Sunday, July 20, 2014

Free Fall

It wasn't long ago that Disney direct-to-video animated features were major profit drivers. But that was then.

... Over at least the past five years, Disney's home entertainment operations, which include the entertainment giant's DVD, Blu-ray, and digital movie distribution sales, have seen revenue fall significantly. Between 2009 and 2013, revenue from this part of Disney declined by 37% from $2.76 billion to $1.75 billion, with no signs of improving.

The main driver behind this decline in revenue has been lower units sold as consumers move away from physical and downloaded content in favor of Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD). Between just 2012 and 2013, the company's unit count fell 19%, signaling that the future of Disney's home entertainment business might be in doubt. ...

Which explains, in part, why the Tinkerbell series has wrapped, the second Planes movie went out as a theatrical, and Disney Toon studios have had sizable layoffs over the past several months.

In the eighties, nineties, and early oughts, cassettes and little silver disks made a lot of money. But not so much anymore. Technological change moves on, sweeping older business models before it.


attmay said...

Perhaps if they hadn't cut so many corners on mid-level titles (dropped extras, substandard transfers), people would be more inclined to buy them. Whatever one may think of The Sword in the Stone, its Blu-ray release was an absolute disgrace.

Steve Hulett said...

Diz Co. also tends to intensify colors for old classics. Lots of people have complained to me about the botched palette for "Pinocchio" on the Blu-Ray release. They seem to go back and look at an old cel setup instead of looking at a balanced Technicolor nitrate print.

Ah well ...

attmay said...

IIRC, Dumbo is the only one of the Blu-rays that used an IB Tech reference print.

I've been a Disneyphile since I was a toddler, so much so that practically bleed mouse blood, but I'm getting really sick of having to rationalize some of their really stupid decisions. Those who argue "but they're making money" are missing the point. They could be making even more money if they didn't cut every corner in sight.

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