DVD Doomsday in Hollywood


Movie moguls and studio bosses are starting to really worry about falling DVD revenues, even if they are publicly blaming the slowing growth on the overall economic blues.

On TheWrap, Nicole Laporte says that the film industry is starting to feel the tremors of a seismic shift in the business, and the worries extend even to labour issues with SAG, whose members will be looking for a bigger slice of web revenues if DVD loot slows.

As home libraries have reached saturation levels and audiences have sought new forms of entertainment (as in, video games and the Internet), consumer spending on home video entertainment has been on a downward spiral, dropping to $22.4 billion in 2008 from a peak of $24.9 in 2004, according to the Digital Entertainment Group.

The numbers for DVDs alone are even less comforting. After reaching a peak in 2006 with rentals and sales of $24.1 billion, they’ve declined to $21.6 billion in 2008.

It also poses a huge issue for the Tinsletown Deciders. For years they’ve seen themseves dependent on television screens as much as theatres. With DVD sales eroding and pay-TV channels doing more original programming, it’ll push them even further toward the big-money franchise films. Those may often all-or-nothing gambles but the big screen revenues will have to carry more of the load.