French Home Entertainment Sales Drop 10.5 Percent in First Half

Thierry Valletoux Copyright: © 2011 Gaumont - Quad
"The Intouchables"

U.S. movies saw a decline, but still hung on to a market share of over 60 percent.

PARIS -- DVD sales continued their decline in France as sales of home entertainment fell again in the first half of 2013.

A report comparing year-over-year numbers from France’s National Cinema Center (CNC) shows that sales were down 10.5 percent to $575.5 million (€439.9 million) compared with the first half of 2012. 

The latest numbers from the organization, which tracks the film business as well as funds filmmakers, follows on the annual report released in January that showed 2012 sales were down 8.5 percent from 2011. The latest figures indicate a slow but steady decline in home entertainment sales across the country.

For the first six months of 2013, DVD sales were down 15.8 percent to $446.7 million (€341.5 million), with Blu-ray Discs being the only ray of light in the physical sales market, with a gain of 1.5 percent to $128.6 million (€98.3 million). Blu-rays now make up 22.4 percent of physical video sales.

That works out to a total of 40.77 million DVDs sold and 6.53 million Blu-rays making their way into homes. But overall, household spending on physical videos fell 12.5 percent from the first half of 2012.

Sales of American films were down 6.8 percent to $225 million (€171.9 million) in the first half of 2013. Still, French viewers took home 14.2 million DVDs and Blu-rays from January through June -- for a 63.8 percent market share of videos sold in France.

The declines were across the board for films, TV series and children’s animation, though French films were hardest hit, with a 37.3 percent decrease in sales compared to the first half of last year. However, early 2012 saw the release of The Intouchables -- the French feel-good juggernaut that broke records in theaters and home entertainment sales -- which spurred huge numbers last year.

The CNC looked at video sales across outlets, including mail orders and Internet sales.