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How much do the studios NOW depend on DVDs?

How much do the studios NOW depend on DVDs?

 
Old 08-17-03, 07:27 PM
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How much do the studios NOW depend on DVDs?

It seems like 4-5 years ago, DVDs were an afterthought and it was rare when a movie you liked was on the format.

Now studios live and die with them, as they are a whole new, and exponentially growing market. It seems like DVDs these days can make more in their release than the movie did in theatres.

I am pretty sure, for instance, Office Space on DVD has grossed twice as much as it made in the theatres.
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Old 08-17-03, 08:06 PM
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One of the news channels reported today that DVDs account for half of Hollywood's profits.
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Old 08-17-03, 08:50 PM
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The report I saw today said 58%.
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Old 08-17-03, 08:54 PM
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I hope that Universal read that-maybe they could start making more Classic Monsters DVDs.
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Old 08-17-03, 11:43 PM
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well this is good, because dare I say it, I think I might enjoy the whole DVD experience, especially the collectable aspect of it, more than the big screen experience
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Old 08-18-03, 02:16 AM
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For the first time in history Hollywood's take on DVD's in 2002 EXCEEDED box office receipts.

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Old 08-18-03, 03:33 AM
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I know I haven't been to the theater since I bought my DVD player back in 99. No reason to go anymore imo.

But eventually will DVD profits reduce the box office's impact completely...will movies start being made exclusively for the DVD's as opposed to the opening weeked format that exists now? It'd be nice if they started to release movies to the theaters and on DVD at the exact same time...but I guess that would kill box receipts even further.
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Old 08-18-03, 09:10 AM
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There have also been some films that did poorly in the theater and the studios lost money on, but when they were released on DVD became huge sellers. I think the studios are beginning to see DVD as a second income and a way to make up profits on a dog. People who might have no interest in a film at the theater will go out and buy the DVD if it has a superb transfer and a 2nd disc of extras.
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Old 08-18-03, 09:38 AM
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Originally posted by renaldow
There have also been some films that did poorly in the theater and the studios lost money on, but when they were released on DVD became huge sellers. I think the studios are beginning to see DVD as a second income and a way to make up profits on a dog. People who might have no interest in a film at the theater will go out and buy the DVD if it has a superb transfer and a 2nd disc of extras.
"beginning to see DVD as a second income", I think they have been seeing this for years now.
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Old 08-18-03, 10:18 AM
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People who might have no interest in a film at the theater will go out and buy the DVD if it has a superb transfer and a 2nd disc of extras.
For most people, this is NOT an issue. Joe Public is happy with a famous face and half decent sounding storyline.
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Old 08-18-03, 10:29 AM
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Originally posted by renaldow
People who might have no interest in a film at the theater will go out and buy the DVD if it has a superb transfer and a 2nd disc of extras.
That's right! Bring on Tomb Raider 2!!
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Old 08-18-03, 01:00 PM
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The only time I go to the theatres is to see big time science fiction. This is the only stuff I can not wait to see. I wouldn't think of not seeing 'Lord of the Rings' until it came out in DVD. I used to go to the movies every weekend now you would be lucky to see me there 5 times a year.
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Old 08-18-03, 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by JimRochester
The report I saw today said 58%.
I wonder how much of this 58% is from double and triple-dipping DVD titles....
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Old 08-18-03, 02:23 PM
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I highly doubt home video sales (ie dvd) will ever completely take movies out of the equation.

I'm not exactly sure how the people in this forum know what new movies to buy if they haven't seen it in the theatre first unless its a bunch of blind buys (and since no one here seems to rent anything)

You can't beat the big screen and big sound experience of epic movies like LOTR or The Matrix.
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Old 08-18-03, 06:15 PM
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I read an article in The Gainesville Sun (which was taken from The New York Times) on the impact DVD sales have on what is coming out of Hollywood. It is saying that this is the reason for the high number of action movies and sequels that are pushed through.
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Old 08-18-03, 06:33 PM
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I go to the theater about three times a year now and that is only because I need a reason to get out of the house with the wife.

I suspect once I get a decent surround sound system to complement my big screen it will be even harder to justify getting out and fighting the crowds, finding parking, finding a babysitter, paying the inflated ticket and popcorn prices, etc.
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Old 08-18-03, 06:42 PM
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Originally posted by cajun_junky
I go to the theater about three times a year now and that is only because I need a reason to get out of the house with the wife.

I suspect once I get a decent surround sound system to complement my big screen it will be even harder to justify getting out and fighting the crowds, finding parking, finding a babysitter, paying the inflated ticket and popcorn prices, etc.
Hmm i can definitely see why you wouldn't see many movies then. (Movies are quite a bit easier for me since I generally see them at a large theater, use public transportation, have no kids, and get a student discount but I'm sure i'll understand once college is over and the real world intrudes).
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Old 08-18-03, 07:13 PM
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NYTimes.com has a whole section on DVDs and contemporary culture here: http://movies.nytimes.com/indexes/20...deo/index.html

And a specifically relevant article here (I copied it below as well): http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/17/bu...dia/17DVD.html

Action-Hungry DVD Fans Sway Hollywood
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK


Matthew Grossman, a 38-year-old schoolteacher in Toronto with a bulging collection of about 700 DVD's, enjoys movies of all kinds. But, when it comes to buying discs, he like many DVD owners gravitates to action-packed adventure films with plenty of special effects like "Die Hard" and "Terminator 2."

