Back in Black Friday

Last year after Thanksgiving, I did some door busting Black Friday shopping. Black Friday now seems to be mostly Thursday evening. I have been buying more Blu-rays lately and I seem to buy them faster than I can watch them. So I already had about 15 Blu-rays that I have bought and not watched yet. But I have gotten a lot of entertainment out of all of it too. Last year I bought the entire Sopranos box set and I have been watching episodes all year on my commute and just got to season 4 (out of 6 seasons, so about halfway). Also in the last year I upgraded my TV, Blu-ray player, and sound system to play Ultra High Definition disks and bought my first two of those a month or so ago (and watched both of them!).

Some of the stores release their Black Friday ads weeks in advance including Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. Best Buy had the best ad for Blu-ray and UHD disks including a great deal on the Wonder Woman UHD for only $10. I had seen the movie and liked it, but may not have bought it except the UHD’s I have bought so far are a little bit older and don’t benefit as much from UHD since they started out on film. Newer movies are more likely to have actually been recorded and edited in 4K (4K is for theaters while UHD is for home use, but they are basically the same thing).

Also somehow I had missed Spider-Man Homecoming when it came out, so I wanted to get it. Walmart would have the Blu-ray version for only $7, but the best price on the UHD version was $15, so I didn’t feel like it was worth the upgrade cost. While Wal-mart’s Black Friday deals didn’t officially start until Thursday evening, the forums said that their movie prices were live Thursday morning, so I drove to Wal-mart and got Spider-Man1, standing in a line about 3 deep of people buying last minute Thanksgiving stuff like aluminum pans. I was happy to be done with that. Other people reported mob scenes and long lines that evening. Walmart does a thing called Instawatch where you can scan a code on your receipt and get a digital version of the movie added to your Vudu account. So I did that. Now I still have an unused code for a digital version inside the box, but I also need that code to enter at Sony for a program where you can buy 5 Sony movies and then get one free. I already have 2 movies entered so this will get me to 3.

Fry’s doesn’t release its ad very far in advance, just a couple of days early. Their ad wasn’t that great and was made confusing by being in 5 parts. Thursday they were closed but they had two online only ads, one starting at 9 AM and the other at 3 PM. Then they had three different Friday ads. The best thing they had going was some $4 Blu-ray titles but they also had some UHD disks for $9, a great price, but not titles I was interested in. Fry’s had a 43-inch LG UHD TV for $249 that I was about to buy except you could only buy it for store pickup and my store was already out. I could use a second TV for my back room when I am doing the elliptical, but I didn’t want to spend a lot. 43 inches seems like a good size, but I wanted to try to keep it below $200. It needs to be a smart TV so I can watch stuff over the internet on it, but at that size I would be fine with 1080p (HD) instead of UHD (2160p). If I got a TV that was not smart (no wi-fi) I could get a Chromecast for $20.

Best Buy had a 50-inch Sharp smart UHD TV for only $180, but it was the best TV deal of Black Friday and there was no way I would be able to get that without standing in a long line for hours. So I didn’t end up with a new TV, but maybe something will come along later. Fry’s has some in-store brand dumb TV’s that might work.

The only thing people were getting really excited about at Target was Cars 3, which I didn’t want, and Stranger Things Season 1 for only $10. I thought I would pick that up since it is a good price for an hour-long show’s season, but the season was only 8 episodes. So I decided not to bother and wound up buying plenty of other things. Plus I’ve never even seen one episode, so maybe I will at least watch an episode on Netflix before buying. Season 2 is already on Netflix, so maybe I will just watch everything there like everyone else does.

Thanksgiving morning, Best Buy’s prices went online for everything except Wonder Woman for $10 which was in store only. With free shipping I went ahead and ordered Hidden Figures2 for $6. $5 is the price I’d rather pay for a Blu-ray, but, like almost all of the other things I purchased, it comes with a digital version which is worth a little extra and I had really liked the movie. Then they had some $4 titles (also with digital versions) which included the animated How to Train Your Dragon 23 (I had seen the first one and liked it) and Sicario4, a well-reviewed spy thriller (haven’t seen those two). I also got the Blu-ray and digital box set of Band of Brothers5 which I have seen, but it is a great price for $10. They also had the first two new Planet of the Apes movies for $4 each, but Fry’s had them for the same price, so I thought I would get those from Fry’s later on.

