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Fans Face Appalling Scavenger Hunt With ‘Into Darkness’

Film requires multiple purchases for all bonus features

Paramount’s upcoming Blu-ray/DVD release of “Star Trek: Into Darkness” has more than two hours worth of extras, an in-depth audio commentary track and special-edition packaging. But to get the complete extras, you’ll have to purchase all four versions of the film being released Sept. 10, and you’ll also have to buy the iTunes digital download. Oh, then get the movie from CinemaNow service, too.

In fact, the “vanilla” version of the “Into Darkness” Blu-ray/DVD only comes with 42 minutes of bonus features, less than half the total number of behind-the-scenes extras produced by Paramount Home Media Distribution.

Where’s the rest? Let the scavenger hunt begin!

  • Target and Best Buy versions come with bonus discs containing an additional 30 minutes of exclusive content.
  • The audio commentary is only available through the iTunes digital download.
  • Wal-Mart is offering limited-edition gift sets with SteelBook packaging and a model of the Hot Wheels USS Vengeance.
  • Alternatively in Canada, Wal-Mart customers receive a Klingon Mimobot as part of the gift set.
  • Amazon stuns audiences with a Starfleet Phaser in its limited-edition gift set.
  • Finally, to get even more extra features, rent or buy the movie through the CinemaNow or VUDU service.

According to an epic rant unleashed by Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits, more than 100 minutes of bonus footage are not on the retail Blu-ray/DVD release (which is the release available through Amazon, Wal-Mart and other retailers).

Saying the reaction of fans online has been unenthusiastic would be putting it mildly. Fans on message boards across the Internet stated they would be canceling their preorders, and others wrote they would no longer be buying the release at all. Compared to the extensive home-video release of the 2009 film, which was filled to the brim with extras, this release comes off as a frustrating cash-grab by the studio.

Many Star Trek fans are completists and will want to have all the extras, so they will grudgingly buy into this “business model” and pick up all the various editions. Fans who don’t have such tendencies, or pockets deep enough, will basically be punished by this maneuver.

If Paramount Home Media Distribution or other studios want to go this route for their big-ticket home video releases, they may end up frustrating enthusiastic fans instead of maximizing profits. Many die-hards will not buy any version of the film because of it. Doing this when the economy is still struggling in many parts of the country just makes Paramount look worse.

After the anticlimactic opening box office weekend, Paramount may have another disappointment awaiting them when fans close their wallets and walk away.

About the Author
Joseph Dickerson is a guest writer for 1701News.

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