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TW Japan cuts DVD prices

From high of $47 to $23.50

TOKYO — Time Warner Entertainment Japan this fall will cut the suggested retail price for all of its DVDs on the Japanese market to 25,000 yen ($23.50). The price cut will likely be followed by other DVD sellers in the country.

DVDs in Japan have been priced from about $32-$47 but Time Warner’s Japan unit got the ball rolling toward cheaper prices this spring when it dropped prices to $23.50 for 40 popular movies such as “Lethal Weapon 4” and “City of Angels.”

“A drop in DVD prices should help make the media more attractive to Japanese consumers,” a Time Warner Japan spokesman said.

The company is thinking of a further DVD price drop to $18.80. It has 132 titles available for the Japanese market with “The Matrix” being one of its top sellers.

Japan’s DVD market started to take off this spring with the launch of Sony’s PlayStation2 game machine, which is also capable of playing DVDs. According to industry estimates, DVD sales in Japan in 2000 will triple from a year earlier and hit about $1 billion.

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