There’s still not a lot of 3D programming on cable or broadcast to satisfy those first buyers of 3D televisions. But IHS Screen Digest says today that the technology is about to find a real foothold among fans of Blu-ray discs. Some 3.2 million homes this year will have the equipment needed to watch Blu-ray discs in 3D. That a 305% increase over last year. The 3D discs can be played on Sony’s PlayStation 3 consoles as well as 3D-enabled Blu-ray players. Hollywood, of course, sees a cash opportunity. Studios will release about 65 titles on 3D Blu-ray this year, IHS says. That total will include 15 from Disney such as Tron, Beauty And The Beast, and The Lion King. As a result, the research firm predicts that US consumers will spend $160.8 million this year on discs that provide 3D images to 3D-enabled TV sets. IHS figures that consumers will buy 5.7 million 3D discs at an average of $28.33 a pop. That contrasts with $28.4 million last year based on 900,000 discs selling for $31.09 apiece. The big reason for the increase is that 3D is catching on with early adopters. IHS adds that 3D discs are catching on in the UK, Germany, and France.
(Beverly Hills & Los Angeles, CA) March 10, 2011 – Relativity Media, LLC announced today it has forged a multi-year distribution deal with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment that will cover the marketing and distribution of Relativity’s films on DVD and Blu-ray. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release upcoming titles on Relativity’s schedule including Limitless, Immortals and their untitled Snow White film.This deal enhances Relativity’s marketing and distribution infrastructure, following last year’s acquisition of Overture’s marketing and distribution teams, their Netflix pay deal and Technicolor partnership. Relativity is now a fully integrated studio with the ability to competitively release both Relativity-produced and third-party pictures across all media.
EXCLUSIVE: There’s an accusation that Hollywood studios are holding back their hottest 3D Blu-ray releases, including Avatar 3D and Toy Story 3, until they see how much demand there is for the new format. This is despite manufacturers needing to sell 3D BD players in the run-up before Christmas. London based consultancy Screen Digest says studios including Fox, Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros are only making a handful of 3D Blu-Ray titles available on the shelves before December –- and risking choking off demand for what Blu-ray’s long-awaited killer app. Screen Digest predicts that, by 2014, 75% of U.S. homes that have 3D-enabled TV sets will be able to show 3D BDs. And that 28% of U.S. homes will have 3D TVs within 4 years. Right now, only 25 3D BD discs will go on sale before Christmas, but only 6 of these will not be bundled along with 3D hardware. This means
Burbank, Calif., September 7, 2010 — The Walt Disney Studios and Sony Electronics have joined forces in the United States to provide both consumer and retail education, promotion and marketing support for in-home 3D devices and content. The collaboration includes advertising and retail execution, as well as product bundling, including the Blu-ray 3D debut of one of 2010’s most successful films, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.
Launching during the high-traffic holiday retail season, this innovative campaign, running nationwide in the U.S., incorporates 10 different Sony 3D BRAVIA HDTVs and includes one of the most successful 3D films in history, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.
“We are excited to partner with Sony on 3D offerings and to offer consumers their first chance to experience one of 2010’s top 3D films and the amazing spectacle of Wonderland in their very own homes,” said Lori MacPherson, General Manager of Home Entertainment for The Walt Disney Studios. “We recognize Sony is a leader in HD hardware and we know movie lovers will enjoy the immersive content that is a part of Disney’s 3D titles.”
The marketing campaign features multiple consumer incentives as well as a comprehensive television, on-line, social media and print campaign. With the purchase of select Sony’s 3D BRAVIA HDTVs, consumers will have a choice between Alice in Wonderland or the family favorite Bolt on Blu-ray 3D.
In many markets outside of the U.S., Disney will also make available the Blu-ray 3D version of Alice in Wonderland and Bolt for select Sony 3D products. Details of the
Coinstar’s Redbox announced today it has started rolling out Blu-ray titles with availability at approximately 13,300 DVD rental kiosks nationwide. Redbox will rent Blu-ray Discs at $1.50 per night plus tax and the company expects to have availability across its network of approximately 23,000 kiosk locations by the fall.
