Studios Tap Into Global DVD Sales

A good NY Times article about the growth of home video sales outside the US. In Japan I’ve seen theaters charging roughly $18 for an adult ticket; at these prices I would certainly consider waiting for the movie to come out in stores.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

By most estimates and anecdotal evidence, revenues from international home video sales are the fastest-growing part of Hollywood’s business. The most reliable estimate comes from Screen Digest, a British data company, which calculated that the home video divisions of the United States studios garnered $11.4 billion in wholesale revenues from the $24.6 billion that overseas consumers spent buying and renting home video products in 2004.What is more certain is that the windfall from overseas home video sales is affecting how the movie business is run. It is inflating budgets for films with big international potential (like the upcoming “Batman Begins”), changing how top stars negotiate their take of the profits and prompting studios to spend millions fighting piracy – particularly in Asia and Russia – that they fear will threaten lucrative developing markets.

The article also reveals that Shrek 2 was DreamWorks’ top international film in 2004, selling 27 million units of which 13 million were sold outside the US.

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