Spat is similar to dispute with Warner Bros. over Blu-ray and DVD distribution terms earlier this year
Amazon.com currently is not offering DVD pre-orders for most upcoming Disney releases in the U.S. — including “Maleficent” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” — in what looks like a replay of the e-commerce giant’s homevideo standoff with Warner Bros. terms earlier this summer.
Other forthcoming Mouse House titles unavailable to order include “Muppets Most Wanted” (set for Aug. 12 release) and “Million Dollar Arm” (Oct. 7). In the U.S., “Captain America” is slated for homevideo release Sept. 9, and “Maleficent” is set for Nov. 4.
“Sign up to be notified when this item becomes available,” says a notice on Amazon’s DVD landing pages for “Maleficent” and “Muppets Most Wanted,” while it does not even list DVDs for the other two. By contrast, both “Maleficent” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” are available on Amazon’s U.K. website.
Disney, on its U.S. homevideo site, is directing customers to Walmart and Best Buy for pre-orders of “Maleficent” and other upcoming releases. “Muppets Most Wanted” also is available for pre-order from Target.
In May, Amazon similarly stopped taking pre-orders of Warner Bros. Home Video titles including “The Lego Movie,” “Transcendence” and “300: Rise of an Empire.” The companies eventually resolved their disagreement, in which Amazon wanted to keep a bigger share of DVD sales, but the terms were not revealed.
Meanwhile, Amazon’s highest-profile and longest-running supplier spat is with Hachette Book Group over e-book pricing. The e-commerce company, in a fight that commenced in May, has delayed shipments of Hachette titles by up to four weeks, reduced discounts on some books and is not accepting pre-orders. The latest wrinkles: A petition signed by some 900 authors objecting to Amazon’s practices appeared as a two-page ad in Sunday’s New York Times from a group called AuthorsUnited.net, while Amazon late Friday launched ReadersUnited.com, a website urging customers to contact Hachette to demand lower e-book pricing.
Disney and Amazon reps did not respond to requests for comment outside of regular business hours. The standoff was first reported by Home Media Magazine.
It’s worth noting that, as happened during its dispute with Warner Bros., Amazon is offering digital purchase pre-orders for the Disney titles through the Amazon Instant Video service. Also, Amazon does not appear to be limiting Disney titles that have already been released. Animated smash “Frozen,” for example, is available to order on Blu-ray and DVD (although Amazon’s site says the regular DVD version is out of stock until Aug. 13).