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Warner Exec Speaks Out on U.K. Pricing

20 Sep, 2002 By: Jessica Wolf

After months of silence in the wake of an unofficial boycott of Warner-released product in the United Kingdom after the studio announced its plan for tiered pricing and no rental window in the region, Warner U.K. managing director Neil McEwan told The Hollywood Reporter the studio plans to continue the pricing program and said increased sales have made up for lack of support from rental dealers.

McEwan was quoted as saying the rental trade in the region accounts for less than 10 percent of revenue.

“It seems unlikely, even with the advent of DVD and the growth that has given the sector, that there will be net growth in rental,” he said. “But there is a massive opportunity for continued growth in retail [sellthrough].”

McEwan also told The Hollywood Reporter that though most of the top chains in the country are still not carrying Warner-released titles, like We Were Soldiers or Training Day, many independent retailers are starting to order Warner titles. “We've had far more support [for Soldiers] than we had on Training Day,” he said. “I think they are beginning to realize that their customers are losing out by not being able to support the titles.”

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