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Disney Expands Blu-ray Discounts to DVD Owners

Posted on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 1:27 PM

Pirates of the Caribbean on Blu-rayDisney is expanding their Blu-ray upgrade program to include more catalog titles. The program has offered discounts on the Blu-ray versions of newly released catalog titles to owners of the DVD versions of those movies. Most recently, this was done for the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + BD Live w/ Blu-ray packaging) [Blu-ray] and Monsters, Inc. (4-Disc Edition) [Blu-ray] releases back in October and November. Owners of the DVD's of those movies were able to print out coupons for $8-$10 off the purchase of the new Blu-ray version.

The expanded program now includes 57 Disney titles, such as the High School Musical movies, Meet the Robinsons, G-Force, A Bug's Life, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, WALL-E, and more.

Whereas the previous promotion just wanted the UPC codes entered in a web form, you are now required to affix the Proof of Purchase tabs from the titles you wish to upgrade, and mail with the form that you complete on the web site. You do not have to mail in your DVD, which means that you can use that DVD in your vehicle or other room that does not yet have a Blu-ray player.

Once you have followed the instructions and mailed in your form, you will receive an $8 discount coupon for each movie that can be used at participating retailers. It does not appear that any online retailers are participating, most likely due to the limitation of handling paper coupons.

Does this represent an attractive deal?

Since it can be difficult to find good prices on catalog titles after their initial release promotion, I wonder how useful this program is, compared to just shopping online and finding the best deal possible.

For example, here are some of the titles covered under the Disney Upgrade Program, and how their prices compare between Best Buy and Amazon.com:

MovieBest BuyAmazon.com
Bolt $34.99 $27.99
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl $29.99 $18.99
High School Musical $29.99 $23.99
WALL-E $39.99 $19.99

This is assuming that Best Buy stores share the same prices as their online site, which is not always the case.

In some of these examples, an $8 discount still doesn't get the total price below the everyday price offered by Amazon.com! Other retailers pricing may be more attractive, but a quick call to a local WalMart yielded no successful results of the above items in-stock, and the person on the other end didn't sound very happy to be checking on prices, so I didn't push them with too many questions.

Nonetheless, I'm glad to see movie studios offering some incentives to their previous customers in order to get them to upgrade to the high definition Blu-ray format. The fact that such a program exists can be used to sway people that are on the fence about upgrading, as they will see it as decreasing the cost of adopting the new format.

What do you think?

Is this a good deal, or does the fact that you can often find titles cheaper online make it a non-starter and a waste of time? Add your comments below!

Click the Read link below to visit the Disney Upgrade Program web site, view a list of eligible titles and participating retailers, and select which titles you would like to upgrade!

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