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DVD Sellthrough Spending Up in March

27 Apr, 2006 By: Judith McCourt

Consumer spending on home video purchases rose a slight 3% in March, fueled by a strong slate of releases. In the five-week period, consumers spent $1.67 billion, compared to $1.64 billion in March 2005. DVD spending rose 5%, while unit sales increased 10.6%, reflecting the continued impact of price erosion at retail.

For the first quarter, consumer spending on video purchases came in at just under $4 billion, down 6.9% from the $4.29 billion consumers spent in the same 13-week period in 2005.

March 2006 DVD releases packed a significantly more potent box office punch than their counterparts in March 2005. Their collective box office earnings came in at $1.04 billion, up 38.6% from the $753.7 million earned in theaters by March 2005 DVD releases.

Unit sales of the top 50 titles, according to Nielsen VideoScan data, were up 11.6% from the top 50 of March 2005. The top seller for the month, and the quarter: Warner Home Video's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, with total sales pegged by Home Media Retailing at 10 million units and $188.2 million in revenue. Home Media Retailing estimates total video sales of the four “Potter” films at $1.2 billion.

Not surprisingly, Warner came in at No. 1 in market share for the month, with 22.8% of March unit sales, according to VideoScan. The supplier also took top honors for the quarter, with 22.4% of units sold.

New Line Home Entertainment's Wedding Crashers, the quarter's No. 2 seller (with more than 7 million units sold) bolstered Warner's market share for the quarter.

Finishing in the No. 2 spot for March was Buena Vista Home Entertainment, with 14% of unit sales. For the quarter, Buena Vista finished in the No. 3 spot, with 12.2% of unit sales.

Rounding out the top five in March were Universal Studios Home Entertainment (No. 3, 13.3%), 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (No. 4, 11.3%) and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (No. 5, 11.2%).

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