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Boxed Set

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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.

Boxed sets themselves have been on a noticeable decline over the years due to the advent of the multi-disc keep case, which has allowed full seasons of a series to be stored in a single package at a time, without the need for a box; instead, traditional boxed sets tend to be reserved nowadays for collections encompassing the entirety of a TV show or a movie series. Anime series seem to be the only TV shows 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 completionists, 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.

Boxed sets also tend to be utilized for certain music reissues every now and then; typically, these sets include either all of an artist's previously-released studio albums, a portion of their backlog corresponding to a certain era of their career (as is the case with the more recent David Bowie boxsets), or particularly large greatest hits compilations.

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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  • 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 movie 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. Some contain all of the Bond movies released up to that point, while others cover a specific Bond actor's run, and some older box sets just package a random assortment of movies together.
  • 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 '10s has brought on a glut of budget box sets of films, mostly from The '80s and The '90s 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.
  • Some movie studios take this to insane levels during Milestone Celebrations:
    • United Artists marked its 90th anniversary with the 90th Anniversary Prestige Collection, containing DVDs of 90 of their most popular movies, as well as bonus discs of extra features for select entries.
    • 20th Century Fox celebrated its 75th anniversary by releasing 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.
    • 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. It also released the Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Collection Blu-Ray, reportedly the largest Blu-Ray boxset of its time. Although, some of the titles in these collections are actually pictures that Warner acquired home video rights to from other studios, such as MGM, New Line Cinema, and RKO Radio Pictures.
  • 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 MGM's in-house library (their post-1986 films, as well as the United Artists and Orion libraries).
  • 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.
  • Disney often does this for movie series. However, they've also put out a few with more loosely-connected movies.
  • When 20th Century Fox reacquired the rights to Curse of the Fly at the Turn of the Millennium, it was brought out in a DVD box set with The Fly (1958) and Return of the Fly as "The Fly Collection". At the end of The New '10s, Scream Factory created its own Blu-Ray set — with the same title — of these three films plus their 1980s counterparts The Fly (1986) and The Fly II. This is currently the only way to get any of the sequels on Blu-Ray, and not only were virtually all the bonus features from the previous Fox discs retained, a significant amount of new content was added.
  • The Jurassic Park movies have been boxed up several ways: "Jurassic Park Trilogy" contains the original three, "Jurassic Park Collection" those plus Jurassic World, and "Jurassic World Collection" adds Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.


     Live-Action TV  
  • Series 1-5 of modern Doctor Who were originally released as a series of Vanilla Edition DVDs, followed by a box set at Christmas time, but this stopped with Series 7 onwards, so they now just have the box sets.
    • Besides the series-by-series sets there's also ones for the post-Series 4 specials, all the Christmas specials through "Last Christmas", and the complete tenures of Doctors from Ten onward. (One set packages Nine's sole season with Ten's tenure.)
    • Old Who episodes tend to be released as single serials (of anywhere between two and tennote  25-minute episodes each), but some come in box 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). For many years, the only complete seasons available as box sets were 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. However, when the classic series began being released on Blu-Ray in The New '10s it was in the form of season-by-season box sets, prioritizing Doctor debut and/or especially popular seasons.
    • "The Animation Collection" brought together the reconstructions of "The Power of the Daleks" and "Shada" with the "Infinite Quest" short-form miniseries.
  • 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 boxed sets for each of its four seasons, and a limited edition set of all the episodes.
  • 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 Twilight Zone: The Fifth Dimension repackages the Definitive Edition DVDs together with discs of the '80s revival and more bonus features.
  • DVDs and Blu-Rays for Super Sentai and Kamen Rider used to be sold as volumes. Starting from Ninninger/Drive however, the Blu-Rays are sold in 4 box sets per series, with the DVDs sticking to 12 volumes. The Blu-Ray releases of Ryusoulger lowered the number to 3 Blu-Ray sets, which is what older series being upgraded to Blu-Ray also get, but Kiramager onwards has since gone back to the 4-set system. Recent re-releases of older shows on DVD have also settled for 2 DVD boxes, rather than 12 volumes. Occasional series have received full-series box sets, mostly due to their length. Decade and Amazon got this, and the two seasons of Amazons also got a box set each.

