Daily Archives: November 10, 2008

Where do new movies come from?

Well, I guess it’s about time we had this little talk; I think you’re old enough for it now.

You see, when a library and a vendor love each other very much (or are very drunk, or have a budget surplus), they get together – and set up a standing order plan.

A standing order plan is a bit like a record club membership; you tell the vendor what you want and it magically gets charged to your account – but the good part is that you never get stuck with something weird because you didn’t return that postcard on time. Note: Readers under the age of 30 may wish to ask someone older about the horrors of record clubs.

Anyway, our standing order plan works like this: when a movie grosses over x million dollars at the box office, the Main library automatically gets a copy; when it grosses over x+y million dollars at the box office, the Main library and all of the branches get a copy. We approve the orders, and we’re good to go!

But now, here’s the tricky part – how come it takes so long for those new movies to show up on our shelves? Well, the titles appear in our catalog two or three months before the movie goes on sale to the public. Once it’s in the catalog anyone can request it, so it’s not unusual to find 700 or more people waiting for a new title. Here are a few examples for you, as of today:

  • The Dark Knight – ordered 10/16/08, release date 12/09/08, 369 holds!
  • Hellboy II – ordered 9/23/08, release date 11/11/08, 256 holds!
  • Wanted – ordered 10/3/08, release date 12/02/08, 244 holds!

When the movie is released, it automatically goes to the first person on the request list. Then it bounces around the county for months before it finally returns to its library (and by then it’s all scratchy, alas).

So if you’d like a shiny new movie? Keep an eye on the catalog, and it’ll turn up eventually, we promise. Until then, there are usually about 800 other movies on DVD for you to choose from here in the Film & Audio Department. That’ll just have to do.

And now you know where new movies come from. I’m glad we could talk about this – come back if you have any more questions, okay?

- Amy

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