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S2 DVD Sales - U.S.

While the studios rarely publish actual unit sales or even dollar grosses for DVD titles, there is some public domain information that helps us judge the *relative* success of DVD titles.

For the week ending Saturday May 4th, Babylon 5: The Complete Second Season debuted at # 13 on Video Business Magazine's Top 20 DVD Seller's list, beating out the full-screen version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. (The widescreen version of Potter is in the number 4 slot, I'm happy to say.) It is the only TV series release to make this week's list, which is derived from sales reports from a number of major on-line and brick & mortar DVD retailers. By contrast S1 never made the aggregate list, although it did make several of the lists the VB master list is derived from - notably those of on-line retailers like Amazon.com and Buy.com, where it sometimes outsold other TV fare like ST:TNG and The X-Files.

In other words, S2 seems to be doing even better than S1. No wonder Warner Bros. is suddenly in a hurry to release the rest of the seasons. :) Who would have thought it?

Hmmm...

Actually I would have thought it. I predicted exactly this in these very pages. :) :cool: :LOL:

;)

Regards,

Joe
 
Wow, great news!

Suddenly it feels great being a B5 fan again. :cool:

Joe, you gotta stop that thing where you're right all the time. Gonna give the rest of us a complex... ;)
 
This sound great. Now that Season Two has made Season Three come out so fast, the others should come poppin' along! :D

Rommie ;)
 
They havent been skimping on the extras so far, and from what I have read in the moderated forum, there are more planned for later seasons --- something to do with NASA from what I read somewhere.

As far as video, the picture seems damn nice to me. Watching B5 on a 16x9 TV in DVD quality is a great thing to behold.
 
I noticed that the CGI shots from the later stories featured in the Hugo short looked a lot crisper than the ones from s2. Bigger budget perhaps? Hopefully, future sets will only get better.


Joe DM wrote:
S2 seems to be doing even better than S1.

I think there may be two reasons for this. First of all, the obvious reason being the lead actor and infrequency of arc stories. The sets are being bought by fans, and s1 isn't generally as popular as the rest.

Another reason is that the entire first season was released on VHS in the US. Like a fair amount of people, I was one of the screwed who are stuck with a voluminous, and sadly incomplete VHS collection of the series. And for that reason, I did not purchase the first season on disc. Even though there are a few tapes in s2, I bought the DVDs - and I will likely do the same with s4, which also got a few episodes released. However, since I have s5 in its entirety, I won't likely buy the set when it comes out.

BTW - I have donated my now duplicate VHS copies of the s2 tapes, ITB and The Gathering to my local library. Hopefully, we'll get more fans and it's tax deductible.
 
I noticed that the CGI shots from the later stories featured in the Hugo short looked a lot crisper than the ones from s2. Bigger budget perhaps? Hopefully, future sets will only get better.
I noticed the EXACT same thing myself. The CGI you are referring to was from "Severed Dreams" mostly and it looked VERY sharp and crisp.

On some levels, this isnt really a suprise though. Even watching the series on TV I noticed that the overall image quality of the show improved with each season. Season 1 was the worst, and early Season 2 was a LITTLE better, but near the end of Season 2 things got a lot crisper and clearer. Later seasons were excellent. Im not referring to just CGI here either, but scenes with the actors as well. It is like the overall quality of the show video wise improved. Probably they figured out as they were going, better ways to get things done and make things come out better.

But yea, Im hoping S3 CGI matches what we saw in that Extra on the S2 disc set. That looked VERY impressive to me.
 
They havent been skimping on the extras so far, and from what I have read in the moderated forum, there are more planned for later seasons --- something to do with NASA from what I read somewhere.

Here is the quote:

DEC.8.2002
There's talk about a special musical sequence for the season 3 DVD, with Chris re-scoring 2-3 episodes end to end with non-stop music, future segments on "The Future According to Babylon 5" with NASA and JPL guys. I'd like to see the final bonus section on year 5 be about the fans of the show.

More JMS quotes on my S3 DVD boxed set page:
http://abyss.hubbe.net/b5/dvds/boxed_s3.html
 
The third reason Season 2 is out selling Season 1 is that they probably made a lot more Season 2 DVDs. Season 1 soon sold out.
 
Season 1 soon sold out.

??? And of course Warner Bros., fearful of making money, refused to produce any more copies. :)

1) S1 never "sold out". S1 is still available.

2) We're talking about comparitive sales during the first week of release. S1 did not sell out in the first week of its release.

In all cases we're talking about U.S.domestic sales, so I'm not sure how you'd know anything about S1 selling out quickly even if it had.

Regards,

Joe
 
Season 1 soon sold out.

??? And of course Warner Bros., fearful of making money, refused to produce any more copies. :)

1) S1 never "sold out". S1 is still available.

2) We're talking about comparitive sales during the first week of release. S1 did not sell out in the first week of its release.{snip}
Without ordering it, in the UK you could not get Season 1 from the shops by the end of the first week. I suspect that it was after christmas before more DVDs were manufactured.
 
