Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

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Lowry_Sam
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#51 Post by Lowry_Sam » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:31 pm

Shrew wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:17 pm
I do think we could get a Ray box, maybe as a centennial in 2021, but that would probably be a labor of love on Criterion's part than a blockbuster seller. I don't know who sales of the Apu set were, but I worry Ray has never had major name recognition in the US outside of cinephiles. He seems much more well-known in the UK.
If it were region-free like the Bergman, sales to UK & India shouldn’t be dismissed. If Janus distributed the Ray restorations to the Indian theaters here in California (& wherever else there are theaters that show mostly Bollywood fare), perhaps there would be greater visibility & sales in the US too.

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zedz
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#52 Post by zedz » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:45 pm

dwk wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:26 pm
tenia wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:26 am
...
I feel like I missed where this conversation stems from : has Criterion hinted they are going to do another similar huge set ? I mean, it's not as if these type of sets are frequent amongst their line-up.
They haven't hinted at anything, but 2019 will be Criterion's 35 anniversary and see them release spine #1000. Both offer the excuse to do a set like Bergman to highlight one of the other major names that is identified with Criterion.
Plus there's the not-insignificant matter that the demand for this set FAR overwhelmed Criterion's expectations to the extent that they can't produce enough for the Christmas season. Lavish, completist box-sets for collectors is certainly a major trend for other physical media releases.

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tenia
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#53 Post by tenia » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:48 pm

zedz wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:45 pm
Plus there's the not-insignificant matter that the demand for this set FAR overwhelmed Criterion's expectations to the extent that they can't produce enough for the Christmas season. Lavish, completist box-sets for collectors is certainly a major trend for other physical media releases.
Except if I missed specific intel about this (which I might have), I'd be wary looking too much into this. For all we know, they might have just a bit underestimated the demand for it and the rest is due to the current state of pressing manufactures and distribution. I'm not sure it means they're selling tons of this set, just that they might be selling a bit more than expected (which might be just a couple thousands for all we know).
It's also likely its price point during the B&N sale did a lot for it and might not be representative of the normal appeal for it.

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zedz
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#54 Post by zedz » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:40 pm

I think you might have underestimated their underestimation. They've sold out of the first pressing within a week of release. As far as I'm aware this is unprecedented for any Criterion release, let alone one that sells for hundreds of dollars. In the midst of the Christmas gift buying season that's more that "just a bit underestimated."

As I mentioned above, this is currently a very successful model for physical media. In 2015, the deluxe edition of Dylan's Cutting Edge box retailed for $600 and sold out completely within the space of a couple of months (well-timed to exhaust the total supply of 5,000 just after the new year), netting a cool $3 million for Columbia (who sold the set directly - no margins for middlemen) and Dylan. This year we've been inundated with expensive music box sets following that very successful model (heck, the Kink's Village Green album finally cracked the UK album charts after forty years in the wilderness). It's only natural that home video labels should follow that lead.

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colinr0380
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#55 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:20 pm

It does seem though that in these 'dying days of physical media' that different studios seem to see the advantage and are willing to have their films bundled together into one big boxset. I mean the Bergman boxset has Sony, 20th Century Fox and MGM all listed on the back sheet along with SF Studios and SVT, and the German licensor. So maybe at this point with changes in media to focus more on streaming and companies consolidating such as Disney buying Fox, a box (especially a 'limited, special' one) covering a director across different studios might not seem such a wild proposition.

Which is a long winded way of saying to expect a Wes Anderson mega set in a box that folds out to become a pop up book of a city and a special monograph penned by Matt Zoller Seitz. Failing that a Michael Bay box that can transform into either a spaceship, a World War II plane or a robot.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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zedz
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#56 Post by zedz » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:41 pm

I'm holding out for a Michael Bay box set that can transform into a box set by somebody else.

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domino harvey
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#57 Post by domino harvey » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:51 pm

Bay becomes Ray in one move. Illuminati confirmed

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swo17
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#58 Post by swo17 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:00 pm

I assume you mean that Criterion is releasing an Illuminati boxset

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domino harvey
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#59 Post by domino harvey » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:01 pm

A triangle means only three corners to potentially damage in shipping

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swo17
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#60 Post by swo17 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:14 pm

Dreading the infinite number of times I will have to keep returning mine to get a copy in immaculate condition

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hearthesilence
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#61 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:41 pm

In all seriousness, if anyone's curious as to whether there's a limit to returning the same item, there is.

I bought Bob Dylan's The Bootleg Series Vol. 6: Live 1964 some years back when it was marked down to $10, but despite shipping it in a cardboard box, they kept sending copies that had visible creases along the spine or across the edge of the slipcase. I sent it back several times to get a replacement, and finally they just refunded my money instead of sending a new one. Truth be told I only bought it because it was cheap and I was collecting all things Dylan at the time - much of the performance is kind of half-assed. (The Town Hall and Carnegie Hall shows from 1963 would have been far preferable - they're the two best professionally recorded shows from Dylan's agit-prop folkie heyday.)

