Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Force is Strong at Retailers This Week

 
I was visiting a Fry's yesterday to pick up a new power cord for my PlayStation 3 when a powerful feeling swept over me when I stepping into the building.  No, it wasn't that of a powerful AC, but that of a billion dollar franchise that was determined to take my money.  For right in front of me there were toys of little robots, glowing colored light stick, and on virtually every corner a copy of "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens" was sitting on a shelf or table, waiting to be bought.  Much like how the franchise would soon be taking over Disneyland, the movie was taking over retailers all over the globe with exclusive retailer editions to help fuel the desires of the consumer to spend more money on a movie that probably grossed more than it deserved.  Fighting the urge to buy the movie was not easy.  Disney even went out of their way to give the movie a special black case that would make it stand out on the shelf (until Ultra HD BluRay's become a common thing that is).

The interesting thing is that this was no ordinary movie push by a retailer.  For the movie was not only displayed front and center at the store, but has display stands and tables dedicated to virtually every section.  If you somehow got through the store without picking up a copy there were mini-displays sitting on all the counters of the cashiers.  Going to the nice lady to pay my $3 for my cord resulted in a stare down with this movie that I could hear in a Darth Vader voice saying "you can not resist the power of the Disney Side.  It is time to join us and add this movie to your growing BluRay collection." I started to sweat at this point as I resisted the urge to buy my own disk.  I felt for the first time what it must feel like to have a mind battle with a powerful Sith Lord, and only wished that Yoda was there to teach me the ways of the Jedi so that I may not stray from the Light Side of the Force.

After starring at the movie the lady asked me if I wanted to pick up a copy while I was here.  I looked her in the eyes, knowing that this would be the test of a lifetime, and I said firmly "thanks, but no thanks."  I bought my cord and left without a copy of the biggest movie of the year.  Now, under normal circumstances I would have bought this movie, but as you are well aware the 3D version wasn't released today.  Thankfully we WILL be getting that at a later date (most likely in that big 'Ultimate Edition' that's been announced), at the moment though we just have it in 2D.  The reason I share this story is because even though "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens" was not my favorite movie last year (or even close to it really) it does have a power that makes wanted to buy it so very desirable.

It is the only movie so far where I've felt like "well, it's not being released how it was supposed to be seen...but I can probably live with this until we get the real version later on."  This is one of the genius things about Disney's marketing: They know the power of Star Wars is great enough to double dip.  In a day and age where double dipping on movies is largely in the past (mainly because people wised up to it after Peter Jackson exploited the concept with his movies) Star Wars is the one franchise that can get away with this practice.  That is one of the key reasons we are not getting the 3D version day and not.  Not because it won't sell, but because Disney knows this is a big enough movie where fans would buy the thing twice.  Holding off on certain presentations and special features ensures that the movie is bought twice by most consumers.  It is for that reason I must resist the power of the Force and save my money until the 3D version comes out later.  I didn't want to buy two copies of "Frozen" (which was a much better movie) and I won't buy two copies of this.

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