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Warner Study Shows Nontheatrical Home Video Spending Up

7 Aug, 2008 By: Thomas K. Arnold

More good news for packaged media: Consumer spending on nontheatrical DVDs and Blu-ray Discs rose 2.8% in the first six months of this year, a newly released retail analysis from Warner Home Video shows.

The analysis pegs consumer spending on nontheatrical home entertainment, a category that includes everything but theatrical feature films, at $1.84 billion through June 28, up from $1.79 billion in the comparable period last year.“There is buoyancy in the market,” said Jeff Brown, Warner's executive VP and GM of nontheatrical franchise.

The nontheatrical sector, driven by TV DVD, animated and live-action family product and documentaries, accounts for 31.8% of the total home video market, having gained 1.3 percentage points in the first half of this year from the first six months of 2007.

Just as it does in the overall home video business, Warner Home Video leads the other studios in nontheatrical market share, capturing 20.7% of revenue, or $380 million, in the first six months of this year, compared to 18.9%, or $337.4 million, in the previous year's first half.

Much of this growth is due to Warner's advances in the family and animation arena, a category in which the studio saw its consumer sales rise 38.4%, from $49.5 million in the first half of 2007, to $68.5 million in the first six months of 2008. Brown credits the increase to new releases in the DC Universal line, the addition of the Peanuts franchise (which last year was still distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment) and classic cartoon releases such as Horton Hears a Who, the release of which was timed to the theatrical opening of the movie.

Warner also posted strong gains in the documentary category, upping its share of the market to 42%, or nearly twice was it was in the first six months of 2007. Credit goes largely to the BBC Planet Earth documentary, which through June 28 has generated $21.2 million in DVD revenue and an additional $9.9 million in Blu-ray Disc revenue.

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