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Direct-to-DVD titles sell 1 million a week

The American Pie series of films has amused consumers to the tune of more than $351 million in receipts, so it was no surprise that the latest offering American Pie Presents Band Camp, was also a hit. The interesting difference being, however, was that Universal Studios released the film on 26 December as a direct-to-DVD title, moving over 1 million units in its first week of sales.

This direct-to-DVD release strategy is catching on with the major studios, as titles garner notable sales without the need for big theatrical budgets. While theatrical DVDs can sell more than three times the first week total of Band Camp, for example Universal‘s The 40-Year-Old Virgin sold 3.7 million in its first week on sale in December, a million units is quite a feat for a title that did not have a cinema release.

Many studios have had home video divisions to produce direct-to-DVD titles for years, but it seems executives that are finding it easier to approve new projects as movie attendances decline. Studio executives are also forecasting that as the home cinema experience improves especially with the upcoming high-def DVDs, consumers will be even more motivated to rent and buy DVD-only releases.

The Consumer Electronics Assn. has predicted that high-definition digital TVs will outsell analog sets by 89% by year‘s end, and that consumers will spend $23 billion on HD TVs. According to the CEA, 85% of the 12 million digital TVs shipped last year were HD sets.

Story filed 05.01.06

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