Warner to Supply Paramount, DreamWorks Animation DVDs in China7 Nov, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Seeking an upper hand on rampant sales of counterfeit movie DVDs in China, Warner Home Video will begin distributing content from Paramount Home Entertainment and DreamWorks Animation in the communist country.
Warner, in partnership with China Audio Video (CAV), is one of the few major Hollywood studios to have established a competitively priced DVD distribution channel in China.
Last year, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment opened a representative office in Beijing and has an exclusive agreement with the country's largest video distributor, Zoke Culture Group.
CAV Warner Home Entertainment, the studio's joint venture, Nov. 1 released Paramount's Transformers in more than 50 cities and 20,000 retail outlets. DreamWorks Animation's Shrek the Third is slated for release Nov. 28.
The DVDs are released in Mandarin.
“Warner has demonstrated that securing key retail outlets in China is necessary to supplant pirated content with legitimate product to fight piracy,” said Dennis Maguire, president of Paramount Home Entertainment International.
With more than 100 million DVD players in Chinese households, sales of DVD and VCD discs topped $1 billion in 2005, according to the China Economic Review.
Reports suggest upwards of 90% of all entertainment DVDs sold in China are pirated.
The Motion Picture Association of America estimates that studios lose about $1.2 billion annually in the Asia-Pacific region due to pirated DVDs and illegally recorded theatrical releases.
Separately, the MPAA said it won a breach of contract lawsuit against a Chinese DVD manufacturer accused of circumventing the copy protection CSS license requirement.
In addition, Taiwan police broke up an illegal DVD replication operation and seized more than 10,000 pirated DVDs, including The Bourne Ultimatum, Die Hard 4.0, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Wild Hogs.