A sideways look at everything around us that tries to entertain our feeble little minds. Anything written here is either a personal opinion, a failed attempt at humour, part of my world domination plan or none of the above…
Box sets are a wonderful thing but I do wonder why they bother releasing “complete” box sets for film franchises or TV series still being made.
Yes they can be better value if you are late to the party and the series is still being made, but there’s a certain oddness about having, say, 60% of it as one box on your shelf and then the rest as individual series/seasons.
Delays in release to the our market for overseas series can be to blame for some of the thinking behind releasing collected series. Some shows get shunted about niche channels after not finding a large enough audience then get dumped even though they are still being made in their country of origin. This leaves the distributor wondering whether it is worthwhile releasing later seasons given they hadn’t been given their TV run.
Breaking Bad is an example where Sony (thankfully) decided to release later unbroadcast seasons despite not previously being shown in the UK. Given there is a 5th and final season (which has been divided into 2 parts in the US) their decision to release box sets of seasons 1-3, and then 1-4 within a few months as addition to the individual seasons makes little sense in my mind.
“Complete” box sets are less of an issue if each film/series/season is in a separate standard size case which slots into a larger cardboard box. These usually look like they do if they were bought separately as the packaging is either the same or very similar. You’ve then got the option to throw out the cardboard sleeve or turn it around so the only the individual case spines show.
Packaging like this makes more sense to me as costs are reduced by not having to pay to design more packaging and produce a separate manufacturing run for the larger box sets, so why more don’t do this I don’t understand.
One “complete” box set that always looks enticing but continually gets re-released is the James Bond franchise. A nice touch this Christmas was that the latest 007 box set left a gap in the packaging for the new film Skyfall, even though it is inevitable there will be another film.
I’d really like to see the sales figures for when companies release box sets for ongoing entities, then maybe I would see some justification in the financial rewards. Companies never release this sort of data so I guess I’ll always be left wondering.