Lionsgate's Steve Beeks: 'We've Seen Retailers Re-Embrace the Packaged Media Business'9 Nov, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Lionsgate Nov. 9 said retail revenue for The Hunger Games is buttressing the packaged media business, underscored by strong sales of Blu-ray Disc and UltraViolet for the popular teen movie franchise.
Speaking in a Q2 fiscal call with analysts, Steve Beeks, president of the motion picture group and home entertainment, said that among major retailers the minimajor has seen a “re-embrace” of packaged media.
Beeks said the box office to disc conversion rate for Hunger Games will rival the rate for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 1 and Disney/Marvel’s The Avengers. More than 40% of Games’ disc sales have been Blu-ray.
“We have high expectations [for Hunger Games] through the holiday season starting with a Black Friday promotion through the end of the year,” Beeks said.
Hunger Games is currently the third biggest theatrical release of the year with more than $400 million in revenue at the domestic box office.
Beeks said the movie is also tracking to be the highest VOD release of the year, including among the top four in history. Hunger Games has registered 600,000 digital copies by consumers of the discs, including 150,000 UltraViolet redemptions. That is second only to the final "Harry Potter" release, according to Lionsgate.
“So you can see the UV model is working and we expect additional retailers on Vudu and Flixster to announce support of UV soon,” Beeks said. “When that happens you’ll see a vast growing awareness of the UV locker model, which is going to translate into an overall increase in electronic ownership, which we think is important to our industry.”
The studio said it continues to embrace changing consumer habits regarding digital consumption of media, underscored by the fact that just 38% of it catalog home entertainment revenue in the quarter came from packaged media (compared with 70% five years ago). Digital revenue is primarily electronic sellthrough and transactional video-on-demand.
Lionsgate said it would continue to experiment with release windows — a strategy the studio has used to release select titles digitally into the retail channel before packaged media.
“It’s really about finding the right model for the right film … [while keeping] relationships with all our retail partners in the right balance,” Beeks said. “We’ll be doing more and more of that.”