Slump in DVD sales makes movies a theatrical biz

MUMBAI: A slump in DVD sales in the United States has put pressure on film producers to depend on theatrical revenues.

DVD, which was one of the main contributors to the success of a film some time back, is now finding a tough competitor in the video-on-demand (VoD) service.

The wholesale value of 415 films released on DVD in 2010 fell to $4.47 billion from $7.97 billion in 2009. Apart from VoD, the decline is also because of new media technologies.

Netflix Streaming and Redbox are being blamed for the slouch of DVD sales. Consumers are spending less on DVD because they have switched to advance technologies like Blu-ray, Netflix and VoD.

Despite Fox‘s strong sale of Avatar, the DVD sales dropped 44 per cent. Blu-ray continues to grow and generated $2.3 billion last year, representing a growth of 53 per cent. Digital downloads have also grown.

Even though Internet and VOD have the potential to become the next big thing, they are unable to level the contribution DVD made once upon a time. Walt Disney Studios has reported a 14 per cent drop in home-entertainment revenue in 2010, while Universal Pictures fell by 24 per cent.

At the Produced By conference at Disney Studios, Harvey Weinstein said, "It‘s become much more of a theatrical business because the movie has to work in theaters. There‘s no second chance. Because of the DVD decline, producers have realised the importance of theatre release and that being the deciding factor with audience."

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