'Skyfall' Tops U.K. DVD Sales Chart for 2013


Footage of a Chinese character dying, and references to prostitution and torture were edited out of the Chinese release of the 2012 James Bond film. One scene completely cut included a hitman (Ola Rapace) killing a Chinese security guard. In another, Bond (Daniel Craig) questions a woman (Berenice Marlohe) about her tattoo, which indicates she had been forced into prostitution as a child. The audio was kept in, but the subtitles instead read she was being extorted by the mob. When Javier Bardem’s Raoul Silva tells Bond about being captured in Hong Kong and then tortured, the subtitles did not tell the whole tale.

British consumers also spent 40.2 percent more on digital video entertainment in 2013, as more turned to tablets, smart TVs and streaming services.

Skyfall was the overall best-selling DVD and Blue-ray title in the U.K. in 2013, while the second season of Game of Thrones was the best-selling TV disc.

According to figures released on Tuesday by the British Video Association, consumer expenditure on video entertainment in the U.K. grew from $3.70 billion (£2.245) billion to $3.73 (£2.256 billion), driven by a 40.2 percent increase in spending on digital video entertainment -- for a total of $1.02 billion (£621 million) -- and a 10 percent rise in Blu-ray spending.

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The number of DVD sales in 2013 fell by 11.5 percent, but the overall video entertainment market in the U.K. remains dominated by physical formats, with more than 162.2 million unit sold this year. Despite the encroachment of digital sales, discs represented 73 percent of the U.K.'s total video retail and rental sectors by value, according to the BVA.

The spike in revenue from digital video entertainment reflects the growing number of people who are using connected devices to watch content on the proliferating number of legitimate streaming and video download services in and out of the home. Estimates cited by the BVA suggest that over 10 million tablets were sold in the U.K. in 2013, along with 1.8 million smart TVs.

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Commenting on the report, Lavinia Carey, director general of the BVA said, “The industry has no doubt that viewers’ up-take of digital services will continue to grow over the coming year, but at the other end of the market there’s also huge appeal in DVD and the crystal clear sound and picture of a Blu-ray disc on a big high-definition TV sitting back with friends or family. More and more of us are doing both.”

The second-best-selling disc by volume in the U.K. in 2013 was The Hobbit -- An Unexpected Journey, followed by Les Miserables, Despicable Me 2, The Twilight Saga -- Breaking Dawn, Monsters University, Star Trek -- Into Darkness, Django Unchained, Life of Pi and Man of Steel, respectively.