In our quarterly assessment of classic titles released on DVD, we can actually report that more titles were released (60) during this past third quarter, than in third quarter 2008 (55). However, that is mainly due to two companies with vastly increased output (VCI & Sony).
Year to date, classic releases on DVD are down 27%. And we are likely to see worse year to year numbers when all is said and done for 2009. This is mainly due to the fact that new releases for feature films from the major studios have come to a halt. In fact, not a single new release of a feature film was announced in the entire month of September (Warner Archive, Blu-Ray & Re-Releases Excluded).
The top chart (below) compares releases during the third quarter this year and last. The bottom chart compares releases for the first nine months of 2009 with 2008.
- Sony was up last quarter mainly thanks to their Screwball Comedy Sets
- Universal was up, but is down for the year overall and is likely to remain so even with the upcoming Claudette Colbert Collection
- Paramount is up and continues to make use of its T.V. library
- Warner is down drastically, but the stats do not take into account the Warner Archive Collection which at present sits at 253 titles
- MGM & Fox: Are they still in business?
- VCI continues to excel with its British sets, Serials, Westerns & mainly B selections
- Criterion is up with three recent Art House releases in addition to That Hamilton Woman
- Infinity is even, but we can expect Spike Jones and Jerry Lewis sets this fall
- Kino is down for the quarter and way down for the year to date
- Shout! Factory is even, but their overall pace has slowed too
- Timeless Media is up and will probably be about even for the year
- MPI is down while Flicker Alley and All Day look to be comfortable at a one release a year pace
We have permanently stopped tracking the studios below as they seem to have abandoned classic film releases all together. Could Fox & MGM be next?
- Legend Films
- Weinstein Co.
- Classic Media
- Image Entertainment
- S'More Entertainment
- Only titles that are new to DVD are counted (no "Special Editions" or Blu-ray)
- Boxed sets count the tiles in the set and not the set itself (ex. The recently released Doris Day Spotlight Collection counts as 5 and not 1)
- Re-released titles don't count, except ones that are were out of print (ex. Rembrandt in the recent Korda Eclipse Collection)
- Not included here are PD labels like Alpha
- Warner Archive titles are not included
- Yellow is for studios behind last year's pace. Green for ahead.
DVD SCORE CARD - Third Quarter:
DVD SCORE CARD - Year to Date: