Now pretty much the standard way of selling TV DVDs, the boxed set typically collects a whole season of a television series on numerous DVDs.
Actually, the term 'Boxed Set' is falling out of use in the modern day, since series are rarely sold as separate videos or DVDs any more, so fitting them into a literal 'boxed set' is no longer an option. Instead, they are often kept in single DVD cases and listed as "the complete Xth season/series". Anime series seem to be the only ones that are still released with a few episodes on individual discs. Once all the individual discs have been released only then will the boxed set come out, typically at a substantial savings over the individual discs. For completists, some studios will even sell the empty box on their website. Meaning a hardcore collector will buy the individual discs at a premium, then pay even more money for an empty box
It should be noted that in the UK there is a growing tendency to sell half-season boxed sets of popular American series such as LOST
to discourage people from ordering sets from abroad (and, probably, to get twice as much money out of the punters).
Boxed sets of film series such as the Alien
or Back to the Future
movies are also popular, particularly around Christmas time.
In the case of TV series, the boxed set may be preceded by Vanilla Editions
containing a few DVDs; the boxed set is typically the step between the Vanilla and the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition
A trend for popular TV shows is the release of a "themed" boxed set. These are aimed at the less dedicated fan who isn't willing to part with the cash for a full series, but might be willing to spend enough to see a few episodes featuring their favorite character or theme.
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- Anime typically only gets released in boxed sets after being released as individual discs of 3-5 episodes (depending on how well the individuals sell, some series take longer to get a boxset than others).
- DVDs of the four Alien movies can be bought as part of the giant, nine-disc Alien Quadrilogy set. The Blu-Ray versions have a six-discnote box called, Alien Anthology. After 2012's sort-of-prequel Prometheus, there is also a six-disk From Prometheus to Alien box.
- The The Lord of the Rings trilogy has the above beat. There exists the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition 4 disc set for each movie, as well as a boxed set of all three. If you're bad at math, that's an outrageous twelve discs. The extended edition movies features themselves total 11 and a half hours of viewing time. The making-of documentary for the trilogy totals almost 24 hours.
- Let's not forget the four complete sets of commentary. If you want to get the whole thing, you'll need more than a work week.
- And then there's the other set, which has the theatre version, the EE version, and a completely different making-of documentary
- Similarly, there are the ten-disk Ultimate Matrix Collection and the three-disk RoboCop Trilogy collection.
- Some popular film series (such as Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, and Star Wars) make their DVD and/or Blu-Ray debuts with their installments packaged together. The movies later become available individually.
- It's been common for some years, particularly in the case of Golden Age of Hollywood stars, to issue collections of their movies in boxed sets. This is often the only way that a fan of a particular star will be able to get ahold of their rarer movies.
- Rarer movies being brought together is what The Criterion Collection's "Eclipse" line is all about, though they usually organize their sets by directors or production companies rather than lead actors. They also have plenty of box sets in the main collection.
- James Bond has new box sets of old movies released in conjunction with the theatrical premieres of new installments.
- Terry Gilliam once made light of this in a documentary on the Monty Python's The Meaning of Life DVD. He (jokingly) suggested that the Pythons just find new ways of repackaging the same material "to rip the poor sods off."
- The 20th Century Fox-produced adaptations of six Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals sometimes get packaged together.
- Turner Classic Movies has sponsored budget-friendly compilations each containing four movies from the Warner Bros. and/or MGM libraries that belong to a particular genre, star a particular performer, or share a director.
- In general, The New Tens has brought on a glut of budget box sets of films, mostly from The Eighties and The Nineties and linked by leads, themes, or series. These are primarily available through big box stores like Wal-Mart and Target, and are invariably vanilla editions.
- 20th Century Fox took this to insane levels during their 75th anniversary. They released Cavalcade, the winner of the 1933 Best Picture Oscar, on DVD for the first time...but it also comes with 74 of their bestselling movies.
