The Graduate. Easy Rider. The Manchurian Candidate. What do these titles have in common? If you're a film aficionado, you may already know: You can get them as part of the Criteron Collection. It specializes in licensing important classic and contemporary films, restoring and remastering older pictures, and supplementing the films with tons of bonus features.
But with these Blu-rays usually selling for $30 to $40 a pop, and collections sometimes going for $100 or more, film buffs are rewarded when they seek out sales. Here are our suggestions.
Your Best Bet? Barnes & Noble
Twice a year, this retailer cuts 50% off all films by the Criterion Collection. Expect one sale to fall in the holiday shopping season — likely around Black Friday. The other will fall in midsummer, probably in late June or early July.
If you're not in a rush, wait for the fall sale. For the past two years, Barnes & Noble's Black Friday coupon code has stacked with their fall Criterion Collection sale, cutting an extra 30% off on top of the already impressive discount. (That makes a $40 Blu-ray cost around $14, just for reference.)
Watch Amazon in the Spring
For the past two years, Amazon has offered an excellent sale on Criterion Collection movies in early March. Expect steep discounts in the range of 50% off.
Keep an Eye on the Criterion Collection's Website
The Criterion Collection offers its own 50% off sales, generally in either February or March.
Don't Need to Own It? Check Hulu
If you just want to watch a film once or twice, check Hulu Plus. Even if you're not currently a member, a month of Hulu service starts at $7.99 — a fraction of the price of a Criterion Collection film — and over 900 titles are available. You can find a complete list of available films here.
Set Up a DealNews Alert
Of course, if you don't want to remember all these details, just set up a DealNews Alert for "Criterion Collection," and we'll shoot you an e-mail whenever we see a great sale.
What titles do you want from Criterion? How do you save on your cinephile habits? Let us know in the comments.