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Lessons learned on disc drive label

Cannes Daily Spotlight 2012: Revolver @ 15

Founded in the home-entertainment sector, Revolver spent nearly seven years specializing in DVD distribution before it branched out into the theatrical arena. Since entering the DVD market in 2001, the company has sold more than 8 million units.

Its early years were peppered with a number of retail hits, including “Doggystyle,” which sold around 100,000 copies and generated around £1 million ($1.6 million) in revenue for the company, and dance docu “Darrin’s Dance Grooves,” which accompanied the launch of “Pop Idol” and sold 120,000 copies in just three weeks.

“The early releases were massive successes for a company of just six people,” says CEO Justin Marciano, pointing to a refashioned Richard Pryor stand-up act from 1978 as one of its first significant hits. “That film had never been available on DVD. We restored it, cleaned it up and then re-educated an entire generation on who Richard Pryor was.”

To date, its top five homevid titles are “Kidulthood” (which sold more than 700,000 units), “Richard Pryor: Live in Concert” (400,000 in the U.K.), “Anuvahood,” “Shank” and “Tyson.”

Looking back, Marciano says, “We probably wouldn’t be able to have that success with them today because of things like YouTube and other Internet portals.”

Revolver also has an office of five people in Los Angeles, which focuses primarily on DVD acquisitions and DVD releases in the U.S.

“Having an office in the U.S. has been interesting for us as it’s a massive heads-up for what we can expect here,” says Marciano, who inked a deal with Netflix that applies to both the U.K. and U.S. arms of his company.

“We’re embracing digital,” he says. “I’m excited by the fact that I can tell you about a great movie now and this afternoon you could be watching it on your sofa.”

Cannes Daily Spotlight 2012: Revolver @ 15
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