"You can really enjoy the impact of an action film on DVD, especially with a large screen and a powerful set of speakers," Mr. Grossman said. "And, you might want to watch it more than once. With a romantic comedy or something, you watch it and laugh and never look at it again."

Men like Mr. Grossman and it is men who are buying the most DVD's, studio executives say are an increasingly powerful influence on Hollywood. Home video sales accounted for more than 58 percent of Hollywood's income last year, more than twice as much as box-office revenues. Sales of DVD's to consumers are the biggest, most profitable and fastest-growing component of that revenue.

For studio executives, that means the home video market is no longer the afterthought it was when renting videotapes dominated the business. "It is becoming, in a lot of ways, the primary market in determining whether to green light a movie or not," said Chris McGuirk, vice chairman of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.

What the studios are finding so far is that DVD's are a man's world, where the films that get the biggest bounce from the box-office sales are movies like "Rush Hour 2," "The Bourne Identity" and "XXX." "The male-oriented action movies are the ones that have worked well on DVD," said Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of the Miramax Films division of the Walt Disney Company. "It is almost like buying records when you were a kid and running out to get the new Led Zeppelin. Men tend to be a little more compulsive."

At MGM, Universal Pictures, New Line Cinema and other studios, executives in charge of home video sales now have formal roles in decisions about approving new projects. Some studio executives say the new math is already evident on the big screen, most notably in this summer's rush of sequels that help promote the DVD's of their predecessors (like "Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle" and "2 Fast 2 Furious") and the skyrocketing budgets for action films that bristle with stunts and special effects ("S.W.A.T.").

The payoff of DVD sales benefits action-adventure blockbusters and sophomoric comedies far more than serious dramas or films aimed at adults. Some critics worry that DVD sales may in effect redouble Hollywood's longstanding incentive to cater to the broadest and most puerile audience. "I think there is a danger that studios could use DVD's to marginalize serious films for adults as this kind of boutique area, like a prestige line for a publisher," said Owen Gleiberman, a film critic at Entertainment Weekly.

Of course, action-packed thrillers have been clobbering more thoughtful films at the box office since long before the advent of the VCR three decades ago. Since then, the growth of the foreign markets for American films has only increased the payoff for blowing up buildings or totaling expensive cars since those scenes need no translation.

But, the DVD boom has increased the gap between the most financially successful movie and the least. In the video rental business, stores typically buy at least one copy of almost every major theatrical release and sometimes up to five or more copies of hits, said Thomas J. Adams of Adams Media Research, which studies the home video market. But, since DVD players went on the market in the United States in 1997, their better picture quality, retail prices of $20 and often less and an assortment of extra features like alternate endings and extra footage have helped spur buying instead of renting. That, in turn, has ended that relatively equal spreading of the wealth from video rentals.

Instead of buying everything the way video stores do, consumers tend to buys millions of copies of the biggest hits. That has benefited blockbusters and hurt smaller films. Since 1997, the home video revenue of films that earned more than $50 million at the box office has doubled, while the home video revenue of films earning less than $10 million at the box office has fallen, according to a study by Adams Media Research.

The James Bond film "Die Another Day," for example, has sold 3.41 million copies on DVD since its release in June, according to the trade publication Video Store Magazine. At the other extreme, "Frida," a film about the artist Frida Kahlo, sold just 250,000 since its release the same month.

"The successes are greater, and the failures are worse," Rick Finkelstein, president and chief operating officer of Universal Pictures, said.

Sales are also more profitable. A studio might make about $12 profit from the $20 price of a DVD, said Scott Hettrick, editor of the trade journal Video Business. In contrast, studios make about $5 on the sale of a $10 theater ticket and may make little or nothing from a video rental.

At first, like most new consumer electronics, DVD players sold mainly to men. Now, however, half of the households with televisions now own DVD players. Animated family films that previously dominated VHS sales have begun to sell well on DVD, too. A handful of romantic comedies have broken through on DVD for the first time as well, most notably "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," which was the second best-selling DVD of the first half of this year.

But even as DVD players have spread, executives say, action-adventure movies sell disproportionately well, even relative to their typically larger box-office receipts. And serious dramas lag behind.

"A $40 million dollar art film versus a $40 million action film, the latter will sell at least double on DVD," said Benjamin J. Feingold, president of home entertainment at the Columbia TriStar division of Sony. "That is where the purchasers are. `Shakespeare in Love' is one of my favorite movies of all time, but it is very hard to sell that on DVD, versus `XXX,' which is a monster."

