DVD downturn panics film industry
A drop in DVD sales is giving industry execs a scare as they contemplate whether they can keep selling the public bad movies.
If box office is booming, why are so many top studio executives brooding about the future of the movie business? Let’s just say that in today’s increasingly complex film world, the cinema gods giveth at almost exactly the same time as they taketh away.
The studio bosses who should be celebrating the unprecedented upswing in moviegoing at theaters — with theater box office up roughly 15% this year — have been getting a big dose of bad news from the other end of the food chain. DVD revenues have cratered in the past six or so months, dropping off (depending upon whose figures you trust) as much as 15% to 18% overall.
What’s really scary for studio executives is that DVD sales, which have traditionally represented the biggest chunk of pure profits in the business, were the real safety net when it came to greenlighting movies. In the past, if you had an action film that made $150 million in domestic theatrical box office, you could relatively accurately predict what that movie would make in DVD sales. But in recent months, studios have been alarmed to discover that there is often a dramatic fluctuation between box-office revenues and DVD performance, with the highest erosion often coming from the highest-grossing films.
Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.