Amazon Fights With Disney, Blocks Movie Preorders

Kate Patrick Contributor
Font Size:

Want your own copy of the outrageously funny “Guardians of the Galaxy”? Bad news, Marvel fans. Amazon is blocking pre-orders of Disney movies because of pricing disputes with the media giant, Home Media Magazine reports.

Consumers will still be able to buy the films when they are officially released, but pre-orders are no longer available, which Bloomberg’s Michael Pachter says will hurt Disney sales.

“Amazon is looking to get a price break — we think — from all of the studios,” Pachter said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “They started with Warner Bros., they’re now moving on to Disney. It looks like they might have gotten a concession from Warner Bros., Disney is not budging, and Amazon is fighting back by saying, ‘Fine, your new movies aren’t going to show up as pre-orders on our site.’ Disney sales will suffer, Disney won’t get as much word-of-mouth, and won’t sell as many DVDs in the aggregate. I think Amazon wins this battle.”

These kinds of pricing disputes aren’t new to Amazon, as the retailer is still in the midst of a spat with French publishing company Hachette. Amazon has removed pre-order options for books published by Hachette, but authors retaliated with a two-page ad slamming Amazon in The New York Times, signed by more than 900 authors.

During Amazon’s similar fight with Warner Bros., Amazon removed pre-order options for Warner Bros. films like “The Lego Movie” until the dispute was resolved. (RELATED: Get Ready For Amazon To Be SLAMMED In A New York Times Ad)

It has become quite clear to media companies like Disney and publishers like Hachette that Amazon is out to make more than just a buck, and the Web retailer is willing to inconvenience consumers to get its way.

“I think they (Amazon) are going to [go to] every studio and have the same discussion with them,” Bloomberg’s Intelligence Paul Sweeney said. “It’s going to be a question of, ‘how important is the physical DVD business to each studio?’ It’s becoming less important over time but it’s actually pretty important for Disney, because moms and kids still buy a lot of the DVDs of the Disney product.”

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Maleficent,” “Muppets Most Wanted,” and — heaven forbid — the great “Guardians of the Galaxy” are among some of the Disney films blocked from Amazon pre-order. While you can still pre-order the movies to watch on Amazon Instant Video, the films are currently unavailable for DVD pre-order until further notice.

“Disney can’t cut them off, and Amazon can cut Disney off, so I would say Amazon has the leverage,” Pachter told Bloomberg.

Follow Kate on Twitter