Spending on movies and home entertainment in Asia Pacific will increase by 7.2% compounded annually to reach $29.3 billion by 2014. So says PricewaterhouseCoopers’ latest global entertainment and media outlook 2010-2014, published today. The pace of spending in Latin America will also outstrip the US, Canada and Europe. Latin American spending on film and TV will increase by 5.2% compound annually over the next 5 years, from $2.4 billion in 2009 to $3.1 billion in 2014, says the accounting giant.Europe, Middle East and Africa will be, however, the third fastest-growing territory. Filmed entertainment spending in Emea countries will increase by 4.2% annually from $24.3 billion to $29.8 billion by 2014. Western Europe will account for 90% of that spending. And the UK remains Western Europe’s largest market, being worth $7.2 billion by 2014 – a 5% growth rate.
North America will grow by 3.7% compounded annually to $45.3 billion in 2014 ($37.8 billion in 2009).
Worldwide global filmed entertainment spending will rise by 4.8% compounded annually, reaching $107.5 billion in 2014.
PwC produces its report each year for clients to buy. The full report covers advertising, internet, TV and music as well as filmed entertainment.
As for individual entertainment sectors, PwC says downloading movies to your TV or PC will be the fastest-growing. Digital downloads – including streaming and download-to-own — will grow by 37.3% between now and 2014, becoming a $2.1 billion global market. The North America digital download market will triple from $364 million …
GAME CHANGER? Paramount & Redbox Enter Pact To Release Day And Date In The Sell-Through Market After 10-Month Test
HOLLYWOOD, CA and OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL (June 15, 2010) -Paramount Home Entertainment Inc. (PHE) and Redbox Automated Retail, LLC (redbox), today announced that Paramount exercised its option to extend its revenue sharing license agreement, providing redbox access to PHE DVD and Blu-ray titles to rent at its approximately 22,000 kiosk locations on the same day they are released in the sell-through market. PHE exercised its option following results from a 10-month analysis of DVD sell-through and rental performance.
“After analyzing the data from our test period we have concluded that redbox day-and-date rental activity has had minimal impact on our DVD sales,” said Dennis Maguire, Worldwide President of Paramount Home Entertainment. “By granting redbox day-and-date availability we are allowing the consumer a choice of how to consume our movies while maximizing the profitability of our releases in the home entertainment window. We are looking forward to continuing a productive and mutually beneficial relationship with redbox.”
“We are delighted to continue our relationship with Paramount to provide consumers with convenient, timely and affordable access to their favorite movies,” said Mitch Lowe, president, redbox. “We look forward to supporting Paramount movie releases through joint marketing programs. This arrangement is a win, win and win – for consumers, Paramount and redbox. ”
Redbox and PHE first signed a trial license agreement in August 2009, with redbox agreeing to provide PHE rental data to evaluate the potential benefits
Consumer spending on Blu-ray and DVD is going to decline on average by 3.5% a year between over the next five years. So says London-based consultancy Screen Digest, which predicts the amount spent overseas on “packaged media” will drop to $14.5 billion by 2014, compared with $17.1 billion last year. If Screen Digest’s estimates are right, then Blu-ray and DVD sales will nosedive 22% internationally between 2007 and 2014.
The consultancy blames expensive Blu-ray players plus the worst recession in living memory for the format not taking off overseas the way it has done in the States.
Blu-ray will account for 35% of total international spending on physical video formats by 2014. By contrast, Blu-ray will represent over 68% of physical video purchasing in the USA that same year.
However, the States faces an even steeper decline in spending on DVDs and Blu-ray between 2007 and 2014 – a car crash of 35%.
Contrary to some reports, Avatar has done nothing to improve the prospects for Blu-ray outside of the US. In the States, 50% of those who bought Avatar in its first four days of release did so with Blu-ray. Outside of America, the percentage of Blu-ray sales for Avatar was about average. This was certainly the case in the UK, where a supermarket price war broke out. You could buy Avatar on DVD for as little as £8 ($11.40), barely half the £15 charged for Blu-ray.