- Sony released a box set of The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and MirrorMask as "The Jim Henson Fantasy Collection", even though he only lived to work on the first two movies — the last was a Spiritual Successor made by his production company nearly two decades later.
- In Japan, The Man Who Fell to Earth and Moon were made available in a two-pack. Both films are adult-oriented science fiction fare, but the true reason they were brought together was a blood tie — the lead actor in the former is the father of the latter's director!
- Die Hard has had various DVD and Blu-Ray box sets with disc counts ranging from as low as three to as high as eight.
- Warner Bros. has taken advantage of their obtaining the home video rights of 600 Paramount films by packaging DVDs or Blu-Ray Discs of movies from both studios together. They previously packaged the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and RKO Radio Pictures movies together with WB pictures.
- 20th Century Fox has bundled some of their movies together with MGM pictures after striking a deal to distribute the MGM films that Warner didn't already get.
- Universal honored its 100th anniversary with a box set containing 25 movies from different genres and decades, a DVD of tributes and animated shorts, and a CD of score excerpts.
- Warner Bros. celebrated its 90th anniversary with numerous DVD boxsets, ranging from "20 Film Collections" themed around specific genres, to a set of 100 of the most popular films in their library. Although, some of the titles are actually pictures that Warner acquired home video rights to from other studios, such as MGM, New Line Cinema, and RKO Radio Pictures.
- The current trend of long series of superhero films has produced these in great amounts. Annoyingly for many fans, some series get a new box set each time a film comes out.
- The Superman movies had five kinds of boxsets on DVD. Superman: The Movie, Superman II, Superman III, and Superman IV shared The Complete Superman Collection, the more bonus-packed The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection, and the middle-ground 4-Film Favorites: Superman. Superman Returns joined them for the Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition, and the cheaper Superman 5-Film Collection. The Blu-Ray Disc releases of all five movies comprise The Superman Motion Picture Anthology. It didn't mark the first time the first two movies and Returns came to Blu-Ray, but it does currently seem like the only way to own the theatrical cuts of the original two (and any version of III and IV) in that format.
- The Spider-Man Trilogy was available as a box set of Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, and then with Spider-Man 3 as Spider-Man Trilogy in entirely vanilla versions (DVD or Blu-Ray) or Spider-Man Deluxe Trilogy with many extras.
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe is fairly extreme; the entirety of phase one (Iron Man 1, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers) with plenty of extras and a model tesseract. A three-film set of Iron Man is also available.
- The X-Men franchise is bad with this. X-Men, X2, and The Last Stand are available as X-Trilogy. X-Men Origins: Wolverine can be added for X-Men Quadriliogy. X-Men: First Class can be added for X-Men Ultimate Collection. If you also want The Wolverine, then you need X-Men and The Wolverine Adamantium Collection, available both with and without a 3D version. Fans who don't want Wolverine's solo movies can get the first three pictures and First Class as the X-Men: Experience Collection. Each tends to have a good amount of special features, but most lack the bonus disks from the solo releases.
- Batman's films have a few, notably The Batman Legacy,The Batman Motion Picture Anthology or 4 Film Favorites: Batman for Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin, and The Dark Knight Trilogy for The Dark Knight Saga. Non-Batman films Memento, The Prestige and Inception joined the Saga for the Christopher Nolan Director's Collection.
- Animated films and relatively unpopular series have some box sets too, often with looser themes.
Live Action TV
- The new Doctor Who series is currently being first released as a series of Vanilla Edition DVDs, followed by a boxed set at Christmas time.
- Old Who episodes tend to be released as single serials (of anywhere between two and ten 25-minute episodes each), but some come in boxed sets of multiple serials. Several "trilogy" boxed sets of consecutive serials are available, as are sets of serials with a common villain (Davros, the Silurians, the Sontarans and the Black Guardian each have one). The only complete seasons available as boxed sets are Season 16 (The Key to Time) and Season 23 (The Trial of a Time Lord), because they were the only ones before the revival to have a season-long arc.
- Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis have all completed seasons out on boxed sets. Stargate SG-1 released a boxed set of the entire series after cancellation, all ten seasons.
- Babylon 5 is available in a giant boxed set with all five seasons, all six films, Crusade and Lost Tales.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer has "The Chosen" set, of all seven seasons in one giant cube. Buffy has also released Themed sets focusing on individual characters. Such as a Willow and a Spike box set.
- Angel has a 5-Season Cube also.
- The Equalizer had a "complete season 1" boxed set release recently.
- Star Trek:
- Paramount offers boxed sets of every season of every series, as well as a boxed set of the movies. They also sell box sets on a theme that spans each of the series. Called Fan Collections, some of the inclusions are voted on by fans on the Paramount website. Examples include "Captain's Log" "Borg" and "Alternate Realities". Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager got a special actual limited edition boxed set, with every season of the show packed inside a special box. For Voyager it was a Borg Cube, for Deep Space Nine a solid black box with artwork of the station on it, and for TNG a silver box with an engraved logo on the top. The were limited to 3000, 4000 and 5000 depending on which series it was.
- As Paramount released the movies on Blu-Ray to promote the reboot, the movie box sets became the only way for fans to obtain the odd-numbered movies, which fell victim to the Star Trek Movie Curse. Individual releases came out in 2013.
- Also the Twin Peaks Gold Box. It even has a quote from David Lynch on front saying "This is the ultimate Twin Peaks boxset". The whole series, including the pilot (which was missing from the season 1 DVD), with both the original American and European endings. The bonus material includes many great making of documentaries and also the most interesting part: A Slice Of Lynch, which is David Lynch, Kyle McLachlan, Michael Ontkean and Mädchen Amick reuniting to talk about the show. Heck, it even includes Japanese coffee ads and the SNL skit on Twin Peaks. The only thing missing is Fire Walk With Me which they wanted to include at first, but couldn't because of right troubles.
- This was supplanted by the Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery Blu-Ray set, which adds Fire Walk With Me (for the first time ever on Blu-Ray to boot), about 90 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes from it, the Log Lady introductions produced for reruns on Bravo and new reunion interviews to the above set.
- In a slight aversion, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. isn't available in its individual seasons, only as a Boxed Set - but it's quite a Boxed Set: all four seasons of the show on nearly 40 DVD's, with a disc of extras to accompany each season and two "bonus discs" full of even more extras, all in a cardboard box designed to look like a metal attache case.
- The Phantasm series had a particularly awesome box set, designed like the Sentinel Spheres used by The Tall Man in the films themselves. Its only available in Europe.
- The Twilight Zone had two nine-disc DVD boxsets, each containing a random assortment of episodes. These later became usurped by The Twilight Zone: The Definitive Edition DVDs, which compiled the episodes in broadcast order, dedicating one five-DVD set for each season (except for seasons 1 and 5, which each had an extra disc containing additional bonus features). These later became complemented by box sets under the banner The Twilight Zone: Fan Favorites, each containing five discs recycled from the earliest compilations. Some time afterward, each season received a cheaply-priced, Vanilla Edition DVD set.
- The Corrs released a 5 CD Boxed Set of all their studio albums in 2011.
- Parodied by Angry Samoans, who fit their first four releases in their entirety onto one CD and called the resulting compilation The Unboxed Set.
- This is the most common way for The Simpsons to be released on DVD, with a season box set coming out every year.
- Animated shows like Batman: The Animated Series are commonly sold as "volumes" rather than "seasons" because the episodes within are presented in production order, not broadcast order.
- Also, an animated series intended to be shown weekday afternoons, will generally have a 65-episode first season, followed by much shorter seasons. Boxing them as seasons would be unwieldy.
- The Real Ghostbusters received a complete series boxset a few months before cheaper, 5-disc "volumes" came out.