Here is some big news for those who like to collect movies from the Criterion Collection (and what true movie lover doesn’t have at least a few Criterion Collection titles in their collection?).
At the end of March, the Criterion Collection is losing the rights to release a large number of titles from StudioCanal.
Representatives from the Criterion Collection said they tried and failed to renew rights to the titles, so they will be going out of print. The company said, “As ever, we will continue to try to re-license the films so that they can rejoin the collection sometime in the future.” Obviously, there is no guarantee this will happen.
According to the Criterion Collection, the following titles are moving over to Lionsgate at the end of next month:
Carlos Saura’s Flamenco Trilogy (Eclipse Series 6)
Coup de torchon
Diary of a Country Priest
The Fallen Idol
Forbidden Games (Criterion and Essential Art House editions)
Gervaise (Essential Art House edition)
Grand Illusion (Criterion and Essential Art House editions)
Le jour se lève (Essential Art House edition)
Last Holiday (Essential Art House edition)
Mayerling (Essential Art House edition)
The Orphic Trilogy
Pierrot le fou (DVD and Blu-ray editions)
Port of Shadows
Quai des Orfèvres
The Small Back Room
The Tales of Hoffmann (Criterion and Essential Art House editions)
Variety Lights (Essential Art House edition)
The White Sheik
The Criterion Collection is well known for the quality of the movies in the collection (for the most part), the pristine picture and sound for each film, and for a number of excellent special features. However, one of the things that makes the Criterion Collection the most fun is that the titles are numbered. Many cinephiles have made it a quest to collect all of the titles in the collection (which currently goes from No. 1 through No. 515 — you can find the entire list here).
And as expensive as it sounds to collect 515 movies (and, let’s be honest, Criterion Collection movies are not cheap — they typically go for $39.95), it is much more expensive to buy the ones that go out of print. The out-of-print (OOP) titles are often sold for up to (and sometimes over) $100. If you want to complete the whole collection (and there are a lot of people who do this), you have to pay what people want for the OOP titles.
With this in mind, you can be sure there are people buying the movies listed above just to resell them later for a profit. I’m not telling you all of this so that you go out and hoard these movies, though. I’m giving you a head’s up that if any of these movies interest you, you probably want to make the move now.
And you may want to take special notice of “Grand Illusion,” which just so happens to be No. 1 in the collection.
Follow Sean Gerski on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DoubleDown44.