Susanne Ault -- Video Business reports that the home entertainment industry suffered its first significant year-to-year decline in consumer spending in 2007, a victim of an overcrowded fourth quarter and the raging high-definition format war. But studio chiefs are heading into 2008 hopeful that growth in high-def will finally make up for losses in the maturing DVD format.
The studios' home video presidents owned up to mistakes over the last 12 months, including underestimating competition from videogames and over-anticipating consumer appetite for aging film franchises.
But with evidence in January of surging interest for Blu-ray Disc, following Warner Bros. Entertainment's late-December decision to exclusively release high-def titles in BD, there is hope the DVD business can stabilize in 2008. Blu-ray is showing its muscle in January, noted Schwartz. This month, the studio's BD releases War and 3:10 to Yuma have already outsold each of Lionsgate's 2007 BD titles, including ones that earned much more at the box office, he said
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment president David Bishop believes the studio's 2007 tentpole, Spider-Man 3, might have performed better if fewer resources had been spent on the format war fight. That money could have been used for other uses," laments Bishop. "We could have sold a few million more units. So much of our marketing efforts were about one-upmanship."