Since Blu-ray is the dominant next-generation home video format (for the moment) it’s good that a new study shows it not only is seeing a 72 percent rise in sales of players over last year but also has a 90 percent consumer awareness level.
Also counting as good news would be the report that says consumers still prefer physical discs over downloads, with more money going to DVD purchases and rentals. I’m sure this will only last for so long, but it’s something for the industry to cling to while it can.
Warner Bros. is partnering with Facebook on a program that will connect viewers of the Watchmen Director’s Cut on Blu-ray that use BD Live social functionality with a network of such viewers on Facebook.
While theaters saw an audience increase Blockbuster saw a 39 percent profit decline in the first quarter as a combination of strong theatrical releases and weak home video offerings battered the chain. Blockbuster is hoping the introduction of rental kiosks in stores and some low-price, short-term rental options will help it bounce back in future quarters.
AOL is the latest facilitator of “social viewing,” enabling people to share what they’re viewing on Warner Bros. online properties via SocialThing and seeing what their friends are viewing in return.
On-demand distribution is taking a bigger and bigger role in the deals secured by films at festivals and it isn’t looking like Cannes is going to be an exception. John Horn at the LAT writes that VOD might be the best, only option for some films there.
HMV will put a 200-seat theater above one of its music and entertainment retail outlets in an effort to diversity its revenue streams and try to draw people into the stories. The theaters will feature luxury accomodations and the trial could be expanded to other chains if it proves effective.
The question of who will pay the significant costs for the purchase of 3D glasses, whether reusable or disposable, is still a hurdle exhibitors and distributors have yet to hash out and still presents a sizable problem for the further rolling out of 3D exhibition.