After a wonderful Thanksgiving at Jeb and Kathy’s I stopped by their Best Buy to pick up Wonder Woman. I figured if some of the movies I was on the fence about included slipcovers, I might go ahead and buy since you never know what you will get buying online. That store is in Atlanta so the sales tax is 8.9% instead of 7% near me or 6% up at Fry’s in Gwinnett. But it was so close to Jeb’s I figured the savings in gasoline would cover the difference sales tax. I got to Best Buy about 2 hours after they had opened for early Black Friday at 5 PM. The lines were pretty tame. They had a line path cordoned off that went all the way to the back of the store, but nobody was in it except at the very front. Both of the Planet of the Apes6,7 movies had slipcovers, so I picked those up, but figured I would wait on this year’s third installment since it was $8. Plus they had Blade Runner8 in UHD for $14.99 which has been a little hard to get, so I got that. And I was going to wait on getting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 29 for a future Disney Movie Club enrollment, but they had it for $8 with a slipcover and DMC might not have slipcovers by the time I enroll again, plus the average cost of movies in a DMC enrollment is $9. Last year Disney Movie Rewards had $5 off coupons that you could buy with 250 points and redeem in retail stores, which was a great deal since the movie code in the box is worth 150 points (so a net cost of 100 points). So I had gotten Zootopia for $3 last year and Finding Dory for $5. No coupons this year, I think because people figured out ways to print multiple copies of coupons, though I didn’t do that, buying two individual coupons. Of course I got Wonder Woman10 in UHD for $10 (the UHD packages include a Blu-ray and a digital version of the movie). Then they had another deal where if you bought two Sony movies, you could get $5 off. The problem with Sony is they don’t make very many good movies. I was going to get Men in Black11 which included all three movies but not a digital copy for $5.99 and wound up adding the World War II tank movie with Brad Pitt called Fury12 for another $5.99, bringing both down to $3.49 each. Plus Fury had a digital code which would get me one movie closer to a free movie from Sony.

When I got home, I logged in to Fry’s. I wanted a cheap SD card for my Windows tablet since the 32 GB card I had for it died. They had 32 GB for $7, but seemed to be out of stock. I could get 64 GB for $14, but I’m not sure I will really use the tablet much and it is already several years old, so I held off on that. I did order some of their $4 movies including Alien13 and its sequel Aliens14. Buying separately was cheaper than getting 4 Alien movies for $10 at Walmart and giving me two movies I didn’t really want (and the quad does not come with digital copies). And I threw in Edward Scissorhands15 just because it was kind of cheap and I remember liking it, plus had a digital copy. I also got The World’s End16 for $5, a movie I have been wanting to get but has been out of stock locally. So that gives me 16 movies! That’s not including Get Out and E.T. which I had bought earlier in the week. So now I am way, way behind on watching movies, but I think I got a good assortment of cheap but good movies as well as some newer things at great prices, plus a classic favorite of mine, Blade Runner in the ultimate UHD format (the only movie I already owned on DVD). And all came with digital versions except the Men in Black trilogy, but that pick was 3 movies for $3.49. At least five of the movies are new to me and hopefully I will like them.

  1. Spider-Man Homecoming
  2. Hidden Figures
  3. How to Train Your Dragon 2
  4. Sicario
  5. Band of Brothers
  6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  7. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  8. Blade Runner
  9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  10. Wonder Woman
  11. Men in Black
  12. Fury
  13. Alien
  14. Aliens
  15. Edward Scissorhands
  16. The World’s End

3 thoughts on “Back in Black Friday

  1. Best Buy had Cyber Monday deals live on Sunday, including a new Sony deal where you could buy one and get one free. The deal during Black Friday was buy two titles and save $5, so the BOGO would have saved me $2 on the two $5.99 movies I bought. After looking over their list a little more I put in an order to pick up two $9.99 Sony titles, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and A League of Their Own, getting the second free, and saving $1 on the order by picking them up at the store instead of getting free shipping. However, after waiting all day for them to fill the order they didn’t seem to have those in stock, so I wound up ordering them with free shipping instead. Getting two more Sony movies with codes should get me over the 5 movies I need to get a free one from Sony Rewards, but right now their rewards site isn’t shipping free titles (hoping they will fix that and maybe add the movie Baby Driver to their list of free titles after registering 5 purchases).

