DVD sales slow while box-office goes up


Despite the feverish attention on box-office results each weekend, the truth is that Hollywood stopped relying on the multiplexes to make money a long time ago. For over a decade, a motion picture’s caboose — DVD sales — has been the driver of its profitability.

The DVD money has been so big that studio decisions about whether to green-light a movie have sometimes gone like this: Is this film going to draw interest at the box office? We’re not sure? Well, if it’s only a modest success, that’s O.K. We can count on consumers to toss the DVD into their shopping carts and make us whole. Who’s up for martinis at the Hotel Bel-Air?

Now that train is reversing. Business at the multiplex is going gangbusters. Ticket sales are up 14 percent this year over the same period in 2008, according to the tracking firm Media by Numbers. Attendance is up 12 percent after falling the last two years.


DVD, Film Business

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