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DVD sales are slumping and Hollywood execs know it. Still, that hasn’t stopped them from heading to Comic-Con in San Diego to push DVDs through promotional efforts to generate pre-release buzz and awareness around the movie titles through panel discussions, photo ops, autograph signings with celebs, sweepstakes, screenings and giveaways. For example, attendees had the chance take photos with Bob, the gelatinous hero from “Monsters vs. Aliens,” and Trekkies were able to stand at the helm of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

According to an article from Variety.com, the increased presence by studio homevid arms at Comic-Con is an effort to slow down a 13.5% slump in DVD sales during the first six months of the year, and a 9% overall drop last year.
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spidey-at-con-2009Comic-Con 2009, the annual fan convention that attracts 150,000 attendees, 20,000 industry professionals, directors and designers, Hollywood stars, TV moguls and video game publishers, is expected to be better than last year in terms of revenue for the city of San Diego. What seems to be one of the most entertaining international conferences is actually proving to be an economic superhero for the city. Comic-Con generated $7.25 million in revenue in 2008 from the San Diego convention and a pair of much smaller events in San Francisco, WonderCon and Alternative Press Expo, according to its financial records.

With more than 160,000 attendees and industry professionals, Comic-Con is expected to generate $42 million in spending with 92 percent to 98 percent of the county’s 54,000 hotel rooms booked according to the San Diego Business Journal. While the expected revenue is conservative, it is based on the spending on the attendees. The actual impact is likely much higher as vendors and spectators flock downtown with side shows and promotions at clubs without even going to the conference.

By: Julia Boorstin, CNBC

hollwood dvd

DVD sales used to be the bread and butter of the movie studios business, even more important to the bottom line than box office receipts. But thanks to shifting consumer patterns and the recession, home video sales are stuck in the kind of decline that’s making studio chiefs think about reinventing the business model.

Now some new data reveals just how bad the home video business is: DVD sales fell 13.5 percent in the first half of the year according to Digital Entertainment Group.

It’s not that piracy has replaced DVD sales — broadband capacity is still too limited for that — but people are opting to rent rather than buy.

Here’s the good news:

Movie rental revenue grew 8 percent in the first two quarters, which helps Netflix , Blockbuster and Redbox.

This makes sense: Americans are consuming more entertainment, staying home and avoiding shopping and travel, but they don’t feel compelled to add more DVDs to their library.

Blu-Ray sales rose 91 percent in the first two quarters, but that business is still very niche, just $408 million. Unlike the transition from VHS to Blu-Ray, we’re not going to see the same kind of purchasing.

Why not?

The answer is that DVDs don’t seem outdated, and there are plenty of digital distribution options, both legal and illegal.

On-demand movies, through cable or satellite video-on-demand or online streaming, grew 22 to $968 million.


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