Mid-Week Poll: Blu-ray New Releases vs. Catalog Titles

When you shop for Blu-ray discs, do you usually spend more money on new day-and-date releases or on catalog titles? Let us know in today’s poll.

Clearly, I expect that most readers of this site probably collect a variety of discs with a mixture of both some new and some catalog releases. What I’m looking for here is an indication of which you typically buy more of, on a week-to-week basis. When you walk into a store or shop online, are you more likely to focus on brand new movies that just came out of theaters first, or on older titles that you’ve seen and enjoyed in the past?

Judging by sales numbers, the majority of shoppers out there in the world are much more interested in new releases than catalog titles. Most catalog discs sell very poorly, which is why so many of the major Hollywood studios have taken to licensing those movies out to smaller distributors these days. Even some presumably big-ticket, “holy grail” titles have sold disappointingly.

Yet, personally, when I write up my weekly Blu-ray Highlights post, I almost always find myself gravitating toward the catalog discs. Is that just me? Where do you spend your dollars?

Do You Buy More New Releases or Catalog Titles on Blu-ray?

View Results

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  1. William Henley

    I have always been mostly catalogue. Every now and then, there will be a new movie I want. But, I will have to say with my collection (which is now nearing the 500 disc mark), probably a good 400 of them are catalogue titles.

    Shoot, I was just thinking what I have bought in the past few months. Annie, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Cinderella, The Rescuers, Pocahontas, ET, Titanic, Bram Stroker’s Dracula, Jurassic Park, Dial M For Murder, Universal Monsters the list is mostly catalogue. Looking at my Amazon Pre-orders, I see Pete’s Dragon, Babes In Toyland, Dick Tracy, LesMiserables, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures, Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2, and Pete’s Dragon. Now there are three new releases I have preordered and one I recently purchased. Dark Shadows, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Ted, and Brave.

    Shoot, the other day, i popped in Interview With The Vampire for like the 20th time since I got the disc, and may pop in Amadeus tonight (although I may pop on one of those “new” discs I have – probably be E.T. or finish up Annie). So while I do collect both, I definately lean toward catalogue titles.

    • William Henley

      I decided to just open up my Amazon list for all orders I placed in 2012. I also see:
      Singing In The Rain
      Salzburg Opening Concert 2011
      3D Mystic Mountains
      Dragonball Z: Kai
      Imax: Born To Be Wild 3D
      Gremlins 2
      The Universe: The Complete Series
      Cloak and Dagger (DVD)
      Lawrence of Arabia (DVD)
      Matilda (DVD)
      Little Women (DVD)
      Definately Maybe
      Follow That Bird (DVD)
      My Girl (DVD)
      Airplane II (DVD)
      Les Miserables (DVD)
      Monty Python and the Holy Grail
      WWII in 3D
      Into The Universe with Stephan Hawking

      The DVDs were purchased used for the Walmart Vudu upgrade thingy. Sadly, only about half of those movies were available in HD. However, even the SD movies, Vudu usually had a better transfer than what was on the DVD.

      So yep, definately a mostly catalogue person.

  2. lordbowler

    I buy both, but more new than catalog. I’ll only buy catalog releases if there’s a really good price or its got new extras (extended director’s cut) or John Wayne.

  3. Catalog titles for me…primarily because there are only maybe a half dozen or so movies released every year that I enjoy enough to want to buy (and a handful of blind buys thrown in there for good measure), but there are 100s of catalog titles I want to own, including double or triple dipping on favorites just to have the latest transfer and/or new bonus materials.

  4. Taking a cue from William, I have taken a look at what I bought so far in 2012. Turns out I am definitely a catalog man, because only three movies have been “new” (as in ‘day-and-date’).

    Of course, “catalog” can be a stretch. I still consider “The Social Network” to be a very new movie in the history of film, but I bought it a year after its release – which makes it a catalog purchase.

    • I am not certain on this (though I’m sure Josh is), but if you bought the same ‘The Social Network’ release that came out and has been in print since its day-and-date release, then it isn’t a catalog purchase.

      • Josh Zyber

        I guess that’s a gray area. I’ll leave it to each person to decide how they want to vote on titles that were new at release but have been sitting around for a while. I’d probably lean towards calling that a catalog title if the disc is more than a year old.

  5. Drew


    Why did you wait so long to purchase ‘The Social Network’?

    I would think that you would want to own the best film of 2010 much quicker than that.

    • William Henley

      I still haven’t purchased it myself, even though I love that movie. I think I was holding out for a killer price.

      That being said, you mentioning this made me go to Amazon to look and see how much it was. I just picked up a used copy for $7 (after shipping). Oh, I love Amazon used!

    • Good question. It was my favourite movie of 2011, so I’m not sure why I didn’t pick it up on release day. I ultimately found it in a “2 for $20” (well, “€20”, but you get the idea) and could not resist that sweet bargain.

      The factor that makes me hesitant to buy day-and-date, is finding out the difference between the US and the European edition. Or the UK edition. I have been burned again and again in the past with inferior editions. “Our” Avengers lacks the commentary. “Our” Blues Brothers comes without the extended cut. Nowadays, I wait and then decide which is the version to go for. Avoids double purchases.

