Why Don't Genre Franchises Get the Same Golden Treatment as James Bond?

Why Don't Genre Franchises Get the Same Golden Treatment as James Bond?

Oct 10, 2012

Recently MGM and 20th Century Fox released Bond 50, a 23-disc box set that includes all 22 James Bond films together on Blu-ray for the first time ever. It's a total movie treasure chest. The packaging is elegantly understated (at least as elegantly understated as a Blu-ray set can be), but of very sturdy construction. The films are housed in two foam-core books, each page of which is adorned with glossy images relevant to its respective movies. And the discs themselves not only feature great HD transfers, but they've got hours and hours and hours of special features both old and newly produced. It even has an empty slot for owners to stick Skyfall into whenever it hits Blu-ray.

Simply put, it's one of the finest movie box sets ever assembled, and that got me wondering: Why don't studios give the same golden treatment to other franchises?

Obviously James Bond is a one-of-a-kind series, one of the most prestigious the silver screen has ever known, and it's spent 50 years earning this kind of fanfare. Plus, it's undoubtedly a cash cow for the studios still, so spending a little extra to make something that's truly worthy of the wait and price tag isn't done purely out of the kindness of their heart, it's also just plain good business sense. But why aren't other studios putting together similarly elaborate packages?

No month owns a single genre like October does. Sure, every year like clockwork studios release new editions of old horror movie classics, but where's the Bond 50 equivalent of the great horror franchises? When's a better time to release a definitive Nightmare on Elm Street Blu-ray box set? Or Friday the 13th? Or Halloween? Or Saw? Or how about something as small as the Evil Dead?

Of course, these horror franchises will surely get Blu-ray collections in the not too distant future, it's just unlikely they'll get the Bond 50 treatment. Take Elm Street, for example. A Blu-ray collection did come out last week in the U.S., but not only is it a Best Buy exclusive set for the indefinite future, but it's a slapped-together one at that. The packaging is generic and the discs themselves are lackluster, with poor video quality by HD standards and curiously absent special features that made it onto DVD sets years ago.  

Naturally an Elm Street box set isn't going to sell to parents and grandparents during the winter holidays like Bond 50 will, but there's got to be more than enough horror fans coming out of the woodwork every Halloween to make it worth the studio's interest, right? Horror nuts are the rare breed of movie fan who are all too happy to throw money at their favorite franchises, and yet rarely are we offered the kinds of box sets that more mainstream movie franchises get.

There are the exceptions, of course. The Alien Anthology is arguably the finest Blu-ray collection ever put together. It's a dense, feature-packed set boasting some unbelievably good HD transfers, and, unsurprisingly, it's from Fox, the same studio that put together Bond 50. So is it just that Fox puts together better box sets than everyone else? That's certainly possible, but it doesn't explain why rival studios aren't at least getting in the game. If it's simply a matter of rights or resources, why not just partner up with another studio like MGM did with Fox for ole 007?

I realize there are a lot of questions being asked here, and that I have very few answers to provide. I'm just a frustrated horror fan here, waiting for my genre gold to come along and carve a hole in my wallet. What's Freddy Krueger or Michael Myers got to do to get some Blu-ray box-set love around here?

Tags: Bond 50
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