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DeprongMori
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#62 Post by DeprongMori » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:27 am

Hoping someone releases an “Early Hirokazu Kore-eda” set, whether it’s Criterion or Arrow.

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tenia
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#63 Post by tenia » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:22 am

zedz wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:40 pm
I think you might have underestimated their underestimation. They've sold out of the first pressing within a week of release. As far as I'm aware this is unprecedented for any Criterion release, let alone one that sells for hundreds of dollars. In the midst of the Christmas gift buying season that's more that "just a bit underestimated."
All I'm saying is that we don't know exactly how many were pressed, so it's hard to know if this boxset is really shifting a lot of copies or if they pressed 1000 of them only while they needed 1500. Which is 50% more than expected (quite a big deviation), but it's still only 1500 copies.

I'm also wondering how much the 50% price reduction helped vs the appeal of the content and Bergman's name.


This being written about this specific set, you're definitely right in the physical market shifting towards big premium heavy set. I mean : if you're amongst those still spending money in physical products, you're probably interested in buying a bit more than just the movie (for which there are cheaper solutions). We're seeing this in France, in the UK, and we're seeing more and more limited releases in the US too.

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movielocke
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#64 Post by movielocke » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:35 am

domino harvey wrote:I honestly don't know that anything will ever sell like a Bergman box, but I think Truffaut and Kurosawa have enough name recognition still to sell more than average
A Chaplin set will outsell the Bergman set, and a Welles set will be comparable. Kurosawa could also outsell Bergman.

But that’s in a vacuum, to a certain extent these $300-500 sets are going to generate customer fatigue, so although Chaplin may have sold more if it were first out of the gate, many of its customers may decline the purchase because they purchased the Bergman set and don’t want another one or don’t find $X value out of the purchase

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domino harvey
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#65 Post by domino harvey » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:44 am

City Lights took three years to sell out the first pressing, I think you are deeply mistaken if you think a giant box of Chaplin would outsell Bergman. Having more name recognition does not mean those same people would be the ones to buy a set

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movielocke
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Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#66 Post by movielocke » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:29 pm

domino harvey wrote:City Lights took three years to sell out the first pressing, I think you are deeply mistaken if you think a giant box of Chaplin would outsell Bergman. Having more name recognition does not mean those same people would be the ones to buy a set
Well apples and oranges fantastic mr Fox has still not sold out it’s first pressing, so by this logic Anderson sells less than either.

We really don’t know what the print runs are for any of their titles, and that’s the crucial missing bit of info we can’t extrapolate. Did they press more or less or the same than the olympics set? Than AK100? We have no idea. Chaplin is bigger than Bergman, which presumably means he’d move more units, but there are a lot of factors at play that would cause that to not be true.

There’s also the induced demand that scarcity deliberately or inadvertently generates. Which is to say that missing demand by 1% or 100% changes the current outcome we’re experiencing very little.

I imagine the next print run will be determined by the per unit costs of printing the book and case, because of those two factors there’s a curve where they can’t really order units below a certain number, so the second printing runs the risk of being much less successful if they have to over print and as a result overshoot demand. But that’s a good problem to have overall. Much better than selling too few in the first place!

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swo17
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#67 Post by swo17 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:34 pm

I wonder if they're kicking themselves for not pricing the Bergman box higher. I bet it would've done just about as well with a $100 higher MSRP. Or even $200 higher would've seemed like a fair price. And now they've already set a precedent that any future box prices will be up against.

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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#68 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:43 pm

It's worth more, but I would say that the $150 discounted price is about the ceiling for an impulse purchase by someone who either doesn't know Bergman's work well or just doesn't want to drop too much money on a large physical media purchase, regardless of the fact that the set is certainly worth much more.

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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#69 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:44 pm

Maybe there would be an opportunity for Criterion to right some of the issues on the Artificial Eye DVD boxsets of Theo Angelopoulos's films

The problem is that directors that we know might be a possibility might be those with a number of Blu-ray titles already. A Welles boxset does not feel too necessary to me when we already have wonderful editions of F For Fake, Mr Arkadin, Othello, Chimes At Midnight and The Immortal Story. It would be a bit annoying if there was another Madadayo situation where something like The Trial only got a boxset release, or the only way Netflix would allow a physical disc of The Other Side of Wind would be if it only came out in one giant collection.

