and coming film studio/distributor and it is pretty clear that they are someone you want to pay attention too. They had a great year last year with 3 films that were talked about all year (The Spectacular Now, Spring Breakers, The Bling Ring) and all three of those films received a standard release strategy on home video; DVD, Blu-ray, Digital.
2014 looks to be another good year for A24, they plan on releasing 7 films at this point, and they have started it off with a pair of critically acclaimed titles. Enemy is the latest from Denis Villeneuve and stars Jake Gyllenhaal, it had very modest success, but was barely released across the country. The other film is Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin which is still in release, is doing better business, and is considered one of the best films of the year in the critical community. Neither of these titles is receiving a Blu-ray release. I understand the economics that might be behind this decision, but the film fans that are going to be most interested in some of the more niche titles that A24 seems to want to try and go mainstream are the kind of people who are still buying physical media. In particular, we buy Blu-rays because we want to enjoy the films we love at the highest quality possible. The studio seems to be offering Ultraviolet copies of the films with the current DVD’s that are scheduled to be released, but putting our only HD experience as an online only endeavor is less than ideal.
Anyone who still supports physical media knows “the cloud” is slowly coming for them, but seeing a studio like A24 giving up the format is disheartening as it felt like they were going to be friends of cinephiles. Stories We Tell was the first film I had to buy on DVD in years to own physically, but I also purchased the film digitally so I could watch it in high-definition. I hate to sound like a Luddite who is holding on to some bygone technology, but Blu-ray is still the best way to watch a film in your home and will be for years to come. The cost of printing/selling Blu-ray’s vs. DVD is negligible, the Blu-ray market share is still (slowly) growing, DVD sales are plummeting, so why would A24 ditch DVD for Blu? Maybe this isn’t their decision, Lionsgate distributes, but I would think it would be in A24’s best interest to continue to cater to the studio’s biggest fans.
Sure, I’m mostly upset that we will not be getting Under the Skin on Blu-ray, but I am someone who is not excited about the potential move to a streaming only collection. Hopefully by the time that move is made our services will be able to match/surpass Blu-ray quality, but for the time being I hope A24 reconsiders and releases all of their titles on Blu-ray going forward.