Bad news for Star Trek fans. Looks like Paramount’s home video marketing department will be taking advantage of fervent Trekkies and Trekkers alike by fragmenting their extra disc features among various retailers such as Best Buy, Target, and online digital distributors such as iTunes, CinemaNow (Best Buy’s digital presence) and VUDU.
In order to get every featurette and extra that Paramount and Bad Robot produced for Blu, the hardcore fan would have to purchase every retail variant of the theatrical feature… this leaves the average fan, who may have liked the movie that polarized critics and audiences alike this summer, without a decent way to see deleted scenes, making-of EPKs and other bonus items that Blu-ray consumers have come to expect when purchasing the premium priced media.
The Blu-ray and HD digital download will hit UK retailers next week, and the US the following week, but aside from fracturing the extras release in stores, it appears that the US package will offer a different set of extra features from those distributed in international markets. What gives?
The Digital Bits has an excellent analysis of the predicament facing consumers who wish to purchase the Blu-ray or HD download only once, but still would love to have all the bonus items. Though each premium Blu-ray sold will include a standard-def DVD version in addition to digital/UltraViolet copies, etc., every disc only includes several EPK style featurettes totallying about 45-minutes worth of additional, behind-the-scenes content. To get other additional items, including audio commentaries, trailers, deleted scenes, etc., will depend on where you buy your copy of Star Trek Into Darkness.
For instance, to get the audio commentary and some other features, you’ll need to purchase the exclusive iTunes version of the movie. To get features not found on iTunes, you’ll need to make a decision, the Target disc (which has extras not found elsewhere) or Best Buy (same), and on and on it goes. Technically, this means more content is exclusive to various retailers than is on the actual disc you’re purchasing.
For Star Trek completionists this is a major dilemma, but for regular movie lovers who like getting what amounts to a film school on a disc (in some instances, not all) it’s a big blow… this is, simply put, consumer abuse at its finest, typical of today’s corporate culture and lust for fatter balance sheets. Star Trek Into Darkness currently retails for $20 to $35 online and in stores. Comment below on whether you’ll be purchasing a copy and what you think of Paramount’s decision to fragment the bonus features for this movie.