DVD, HD discs sales drop to $937 million

BRUSSELS — The French video market slipped in the first half of this year, according to figures released Friday by the Centre National de la Cinematographie, Gaul’s government-backed film and TV funder.

Spending on DVDs and high-definition formats fell 7% compared with the same period last year, to Euros 596.82 million ($936.53 million). The volume of sales fell 4.7%, to 53.28 million discs.

Sales of high-definition formats are growing, but still only account for 1.3% of discs sold.

Feature films continue to dominate the French market, earning $553 million so far this year, up 2.1% on 2007.

This growth is driven by Hollywood, with sales up 2.6% to $361 million, and other international movies, up 16.3% to $96 million. Sales of French films fell 10.5% to $94 million.

However, takings in the film sector over the past 12 months are still down on 2006-07 by 4.2%.

Earnings from non-film discs in the first half of 2008 fell by 19% to $346 million.

The price of new release DVDs is stable at an average of $30.30, while back-catalogue prices have crept up 3.8% this year to $16.28 per disc.

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