Helen Davis Jayalath, video analyst, says: “The situation …
James Cameron’s Avatar retail sales (not including rental sales) have reached 19.7 million Blu-ray disc and DVDs combined worldwide by its third week in release, according to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. (By comparison, The Dark Knight sold approximately 16 million units worldwide on Blu-ray and DVD combined in its 3rd week.) Internationally, Avatar displaces Harry Potter 5 as the biggest selling title since the launch of DVD. Meanwhile, its Blu-ray disc sales are at 6.2 million – - more than double the industry standard for the high definition format. Avatar is now the biggest Blu-ray release of all time worldwide with no sign of slowing down.
SANTA MONICA, CA (May 11, 2010) – LIONSGATE and Exclusive Media Group’s Newmarket Films have announced that they have entered into a home entertainment distribution deal including DVD, Blu-ray, digital delivery, TV and Video On Demand (VOD). Under the terms of the arrangement, Lionsgate will become the exclusive Home Entertainment distributor for all Newmarket Films theatrical releases in the United States in addition to a large majority of Newmarket’s extensive library of high profile releases
2ND UPDATE, SUNDAY 11:15 AM: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment today announced that James Cameron’s AVATAR 2D flew off shelves to become the fastest-selling Blu-ray of all time after just four days in U.S, and Canadian stores. Excluding rental sales, it sold 2.7 million Blu-ray units in North America, shredding Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight‘s Blu-ray sales record of 2.5 million units total. That means Avatar 2D in 4 days beat what Dark Knight did over 1 1/2 years. Retail sales of both AVATAR 2D’s Blu-ray and DVD discs have exceeded 6.7 million units since its launch last Thursday, on pace to be the best-elling title in recent history.
UPDATED SATURDAY 4:55 PM: 20th Century Fox is saying that its First Day total AVATAR 2D U.S. and Canada sales of DVD and Blu-ray units were 3.2 million on Thursday. That breaks down to DVD 2M and Blu-ray 1.2M without rental sales. This easily beats the previous record set by The Dark Knight of 2.7 million (breaking down to DVD 2.1M, Blu-ray 600K). True, Summit Entertainment’s Twilight sequel New Moon sold 4 million units, but that figure is for First 2-Day sales. Avatar 2D‘s 2nd day numbers for Friday were close to 2 million, or a First 2-Day number of 5.2 million units. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment flack James Finn is claiming to me Avatar 2D is now the #1 launch on both formats in the United States, France, and Germany. (Avatar …
But why in the world would anybody want to see Avatar in only 2D? Or want to own the laserdisc of its tech generation? In a stripped-down, zero-extras version? Still, 20th Century Fox tells me that Avatar has ”blown away” the first day Blu-ray record held by Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight which sold 600K units in North America and the UK. Whereas Fox sold 1.5 million units in the U.S. and Canada. (And yet the yutzes in 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment didn’t bother to send out a press release.) A so-called special edition comes out later in 2010, and the 3D edition in 2011.
Back about a month ago, I warned about complaints from all those poor saps who bought $99 Toshiba HD-DVD players at Christmas and now are stuck with the 2008 version of Sony’s old Betamax machines. Now Best Buy is following Curcuit City and others to offer these casualties of the format war a shoulder to cry on. Anyone who bought an HD-DVD player from Best Buy before February 23, 2008 will automatically receive, or can request, a complimentary $50 gift card for each player. Best Buy also announced it’s adding HD DVD players and media to its Trade-In Center program, www.bestbuytradein.com, starting March 21st. In all, Best Buy plans to distribute more than $10 million in gift cards to HD-DVD customers around the country. “The DVD format war has divided our customers in a way we haven’t seen since Betamax took on VHS more than 20 years ago,” Brian Dunn, president/COO for Best Buy, said in the press release. “At Best Buy, we understood and shared our customers’ frustrations as they were being asked to choose one format or the other. Now that the format war is over, we hope these gift cards will reassure our customers that we will help them make a smooth transition into the right technology for their needs.”
For a long time Sony’s Sir Howard Stringer was depressed over the Blu-ray vs HD-DVD format war. Then he was happy when he won. Now he might frown again. Because Wal-Mart is scaling back its sale of low-cost DVDs and predictions are that consumers will buy fewer DVDs of TV shows. So Wall Street forecasts that DVD spending may decline 4%-5% this year after dropping 2% last year. According to Pali Capital analyst Richard Greenfield, ”Unfortunately the key Hollywood studios waited (or rather fought) far too long to unify behind one next generation DVD format (Blu-ray has now won) leading to even greater catalog DVD declines in 2008.”
