‘New’ Alien Anthology Not the Mothership

Six-disc original

Even in space 20th Century Fox will be able to hear the screams of anguish from Kiwi film buffs.

After providing its NZ distributor, Roadshow Entertainment, with only a relative handful of Alien Anthology Blu-ray units in November that quickly sold out, it has just re-issued the box set – only with two of the original six discs missing.

The ‘new’ anthology contains just the four movie discs, and not the Making the Alien Anthology and The Alien Anthology Archives discs – which were what made the original Anthology so collectible.

NZ and Australia appear to be the first territories where Fox has repackaged the anthology at a lower price point – although you can still import the six-disc set from Amazon UK for £28, which, with the free NZ shipping Amazon is offering until at least May, makes it less than half the NZ $100 sticker cost.

As one reader cogently said in an email to ScreenScribe.tv: “The NZ market really has been treated appallingly. First they provide so few copies that the title basically sells out on the first day.

“Then, some three months later, they finally re-release it, but apparently in a version that omits the comprehensive 20-or-so hours of excellent documentaries.

“And while they did reduce the price by $20, it’s still significantly more expensive than getting the full six-disc [set] from Amazon.”

However, one retailer ScreenScribe.tv quizzed about the strategy didn’t think it was totally without merit.

Four-disc re-issue

It seems the speed with which the anthology sold out surprised the trade on both sides of the Tasman.

The retailer acknowledges the re-issue might be two discs short but points out the recommended retail price is “considerably cheaper” and questions how many consumers want to watch hours and hours of extras, anyway, when they can opt for a more affordable edition with much of the same content.

As valid as those observations are, it seems ridiculous Fox can’t offer both options, especially since the limited release of the original anthology was so keenly sought here.

The good news about Alien Anthology is it’s region-free so will play on NZ players from wherever it’s sourced.

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One Response to “‘New’ Alien Anthology Not the Mothership”

  1. Speaking as the reader quoted above, I can say that I am someone who wants to watch hours and hours of content. Over Christmas I rewatched the films on Blu-Ray, then dug into the features. The fifth disc has a full three-hour documentary, plus an hour or so of extra odds and ends, for each film. It took me over a week to work my way through the disc. And they really are some of the best making-of documentaries I’ve ever seen – there’s 16 or so hours on that one disc, and I don’t think I once got bored or thought “I’ve already heard this.” (I haven’t had a chance to go through the sixth disc yet.)

    And it’s not “much the same content.” One option is a basic, bordering on bare-bones effort – a movie, commentary, and deleted scenes. The other option is a comprehensive effort that brings together EVERY special feature ever included on an Alien movie DVD, along with additional new material. In what way are these two comparable?

    In any case, a $20 price reduction is technically “more affordable,” but it’s not “considerably cheaper” on a $120 product. It’s, what, a 15% reduction? Not impressive, not when you can still get a six-disc version imported from the UK for half the reduced price. Look, I understand where the retailer is coming from – they’ve been screwed by Fox as well, which set both the price level and disc numbers, and they still need to put a good spin on things in order to sell the title. But there is no choice here – even if you have no interest in the special features, you’d still be stupid to buy the NZ disc, which is far more expensive when compared to the UK version, has ugly box art, and takes up more space on your shelf.

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