Back when the Kurosawa box was released in the DVD era I had to really tell myself that it was not worth it just for the five or six titles that I did not already have (luckily the Eclipse Kurosawa sets filled in some gaps and Madadayo came out on DVD in the UK). Even now with the Bergman set I had to consider whether getting all the other titles on Blu-ray was worth re-getting the couple of Bergman titles that I already owned on Blu-ray, and decided for it this time since it was about half and half, or even 70%/30%. I would presume that Criterion would want to 'position' any big set like this more towards general buyers rather than those who regularly pick up their monthly releases but perhaps with this set we are seeing what happens when a set is 'accidentally'(?) made that appeals to both groups at the same time for different reasons: "I really want to see some Bergman in the best quality, and this looks like the ultimate set"/"I really want a Blu-ray edition of The Rite and From The Life of the Marionettes and this might be the only way we get it".

Something like the Olympic set (or Zatoichi, which is getting released in the UK this month) is probably the extreme other end where the films would never have been released any other way and so perhaps appeal more to the frequent Criterion buyer, as well as specific groups of people outside that who find the content particularly interesting. Maybe they will alternate between boxsets collecting Hitchcock, Welles, Chaplin etc one year with more niche boxes another? Like a modern dance set, or so on?

Oh! A Frederick Wiseman set!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#70 Post by Glowingwabbit » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:51 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:44 pm
Maybe there would be an opportunity for Criterion to right some of the issues on the Artificial Eye DVD boxsets of Theo Angelopoulos's films
I would buy a Theo Angelopoulos boxset in a heartbeat but he's still too unknown here for that to even be a remote possibility. If they were to do anything with him I suspect it would be a trilogy boxset.

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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#71 Post by Eric » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:44 pm

Based on the results of the Facebook group brackets poll they just did, I'd argue the Criterion fanboy canon's Mount Rushmore is:

Kurosawa
Bergman
Tarkovsky
Kubrick

The career that makes the most sense to give a comprehensive box is Ozu's, but Kurosawa is the only one I can imagine in any of these names providing the right combination of slavish devotion and filmographic heft (in terms of the sheer number of films turned out) to be a comparable hit.

Would buy Fassbinder, Kiarostami and Dreyer sets though, so make that happen Criterion!

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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#72 Post by MichaelB » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:20 pm

colinr0380 wrote:Something like the Olympic set (or Zatoichi, which is getting released in the UK this month) is probably the extreme other end where the films would never have been released any other way and so perhaps appeal more to the general Criterion buyer, as well as specific groups of people outside that who find the content particularly interesting.
Attracting non-cinephiles can be a very lucrative strategy. I don’t know about the Criterion editor, but I gather that Eureka’s Shoah is one of their all-time bestsellers, if only because every university and sixth-form history department could easily justify its purchase as part of their budget.

And there’s a reason why the BFI’s British Transport Films compilations have run to twelve two-disc volumes, including an eighteen-disc box at one point. They barely register with film buffs, but railway buffs seem to be a fair bit thicker on the ground if sales figures are anything to go by.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#73 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:38 pm

Very true. In the same spirit, I once took a silent film history class at the George Eastman House - it was accompanied by weekly 35mm screenings of silent films that were shown to the public. (Basically a repertory program that was accompanied by a class for those who wished to enroll.) The theater typically had a decent crowd that showed up 15-20 minutes before show time, but the one great exception was Nosferatu - a huge line had already formed an hour beforehand, thanks to the Goth crowd.

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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#74 Post by What A Disgrace » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:45 pm

They already did a big Kurosawa box. I'm not expecting they'll do it again just to upgrade it for Blu-ray. I'll gladly eat crow on those last words, though.

There's always a chance that the next boxed set might resemble the Olympics one more - thematically linked, as opposed to linked by director. And it might indeed be something that crosses over with interests that aren't strictly cinephilic. A boxed set dedicated to British documentary film, perhaps? I'm not sure how popular such a set would be here in the states, but its just a matter of licensing materials from the BFI as far as I'm aware.

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Re: Post-Bergman Boxing Speculation

#75 Post by HitchcockLang » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:52 pm

What A Disgrace wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:45 pm
They already did a big Kurosawa box. I'm not expecting they'll do it again just to upgrade it for Blu-ray. I'll gladly eat crow on those last words, though.

There's always a chance that the next boxed set might resemble the Olympics one more - thematically linked, as opposed to linked by director. And it might indeed be something that crosses over with interests that aren't strictly cinephilic. A boxed set dedicated to British documentary film, perhaps? I'm not sure how popular such a set would be here in the states, but its just a matter of licensing materials from the BFI as far as I'm aware.
I feel like the Bergman box evolved and learned from some of AK100's less adored features (from DVD only to blu only; from barebones to feature stacked). I think an update of the AK100 more in line with what makes the Bergman set so great isn't too far-fetched an idea, particularly since the AK100 set has been unavailable for a while (meaning Madadayo is totally unavailable) and there may be new rights opportunities. If Criterion has the opportunity to make an all blu-ray box of Kurosawa's complete filmography (as opposed to the 25/30 films in AK100), I imagine they would like to do that.

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