  • The Corrs released a 5 CD boxeset 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.
  • Pink Floyd has released four different boxsets over the years:
    • 1992's Shine On, containing seven of the band's best-regarded albums, plus a collection of their 1960's singles.
    • 2003's Oh By the Way, containing all thirteen of their studio albums at the time, packaged in neat CD-sized facsimiles of the original vinyl packaging with a special 40th-anniversary poster by Storm Thorgenson.
    • 2011's Pink Floyd: Discovery, the kickstarter of the Why Pink Floyd...? re-release campaign; the boxset once again contained remasters of their full album backlog at the time, packaged in mini-gatefolds (albeit deviating noticeably from the original vinyl packaging, which became a point of contention among some fans), alongside a 60-page artbook by Thorgenson.
    • 2016's The Early Years 1965–1972, a greatest hits boxset of their pre-Dark Side of the Moon material.
  • 1994's Lead Belly's Last Sessions, which contain 4 C-Ds worth of recordings that the singer done in 1948, about one year before he died.
  • As mentioned above, David Bowie's material has been the subject of quite a number of boxsets during and after the man's life:
    • 1989's Sound + Vision, compiling several demos, live recordings, and rare singles as both a retrospective of the singer and a pre-empter for Rykodisc's re-release of his 1969-1980 albums. The boxset later got a reissue in 2003, with some of its material changed around.
    • 2007's Bowie Box Set, which compiles the five Sony-owned Bowie albums alongside some bonus material.
    • 2005's The Platinum Collection, which compiles three greatest hits albums based around Bowie's 1969-1974, 1974-1979, and 1980-1987 material.
    • Parlophone Records' retrospective boxsets of Bowie's backlog, each one containing every album from a particular "era" of his career, with the CD release replicating the original LP packaging as closely as possible:
      • 2015's Five Years (1969-1973) contains Space Oddity, The Man Who Sold the World, Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Aladdin Sane, Pin Ups, Live in Santa Monica '72, Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture Soundtrack, the 2003 Ken Scott mix of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, and the singles compilation Re:Call 1. This was the last boxset to be released during Bowie's lifetime.
      • 2016's Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976) contains Diamond Dogs, David Live and its 2005 remix, The Gouster (an early version of Young Americans), Young Americans, Station to Station and its 2010 Harry Maslin mix, Live Nassau Colosseum '76, and the singles compilation Re:Call 2.
      • 2017's A New Career in a New Town (1977–1982) contains Low, "Heroes", an EP containing every version of the "'Heroes'" single, Stage and its 2017 remix, Lodger and its 2017 Tony Visconti remix, Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), and the singles compilation Re:Call 3. This box set infamously contains a volume drop present partway through the Title Track of "Heroes", which Parlophone eventually fessed up to via a now-defunct offer in which buyers could send in their proof of purchase in exchange for replacement discs of "Heroes" with the volume issue resolved. The fixed master is also present on the standalone CD and LP releases of "Heroes", allowing buyers to still have a way of replacing the botched copy of the album.note 
      • 2018's Loving the Alien (1983-1988) contains Let's Dance, Serious Moonlight (a previously unreleased live album from the eponymous tour), Tonight, Never Let Me Down and its 2018 Mario McNulty remix, Glass Spider (previously available only with the 2007 special edition DVD of the Glass Spider concert film), Dance (a previously unreleased compilation of Bowie's EMI-era 12" remixes), and the singles compilation Re:Call 4.
      • 2021's Brilliant Adventure (1992–2001) contains Black Tie White Noise, The Buddha of Suburbia, Outside, Earthling, 'hours...', Toy (a previously unreleased album recorded for release in 2001), BBC Radio Theatre, London June 2000 (a live album showcasing Bowie's uncut BBC Radio Theatre live show in 2000, previously documented in an edited form on Bowie at the Beeb), and the singles compilation Re:Call 5.
  • Three official box sets by Joy Division are known to exist:
    • The first is 1977-1980, a Japan-exclusive set released in 1990 compiling the band's two studio albums, the Still and Substance compilations, and a CD version of the "Atmosphere"/"She's Lost Control" single, all uncompressed and sourced from the original master tapes. Because all other CD releases of Joy Division's material is sourced from second-generation copies and/or noticeably brickwalled, this set is considered a holy grail among Joy Division fans.
    • The second box set is Heart and Soul, a 1997 (issued stateside by Rhino in 2001) compilation of every single Joy Division recording that London Records could find in the vaults at the time, properly remastered and presented as a retrospective of the band. It is notably one of only two official source for the band's final recording, a May 14, 1980 studio rehearsal of "Ceremony" (the other official source, for those wondering, is a vinyl release of the New Order and Joy Division versions of both "Ceremony" and "In a Lonely Place", issued exclusively for Record Store Day 2011).