"The Hours," a literary film that was nominated for nine Academy Awards and earned $41 million at the box office, has sold 350,000 DVD's since its release in May. In contrast, several action films or slapstick comedies with similar or lower box-office receipts including "Tears of the Sun" and "Star Trek: Nemesis" at least tripled those sales in roughly the same period.

Mr. Weinstein of Miramax said its gory "Gangs of New York," for example, was well on the way to earning more from DVD sales than the $80 million it earned at the box office. In contrast, he projected that Miramax's well-received drama "Rabbit Proof Fence" would make less than a third as much from home video sales as its $7 million in box-office receipts.

"A movie like `Chicago' is going to do $70 million" in home video, Mr. Weinstein said. "That is nothing to laugh at, but if it was an action film it would do twice as much."

Other films that are big box-office draws can't keep up in DVD sales either. Dreamworks' "Road to Perdition," a drama with Tom Hanks as a Depression-era gangster, grossed more than $100 million at the box office, but it sold just $44 million in DVD's from its release in late February through the first half of this year. Paramount's "Jackass," on the other hand, grossed $64 million at the box office but made $58 million on DVD from its release in late March through the first half of the year.

Kelly Avery, head of home entertainment for DreamWorks, said it was unfair to compare an ambitious drama with an action film in DVD sales.

Studio executives say financial calculations about DVD sales never determine essentially creative decisions about which new films to make. But executives from several major studious agreed that the possibility of DVD sales are already affecting budgets for films, especially for action scenes and special effects.

Universal Studios' movie "The Fast and the Furious," for example, sold $144 million in tickets in 2001 and then sold $132 million in DVD's in 2002.

When the studio began planning its sequel "2 Fast 2 Furious," Mr. Finkelstein said the studio was "able to feel a little more comfortable knowing that if we spent even more money and had better action and better stunts we would sell even more DVD's."

Jeff Blake, vice chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said the prospect of DVD sales helped it afford the hefty budget of its summer hit "Bad Boys 2," with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. "Clearly the economics of some of the big event pictures we are seeing probably would not work without DVD," he said.

DVD's make sequels more profitable because they promote sales of their predecessor on the discs. In a summer flooded with big-budget sequels that disappointed at the box office, like "Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle," from Columbia Tristar, and "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 2," from Paramount Pictures, some in Hollywood wonder if the potential bounty from DVD sales may have led to hasty decisions.

"What may have happened was that some of these sequels got made faster and with less time and effort than people would have previously put into them because there was this big opportunity out there," said Mr. Finkelstein, of Universal Pictures. He said that he thought his own studio's "2 Fast 2 Furious" and third "American Pie" movie both well-suited to the appetites of DVD buyers were exceptions to the norm.

Some DVD fans, meanwhile, may be cognizant of their image. A "DVD Lexicon" on the Web site DVD Journal, for example, defines the terms "My Wife Moved Out" as "a common ailment" of audio-video consumers.
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Old 08-18-03, 07:32 PM
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I find the above posting to be very true, all the old forumals are outdated (atleast for action films). T3 will only do about $150 million in theater ticket sales, but will do a HUGE kill in DVD sales. The same goes for The Hulk. My family wants to buy both the movies on DVD, and there will be tons of other people buying them for Christmas.

While both both movies where not true blockbusters in the USA, worldwide tickets will make a big profit, then you have to add in the DVD/Video sales (and cable movie channels, then ABC, NBC, CBS...).

Lets just say Hollywood is not hurting at all in the old $$$ department.

I was wondering if anyone had a website with World Wide DVD slaes figures.

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Old 08-19-03, 08:15 AM
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Originally posted by pagansoul
The only time I go to the theatres is to see big time science fiction. This is the only stuff I can not wait to see. I wouldn't think of not seeing 'Lord of the Rings' until it came out in DVD. I used to go to the movies every weekend now you would be lucky to see me there 5 times a year.
ditto for me. unless it is an absolutely HUGE movie i will wait and see it at home. this is even more sure for me once i bought my 65" HDTV last fall. when you factor the ease of popping in a dvd vs. the hassles of going to the theater, it really is a no brainer.
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Old 08-19-03, 12:55 PM
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Originally posted by Mistoffeleez
I know I haven't been to the theater since I bought my DVD player back in 99. No reason to go anymore imo.
my dad has quite the home theater set up that I can watch dvds etc on, but I wouldnt say that means there is "no reason" to go to theaters anymore. I mean, maybe you can wait for Lucas to release Indy 4 on dvd... but considering past history (ie we STILL dont have eps 4-6 on dvd yet)... I'll see it in the theater first.

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Old 08-19-03, 02:39 PM
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Lets hope they keep putting movies in theaters. I always prefer to watch a movie in the theater than watch it on DVD.

Also, if they end up doing just 'straight to DVD' movies, I'll proabably won't watch any of them until TV. 'Straight to DVD/Video' to me=crap movies.
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