"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" IS Coming to BluRay 3D (You Just Aren't Likely to Get it)!

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I have no idea if this was done by design or by accident, but it appears that many people are unaware that "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" is coming to BluRay 3D.  At first I didn't know how this was possible.  I mean, James Gunn himself (he's the guy who, you know, DIRECTED the movie) even assured fans it was coming.  When I went to search for it though I discovered why people were unaware it was getting released...and why most people are unlikely to get it at all: It is coming in an exclusive steelbook combo pack at Best Buy.  Now, that's not the reason people are unlikely to get it.  Going to a specific retailer because they have an exclusive is not the problem.  Best Buy was the exclusive home of Guns n Roses "Chinese Democracy" album for a few years, and most of those CD's wound up at the Dollar Tree Store (even though over half a million copies were sold).  No, the problem is that it is being sold as an exclusive steelbook edition that is likely to have very few quantities made.

First though, let's talk about the good: This is a great set.  I don't have it in my hands personally, but steelbook casing is very nice.  It's sturdy, lasts a long time, and looks cool on the shelf.  It's not cheap to produce though, which is why they are usually limited to a couple thousand copies.  The fact that they are great for displaying and are made in limited quantities is what makes collectors drool over them.  It's what makes new collectors go to eBay and spend hundreds of dollars on movies they missed just to have this specific type of case.  I have no doubt this won't be any different.  What's more, this is by far the most comprehensive set.  Included in it is the 4K UltraHD disk, a BluRay disk, a BluRay 3D disk, AND a digital copy that includes both standard and 4K (with Dolby Atmos) versions of the film!  Basically, the only people getting left out are old fashioned DVD owners.  If you want to have the option to watch "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" any way you want to, you have that option with this.

However, I have been buying these Best Buy exclusives for years.  I don't set out to get them, but I usually do since I usually buy my movies at Best Buy.  The steelbook edition costs the same as the regular edition, so I'll usually buy that.  However, in almost every case where I have had this option, there have usually only been about a dozen copies at the store.  Most stores will be lucky to get ten copies of this exclusive edition.  There have been days where I couldn't get to the store until noon, and those steelbook versions of the movie have been gone.  At that point I just get a regular edition because I don't care about the steelbooks as much as most do.  Heck, most of the time I sell the one I do have at a highly inflated price on eBay a few months down the road, and then rebuy the movie in a standard edition when the price has dropped from $20 to $10.  I'm not saying this is right, but when you buy a hundred movies a year you find ways to cut the costs that doesn't result in pirating.

What concerns me in this case is not that there is a steelbook exclusive to Best Buy, it's that this exclusive is the ONLY way to get the 3D version!  When this sells out, that's it.  There will be no way to legally buy "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" on BluRay 3D.  I've looked on all the online sites.  I even went to Amazon.  There is NO BluRay 3D edition that does NOT involve buying this steelbook, which is likely going to be selling out very quickly!  It might even be sold old already.  I tried to pre-order it on Best Buy the other night and...

...it's only available at the store.  I tried to select a store to pick it up, but there was no store within 250 miles of my location to safely pre-order and pick up at a time I was comfortable with (I'm in California by the way).  Chances are this will be your situation as well.  So, unless these are going to be made in higher quantities than usual, I predict most stores will get between ten to twenty copies of this edition, they will sell out in ten to twenty minutes, and after that you will have to import the disk from Zavii if you want it in 3D (because Europe still has a stand alone BluRay 3D in the cards).  That...is so not an ideal situation.  You know, I am aware of the fact that with the recent "Doctor Strange" problem I said something along the lines of "I guess I'll take something over nothing," but situations like these really test my feelings on that.  I know that there is a temporary cap on sales for these disks, but there are so many economic ways to release movies in 3D it's frustrating that they play these games with their supporters.

Packaging the disks with the already overpriced UltraHD combo's could be a way for 3D fans to buy that version of the movie and get them started on building a collection for their eventual 4K TV.  Putting a 3D version on a regular BluRay and giving people the option to switch between the two is not only doable, it looks VERY good!  I know money speaks, but the more I write about this topic the more I realize Hollywood never made a good attempt to sell this format to consumers.  They just EXPECTED people to:
  1. Go out of their way to watch everything in 3D (whether it needed to be in 3D or not).
  2. Buy a new TV JUST for 3D!
  3. Pay more for disks that would have a version they had no way of playing right away.
  4. When all this failed, limit the quantity of disks you release to make it hard to get the movie in 3D at all.
The fact that this combo comes with every version you could possibly want is a good thing.  I've advocated for just releasing one combo pack for every movie before, and I will do so in the future.  One product with multiple versions is a good system to me.  "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" should prove why this is the case, but the fact that they are burying this ultimate edition with an exclusive steelbook version that is going to be discontinued right away and sold out in minutes is the exact opposite of what they should be doing.  The only good things about this is that we are getting the 3D version at all and the fact that this set retails for $34.99, which, to be fair, is more expensive than everything else, which means it might give people pause before buying, which means some of the copies might be on the selves a little longer than usual.  Either way, if you want to buy "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" in America next Tuesday, either you or a family member need to get at a local Best Buy an hour before the store opens, and just pray that they have enough copies so you can get one.

It shouldn't be this way, but there you go.


  1. Unknown said...:

    Same thing happened with the Kong 4K + 3D combo pack they put out. I tried to preorder it but it was too late. Luckily they had one at the store when I got there. I learned my lesson and preordered this GotG set as soon as possible. Looking forward to getting it next week as I wanted both 3D and 4K versions.
    I love the 4K + 3D combo packs and will buy them even for movies I'm not crazy about just to support the combo format. I don't know why they don't do more of these. Wish Wonder Woman was doing one too.

  1. KCW0LF said...:

    I do the same...I find myself multiple times a week searching Best Buy for steelbook copies of movies. The preordering them asap. I luckily reserved my copy of guardians 2.

  1. Good for you! I'm hoping there will be a copy available for me on Tuesday. *fingers crossed*

  1. Unknown said...:

    I don't like this. Just release 4K, 3D, 2D, and Digital in just one set everywhere for $30. If I become a filmmaker one day, my movies will be filmed in 4K 3D and I will be requesting my ass off for the studio to release it that way.

  1. 3D fan said...:

    We are 3D fans in northern Virginia and have given up checking anywhere for the format except Best Buy. I wasn't aware of the limited availability of this one until tonight when I couldn't find it on the shelves. Fortunately I had them check their inventory and there was one in the store. Devoted BB staffer (who doesn't even watch Marvel movies - gasp) searched all over for it while I was frantically checking for it online. He located the one copy in the video game section. Came home and reading this blog, only now realizing that 3D is exclusive to BB and how lucky I was to get it on THURSDAY!

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