Amazon Suspends Pre-Orders on THE LEGO MOVIE and other Warner Bros. Home Video Titles

by     Posted 191 days ago

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If you’re hoping to pre-order some of Warner Bros. upcoming films through Amazon, you’re going to be out of luck.  The mammoth online retailer is in a contract dispute with Warner Bros. Home Video over the price of their Blu-rays and DVDs.  According to The New York Times “The retailer’s refusal to sell the movies is part of its effort to gain leverage in yet another major confrontation with a supplier to become public in recent weeks.”  Amazon has already been flexing its muscle with the publishing industry, and its standoff with Hachette Book Group has led the retailer to stop accepting pre-orders and delay shipments on Hatchette’s books.

Hit the jump for more.

As the Times points out, the dispute isn’t the news as much as it’s about “suppliers’ growing resolve to hold the line.”  Amazon’s business strategy could seriously backfire since J.K. Rowling‘s new book The Silkworm (written under her pseudonym “Robert Galbraith”) is due out later this month, and Warner Bros.’ The LEGO Movie will be out on Tuesday.  These are major titles, and Amazon is telling customers they may as well go elsewhere.  Personally, I was planning to buy The LEGO Movie from Amazon since I have gift cards, but now I’m fine taking my business elsewhere since I love the movie so much.

With regards to Warner Bros., Amazon has also stopped taking pre-orders for 300: Rise of an Empire, Winter’s Tale, and Transcendence.  While I’m not feeling the loss on those titles, the larger point remains that Warner Bros. isn’t going to be bullied into playing Amazon’s game, nor should they.  The retailer’s situation with books is more complex given their history with publishers and the cultural cachet of the product, but when it comes to movies, consumers have far more options.  While customers can still own digital copies of Warner titles from Amazon Instant Video, it’s unfortunate that the retailer is shutting off those who want to own the Blu-ray, which contains all the special features as well as a digital copy.

Amazon hasn’t cut off all Warner Bros. titles, and perhaps they’ll keep older titles flowing, but this could be a serious miscalculation on their part.  I won’t deny that Amazon has serious power, but they’re not invincible.  Not yet, anyway.

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  • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

    Not that removing the “Pre-Order” option is detrimental to video sales for major studios such as WB but for Amazon to keep picking fights w major distributors is what has me worried/excited. Will another online provider come out of the woodwork and start a competition w Amazon? It would be nice to have two major company’s that are competing for the online shopping as Amazon really is the only major player. Glad that Amazon fights for their consumer as their profits are generated from mass quanitity but they should choose their fights more carefully (see how Netflix was created).

    • lord jim

      amazon does not fight for their customers, especially in europe there are more and more books you cannot buy at amazon because they are from small publishers that cannot finance to bribe amazon into having them, how the hell is that fighting for customers???amazon is destroying the book market, (the big publishers even signed contracts that don´t allow them to talk about them), while exploiting their workers in ways that haven´t been heard of in western europe before.just inform yourself they are a truly evil company and should be boycotted, and to repeat myself – they are not fighting for their customers, they are reducing the range and monopolizing the market.support your local stores!

  • Person

    Doesn’t HBO also distribute its titles via Warner Home Video? Could/Would this affect True Detective?

  • Micky Nozawa

    I can always buy elsewhere, no problem.
    Screw Amazon.

    BTW, your line “cultural cache of the product”.

    It should be cachet, not cache.

    • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

      Typo. My bad. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Micky Nozawa

    I can always buy elsewhere, no problem.
    Screw Amazon.

    BTW, your line “cultural cache of the product”.

    It should be cachet, not cache.

  • Matt

    Perhaps this is a stupid question, but if I already preordered it before this happened does that mean I now won’t get it? Because if so I’d gladly preorder from someone else.

    • Person

      Variety is saying they’ve only stopped TAKING pre-orders, so I assume if it’s already been placed you should be fine. But might wanna double-check with their customer service.

      • Matt

        Thanks Person! Appreciate it! :)

  • Matt

    Perhaps this is a stupid question, but if I already preordered it before this happened does that mean I now won’t get it? Because if so I’d gladly preorder from someone else.

  • Royale With Cheese

    They’re just hurting their own pockets. There are plenty of other online retailers.

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