Warner Often Considers Older Titles for Remastering, but Offers No Specifics

In yesterday’s live chat with Warner Home Video, a question was asked very similar to the one that I intended to ask. I thought you all might be interested in the answer.

[georgekaplan] You’ve been doing a great job releasing catalog titles (hopefully Up in Arms and Top Hat will be coming soon), but are you going to be revisiting some older dvds, which are tragically only available in p&s, such as Grumpy Old Men? Also, any chance of Coal Black showing up on a Looney Tunes collection?

[WarnerHomeVideo] We don’t own UP IN ARMS. It’s a GOLDWYN title. We are revisiting older titles for remastering on a constant basis, but nothing happening for GRUMPY OLD MEN.

Posted by: Joshua Clinard @ 2:37 pm

Matilda Back On Slate – Still Full Screen

Columbia Tristar has issued a new date for the much delayed Matilda Special Edition. It is slated for release on June 7th, but it’s still being released in a modified aspect ratio, according to Sony’s web site . This is indeed a travesty, as this film makes fine use of the widescreen frame. This is a slap in the face to the films many fans, and to those who complained about this release when it was first announced in late 2003. Knowing the history of this DVD, I’ve almost given up on ever owning this title on Reigon 1 DVD. I imported the proper widescreen R2 DVD months ago, and I have enjoyed it immensely.

Posted by: Joshua Clinard @ 9:34 am

Video Business No Longer Treats WS/FS DVDs As Seperate Releases

As of this week, Video Business has apparently stopped treating widescreen and fullscreen DVDs as seperate releases on it’s sales chart. I’m not sure if this just a new policy, or a mistake. Regardless of what it is, I certainly don’t like it. How are the studios going to know which version sells more copies? This change could possibly effect the future of widescreen releases. If a studio conducts it’s own surveys, instead of relying on industry sales stats, the results could be skewed in favor of pan & scan.

In light of this, I will begin looking for a new source for my sales tracker. Billboard magazine still differentiates between widescreen and full screen, but it charges a $20 per month subscription fee for the full list, which tracks the Top 50 releases. You can get the Top 10 releases for free on it’s web site, but that’s not very valuable, as it usually includes only one or two dual releases. I’m going to try to work it out so that I can get the complete list, but we’ll just have to see what I can do.

In the meantime, I have included first week sales data for many of last year’s blockbusters on my sales stats page, sort of a history of the year’s biggest releases. The history chart will stay on the page, regardless of any other source I decide to add to the page.

Posted by: Joshua Clinard @ 11:39 pm

Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban: Not Super35!

Richard Sliwa has incorporated the fullscreen screenshots that I sent him from the Prisoner of Azkaban into his Widescreen vs. Fullscreen comparison page. I must say that the results are truly amazing. Never before have I seen a fullscreen transfer that is a bigger travesty to the original film than this one is. The news here, is that after examining both transfers, it is apparent that the Prisoner of Azkaban was not shot in Super35, but anamorphic, meaning that the film is truly pan & scan. There is never any additonal information on the top or the bottom in any of the shots we examined. There is always at least 45% of the picture information missing from the sides as well. This is clearly one of the greatest examples I have seen that demonstrate the benefits of widescreen vs. pan & scan.If you are still reading this, go check it out!

I’d like to thank Richard for his hard work. I’d like to think that his page will help some fence-sitters out there see the light.

Posted by: Joshua Clinard @ 11:15 am

Disney Fails to Treat Classics Right in 2005

We all thought that the Disney DVD division had turned over a new leaf last year, because they released almost all of their classic films in widescreen, with many being widescreen only releases. This year may turn out to be a huge disappointment. It appears that all of Disney’s classic titles will be released fullscreen only this year.

Disney plans to release Lt. Robin Crusoe, The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin, The Barefoot Executive and Million Dollar Duck on April 12th – all in fullscreen!

Then on May 3rd, Disney will release 3 Haley Mills classics: In Search of the Castaways, That Darn Cat and Summer Magic. Strangely, Disney has not released the aspect ratio information for Summer Magic.

Disney also plans to release Johnny Tremain, Toby Tyler, The Boatniks and The Worlds Greatest Athlete on August 2nd, but Disney has yet to release the specs for these films.

Disney – why can’t your classic releases have some consistency? Release them in their original aspect ratio’s, or No Sale!

Posted by: Joshua Clinard @ 1:28 pm

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