How to Lose DVD Sales and Alienate Studios

Sometimes a director will torpedo ticket sales for his own movie because he feels it just didn't live up to its promise, as Matthieu Kassovitz did when his Babylon A.D. sucked like a Hoover. It's rarer that a director will discourage fans from seeing a movie because he feels it's really good. Rarer, and you might say, downright illogical. But there is sort of a method to Robert B. Weide's madness when he tells us we shouldn't buy the Region 1 DVD for his film How to Lose Friends & Alienate People. Weide believes in the movie, loves the movie, but the DVD just doesn't cut it.

Back in October, Weide said he didn't want to publicly sound "overly critical of [anyone] who may have dropped the ball." It's a different story now, as Weide recounts in detail having to repeatedly hound the DVD team to get the disc he wanted. Extras that he thought were going to be on the U.S. release have disappeared. Some of the scenes cut from the movie and saved for the DVD won't be included, after all. The original artwork for the cover was atrocious. Weide says he called everyone involved trying to figure out why the final product was turning out so unlike his original intent. The verdict? "It was just sloppiness and apathy," says Weide. One mistake and forgotten task led to another led to another. The end result is that he wants people to buy the UK DVD instead, even though this will cut down on sales because not everyone has a compatible player.

Having earned only slightly more than half of its production budget of some $28 million, can the movie can really afford to lose any more viewers and alienate potential sales?




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