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Heavily discounted DVDs appear at major retailers

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 30 Sep 2007 8:56 User comments (9)

Heavily discounted DVDs appear at major retailers U.S. retailers have started advertising various popular features for $3.99. The movies, from Universal, Sony, and Paramount, would seem to be an effort from studios to disappointing DVD sales over the last two years.
Although the studios behind those movies haven't had about what's going on, Jeff Baker, senior VP-general manager of theatrical catalog and sales, said Its unprecedented to see national retailers outside of the fourth quarter promote $3.99 DVDs. Its a negative precedent in the business to do that type of lower budget pricing outside of the fourth quarter. You would need to see some uplift in unit volume velocity to compensate for that lower pricing to maintain profit margins, and I have not uniformly seen at retailers the necessary uplift in volume.

Regardless of how studio executives feel about the move, it's become clear over the last couple of years that DVD sales are dropping steadily, and it's not a trend that's going to reverse on its own. However, it's questionable how good a solution bargain basement pricing is.

Like the decline of CD sales, there are likely many factors for reduced interest in DVDs. One factor that's been cited in many recent studies is the proliferation of DVRs, especially among HDTV owners. Many HDTV owners have expressed a preference for time shifting hi-def content over watching DVDs. While lowering prices will certainly make them more attractive than they were at a higher price point, it's hard to imagine them competing with content consumers are already paying for, like cable and satellite services.

Also much like the CD industry, a significant portion of early DVD sales were for existing titles that consumers may have had owned in another format and needed to update to the new technology. However, as more people have "completed" their DVD collections, it's hardly surprising that they're buying fewer discs. Unlike music however, movies are often seen as a single use item. Once someone has seen a movie they're much less likely to watch it a second time, meaning they have little or no incentive to own it on DVD. Right now the only real bright spot seems to be television series box sets.

Recent trends in set-top boxes may make the outlook for DVDs even bleaker. As boxes become available that are capable of getting content directly from an internet connection to a television, instead of downloading to a PC, possibly bypassing DRM measures, and converting to TV friendly format, and burning to disc, it seems unlikely that hollywood will improve their fortunes significantly until they really embrace technologies like streaming and downloads, which seem to be the future of digital entertainment.

Source: Video Business

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9 user comments

130.9.2007 10:09

funny how dvds are cheaper than cds.if they didnt make their movies so expensive they wouldve sold more.i remember when i bought star wars attack of the clones on vhs for 21 dollars because the dvd version was 33 and my gift card was only for 20 dollars :P

230.9.2007 10:38

This will help the supposed "next-gen" media sales no end!

330.9.2007 11:00

If I recall, most of the movies I've seen in the past couple years were only worth watching in a theatre or just plain crap. What happened to movies like The Godfather and Scarface? Both very violent, but they had good stories. Everything today seems like a repeat, like it's been done before.

430.9.2007 11:23

Well the studio's don't really care what they throw out just as long as they make money. 200 movies with low budgets which make 30 million plus in the box office than profits later in rental and sales is cheaper than throwing out a blockbuster which costs 200 million to make with chances of not making par in the theaters.

Besides I think they've ran out of good ideas for movies or just don't have the allowed budgets to make semi-good story lines into great movies.

Lowering the price on all DVD sales would be a good idea. Most people are fed up with the high prices especially if they can find the movies online for free, having a lower price will make it not worth it to download or rent the movies to burn to DVD.

I disagree that movies are a one time watch, unless they are crappy. I'll watch good movies once a year or more (example The Godfather, I'll watch once a year) If you have kids they'll watch their favorite cartoons until the disc is rendered unwatchable (heavily scratched).

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Sep 2007 @ 11:32

530.9.2007 16:36

Between gamestop and hollywood videos cheap buy 3 get one deal i own over 600 dvds for a fraction of the cost.used dvd sales is the way to go you save a small part i think this is playing a part in the decline of new dvd sale also.

61.10.2007 5:14

Come on this is not rocket science its easy to know that Universal and companies as such have brought prices down cause they are slowly making the transfer to HD DVD and Blu_Ray.

71.10.2007 10:31

Originally posted by borhan9:
Come on this is not rocket science its easy to know that Universal and companies as such have brought prices down cause they are slowly making the transfer to HD DVD and Blu_Ray.
dvd's will be around for the next 5 to 10 years.

81.10.2007 11:37

part of the problem with lots of crap being published is the fact that scripts are constantly being re-written by pools of writers. one of the few movies done lately where the original writer was allowed to write his own movie was 300. and that was a spectacular film done with a very low budget. frank miller's script was torn apart, but when the director saw the changes he reverted to miller's original with only a few variants. who would think that someone who creates graphic novels would know how to write a story, what a (pardon the pun) novel idea. and that kids is why there are a ton of crappy movies.

94.10.2007 12:10

I agree most movies suck and I go to one almost every week :)
Studios are killing themselves and they do not realize it .
How many times have you seen the original, then the directors cut and went WOW now that's how it should of played in the theater!
Suits should quit with the happy ending BS it is ridiculous
Let the talent be talented.......

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