Wednesday, October 11, 2006

DVD's Demise Greatly Exaggerated

We've been hearing for the past year (and will continue to hear) how DVDs are dead. Sales are "flat," people are bored with DVDs and studios are rushing out new formats like Blu-Ray and HD-DVD in hopes of getting people to buy their movie library all over again. Besides, downloads are the wave of the future.

Not so fast. This week, DVDs of "X-Men: The Last Stand" sold 5 million copies and a new special edition of the 17 year old animated movie "The Little Mermaid" sold 4 million copies. That's 9 million DVDs of those two movies alone, which at $15 a pop is a gross of $135 million. That's a good week for the box office top 10. Add up all the other titles on DVD and they certainly equal the take of movies in the theater. So what gives? People love to collect movies (something they never did before) and DVDs are infinitely better and easier and more convenient and packed with more extras than downloads (which have all sorts of restrictions). The movie box office is about $11 billion a year. DVDs account for double to triple that. Sure sales are "flat." People have been scarfing up catalog titles like "The Godfather" and "Casablanca" and 'Seinfeld" in the last 10 years after buying their DVD players. That can't continue forever. Now they just buy new titles. It's a mature business but far from a dead one. Anyone who says different is an idiot.

No comments: