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Europe BD disc sales up 49%; BD gains make up for DVD losses in Germany

Based on DEG’s recently-released figures Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment predicts Christmas sales in Europe will deliver the first rise in full year home entertainment spending since 2004.

Blu-ray sales have grown in Europe up 49% in Q3 (42% in units). The UK and Germany are the largest international Blu-ray markets accounting for 10 million units sold in the year to date. So much so that total DVD and Blu-ray disc sales in Germany have actually risen 2% in the year to date. The Hollywood major believes that, with a forthcoming bumper peak season, combined DVD/BD disc sales “are expected to raise the rest of the European market into growth by the end of the year.”

The Fox studios’ Star Wars: The Complete Saga, only available on Blu-ray, sold over one million units worldwide in one week, and is predicted to achieve over three million units by Christmas. “The share of sales is tipping in favour of the Blu-ray format, strengthened by bundling with digital copy and shortly UltraViolet.

X-Men: First Class, Fox’s most recent release, has seen Blu-ray take a 40% share of sales in UK, 45% in France, 60% in Germany and 40% internationally. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is expected to achieve half of all sales on Blu-ray internationally.

“This Christmas is a turning point for Home Entertainment,” says Vincent Marcais, Fox’s Senior Vice President of International Marketing. “Alongside a strong line-up of titles, the technology is in place to meet expectations that half of buyers will opt for the premium version of our films, enjoying Blu-ray quality at home, with the freedom to enjoy digital versions on their tablets and smart phones when on the go.”

There are 20 million Blu-ray players installed in European homes, apparently, and in the UK 80% of homes already have a high-definition TV, with one third of them expected to be connected to a Blu-ray player by the end of this year.

3.6 million tablets have been purchased in the UK, and in recognition of this all new Fox movies published in the UK come complete with a Digital Copy suitable for viewing on an iPad or Android tablet/phone. Because of this added value, ownership of movies remains strong in the UK, with 90% of those consuming movies in the home choosing to buy them.

Story filed 10.11.11

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