Hello Cruel World
Saturday, July 03, 2004
DVD: One Man's Flight of Fancy (MSNBC report)
MSNBC - One Man's Flight of Fancy
... Major studios sold a stunning $9.4 billion worth of DVDs to retailers last year, proof that DVDs now bring in a majority — 52 percent in 2003 — of Hollywood's revenue. Everyone noticed when the man most responsible for their good fortunes arrived: Warren Lieberfarb, former chief of Warner Home Video ... He didn't invent the technology. More important, he saw its potential to transform the industry. So he cajoled, strong-armed and bargained with industry players around the world to set aside their parochial interests and sign on to a universal standard for the new format. ...
Since it was introduced in the spring of 1997, the small silver platter he championed has transformed Hollywood and the way the world watches movies. Lieberfarb's dead-on hunch — that the masses would buy DVDs, not just rent them — helped ignite the greatest boom in Hollywood history, fundamentally altering the economics of filmmaking. Nowadays movie theaters merely begin the buzz for DVDs. We spent as much as $400 million on DVDs of "Finding Nemo," about $60 million more than at the box office. The prospect of issuing old films anew on DVD is behind Sony's current eagerness to sink perhaps $5 billion into buying MGM, with its trove of classics like "The Wizard of Oz."
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