The Sun Sets on DVDs

January 9, 2011

The amazing and precipitous plunge of the popularity of DVDs continued in 2010.

After reaching a high water mark of $21 billion in 2004, DVDs accounted for $14 billion in revenues in 2010, a whopping 33 1/3 % decline in just 6 years.

From Bringing Back The Old Hollywood:

“Is there any new technology left that can save us?”

In the immortal The Life of Riley television series of the 1950s, star William Bendix put it even more succinctly:

“What a revolting development this turned out to be.”

Put simply and bluntly, the New Hollywood business model is broken and the question of its survival reverberates daily down every hallway in Hollywood.

Netflix Forecast: DVDS Will Be Gone By 2030

For many years, DVD receipts were the salvation of the New Hollywood bottom line but those receipts have plummeted so precipitously that they no longer can keep The New Hollywood afloat.

The symbolism of Blockbuster Video itself as it teeters on the verge of bankruptcy seems to be completely lost on The New Hollywood.

Hollywood Video is already defunct.

Video on demand at home, Red Box video-vending machines, Netflix, and other Internet-based video outlets have done to video stores what DVDs did to videotape.

Netflix’s own outlook for the future of DVD industry is startling. In June 2010, Netflix issued a forecast stating that the physical DVD business (sales, rentals via mail, store and kiosk) will disappear completely by 2030.

Can The New Hollywood Survive?

No, it can’t, not within its present economic model.

While studios boast of box office receipts, that statistic is bloated because of the steep rise in ticket prices and merely masks the red ink on the bottom line.

Production and marketing costs have ballooned while DVD revenues have plummeted so precipitously that very few films earn back their investments.

While I sincerely hope that they will successfully find their way back through the maze of their current issues, the future of The New Hollywood is not the focus of this book.

My sights are set on bringing back The Old Hollywood, not as a replacement for The New Hollywood, but as its own spirit and entity.

And, with your help, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sabrina January 9, 2011 at 8:30 am

I’d welcome back the “old” Hollywood so long as there are quality movies to watch, and good theatres to visit. I’m pretty excited about what some small independent theatres in Oregon are doing now to woo adults back into movie theatres: including meals with night showing, serving alcohol at those specific, and having classical entertainment such as opera, and airing older classic movies as though they were first runs. It’s time to make movie-going an event again…a honest to goodness “date night” thing.


Stephen Simon January 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Oh my goodness—I so completely agree!….There are no current potential scenarios whereby indie films can survive without a theatrical component….as you say, Sabrina, we absolutely have to “make movie-going “an event again…you have inspired me to do a whole blog about this issue tomorrow (Monday)….thanks so much for your great comment and insight!


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