Asda is now selling Spider-Man movie download codes in a box – for £15

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A week ahead of the disc release of Spider-Man: Far From Home, you can now buy digital codes for it in a box – for £15.

We’ve covered in recent weeks the efforts by Asda to reinvigorate its DVD and Blu-ray aisle (more on that here). Now, in the run up to the disc release of Spider-Man: Far From Home, it’s testing something new too.

Taking a leaf out of the way videogame stores sell digital download codes, Asda is now flogging copies of the new Spider-Man movie in a box – but with just the code inside.

This is a fortnight ahead of the film’s physical disc release. It’s been de facto for some time that blockbusters arrive on digital services such as Sky Store and iTunes a week or two ahead of their physical release. This new move – which presumably will last a week until Asda starts selling copies of the DVD and Blu-ray when it’s released on Monday week – is presumably so that physical stores can get a slice of the digital download spend on the film.

Bafflingly, though, the digital code in a box is selling for £15. That’s more than the expected in-store price of both the DVD and Blu-ray editions of the film.

We’re indebted to Film Stories reader Jean-Paul Lusk for spotting this, and here are the pictures of the new packaging and in-store display…

It looks like this is in conjunction with digital service Rakuten, but even so, it seems a bit rich to charge £15 for a piece of paper. Why does this cost more than a physical disc release? Is this the start of a trend? And, bluntly, once the disc is out, who’s going to buy that box, and won’t they go to waste?

There’s certainly some innovation here, and we’re fascinated to see what happens next. Our suggestion, though, is that at the very least, the pricing here is urgently revisited. The gaming market has shown that selling digital codes in store can and does work. Whilst Rakuten is to be saluted for trying to bring movies into stores in this way, from the outside looking in, it looks like there’s work still to be done.

UPDATE: As one reader has noted, Rakuten actually sells the film digitally for £9.99. The box is thus costing you £5.01…

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