Amazon stops taking pre-orders on Warner Bros. movies
The Lego Movie may be a bestseller in Amazon Video on Demand, but online retailer isn't accepting pre-orders for the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the title. Amazon typically allows its customers to pre-order popular movies like this, which is set to be released June 17.
But if you visit The Lego Movie's DVD page on Amazon all you'll see is an option to sign-up to be notified when the movie is available for sale. The lack of pre-sale doesn't just apply to The Lego Movie, but a number of other upcoming Warner Bros. disc titles including 300:Rise of an Empire, Winter's Tale, and Transcendence.
Amazon's lack of pre-orders is only directed at physical media. Transcendence, for example, is not available for pre-order on Blu-ray, but you can fork over $20 to get the HD digital version on the day of its release.
We're the spat-imaniacs
The problem appears to be that Amazon is engaging in yet another fight with a major supplier. Although neither company is publicly admitting it, The New York Times reports that Amazon is using the lack of pre-sales as an attempt to "gain leverage" over the movie studio. Amazon and Warner Bros. were unavailable for comment at this writing.
If the report is accurate, this would be yet another fight for Amazon, which is currently wrangling over contract details with major publishing house Hachette.
Hoping to gain better business terms from the publisher, Amazon is delaying shipments of Hachette books—listing some titles as unavailable, and refusing pre-orders for popular upcoming titles. Most notably, J.K. Rowling's new novel The Silkworm, written under the pen name Robert Galbraith and set to debut on June 19, is unavailable for pre-order.
Amazon's tactics with Warner Bros. so far are not as heavy handed as they are with Hachette. Nevertheless, refusing pre-orders to a number of highly popular DVD releases probably isn't going to sit well with Amazon customers for too long.
The good news is Amazon is far from the only source for DVDs. Other retailers including Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and Target are still taking pre-orders for Warner Bros. movies.