Amazon’s been busy lately. Folks might remember that Amazon stopped taking pre-orders for Warner DVD/Blu-ray titles for a while, including The LEGO Movie, during a contract dispute similar to the contract negotiation it is undergoing with Hachette. (Unlike Hachette’s, said dispute was resolved in a matter of weeks.)
Well, now it’s Disney’s turn to face the Wrath of ‘Zon. Home Media Magazine reports that forthcoming Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment titles, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Maleficent, and Guardians of the Galaxy, have seen their pre-order buttons removed, replaced with “Sign up to be notified when this item becomes available” buttons.
It remains to be seen whether this dispute can be resolved as quickly as Warner’s. Amazon seems to be quite the busy little bee lately; at a guess, not everyone is happy about whatever new contract terms it is imposing. It also remains to be seen how many other major studios will have their pre-order buttons pulled, and we’ll probably never know how many agreed to Amazon’s terms right away.
Amazon’s taking a bit of a risk here, making some of the biggest movies of the year unavailable for pre-order. A lot more people seem to care about movies than books these days, and it runs the risk of angering the consumers who up to now have been largely on Amazon’s side in the Hachette dispute. Perhaps this shows just how crucial it is for Amazon to improve its profit margins and start appeasing shareholders. They’re not playing around anymore.