Disney Movie Club Online Store Shutting Down

Subsequent to Disney turning over the handling of Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases of its movies and TV shows to Sony Pictures, the company also announced it is shutting down its online Disney Movie Club store.

A statement posted at the Disney Movie Club website (DisneyMovieClub.com) reads “We’ve enjoyed serving you for the last 23 years, but consumer behavior and viewing preferences continue to evolve so we have made the tough decision to close Disney Movie Club.”

Disney Movie Club started in 2001 as a membership-based platform that allowed the studio to sell its content on VHS and DVD directly to consumers. As packaged-media formats evolved, DMC also began offering Blu-ray Discs and 4K Ultra HD disc, in addition to souvenirs such as lithographs, character pins and branded handbags. One primary perk of membership was access to DMC-exclusive releases not available anywhere else, such as Blu-ray releases of catalog titles such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Black Hole (often lacking the extras of previous DVD releases, however), many of which were offered at significant upcharges on secondary markets such as eBay. Last year, DMC had exclusive 4K editions of new theatrical releases such as the live-action The Little Mermaid, Pixar’s Elemental and the Haunted Mansion remake.

In recent years, however, Disney’s content-delivery focus has shifted more toward streaming services such as Disney+ and Hulu, with packaged-media becoming less of a priority. Many collectors have noted that Disney is sitting on a trove of catalog content, particularly titles it acquired from Fox, that are overdue for a proper Blu-ray or 4K disc release.

Ads for Disney Movie Club became ubiquitous as inserts in Disney DVDs and Blu-rays, offering new members their choice of four catalog titles for a penny each. Members were then required to buy at least five qualifying titles at full price within two years. However, discount offers allowed members to tack on additional titles for up to 60% off, leading to many titles costing under $10 when purchased in bulk. DMC would also curate a featured selection each month of a new title, often paired in a bundle with a lithograph or pin, that members would be sent automatically unless they declined. The last featured title will be offered April 16.

According to information posted by DMC, the service will continue to take new orders through May 20, 2024. Any orders that can’t be processed by May 22 will be canceled. All membership accounts will be closed July 20. DMC also announced that the minimum purchase requirements for all members has been deemed satisfied as of Feb. 20 regardless of if they have reached five titles or not, and all members are also declared VIPs for purposes of tiered content access and pricing.

The site’s home page now sports a countdown clock showing how much time is left to order, and touts a free gift with a $30 or more purchase.

According to the site’s goodbye message, DMC served more than 10 million club members in its history.

Loading page at DisneyMovieClub.com

Merchandising: ‘Mandalorian’ Exclusives Available Through Disney Movie Club

The first two seasons of the Disney+ “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” were released on Blu-ray Dec. 12 in separate Steelbook editions.

Both The Mandalorian: The Complete First Season and The Mandalorian: The Complete Second Season were given wide releases on either regular Blu-ray Disc or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc, but not as combo packs mixing the formats.

However, Disney Movie Club, Disney’s proprietary online retail site, offered exclusive Blu-ray+DVD combo pack Steelbooks of each title for $39.95 each.

The Steelbook artwork for all versions appears to be the same, with just the spine and outer slipcover denoting the format swapped out. The DMC versions also offer the same concept art cards as the wide releases.

Disney Movie Club ‘Mandalorian’ VIP Pin

As a tie-in, DMC also offered a VIP pin of the character Grogu (aka Baby Yoda) in front of the Mandalorian’s helmet, attached to an art card, for $8.98.

DMC’s “Mandalorian” exclusive Steelbook follows the same template for earlier releases of two Disney+ Marvel series. Loki: The Complete First Season in August and WandaVision in November also are available as Blu-ray+DVD Steelbook combo packs for $39.95 through Disney Movie Club, in addition to their wide Blu-ray and 4K Steelbook options.

 

Merchandising: 4K ‘Haunted Mansion’ Exclusives Arrive

Disney’s Haunted Mansion arrived on retail shelves Oct. 17 with the 4K editions of the film offered as retail exclusives.

Walmart’s ‘Haunted Mansion’ 4K with pin

Best Buy’s edition is, as usual, the 4K combo pack in Steelbook packaging, for $39.99. Walmart’s version of the 4K combo pack comes with a pack-in enamel pin, for $34.96, though a number of stores visited didn’t seem to have a shelf tag for the 4K version, which was marked online as sold out.

Disney Movie Club’s ‘Haunted Mansion’ 4K Blu-ray

What otherwise would be considered the standard 4K Blu-ray combo pack of the film — the two discs in a plastic case with a simple slipcover — has been made an exclusive of the studio’s proprietary Disney Movie Club online membership store, for $34.95. The DMC version is offered with a free lithograph on orders through Oct. 30, and with various membership savings opportunities could be had for as low as $14.98, depending on what other titles are purchased at the same time.

Among other promotions for the week, Target ran a 15% off Halloween movies sale.

Best Buy offered Steelbook editions for two catalog titles. One was a 4K Blu-ray combo pack for the 1988 remake of The Blob, from Shout! Studios, for $34.99. The other was a 50th anniversary 4K Blu-ray combo pack for the 1973 version of The Wicker Man, from Lionsgate for $21.99.

Best Buy’s 1973 ‘The Wicker Man’ 4K Steelbook

Merchandising: ‘Little Mermaid’ 4K Editions Are Retail Exclusives

For Disney’s Sept. 19 release of its live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, the retail exclusives are the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray editions of the title. Only the regular Blu-ray combo pack and DVD versions have been given the traditional wide  release.

Best Buy’s edition is, as usual, the 4K combo pack in Steelbook packaging, for $39.99.

Walmart’s version of the 4K combo pack comes with a pack-in enamel pin, for $34.96.