    Both Best Buy orders I placed have shipped and are on the way. Fry’s hasn’t shipped the 4 movies I ordered from them and now shows them as partial backordered, so who knows if those will show up. That would be okay if they don’t ship since I bought more than enough movies without those four.

  2. I got my two orders from Best Buy today in the mail. The first order with 4 movies had 5 movies in the box. They threw in Logan by mistake. It is the “noir” version which includes a copy of the movie in black and white. A $9 value on Black Friday, it is on their site now for $18 (it just came out this year). Close Encounters and Band of Brothers included slipcovers. However, a part inside the case the holds the disks is broken on Band of Brothers so I may try to exchange it. Edit: I went ahead and exchanged Band of Brothers and gave them Logan back.

  3. Fry’s put my Thanksgiving Day order on “partial backorder” but if I checked the order all 4 movies are marked “backorder” which seems like a complete backorder. I’m not sure what their deal is because they are showing these movies in stock at their stores. So after waiting almost 2 weeks, I tried to call them. The waiting queue was supposed to be 8 minutes but after 20 minutes I hung up and cancelled the order online. That’s good really because I didn’t need any of those movies and I had bought too many lately.

    That gets me down to only 12 movies for Black Friday plus the two from Cyber Monday. Then this past weekend Best Buy had another Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal, this time Paramount instead of Sony, so I thought I would get Rango for $5.99 and paired it up with Grease for free (the selection was pretty poor, mostly DVD’s which I won’t buy; the other Blu-ray titles I considered were Jack Reacher, Tropic Thunder, The Fighter, and Cloverfield). If you order online and then you change from shipping to store pickup, they give you $1 off the order, so I did that. Then they have another deal going where supposedly if you place an order over $10 online and pick it up, they will give you a $10 gift certificate in January. So I looked around and found a copy of Oklahoma for $7.99 and added it to the order (and got another $1 off for pickup, so $11.98 plus tax total for 3 movies, and maybe a $10 gift certificate later).

    They had Oklahoma and Grease in stock and ready to pick up, but not Rango. I went to the Best Buy anyway to exchange my damaged copy of Band of Brothers and they said I should just take the two movies they had now and I could get the other movie when it came back in stock. The copy of Oklahoma they picked out didn’t have a slipcover, but one of the ones in the store did, so I exchanged that, but they processed it as a return, probably spoiling my $10 pickup offer. However, the one with the slipcover comes with a Fandango code where you can get $8 off a movie ticket to the upcoming The Greatest Showman in theaters starting December 20. Now a couple of days later I’m not sure Rango is going to show up at either Best Buy near me and I may need to cancel the whole order and bring my movies back that I picked up (I haven’t opened them just in case). Even without the $10 gift certificate the Paramount BOGO is a great deal and would have cost $2.72 (including tax) for each of those disks. Even though they don’t come with digital copies, I could maybe buy them from Vudu for $2 each (though more often than not Vudu doesn’t have a $2 digital copy available) and the total would still be less than $5 for each title.

    I’m kind of tempted to keep Oklahoma, though I probably don’t need it and may not see The Greatest Showman anyway. Another possibility would be to buy it again for pickup along with something else to get over $10. If that version doesn’t have a slipcover, I could return the one I buy the second time under the first order (the next day I was checking my order status and Best Buy let me ship Rango for free, so I just did that, forfeiting the $10 gift certificate).

    Also, I entered codes for five movies at Sony’s website and got a code for a free one. Their site has been messed up lately, but seemed to start working again yesterday. I tried it out to see if I could redeem a code for a free Blu-ray. I picked Moneyball because it should include a digital copy and I might be able to use that code to count towards my next 5 movies to earn a second free one. But when I went through it, all I got was a digital version of Moneyball, not a Blu-ray and no code. Still free, but not nearly as good a deal as it was.

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