Much like they did with Warner Bros. and are currently doing with publisher Hachette, Amazon is squabbling over prices with Disney. At least that’s what everyone assumes, citing the numerous similarities to the previous disputes and the absence of some very important titles from the Amazon virtual catalog. From Engadget:
That’s why you can’t pre-order a copy of Guardians of the Galaxy on DVD or Blu-ray from Amazon right now, even though you can at other retailers like Best Buy. Home Media Magazine points out that the same goes for other upcoming Disney releases like Maleficent, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Muppets Most Wanted. In some cases, like GotG, you can sign up for a notification for when they’re available, others are just missing from the virtual shelf entirely, but what Amazon will offer is a pre-order for the digital copy on its Instant Video service.
I had thought it was odd that I didn’t find Captain America listed and this sort of explains it. I guess this is going to be the norm with Amazon now when they don’t see things working the way they would like.
It reminds me of those disputes you see between cable companies and media companies like Fox, but a bit less stressful on consumers due to the ability to still go elsewhere to buy your DVD. You’re a little less likely to switch cable companies overnight, especially with all of those extra fees for breaking contracts.
The big question here is how long will it last? The Warner Bros. dispute lasted from May until late June, proving to be only a minor disruption before both sides came to an agreement. So this could be settled by next week or it could be settled in six months, who knows? I’ve always thought Disney has been notably funky about their home video practices, so who knows. Maybe they’ll open their own DVD/Blu-Ray shop online with all that money they keep tripping over.