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Extreme Weather Propels Increase in Online Holiday Movie Sales

30 Dec, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Blizzard conditions in the Northeast through Christmas sent shoppers online instead of stores, resulting in a record $30.8 billion in e-commerce spending from Nov. 1 through Dec. 26 — up 13% from the same period a year ago, according to a new report.

Reston, Va.-based comScore said the week of Christmas saw online revenue reach $2.45 billion, up 17% from a year ago.

Online sales of consumer electronics, which include connected Blu-ray Disc players, increased 21%, while sales of packaged media such as DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies rose 9%.

Indeed, Blu-ray content has emerged as a bright spot for home entertainment, generating about $2 billion in revenue (online and brick-and-mortar) in 2010, according to industry figures. The NPD Group expects one in five homes to have a Blu-ray player in 2011, up 7% from this year.

“For at least this holiday season, the American consumer has been able to shrug off the continuing economic challenges of high unemployment rates and depressed housing prices and spend at a rate that has been slightly stronger than we had expected,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “After the past few years’ struggles, it is gratifying to see e-commerce return to a state that can only be described as a very merry holiday shopping season.”

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