Movies

Warner Home Video launches China video operation

HONG KONG: Warner Home Video has launched a joint venture video operation with China Audio Video (CAV), marking the first time that a US studio has established an in-country DVD/VCD distribution and marketing outfit in China.

 

The Shanghai-based venture, CAV Warner Home Entertainment Co, officially started operations last month. However, as a precursor to the full-scale nationwide launch, China' s leading retail and video outlets, including Wal-Mart, Xinhua Bookstore and Carrefour, began carrying select Warner Bros titles last November. Films such as Troy and The Last Samurai debuted in key cities including Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Nanjing.

 

 

"China has been an important market for years, but too often Chinese consumers have had to choose inferior products on the illegitimate market that were available sooner but with poor quality," said Warner Home Video president Jim Cardwell.

He added that the new operation hopes to increase consumer demand for legitimate products with world-class quality, reduced pricing, Mandarin dubbing and sub-titles, enhanced content and shortened release windows.

According to China Audio and Video president Wang Xiaoran, China already has an installed base of more than 100 million players - 60 per cent VCD and 40 per cent DVD - and players cost as little as $40. "The potential for legitimate sales in China is extraordinary," Wang said.

CAV Warner Home Entertainment will release new DVD titles in a two-tier pricing programme. "Silver Releases", available shortly after a film' s US theatrical release, will feature English and Mandarin dialogue tracks and Mandarin subtitles. "Gold Releases", which will roughly correspond with US DVD release dates, will carry enhanced DVD extras.

Silver Releases and catalogue titles have a suggested retail price of RMB22 and Gold Releases are priced at RMB28.

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