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The state of the transactional film business 2009

Summary.... This report provides a review of the U.S. markets for feature film consumption, along with some strategic thinking about potential directions going forward.

Strong performance by the theatrical box office and rapid growth in Blu-ray and digital spending appear on track to bring total 2009 US film spending in at $28.4bn, down a fractional 0.3% from 2008. The volume of feature films, new-release and catalog, consumed across all the transactional markets—theatrical, home video retail and rental, video-on-demand and electronic sell-through—was up 4%. But the continued weakness in disc sales, where we estimate feature-film spending on DVD and BD combined will be down 13%, means spending on in-home film consumption will be down about 5%. That continued weakness—where robust growth in Blu-ray and on the Internet has not been enough to compensate for declines in DVD sales—prompted some of the thinking about potential windows and pricing changes contained in this exclusive AMR analysis.


  • Analysis of the trends driving increase spending at the US box office, including the impact of 3D exhibition at a premium price.
  • History and projections to 2013 of all US transactional film markets (theatrical, home video, video-on-demand, electronic sell-through).
  • Analysis of recent changes in US pricing and windows strategies, and the potential results of further shifts.

Tables and charts

Total movie transactions 1997-2009
Total movie spending 1997-209
Theatrical spending and admissions 2000-2009
Rental spending and transactions 2000-2009
2009 DVD vs. BD spending
2009 Online rental vs. retail transactions
2009 Online rental vs. retail spending
Total movies—spending and transactions
Current projections of transactional film markets (table)
Movie spending during recessions 1982-2009
Video format transitions 1997-2009
BD home disc purchases by format 2006-2013
Video rental share by type and average prices 1997-2013
Studio revenue per movie consumed (2008)
Windows and pricing: US market
US connected devices 2008 vs. 2013
Studio revenue from retail vs. rental 1997-2004
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