Walmart’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ (2023) 4K with enamel pin

What otherwise would be considered the standard 4K Blu-ray combo pack of the film — the two discs in a plastic case with a simple slipcover — has been made an exclusive of the studio’s proprietary Disney Movie Club online membership store, for $34.95. The DMC version is offered with a free lithograph, and with various membership savings opportunities could be had for as low as $11.98, depending on what other titles are purchased at the same time.

Disney Movie Club’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ (2023) 4K Blu-ray

Disney is apparently deploying the same 4K-as-retail-exclusive strategy for the upcoming disc releases of two other recent theatrical titles. Pixar’s Elemental arrives Sept. 26 with a Best Buy 4K Steelbook, a Walmart 4K edition with lenticular box art, and a DMC-exclusive of the “standard” 4K Blu-ray combo pack. The 4K options for the Oct. 17 disc release of the Haunted Mansion remake will include a Best Buy 4K Steelbook and a Walmart 4K edition with enamel pin (there’s no indication of a DMC version of the 4K for this one). Studio sources indicated that release patterns are considered on a title-by-title basis, so this shouldn’t be seen as a shift in overall strategy for 4K versions of its theatrical films.

Noticeably absent in this mix is Target, which would seemingly be left with just the wide-release Blu-ray and DVD to sell. However, copies of the new Little Mermaid were nowhere to be seen on Target’s shelves the week of release, with the title listed as “online only” on the chain’s website (the Blu-ray combo pack was listed as out-of-stock). For major theatrical films this is usually an indicator that physical copies might be in stores a week later. To add insult to injury, while Little Mermaid is listed as newly available in Target’s weekly ad circular, the link takes shoppers to a landing page for the DVD of Universal’s new horror film Sick.

Meanwhile, Walmart.com as of Sept. 18 has opened up preorders for the Walmart-exclusive Disney Legacy Animated Film Collection, the vaunted three-volume set of 100 animated films priced at $1,499.96 and due for release Nov. 14. The Disney Movie Club also offered a limited number of preorders but has likely sold out as the link to the title listing is no longer active.

In other exclusives, Best Buy has a Steelbook edition of the new 4K version of Warner’s 1973 horror classic The Exorcist, for $34.99.

Best Buy’s ‘The Exorcist’ 4K Steelbook

Target is touting up to 30% off Halloween-themed books and movies.

Disney Movie Club Offering Exclusive ‘Cinderella’ 4K Combo Pack

The new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc of the 1950 animated classic Cinderella will be available to members of the Disney Movie Club months before it makes its way to retail shelves.

Disney is releasing the film on 4K disc for the first time as part of its Disney 100 promotion celebrating the 100th anniversary of the studio. The Cinderella 4K disc is slated for release later this year in Steelbook packaging Aug. 1, with a standard release Oct. 17.

However, the Walt Disney Co.’s online storefront will offer an exclusive combo pack of Cinderella containing a 4K disc, a regular Blu-ray, a DVD and a digital copy code starting March 28.

The combo packs of the widely available retail releases will not include the DVD.

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Disney Movie Club is a membership-based store that sells Disney DVDs and Blu-rays, as well as select merchandise, directly to fans, with deep discounts offered the more they buy. The DMC is frequently advertised on inserts included with Disney Blu-rays and DVDs. To join, fans begin by buying four Disney movies for $1, and then must buy five additional titles at regular price starting at $19.95 each over a two-year period, after which they become VIP members and unlock additional discounts. Each month the club offers members the option to buy a featured title with additional bonuses.

The exclusive Cinderella combo pack is offered with a collectible lithograph of a pencil sketch of Cinderella’s dress transforming for the ball, plus a metal charm. The disc is offered at $29.95, $5 off the suggested retail price, plus shipping. The bundle must be ordered by March 20 to receive the lithograph and charm (the bundle is sent automatically to members who do not opt out by the deadline date). Members can also receive a pin depicting Cinderella’s mouse friends Jaq and Gus through a promotion that gives VIPs free character pins with each order.

Blu-ray bonus materials include an alternate opening sequence, deleted scenes, a gag reel, a “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-You” second-screen experience, the featurettes “Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess Fantasyland” and “The Real Fairy Godmother,” and the animated short Tangled Ever After.

Merchandising: ‘Strange World’ Exclusives Go 4K

Feb. 14 saw the release of Disney’s Strange World on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, while its 4K version was seemingly relegated to a retail exclusive.

The animated film follows a squabbling family of adventurers who journey to a far-off land in order to locate more sources of a plant that is their society’s key energy source.

Best Buy offers a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack in exclusive Steelbook packaging for $39.99.

Meanwhile, the standard-edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack is apparently a Disney Movie Club exclusive, although it isn’t marked as such at the club’s website, where it is priced at $29.95 for members with $3.95 for shipping (though the price drops depending on how many other titles are ordered at the same time).

At Target, which didn’t offer an exclusive for Strange World, the film’s DVD and Blu-ray were listed as available online only.

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Pixar’s ‘Onward’ Heading for Disc May 19

Disney’s modernized fairy tale Onward appears slated for a May 19 release on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

The latest effort from the vaunted Pixar Animated Studio earned $61.6 million during a domestic theatrical run that began March 6 but was cut short by the closure of theaters amid the coronavirus pandemic. Disney subsequently released the film for digital sellthrough March 20, and made it available on the Disney+ streaming service April 3.

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The film stars Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as the voices of a pair of teenage elf brothers who embark on a mystical quest to spend another day with their late father.

Information regarding the May 19 disc release comes from a presale listing at the Disney Movie Club, an online storefront promoted by the studio for fans to buy merchandise and movies on disc at discounted prices, including titles available exclusively through the club.