the world digest


Gone to market

LONDON — British DVD sales in January soared 17% from the year-ago period as distributors dumped huge quantities of back-catalog titles through the big grocery chains at prices scarcely credible a few years ago, according to figures obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. Heavy discounting of such catalog films as "Scarface" and "Babe," available at Tesco for £2.84 ($5.50) and £1.97 ($3.80), respectively, meant that the average cost of a DVD fell to just £7.58 ($14.66) for the month. The estimated value of the DVD market was £146.4 million ($283.2 million) in January, down 1.6% from the previous January.

Gori library sold

ROME — Italian broadcaster Mediaset on Thursday agreed to pay €5.9 million ($7.8 million) for rights to the 138 films that make up the archives of beleaguered producer Vittorio Cecchi Gori. The rights expire at the end of 2011. Among the films added to Mediaset's stable are Oscar winners "Mediterraneo" and "La Vita e' Bella" (Life Is Beautiful), along with the Italian rights to Hollywood productions "Terminator 2: Judgement Day," "The English Patient" and "Carlito's Way." Cecchi Gori said in October that it would sell rights to its film archive as a way to raise cash.

Telespan taps Angulo

MADRID — Maria Angulo has been appointed commercial director of Spanish production house Telespan 2000, the Madrid-based company said Thursday. In her new position, she will handle the commercialization of the company's film, TV and new technology properties as part of a diversification strategy. Angulo comes to the post from the Sogecable group, where she worked as the head of acquisitions for distribution branch Sogepaq and handled production responsibilities within the Sogecine label.