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Strong summer films drive the '06 DVD rally - The Hollywood Reporter 12/29/06


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  • Strong summer films drive the '06 DVD rally - The Hollywood Reporter 12/29/06

    Strong summer movies drive DVDs to '06 rally

    By Thomas K. Arnold
    The Hollywood Reporter
    Dec 29, 2006

    Call it the year of smoke and mirrors.

    When 2006 began, fearful studio executives were still reeling with the first down year in DVD history. They were anxiously looking for salvation, and hoping to find it in high-definition discs, digital downloads or perhaps a combination of the two.

    The next generation of software did launch in 2006, regrettably with two incompatible formats, first HD-DVD in April and then Blu-ray Disc in June. Digital downloading began as well, with all the big Hollywood studios aggressively selling their hot new movies on Movielink, CinemaNow, Apple's iTunes and other download services. Studio executives even coined a new term, "electronic sell-through," or EST, for the lucrative business model.

    But in the end, none of these technological marvels really mattered. High-def discs still are a blip on the sales radar, and digital downloading are even less of a blip. And lo and behold, what saved the day for home entertainment was an unexpected resurgence in the DVD market, fueled by a powerful slate of summer theatricals.
    "The great story coming out of 2006 is that despite the drag of VHS, DVD still kept us flat for the year," Sanders said. "And when you look at 2007, when you factor in no VHS drag with the upside of high definition, you have nothing but great prospects for the year. When you look at the lineup of summer theatricals -- sequels to 'Harry Potter,' 'Spider-Man,' 'Pirates of the Caribbean,' 'Shrek 3' -- it's the biggest summer in memory. So for home entertainment, I think it's going to be a massive 2007."
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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