    • The third box set is the Fractured Box from 2001, which compiles the Preston 28 February 1980 and Les Bains Douches 18 December 1979 live albums in a single package; this set got a re-release in 2004 as the Re-fractured Box, with some extra tidbits added in.
  • The Foetus Of Excellence by Foetus was a limited edition box set featuring no actual music: The release consisted of an empty box designed to fit all of the records the band had released up to that point, plus an exclusive t-shirt. Despite this, it did manage to chart in the UK - fans presumably already owned all the music and just wanted some nice packaging and feelies.
  • Green Day's ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré! were a "trilogy" of albums all released within the same year. Rather than re-release the albums as a box set later on, they released a special edition of '¡Uno!'' alongside the regular one, consisting of the album and a cardboard box designed to fit three CD cases. The idea was that fans would buy the other two albums as they came out and complete the boxset.
  • Queen's 40th Anniversary boxset did something somewhat similar to Green Day's example: official releases of the set only included the band's first five albums plus the cardboard box, with fans being encouraged to seek out the remaining ten albums on their own.
    • The 2015 Queen - Studio Collection set, however, is a Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition containing all fifteen albums on eighteen LPs in various colors (The "White" and "Black" sides of Queen II are separate discs in this set, and Innuendo and Made In Heaven are also on two discs here), along with a special hardcover book.
  • Talking Heads had a self-titled boxset in 2005 (colloquially known as "Brick" due to its packaging design) containing all eight studio albums on DualDisc, a double-sided optical disc format that emerged in the early 2000's consisting of a DVD on one side and an off-brand CD on the other (the CD side was slightly thinner than what was required by Redbook specifications, leading it to be incompatible with some CD players due to the data layer being closer to the infrared lens than the latter's focal length). The boxset was notably the first time an artist's entire catalog was made available on the format, though it's hard to come across and ludicrously expensive nowadays, in part due to DualDisc's own shortcomings killing its momentum by the end of the decade.
  • To mark the 30th anniversary of the group in 2010, Bad Religion released a 15 LP box set featuring all of the full-length albums they had released up to that point. Even the Old Shame album Into The Unknown, which the band deliberately kept out of print for 27 years after its initial release, was included.
  • John Zorn has a few:
    • The complete (studio) discography of his grindcore-jazz fusion band Naked City was released as a CD box set, aptly titled Complete Studio Recordings. Most of these albums had been long out of print beforehand, and several had only been released in Japan up to that point.
    • The Parachute Years: 1977-1981 collects all of Zorn's "game piece" music released on Parachute Records, as well as unreleased takes from the same period.
    • The Song Project (2014) was a collaboration where songwriters put lyrics to Zorn's older instrumental compositions. Rather than a single album, these were released as a set of seven vinyl singles.
    • The Book Beri'ah, the third and final part of Zorn's Masada songbook, was initially released in 2018 as an 11-CD box set. The individual albums weren't released separately until the next year.
  • Starflyer 59 released Ghosts of the Future as a literal wooden box with ten vinyl singles. All the A-sides were demo versions of songs from their next album, Dial M, and the B-sides were odd experiments like cover songs, instrumentals, or alternate arrangements of the A-side tracks. A few years later, all those songs were collected on the CD compilation Ghosts of the Past along with several of Starflyer's EPs—but the whole thing fit onto just two CDs in a standard jewel case. From the viewpoint of just having the music itself, Ghosts of the Past made Ghosts of the Future obsolete. Nevertheless, the Future box set is far more sought-after as a collector's item, thanks to its extravagant packaging and album art—not to mention the fanbase's vinyl fetishism.

     Western Animation  
  • The Simpsons was one of the first shows to really push complete season boxsets. They came with uncut and uncensored versions of the episodes and were jam-packed with Bonus Material like DVD Commentary for every episode, Deleted Scenes, scripts and storyboards, various TV spots and specials, retrospectives from the show's creators, and, starting with Season 5, flashy Easter Egg-filled menu screens themed around the season. Notably, the Season 1 box-set was the best selling television DVD of all time until it was overtaken by the first season of Chappelle's Show.
  • 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.


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