  6. JM

    17% of my blu-rays are catalog, 91% are R-rated, 63% are box office failures.

    Are you collecting marketing data to target the HDD ads to our IP address?

    Because I could use new ads for shoes…

  7. Dimwit

    To me, it’s all about price. If I can wait for it to either come on sale, or hit the used market then I’ll wait. If it is something rare, like import or poor releasing, I’ll end up pulling the trigger but that is rare.

  8. Alex

    Netflix has kinda killed my purchasing of TV series, but as far as movies go, I tend to buy more catalog titles. I guess it’s cause I’m getting old. There aren’t too many new movies that I love enough to need to own.

    Now get off my lawn!!!

  9. Drew

    Speaking of new releases, do we know yet, if ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ blu-ray will keep the alternating aspect ratio, for IMAX footage, intact?

  10. BambooLounge

    While I own a solid mix of contemporary and catalog titles, I only ever feel real urgency to buy anything on release week if I really LOVE the film and if I have that urgency it is going to be for a beloved classic.

    Also, contemporary stuff drops so much in price that it isn’t usually worth it to rush out on release day to buy it.

  11. Robbie0

    The thing that deters me from buying some catalog titles is that they don’t match the special editions, director’s cuts, and Criterion Collection versions that are available on DVD. Don’t hit me, but the director’s cut CC of “Armageddon,” for instance, was one of the earliest DVDs I purchased when DVD was new – it was $50! It took years after the Blu-Ray format launched for the theatrical version to be released, and it’s as stripped-down as possible. There are several titles like this on one way or the other. MADDENING!

  12. Ryan M.

    I just looked at my Amazon Wish List. Only seven titles (Safety Not Guaranteed, Moonrise Kingdom, Cabin in the Woods, Monsieur Lazhar, A Separation, The Artist, The Skin I Live In) of 44 are day-and-date releases. Then I looked at my Amazon orders from the past six months. Only 18 of the more than 60 titles I have ordered (50/50, Drive, The Grey, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The Avengers, Take Shelter, The Office Season 8, Dexter Season 6, Hugo, The Secret World of Arrietty, Attack the Block, Frozen Planet, Boardwalk Empire Season 2, Game of Thrones Season 1, Modern Family Season 3, Breaking Bad Season 4) are day-and-date.

  13. EM

    Mostly catalog. I try to keep a tight collection of works that I greatly value watching over and over. While I sometimes add newly made movies and TV shows to the library, most of what I want is well over a year old. (Some of it’s over a century old.)

  14. Paulb

    Note that while I thought I bought a lot of catalog titles but noted that most of the ‘older’ titles I buy are not pre-me. From my childhood on up.

  15. I’m more catalogue titles. Sure, I buy a few new ones (and even then, we’re talking a few months after release usually, when the prices go down). But on the whole, it’s the older films that I tend to be more bothered about.

    I’m noticing that even the ‘newer’ films I’ve been buying are at least ten or so years old…

  16. Ignoring bad releases and crappy discs, I think “catalog releases” tend to have a little more value. Not ‘sell-through’ value, but intrinsic value. For example, an audio commentary after the fact may offer retrospective insights (How did the movie change the landscape? Did the crew/cast move on to bigger and better? Did it change anything at all?). I know Aaron just said the opposite in his Master of the Universe review, but a new commentary on an older movie can be beneficial. In fact, I remember Bryan Singer flatly refusing to record one for the day-and-date release of “X-Men”, because he had to record it before the movie opened in cinemas! That way, he figures, he could not see the movie in perspective (i.e. How did it do financially? Did he get more offers after the success?).

    Long story short, catalog releases (for better or worse) can have amazing special features that are less “superfluous” than some of the day-and-date extras. Because they have to fill a list of bullet points for the back of the disc and because customers expect at least 10 featurettes, new releases may end up with a disappointing package.

  17. Chaz Dumbaugh

    I’m a mixed bag with those, I buy a good chunk new and catalog, I still like quite a bit of the newer stuff coming out (I’m easy to please) but of course there are plenty of older releases I’m looking to grab to add to or replace stuff in my collection. Just recently I picked up Halloween II, III, 4 and 5, slowly working on replacing the UK boxset (which I can only watch on my region free dvd player) with the Blurays since they’ve finally started coming out in decent releases. I’ll probably get the Nightmare set when it becomes available from Amazon in January and I’ve bought plenty of even Echobridges 4 packs since they are better quality than the DVDs and for stuff like the Jackie Chan pack that has Operation Condor and Project A, those arent in print anymore on DVD and never had any decent treatment back then, so for $10 I get 4 of Chan’s best films.

    But lately I’ve picked up new stuff too, Cabin in the Woods, Avengers, and I have Dark Knight Rises on pre-order and I’ll be getting Brave soon after Christmas probably.

    But I do wait on a lot of purchases, 6 months later I can get stuff for pretty cheap at my local rental store or they’ve dropped in price on Amazon for new or used