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AFM Panelists: Disc Still Spinning at Independent Studios

While much of the discussion among panelists at the virtual American Film Market running Nov. 1-5 has been about digital distribution, independent supplier speakers have also noted that physical disc is still an important part of the pipeline.

“We still will release a DVD and Blu-ray on each film,” said Michael Murphy, president of Gravitas Ventures. “That’s going to be manufacture-on-demand in most cases. Our filmmakers like that, and if we can do it in a cost-effective manner, it’s still worth it.”

Disc revenue is still hanging on and filling the coffers at Screen Media.

At Screen, DVD has been a surprisingly stubborn revenue stream,” said Michael Messina, EVP of distribution at Screen Media. “And it’s actually grown for us in recent years after obviously dropping for a very long time. The past two to three years we’ve seen strong DVD sales.”

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J.J. Caruth, president of domestic marketing and distribution at The Avenue, noted Redbox is a key part of keeping the disc spinning.

“We’re still seeing some DVD revenue and, of course, Redbox is a part of that,” he said. “If you can do a deal with Redbox, there’s definitely some money to be made there as well for the right genre of movie.”

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