The practice of releasing movies on Blu-ray format exclusively to one retail chain or another appears to be gathering steam. Highdefdigest reports copies of The Green Mile on Blu-ray magically appeared on Best Buy store shelves this week, without so much as a peep of promotion from distributor Warner Bros.
The studio took the same approach a couple of weeks ago when it quietly released Gremlins on Blu-ray, which you can't buy on Amazon or anywhere else online, but you can pick up right now at a Target near you. Same goes for the no-frills Blu-ray release of The Wizard of Oz: If you want the movie but don't feel like shelling out $85 for a mammoth box packed with Oz tchotchkes, you can buy a Blu-ray of the movie by itself for $35 at Target.
When Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen hits Blu-ray next week, the only way to watch the cut of the film created for IMAX (featuring a few extra scenes and some "opened-up" sequences in IMAX format, a la The Dark Knight) will be to buy the disc at Wal-Mart. Every other version of the Blu-ray will present the film in its standard theatrical cut.
I understand these exclusive deals with retailers are probably pretty lucrative for the studios. But when you're trying to make a niche format break through to the mainstream, doesn't it make more sense to make all your titles available everywhere, so people can buy them wherever and whenever they want?