10 of 2023’s notable films still don’t have UK DVD releases scheduled

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From American high school comedies to Oscar winners, plenty of 2023’s biggest and brightest films have skipped the DVD market in the UK.


(Correction: A previous version of this article claimed Nida Manzoor’s Polite Society couldn’t be found on DVD. It actually can. Don’t worry, we have fired the news-goblin responsible for the error.)

As recently as 2021, the idea that the previous year’s Best Picture Oscar winner wouldn’t get a UK physical media release would have been absurd.

In fact, to find a Best Picture winner that isn’t easily available on a UK disc format, you’d have to head all the way back to 1937. Try as we might to watch The Life Of Emile Zola on the secret DVD player at the top of Big Ben (don’t tell anyone), it looks like no one got round to burning it onto a disk for us before the copyright expired.

Since the DVD format emerged in 1997, studios and distributors have done a pretty good job of trawling back through their archives to release the biggest films of yesteryear on home video formats. As far as I can tell, in fact, there are just seven Best Picture winners in the history of the Oscars which you currently can’t buy on a UK region DVD.

Five of those are, unsurprisingly, among the first ten ceremony winners from 1927-1937. The others? They came out in 2021 and 2022.

CODA, of course, was a Covid-era, Apple TV exclusive, so that sort of makes sense. Everything Everywhere All At Once, though? Not only was the Daniels’ crowd-pleasing multiverse hit A24’s highest-grossing film at the box office by a country mile, it even has a physical release in the US. Just don’t expect to find a copy in Big Tesco any time soon.

A series of 2023 releases, then, are in good company. At the time of writing, we’ve tracked down 10 films from the last year we’d have expected to find themselves a physical UK release by now. Here they are:

Air

The Boogeyman

Bottoms

Chevalier

Greatest Days

Rye Lane

Theater Camp

Till

The Whale

Women Talking

While there are some big names on there – Oscar winners Women Talking and The Whale, for a start – there’s also some slightly smaller releases that once upon a time would have thrived on the home video market. This is also far from an exhaustive list – we’ve stuck to the big studio pictures and some of the year’s bigger indie fair on the whole.

Bottoms, the brilliant American High School comedy which arrived on Prime Video last week, once would have become a cult sleepover classic. The similarly excellent Theater Camp could have become the same, while The Boogeyman was one of the biggest horror movies of last year. Even Rye Lane, the universally beloved British rom-com from debut director Raine Allen-Miller, hasn’t yet managed to scrape a release on disc despite funding from both the BBC and the BFI.

They are, of course, all available on streaming. You can even download and keep a few of them. But in an era when buy-and-keep downloads doesn’t guarantee you’ll own a digital copy of the film forever, and while the biggest streamers on the planet will happily delete exclusive releases from their platforms, it’s hard not to think of some of these movies as being at risk.

It’s a worrying trend – even as the DVD and Blu-ray market looks poised to go the way of the vinyl, the lack of support from big studios and distributors risks relegating films which should be thriving outside cinemas to the scrap heap.

Take Saltburn as a slightly more recent example. Though the film arrived on Amazon Prime Video just before Christmas, there doesn’t seem to be a whisper of a DVD or Blu-ray release either side of the Atlantic – despite a month or so of online discourse proving that it might just be one of the most-talked about films of 2023. Whatever you think of the film, it’s undoubtedly a prime example of a British cinema success story – there’s just no way you can own it right now.

The runaway success of Oppenheimer and Barbie in the home video market (as well as the box office) proves that there is still a market for popular films you can hold in your hand.

Fingers crossed a few of these get their time on HMV’s shelves sometime soon.

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