French first-half video sales down


PARIS -- Video is not in demand in France these days, with DVD and VHS sales dropping 7% in value and 4% in volume for the first semester of the year, according to figures from state film organization the CNC.

During the first six months of 2007, the French spent €635.9 million ($871.5 million) on DVDs and VHS tapes, marking a 5.2% drop over the past 12 months. Sales volumes remained relatively stable, with 55.9 million videos and DVDs sold during the first semester of 2007, compared with 55.7 million in 2006.

The average price of a DVD dropped 7%, to €11.40 ($15.62), compared with €12.27 ($16.81) during the first semester of 2006.

The CNC attributes the dip to a rise in box sets (representing 17.3% of total income versus 13.8% for the first part of 2006), a 3.75% drop in the price for new titles, to €19.27 ($26.41), and a 5.2% decrease in the average price of catalog titles to €9.31 ($12.76).

"The video market continues to be dominated by the cinema," the CNC said in a statement.

Film sales amounted to €339.1 million ($464.7 million) or 53.3% of total sales for the first semester of 2007, a 12.7% drop from the same period in 2006 and a 9.9% decrease over the past 12 months.

A total of 25.3 million movies in the video format were sold during the past six months, a 3.4% drop in volume compared will last year. Gallic titles appear to be doing just as well on video as they have in French theaters, with a market share of 20.1% compared with 18.7% in 2006.

About 5.1 million French DVDs and VHS tapes were sold during the first semester of the year, 5.7% more than the same period last year for a total of €68.2 million ($93.5 million), 6% less compared with 2006.

Meanwhile, French consumers purchased 16.4 million U.S. titles on DVD and video, a slim 0.3% drop from last year. The market share for U.S. movies reached 65%, compared to 60.6% for the first semester of 2006, but sales dropped 6.3% to €220.5 million ($302.2 million).
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