French DVD sales on wane

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PARIS -- French DVD sales dropped 10.7% in value and 4.1% in volume in 2007, state-run film organization the CNC said Wednesday.

French consumers spent 1.5 billion euros ($2.2 billion) on DVDs and VHS tapes for the year, with DVD sales representing 99.9% of the total market. Only 360,000 VHS tapes were sold in the territory.

More than 130.4 million DVDs including 540,000 high-definition DVDs were sold in Gaul in 2007 for a total of 14.3 million euros ($20.9 million).

The average price of a DVD dropped 2.5% to 10.56 euros ($15.43), while the average price of new releases fell 3.7% to 19.56 euros ($28.59).

Feature films continue to dominate the video market in terms of value, according to the CNC. Feature films took in 775.8 million euros ($1.1 billion), representing 52.4% of total market revenue in 2007. Advertising on the video and DVD format dropped a steep 18.7%.

The "non-feature film" category saw its revenue drop 9.9% over the year to 665.1 million euros ($972.2 million), a dramatic change from 2006, when the category saw a 7.6% increase in sales.

French films took an impressive 23.7% market share, compared with 22.8% in 2006 and 21.5% in 2005. Some 13.4 million Gallic titles on DVD and VHS were sold in 2007 for a total revenue of 184.1 million euros ($269 million), a 7.4% drop compared to 2006.

U.S. films also saw a dip in revenue over the year, with U.S. titles making 483.1 million euros ($706.2 million), a 7.7% decrease from 2006.

Market share for U.S. films, however, rose steadily from 60.1% in 2006 to 62.3% in 2007.

The French public purchased 36.1 million U.S. DVDs and videos last year, just 1.1% less than in 2006.

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