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Christmas To Boost Video Entertainment Sales

It has been a tough year for all UK retailers and video entertainment is not immune but there are hopes that this year’s Pre- Christmas releases will do better than last with this week kicking off the biggest fortnight for video sales.
According to the British Video Association nearly 90% of us say DVDs and Blu-ray discs make a great Christmas present but many people are waiting, until the final big video releases hit the shelves, to get their Christmas shopping started. A new consumer trend to put off the Christmas shopping until now will coincide with the release dates of what industry hopes will be the biggest sellers this Christmas.
Blockbuster titles recently released or set for release over the coming days, include: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Warner Home Video, release 2/12/11); The Inbetweeners Movie (4DVD, released 12/12/11); Rise of the Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, released 12/12/11); The Smurfs (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, released 5/12/11); Frozen Planet (2 entertain, released 8/12/11); Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Paramount Home Entertainment, released 28/11/11).
On the UK’s most popular day for watching a film over the Christmas holidays , Christmas at Downton is coming out on Boxing Day (Universal Pictures). At the same, time figures from the British Retail Consortium suggest that many consumers have delayed their Christmas shopping and have caused a build up in demand for gifts.
The fact that many of the year’s biggest box office hits will be on the shelves slightly later than usual coincides with the continuing growth of online shopping from all the key video entertainment retailers, means there are some great gifts available this year – exactly when people want to buy them.
As well as the titles above, a number of keenly anticipated box sets and Triple-Play packs (DVD, Blu-ray Disc and Digital Copy) such as the complete Harry Potter collection (2/12/11) and The Planet Collection (8/12/11) including Planet Earth, Frozen Plant and the Blue Planet will be out in time for this sales “sweet spot”.
Christmas is traditionally the most important time of year for video sales thanks to the gifting market. Indeed, over the last four years December has represented on average more than 21% of total physical volume sales and the industry is looking forward to an even better month this year.
Live Comedy in particular, which sold over 60% of its total physical volume sales as a genre in December last year, is geared up to fulfil Christmas demand, with the big comedy acts already available for sale, including Peter Kay-Live –The Tour That Didn’t Tour Tour (Universal Pictures), Lee Evans-Roadrunner – Live at the O2 (Universal Pictures, the first comedy to be released on 3D Blu-ray) and John Bishop-Live – Sunshine Tour (2entertain).
Lavinia Carey, Director General of the BVA, said: “2011 has been a tough year for all UK retailers and video entertainment is not immune but music video, TV, children’s and other genres over-index in December and there are encouraging signs that this year’s pre-Christmas releases will do better than last, even if it does start a few weeks later than usual. For example, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has recorded bigger pre-sales than any previous Harry Potter release, as well as being No 2 on users’ wish list, after the Kindle, and has out-performed its forecasts in other countries.
"With Blu-ray hardware sales increasing by 19% since this time last year, and in the last three months more people are buying 3D Blu-ray players than standard Blu-ray, this should help drive Blu-ray Disc sales to build on the 16.6% increase already seen so far in 2011. In the run up to Christmas many people will be looking for great quality and value during the gifting season."
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