Do you really think Severin is raking in dough selling BMX Bandits for $11.49 on Amazon? How about that goofy, blurry Screwballs movie - do you think that's moving tens of thousands of copies? I know the sequel came out a year later, but it was such a low-rent release it had a non-standard BD case and everything...
What about Blue Underground releasing Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci titles a month after the region free Arrow releases, which tend to have more bonus features anyway? How many people do you honestly think bought the US release of Deep Red, when the Arrow Video release was available first and has exclusive new material?
Synapse? Sure, let's talk about those two Hammer films they're sitting on. If Vampire Circus actually made money, don't you think we'd have seen Hands of the Ripper and Twins of Evil by now? Instead we're seeing Frankenhooker, a title they didn't announce the rights to until last month! They'll get my money for Intruder eventually, rest assured, but even Don May himself went on to say, in the last month, that Blu-ray "isn't taking off the way [we at Synapse] hoped it would".
And Image!? Ha, good one! Sure, let's look at the clowns who upscaled the frickin' Hills Have Eyes DVD as a working business model...
Seriously, these cult labels are used to paying for licenses and then squeaking by with relatively low profits. It's a cruel business, and I'm sure any one of them could have walked up to Sony, asked for the rights to Fright Night and done a "normal" release. But they didn't. If this release were as sure a thing as some people seem to think it is, I'm sure someone would have tried to buy the exclusive rights for a 5 year period, only to get shot down by Wal-Mart... or worse yet, produce 40,000 copies for them and then get who knows how many back as returns a year later. Once a retailer returns it, not only did you lose the wholesale price (plus the lease on the shelf space) but you'll NEVER sell it.
But let's forget about cult film specialty labels for a second. Fright Night was a commercial success 25 years ago with a box office return of $25 million. The film wasn't a flop and it has some appeal to nostalgic fans, so maybe there's some sales to be had there, I get this train of thought... but you know what made even more money thirty years ago? John Belushi's last movie, Neighbors. And you what that just got? A got-dang MOD release from Warner Archives. That's what Fright Night could so easily have been, and I'm sure the only reason Sony is re-releasing the DVD at all is because they have crates full of them in a warehouse somewhere.