Further growth for U.K. DVD sales

'Ratatouille' top seller so far

LONDON — The economic downturn may have increasingly hard-up Brits’ shelving their exotic holiday plans but they are still happily forking out their hard-earned greenbacks on homevid discs.

That’s according to British Video Assoc. figs released July 7, which show sales of home entertainment discs are up 3.3% for the first half of 2008 on the same period in 2007.

“History has shown that in times of economic hardship, consumers find even more value in home entertainment when the leisure pound is stretched as it is,” commented Lavinia Carey, director general, BVA.

“As video is one of the most cost-effective forms of entertainment we would expect to see continued volume growth in our market as consumers tighten their belts in response to increasing economic uncertainty,” she added.

BVA partly attributes the uptick — 111.6 million sales in first half of this year up from 108.1 million in 2007 — to the increased level of consumer choice provided by hi-def formats. Blu-ray disc sales are up 506% year to date. Hi-def still only has a 1.2% share in the total market in the U.K.

The biggest seller so far of 2008 has been “Ratatouille,” which has sold 1.2 million copies. Other titles to top 800,000 are “Stardust,” “Atonement” and “The Golden Compass.”

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