By : Chris Tribbey | Posted: 02 Feb 2010
Paris-based Technicolor will begin handling DVD and Blu-ray Disc replication and distribution services for Warner Bros., beginning in the third quarter of this year, the company said Feb. 2.
The announcement comes a day after the studio announced it was ending its deal with Cinram after six years of working with that replicator. The replication deal between the two neighbors — both are located in Burbank — is expected to commence Aug. 1.
“Combining their expertise in creating entertainment properties and key technologies related to them with Technicolor’s unrivalled track record of technological innovation is an exciting proposition filled with opportunity for both parties,” said Technicolor CEO Frederic Rose.
Technicolor currently handles replication services for Paramount, Disney, DreamWorks Animation and Universal. Only a handful of other large studios, including Fox, Sony and Lionsgate, have their discs produced elsewhere.
Ahmed Ouri, chief marketing officer for Technicolor — which officially changed its name from Thomson in late January — called the deal “a significant win.”
“Warner Bros. is the market leader in terms of volume, and clearly we are in a leading position to bring this studio partner on,” he said.
In terms of standard definition DVD, Technicolor’s facilities should be able to handle the added volume of Warner Home Video titles. Ouri said Blu-ray shouldn’t be an issue either, though Technicolor “can make investments if necessary” to handle the added demand. Cinram said Warner titles represent 28% of its 2009 revenue.
The deal also covers “other aspects relating to strategic technology initiatives,” which Ouri said covers 3D, post-production, media management and some theatrical work for the studio.
“Clearly everyone’s focused on the transition from packaged media to digital,” Ouri said. “We have a good system in place for the supply chain for physical media, and we can help our clients transition to this ecosystem in the digital world.”Warner representatives were not able to offer a comment.
Warner Home Video accounted for 97 Blu-ray releases in 2009, not including re-releases or boxed sets, according to data from the DVD & Blu-ray Release Report. That was the most among any of the studios. Also according to the DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Warner accounted for 764 unique DVD releases in 2009, not including re-releases or boxed sets. That was nearly 550 more than second place studio Lionsgate, though that figure includes nearly 300 titles from Warner’s DVD manufacturing-on-demand program.
Warner will continue to use Allied Vaughn for its MOD program.