I've only got the S1 set, but aren't the extras in letterbox widescreen not anamorphic. So those S3 shots you saw still have to be stretched.
 
Without ordering it, in the UK you could not get Season 1 from the shops by the end of the first week. I suspect that it was after christmas before more DVDs were manufactured.

How does this tell you how many were manufactured. Maybe they ran through 12 million copies the first week and that accounted for 90% of the interest. :)

What if, rather than insufficient supply, there was insufficient confidence on the part of merchants who only ordered a few copies the first week, then reordered when they got around to it. How widespread was this problem anyway? Was it widely discussed on UK bulletin boards and newsgroups? I'm curious. because I don't remember hearing about this, despite belonging to a UK newsgroup and sometimes lurking at British forums.

Regards,

Joe
 
My g/f usually drags me shopping on the weekends so while she is shopping I generally go into stores like WH Smiths, Virgin and HMV and look at the DVDs. I recall seeing B5 season 1 on shelves in plenty of quantities. However some stores did not initally stock it, mainly HMV. Although I do live in London so a stock shortage could have occured in smaller areas.
 
I've only got the S1 set, but aren't the extras in letterbox widescreen not anamorphic. So those S3 shots you saw still have to be stretched.
It's possible. I dont know really. I do know the interviews are in anamorphic, but the CGI and Live Action sequences from episodes had a letterbox at the top, which doesnt make much sense to me as Super35 is less wide not less tall.

It really doesnt matter, the picture looks great both ways, I just am trying to better understand the DVD/Widescreen technology and how it all works. Ive got a rather nice setup and just want to have a solid understanding of everything so I know I have things set up right, not just for B5, but for all DVDs, HDTV, the works.
 
Without ordering it, in the UK you could not get Season 1 from the shops by the end of the first week. I suspect that it was after christmas before more DVDs were manufactured.

How does this tell you how many were manufactured. Maybe they ran through 12 million copies the first week and that accounted for 90% of the interest. :)

What if, rather than insufficient supply, there was insufficient confidence on the part of merchants who only ordered a few copies the first week, then reordered when they got around to it. How widespread was this problem anyway? Was it widely discussed on UK bulletin boards and newsgroups? I'm curious. because I don't remember hearing about this, despite belonging to a UK newsgroup and sometimes lurking at British forums.

Regards,

Joe

Woolworths did not sell Season 1 and when I checked a few days ago were not planning on selling Season 2.

The W H Smiths at the three branches I visited sold out of Season 1 within days and it never reappeared on the shelves. A slow selling DVD has a copy on the shelves for several weeks.

HMV uses a different system from W H Smiths, I can remember going there and seeing the VHS cassettes for all 5 years neatly lined up on the shelves. When I visited their Bournemouth branch at the end of the first week it had sold out. It is far from impossible that they reordered.

As for small manufacturing run - common sense. We know that Warner Brothers suspected that Babylon 5 would not sell so that they will have only manufactured a small number. The failure of the Season 1 DVDs to reappear on the shelves of W H Smiths, and its top ten display, means that the Warner Brothers salesmen were not forcing them on the shop managers - a sign that the warehouses did not have excess copies left.

Thinking back there was one post from a man saying that he could not get a copy because his local shop had sold out. I can remember repeating this information on to the Galactic Gateway message board. The original posting will have been on one of the text message boards. There will not be much mention of UK sales because dedicated fans can buy from Amazon and the US sales started. We do know, from JMS, that the US sales were unexpectedly high.
 
I nominate Andrew for 10 lashes with a wet noodle for gross misuse of the "quote" function. :)

I'm sorry, Andrew, but your argument makes no sense.

Warner Bros. was not worried about how well B5 would sell in the U.K., where it had always done very well on VHS. It was worried about how it would do in the U.S. where sales on VHS and LD had suddenly died after a strong start. So why would they opt for a higher prodution run in the country where they didn't think they could sell any discs, and a smaller one in the country where they knew the show was a hit on home video? By your reasoning they must have done this, because there were no reports of the sets selling out suddenly in the U.S. and there were in the U.K.

Why do you assume that brick and mortar store sales tell us anything about how well the sets sold, or what kind of production runs Warner Bros. did. Again, stores only sell what they order. If the stores have to estimate their needs, they'll take a guess and order that many copies. When they sell those, they'll re-order. But how quickly they'll re-order from either WHV or a distributor will depend on their business. When I worked in a bookstore we liked to consolidate our orders for the same vendor and might not place a non-urgent order for a week or more - in part to take advantage of shipping discounts on larger orders.

On-line dealers typically deal more in pre-orders than their brick & mortar cousins. So they (and Warner Bros.) have a very accurate barometer to use in estimating their requirements. What you saw in the high street stores tells us absolutely nothing about how the DVDs did in the U.K., how many were produced, or what Warner Bros. sales expectations were.

Regards,

Joe
 

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