Not only has Blu-ray won the format war, but now HD-DVD is rubbing consumers’ faces in it. Paramount will stop releasing HD-DVDs after next week. Cancelled releases include Bee Movie (DreamWorks Animation, which is distributed by Paramount, had scheduled it for March 11), Sweeney Todd (April 1), and even the just announced There Will Be Blood. Into the Wild and Things We Lost in the Fire will be Paramount’s last vestiges of its short-lived HD-DVD agreement. Instead all those titles and more will be released on Blu-ray sometime in the future.
Universal, which for years has been exclusively in the HD-DVD camp, is saying today it will immediately start to release new and catalog titles on Blu-ray. (See my previous today, Toshiba Surrenders In Hi-Def Format War.) Does that also mean all of Steven Spielberg’s stuff? The director has been fence-sitting — although last fall Sony did release in Blu-ray its catalogue title Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, the first of Spielberg’s pictures in either format.
The big news out of Tokyo this morning is that Toshiba announced that it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD-DVD players and recorders. So from now on, the more expensive Blu-ray format developed by Sony will become the hardware and the entertainment industry’s software high-def standard. “We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called ‘next-generation format war’ and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop,” said Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation. “While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality.” Toshiba will begin to reduce shipments of HD-DVD players and recorders to retailers and then stop completely as soon as March. Toshiba also plans to end volume production of HD-DVD disk drives for PCs and games in the same timeframe. (The company will continue to market conventional DVD players and recorders.)
So what does this mean vis a vis Hollywood? Well, in the short run, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and DreamWorks Animation are screwed. (Although the latter two studios got hefty payouts for promotional consideration by the HD-DVD side even though they chose the loser format…) It also means someone in the Blu-ray camp owes Warner Bros bigtime since …
HI-DEF FORMAT WAR OVER! Wal-Mart & Sam’s Club Join Best Buy & Netflix In Choosing Blu-Ray; Goodbye HD-DVD…
It’s now official. Wal-Mart announced today that its 4,000 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores and internet websites will move forward this year with just one hi-def movie and hardware format: Blu-ray. The change will take place quickly as the retailer phases out HD-DVD product and reorganizes shelf space by June. ”We’ve listened to our customers, who are showing a clear preference toward Blu-ray products and movies with their purchases,” said Gary Severson, senior vice president of Home Entertainment for Wal-Mart, U.S. Wal-Mart will continue to sell through remaining HD DVD product, but in less than 30 days customers will see a more predominant move toward Blu-ray in stores, clubs and online. As the nation’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart is a hugely dominant force in selling entertainment product; how ironic that this past Christmas the Arkansas behemoth sold all those super-cheap $99 Toshiba HD-DVD players only to render them virtually obsolete just months later. Warner’s recent decision to choose the Blu-ray format sealed the deal in the format war because now four of the six major movie studios are making their high-def DVD titles only in the Sony-developed Blu-ray format.
Wal-Mart’s decision follows similar announcements by Best Buy and Netflix. This week, Best Buy Co said that, beginning in early March, it will prominently showcase Blu-ray hardware and software products in its retail and online outlets in the United States. The company noted that it will continue to carry an assortment of HD-DVD products for customers who desire to purchase these products. But Brian Dunn, Best Buy’s president/COO, explained: …
A lot of Blu-ray studios pointed me to a Financial Times article today claiming that, thanks to a contract clause, Paramount would drop its support of HD-DVD after Warner Bros’ recent decision to go Blu-ray exclusively. The article sure made it seem like the death rattle of HD-DVD, especially when combined with my CES report that HD-DVD had canceled its big dog-&-pony show because of the Warner Bros defection.
Turns out that Paramount now is denying there’s a clause in its contract with the HD-DVD camp that would allow it to switch sides in the event of Warner Bros backing Blu-ray. Oops. “Paramount’s current plan is to continue to support the HD DVD format,” Brenda Ciccone, a spokeswoman for Paramount, told Bloomberg Financial News today. On the other hand, I don’t see any correction on the Financial Times website yet.