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2006 Year in Review: DECEMBER

1 Jan, 2007 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest makes the biggest DVD debut of the year.

  • As has been widely telegraphed, Netflix says it will begin offering digital downloads in January.

  • ClickStar, the new broadband movie-download service backed by actor Morgan Freeman's Revelations Entertainment and Intel Corp., launches with lucrative content deals with three major Hollywood studios. Sony Pictures, Universal Studios and Warner Bros. will provide several hundred studio titles, both new day-and-date releases and catalog titles.

  • BitTorrent, flush with Warner movies and TV shows, inks digital download deals with eight more content providers, including Paramount, 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate.

  • Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest sells 10.5 million DVDs its first week in stores, the biggest DVD debut this year, the studio reports. That puts the Pirates sequel on track to be the top-selling DVD of the year, and the biggest-selling live-action movie ever on DVD. Currently, that record is held by Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which was released in December 2003 and sold 11 million videos its first week in stores, 90% of them on DVD. The first Pirates ultimately sold 18 million units; Disney reportedly shipped 20 million DVDs of the sequel.

  • A leading buying group of independent video stores sues The Weinstein Co. over its exclusive rental-DVD deal with Blockbuster. The National Entertainment Buying Group (NEBG) filed the complaint in the Superior Court of Massachusetts. The suit seeks to stop the independent studio from labeling DVD releases sent to Blockbuster for rental with language that implies renting these titles from anyone else is illegal.

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