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Warner Takes New Steps To Rescue DVD Sales

A lot of people would argue that digital distribution is where it’s at. With video on demand becoming more popular and offerings from the likes of DirecTV, Charter and Netflix, it’s hardly surprising to hear that DVDs aint retailing like they used to. DVD sales can account for up to 70 percent of a movie’s revenue so understandably; the studios are concerned about the direction in which things are headed.

Warner Brothers will release the studio’s latest graphic novel adaptation, Watchmen, in March 2009 and less than a week after the Zach Snyder film rolls into cinemas around the country, Warner will release a spin-off of the movie, Tales of the Black Freighter, exclusively to DVD.

According to the Times, DVD sales fell 3.2 percent last year to $15.9 billion, the first annual drop in the medium’s history. Ron Sanders spoke to the paper and said any decline in the DVD category is a cause for concern for retailers.

“There is a fear that if the DVD category declines over time that any well-run retailer is going to re-evaluate its commitment. We are offering retailers a meaningful opportunity to be involved with the theatrical event, to have a product that will generate foot traffic and sales.”

This seems like it may actually give Warner a boost in sales. The release of Tales of the Black Freighter will more than likely sell well to the people who went to see and liked, Watchmen. There’ll also be the release of Watchmen and the inevitable release of a 2 CD box set with both movies, which, according to directior Zach Snyder, “The überfans of this property are going to go crazy for”

Read the full story on the New York Times.

  • christian summer
    hmmm...i guess hindsight is 20/20 when you see your profits drop...i can imagine the board meetings going like this...

    we tried to push a superior technology onto our audience, crippled with an asinine level of drm, and an outrageous price, we failed to properly embrace downloadable content making it easier to pirate over the internet then enjoy legitimately purchased content...and now our biggest money maker of the last 10 years is declining because we have pushed the consumer away from dvd to hd and bluray...

    people arent buying because they dont want to buy dvd if all movie companies are saying hd is now...

    i dont feel the least bit bad about this situation...

    -c
    Reply
  • Pei-chen
    christian summer, you assumed board members actually know how to run a business. I imagine the board meetings more like this:

    Chair: we tried to charge as much as possible for a product that is of the lowest quality so how come we aren't making more money

    CEO: It's the internet, our customer are paying less for better products.

    Chair: Find the internet's headquarter and send our lawyers; sue the customer too.

    CEO: We'll hire more marketing people, move the service dept to India and lay off 2,000 people.

    I bet at least half the board members have no idea what DRM is and don’t really care.
    Reply
  • o-ooo-o
    Well... a great many of the "real, buy a movie on a disk" crowd bet on HD-DVD and got the shaft by all the major studios in thanks for their devotion to re-buying movies they already owned on DVD in the first place. They (the studios) got their short-term $1,000,000,000 from Sony and now have to live with it.

    Gosh darn... , I'm so sorry DVD sales are down...
    Reply
  • o-ooo-o
    Well... a great many of the "real, buy a movie on a disk" crowd bet on HD-DVD and got the shaft by all the major studios in thanks for their devotion to re-buying movies they already owned on DVD in the first place. They (the studios) got their short-term $1,000,000,000 from Sony and now have to live with it.

    Gosh darn... , I'm so sorry DVD sales are down...
    Reply