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January 02, 2007


Chris Thilk

Speaking of movie performance, I didn't know if you had seen this, about a movie that played on one screen for 6 days and grossed about $30: http://www.cinematical.com/2007/01/02/the-very-worst-box-office-returns-of-2006-belong-to/

Oliver Dueck

Box office numbers may be down, but the story lacks relevance unless you also look at DVD sales. Are they up or down? If up, do the increased sales make up for the box office losses?

During the past decade, we've seen radical shifts in content delivery and we will continue to see these radical changes. Consumers aren't spending any less on entertainment - they are just spending differently than they used to.

Ian Betteridge

Oliver is completely right. Big movies are cross-media properties that gain vast amounts of revenue away from the box office - from DVD sales and rentals through to toy sales and other spin-offs. Add in those figures for big movies over the past ten years, and you'll get a far better idea of what the size of the "head" is compared to your tail.

Ian Betteridge

I just did a bit of searching to dig out some figures, and according to Edward Epstein's feature in Slate last year, only 15% of studio revenues now come from box office, compared to 55% in 1980. 59% of movie studio feature film revenues now comes from DVD. And the DVD sales business is booming: "In the first three months of 2005, the studios earned $5.67 billion dollars from DVD sales, compared to $4.375 billion in the same period in 2004. DVD sales were up $1.29 billion, an incredible rise of 28 percent, which exceeded last year's increase."

Blockbusters dead? Nope. What's happening is that studios are using box office takings to effectively cover the costs of making the movie, and making vast profits on DVD releases. Chris, you need to dig deeper to get a real picture.

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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

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