DVD sales for sequels taper off

DVD sales usually spike at the end of December as last-minute holiday shoppers scour for quick gifts. AP Photo.

Last-minute stocking stuffers, sales of DVDs perennially spike in the week before Christmas. For the past four years, home-movie purchases have reached their highest point of the season during those final holiday shopping days, and this year should be no different.

But while purchases of the summer’s big blockbuster three-quels, “Spider-Man 3,” “Shrek 3” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” have outperformed most of their rivals, sales have dropped substantially when compared with the franchises’ previous successes. Though one of the year’s most popular DVDs, first-week business for “Pirates,” for example, was 33% less than the last film in the series, according to Nielsen VideoScan; “Spider-Man 3? purchases were 61% off from the original in its first three weeks. (Statistics for DVD sales aren’t easily determined, however, as Nielsen VideoScan’s numbers don’t include sales from Wal-Mart Stores, which accounts for 40% of the business.)

Still, if many of the sequels have slackened, the late fall’s definitive seller has been “Transformers,” the blow ‘em up action-adventure film based on the popular kid’s toys and cartoon series, which was released in late October. It stands as one of the year’s best-selling DVDs, far-surpassing “Spider-Man” sales even though the web crawler’s box office-numbers were 2007’s biggest. “Superbad,” another nonsequel theatrical success, has also been flying off the shelves.

(Source: Wall Street Journal)

DVD, Film Business

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