Brow Beat

The Case of the Disappearing Margaret Blu-rays

Fox Searchlight.

The long battle to bring Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret to viewers is supposed to be over. The film’s protracted journey from post-production hell to a viral critical campaign to bring it back to theaters has been documented well in Slate and many other places, so there’s no need to do it again here. The release last month of the theatrical and extended versions together on one Blu-ray set should have been a gesture toward closure, the closest we’ll ever get to a definitive sense of Lonergan’s vision.

Except that just one month on, some devoted fans of the film realized that they couldn’t get their hands on the extended edition at all. It’s not in stores or in most online vendors yet, because Amazon has exclusive rights to it for now; this also makes it difficult to rent from places like Netflix or a local video store, if you’re lucky enough to still have one. And then yesterday, Amazon said the item was out stock. The cheapest used copy was listed for $129.99, with the lone new copy going for a cool $999.99. Does the Margaret curse live on? 

Turns out it’s a false alarm, and that Amazon’s chokehold on sales is to blame. According to a rep for Fox Searchlight, a glitch with the online retailer caused the extended edition to appear to be out of stock. The error was partially corrected not long after, when the $27.99 discounted price for the Blu-ray reappeared with a note that the item was temporarily out of stock. For now, it looks as if the only copies ready to ship are the exorbitantly priced ones, but the Searchlight rep assured us the issue will be resolved soon.

So fans needn’t worry, apparently. And surely, at this point, a short wait will be no sweat.