Something New was released on DVD last week and what I thought would be a quick trip to the video store became an investigation. I stopped at the one nearest my house first. I checked the shelf and couldn't even find where it should be alphabetically. So I stopped a store clerk passing me and asked where Something New was. After our Laurel and Hardy "Who's on First" routine was over, and he understood I meant the movie and not a new release in general, he checked the system. They only have one copy and it's out. Not terribly surprising for my neighborhood's track record.
What was surprising, however, is that I checked three other Blockbusters and was met with similar results. Surprising quickly morphed into disturbing:
1. At three out of four stores, you have to ask for the movie at the front counter, there is no place for it on the shelf.
2. Three stores only had 1 copy of it for rental. One store had three copies.
3. At one store there was a whole wall devoted to Queen Latifah's Last Holiday. She is so loved by that demographic, isn't she? To the movie's credit, it grossed 3X the amount of Something New. So perhaps it's a number's thing? Well, that would fly except.....
4. ...there was also a space on the wall for the Seat Filler. (Not so much disturbing as very, very odd.) This a do-not-pass-go straight-to-DVD movie. This is on the shelf but Something New is by request only????
Why no love for Sanaa's flick? Subject matter, perhaps? I am desperately trying to be open minded and withhold judgement pending a response from Blockbuster, Inc. I emailed them today asking
1. How is it decided how many copies of a new release a particular store receives?
2. How is it decided whether a new release has a placeholder on the shelf or must be requested at the front counter?
There besta be a system in place and not up to store owner personal discretion. That's all I'm saying.