‘Lost’ translates to DVD, bigscreen

Marketing for both mediums helps overall business

HOLLYWOOD — Maybe simultaneous DVD sales won’t hurt movie theater ticket sales or TV ratings after all.

Consumers snapped up 1 million copies of “Lost in Translation” last week while moviegoers continued to shell out for tickets to see the movie on 600 screens, where it declined a relatively modest 19% from the previous week’s box office biz.

But the big question is whether “Lost’s” simultaneous success on the bigscreen and on DVD will, well, translate to other movies.

“The continued success of the ‘Lost in Translation’ theatrical release has shown us that the DVD and theatrical release patterns have not affected one another,” said Focus Features head of distribution Jack Foley.

“That said, we believe that the phenomenon of ‘Lost in Translation’ succeeding in both mediums is unique and indicative of the incredible support for this special film.”

Universal Home Video prexy Craig Kornblau noted the marketing for both mediums is helping overall business in theaters and DVD, as people have the unique freedom on this title to choose the way they want to see it.

“There is tremendous word of mouth for this title, and the reality with today’s consumers is that those who want to have an evening out and enjoy the theatrical experience will still do that, while those who want to own the movie buy it.

“Is this a case of one plus one equaling more than two? We’ll see,” Kornblau said.

Meanwhile, in another case of multimedia synergy, sales doubled on BBC Video’s first season of “The Office” in the first week after the show won two Golden Globe awards, including comedy series.

Unit sales for the first season, released on DVD four months ago, now stand at more than 100,000.

The second season is airing on BBC America and comes to DVD April 20 — when BBC America will start a new cycle of airing the first season.

The company plans an extensive ad campaign around the release of season two.

” ‘The Office’ looks like it will turn out to be BBC Video’s fastest-selling comedy ever in North America,” said Burton Cromer, VP of homevideo and BBC Direct.