UPDATE (1/5/2007): Today, only ten business days after I placed the originals in the mail, I received the replacement DVDs from Warner Home Video for Superman: Special Edition Disc 1 and Superman III: Deluxe Edition.
I have verified that Superman: Special Edition Disc 1 now contains the original theatrical soundtrack, using the samples available over at Superman Cinema–a site that did a fantastic job of tracking this issue.
I have also verified that the Superman III: Deluxe Edition now contains the previously missing bonus material.
I really have to give huge kudos to Warner Home Video on this. They did a terrific job correcting the mistakes so quickly. Customer service of that nature is rare and, thus, very valuable these days.
Also thanks to Superman Cinema and The Digital Bits for informing fans like me about this issue as soon as they found out.
UPDATE (12/18/2006): True to their word, Warner Home Video sent me the return envelope for Superman: Special Edition Disc 1 and Superman III: Deluxe Edition ten business days after I called. The letter reads, in part:
Warner Home Video wishes to thank you for purchasing the Superman Ultimate Collector’s Edition.
Enclosed please find your pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope for returning Superman: The Movie DVD (Disc #1) and Superman III DVD to Warner Home Video.
Please return only these two discs in the enclosed envelope. Once we receive your return discs, we will send you two replacement discs, Superman: The Movie (Disc #1), containing the original 1978 Theatrical Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, and Superman III, with bonus content.
So far, so good. Warner continues to do a terrific job of turning a negative into a positive.
UPDATE (12/1/2006): The Superman Cinema site has posted a press release from Warner Home Video about obtaining replacements for Superman: Special Edition Disc 1 sold in the United Kingdom (UK Region 2 discs). For more information, view the press release at Superman Cinema.
I called the 800 number to get on the list for the replacement discs today. The hold time was less than ten minutes. The customer service rep was extremely pleasant and the whole process with her only took about two minutes.
Basically, they take your name, address, phone number, and the proof of purchase code.
Warner will then mail you an envelope in 7-10 business days, which you use to send them your Superman: Special Edition Disc 1 and Superman III: Deluxe Edition DVDs. (See the article below for details on which versions are affected.)
After they receive your discs, they mail you the replacement discs as soon as possible.
It’s certainly a lot easier to forgive a mistake, even a big one, when a company stands up, admits the problem, and resolves it in the quickest way possible.
A big thank you to Warner Home Video for allowing me to continue believing in your products. If only all companies held your standards.
UPDATE (11/28/2006): The Digital Bits has posted the following press release from Warner Home Video concerning issues with the Superman III: Deluxe Edition on the Superman: The Ultimate Collector’s Edition 14-DVD set and Superman: Special Edition Disc 1, both arriving in stores today.
Bonus content was omitted from the Superman III Deluxe Edition in the 14-disc Superman Ultimate Collector’s Edition. Furthermore, disc one of Superman: The Movie Four Disc Special Edition did not include the Dolby Digital 2.0 mix. Neither disc is known to be physically defective in any way.
Warner Home Video wants to extend apologies to all of our loyal Superman fans who’ve waited so patiently for these great collections and has taken immediate steps to correct these errors with the intention of standing behind our product 100%.
Replacement discs can be obtained by calling: 800-553-6937. The exchange program applies only to purchases of the Superman III Deluxe Edition in the Superman Ultimate Collector’s Edition and to disc one of Superman: The Movie Four Disc Special Edition, available as a single title, as well as in The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection and in the Superman Ultimate Collector’s Edition.
The Superman Homepage reports that the replacement Superman III: Deluxe Edition disc is expected to be available sooner than Superman: Special Edition Disc 1.
Rather than the 2006 edition with bonus features including deleted scenes, commentary, and a “making of” documentary, Superman III: Deluxe Edition on Superman: The Ultimate Collector’s Edition 14-DVD set was accidentally pressed with the 2001 bare-bones edition containing only the film itself. The standalone DVD of Superman III: Deluxe Edition, and the one used in the Christopher Reeve Superman Collection 8-DVD set are apparently not affected.
An audio track option preserving the original theatrical soundtrack of the first Superman was inadvertently left off Superman: Special Edition Disc 1. Superman: Special Edition will be available as part of the Christopher Reeve and Ultimate collections, or as a separate 4-DVD set. All versions are apparently affected.
At this time, it does not appear that this will affect the arrival of the various Superman discs in stores today.
It appears that at least US editions (Region 1) of these DVDs are affected. There have been no announcements as of yet concerning other regions. (Primary Information Source: The Digital Bits)