Open Your Wallets! It’s Time for the Barnes & Noble Criterion Sale!

The time has finally come. The new Barnes & Noble 50% Off sale on Criterion Collection titles begins tomorrow, July 10th and runs through July 30th. We Criterion fans have been saving our pennies for this. How many discs do you plan to buy? (Or, more realistically, how many can you afford to buy?)

The following poll does not represent every title that the Criterion Collection has released on Blu-ray. That list is simply too long to include in this post. Rather, these are the titles that Criterion has released since the last Barnes & Noble sale, which ended November 21st of last year. If you plan to buy older releases (or titles only available on DVD), be sure to check Other and tell us in the Comments section.

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As happens twice annually, each July and November, Barnes & Noble is selling all Criterion Collection titles at 50% off the MSRP value. This is effective both in brick & mortar stores or online at AAA members should be able to get an additional 10% discount by shopping through this link. The sale prices apply to any titles available through the end of the sale period, which means that you can get the discount on pre-orders for ‘Down by Law’, ‘The Last Days of Disco’ or ‘Metropolitan’, but not for discs that will be released after July 30th.

I’m definitely in for the Chaplin titles, the Hitchcocks, the David Lean box set, Wes Anderson’s ‘Rushmore’ and Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s ‘World on a Wire’. How Criterion crazy will you go?


  1. William Henley

    Nothing for me. The sales at B&N tends to bring the price of Criterion releases down to what Amazon sales them for every day. It’s why I don’t shop them – they sale everything at MSRP, then run a big sale like they are offering you a good deal. But their books / movies / etc even on sale are usually still higher than other places.

    • Josh Zyber

      Go to Amazon today and find me any Criterion Blu-ray selling for 50% off MSRP.

      Amazon very rarely sells Criterion discs for more than 30% off MSRP. Most Criterion titles fall between 15-25% off MSRP at Amazon.

      I rarely shop at Barnes & Noble at any other time of year either, but their semi-annual Criterion sale is a legitimate bargain.

      • William Henley

        Every movie I pulled up on Amazon is 40% off, and ships with free shipping through Prime. In the past, this was cheaper than B&N, but it looks like you can get free shipping from B&N if you order more than $25 worth. So, if you order more than one movie, B&N will be cheaper. If you are only ordering one movie, than after Shipping and Handeling, the B&N price will be about the same as Amazon’s every day price.

        • Josh Zyber

          Amazon may have lowered some of its prices this week to coincide with the B&N sale, but it’s very rare to find Criterion at more than 30% off at Amazon during a regular week. I still don’t see anything more than 40% off there. Even with shipping, B&N’s 50% discount comes out ahead of Amazon’s 40% with free shipping (which isn’t really free, since you paid for it with your Prime membership dues).

          • William Henley

            I like to think of it as I am paying for a great streaming service, and I get the free shipping as an added bonus. 🙂

            True, Amazon may have lowered prices, didn’t really think about that. In the past, I have gone to order stuff from B&N, and then head over to Amazon and find that stuff is about the same price.

            Let’s look at it another way:

            1 movie at Amazon w 40% off = $24.46
            1 movie at B&N at 50% off = @20.00 + $4 (estimation) S&H = $24.
            B&N is cheaper, but not by much, and it will ship first class mail. Amazon will ship 2 day. I would also have to go through the tedious effort of setting an accoung up with B&N, which can take 5-10 minutes. In this case, I would choose Amazon.

            However, lets look at it another way. Let’s say I am ordering 2 movies.
            2 x $24.46 at Amazon = $48.92
            2 x $20 at B&N = $40 and qualifies for free shipping.

            So, if you only want one movie, I would choose Amazon. If I was ordering more than one, than I would choose B&N. It really starts to pay off once you start adding multiple movies.

            So yeah, my point was never that Amazon was cheaper, but rather that, if you are just ordering like one movie, its really not much cheaper than Amazon.

            I would say that every time I look at Criterions on Amazon, they are about %40 off, but it may be that I always look when B&N is having their sale. I won’t argue that.

          • EM

            At Amazon, you don’t need to pay for Prime to get free shipping. Most purchases are eligible for free Super Saver shipping (which is usually a mite slower than Prime) if the total order adds to at least $25.

          • William Henley

            This is true, but it requires you to order more than $25 worth. As the movies are roughly $24 each, you would have to order two to get the free shipping. In that case, B&N would be cheaper, which is why I didn’t bring it up.

          • EM

            It doesn’t require you to get a second Criterion title. You can get some other movie, a book, a CD, or whatever; and you can choose an item that’s less, even much less, than $24. Maybe for some people that would be a dificult requirement to fulfill, but not for me; my Amazon wish lists are rife with qualifying items.

          • William Henley

            LOL, true, there are many things I could order for a buck. I can get HDMI cables off of Amazon for a buck (although I don’t think those qualify for the free shipping – I think you have to get like a $6 or $7 for that). Anyways, I am talking about Criterion titles. I am sure there are things I could find for $5 at B&N if I looked to get the free shipping from them as well.

          • Shannon Nutt

            Most of Amazon’s Criterion titles sell for $28.93 or MORE…so I don’t know where the poster is getting $24 from.

          • EM

            Just now I did a search for Criterion Blu-rays on Of the first 12 results, 4 were approximately $24 (Anatomy of a Murder: $24.20; Down by Law: $24.49; 12 Angry Men: $23.98; The Killing: $23.98). Of the other 8 results, 6 were priced within $1 of $28 (some were more, some were less). Seven Samurai was $33.96, and the Samurai Trilogy was $47.96. (Your mileage may vary, as Amazon prices are often in flux.)

  2. Drew

    I already own many of these, so just a few for me.

    Is there more than one Hitchcock title on this list?

    • EM

      My reply took much longer than Josh’s because I got interrupted oh, let’s say 39 times. 🙂

      • William Henley

        Its a Monday. I was typing up a reply on another thread, and suddenly my console lite up and I actually had to do work! It’s a Monday! Completely lost my train of thought. You are forgiven! 🙂

  3. August Lehe

    Nothing for me, I already jumped for The 39 Steps and the Lady Vanishes…along with the Gold Rush, 12 Angry Men, and a handful of others…so maybe next year!

  4. Jason

    The real savings for B&N over Amazon during this sale are had with the box sets ie David Lean collection and The Samurai Trilogy. I was able to score the Akira Kurosawa 100 25 film DVD box set for $200 last year during this sale.

    • JM

      You know how on the internet naked women have sex with vegetables.

      It was kind of like that, without the nudity.

  5. Drew

    I bought my Criterions, first thing this morning. I ended up going crazy, and buying way more than I wanted to. Damn it! I do that every 50% off sale.

    • JM

      It’s ‘Before Sunset 5.’

      The romance is gone. All that’s left is old french cleavage.

      It’s a bitter wine.

  6. Nothing for me, and it bugs me that Criterion locks their discs to region A… It’s very close to those Best Buy exclusives popping up from time to time – just irritating that they exclude half the world from getting the best quality out there by locking their discs…

    • Josh Zyber

      Criterion has to license the titles it distributes from various other rights-holders. In most cases, the region coding is a contractual requirement so that the original owner can license the same movie to different distributors in other countries.

      A major studio like Warner Bros. or Universal will distribute one disc under the same brand worldwide. Region coding isn’t an issue, because you’re buying the movie from that same studio no matter where you live. Criterion doesn’t have that luxury.