Hollywood Studios Push Blu-ray Sales for Holidays

Hollywood movie studios are trying to ensure that this holiday season they will finally start to see significant revenue from sales of Blu-ray discs–potentially a critical bulwark against the plunging DVD market, now in its third year of decline.

The studios resolved their next-generation DVD format war almost two years ago. So far, though, the take from Blu-ray has been underwhelming. The high-definition home-video format, now four years old, will produce just $1.3 billion in revenue to studios this year, says Tom Adams, president of Adams Media Research. That’s about 14 percent of anticipated sales of regular DVDs this year, and half what the older format produced in its fourth year, in 2000.

But in this last month of the year, the studios have a chance to make signficant inroads with Blu-ray.

If they can nudge Blu-ray up a few percentage points over the 11.5 percent of studios’ home-video sales revenue that the format represented over the first nine months of 2009, it could take some of the sting out of slowing sales of regular DVDs, their traditional cash cow, Mr. Adams says.

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