Studios, Digital Platforms Seek ‘Mega’ Movie Campaign to Jumpstart Retail Sales in the U.K.

Hollywood and British studios have partnered for a retail marketing campaign in the United Kingdom intended to jumpstart digital sales of movies and TV shows in the over-the-top video era.

Dubbed “Mega Movie Week,” the campaign, which initially ran through Jan. 28, seeks to drive consumer awareness of the benefits of digital ownership through special deals and promotions.

Participating studios include BBC Studios, Entertainment One, HBO, Lionsgate, NBC Universal, Paramount Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, StudioCanal, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment U.K. and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Retail partners, which include Comcast’s Sky Store, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Rakuten TV, BT TV store, PlayStation Store, Microsoft and Chili, say the yearlong initiative hopes to engage new video consumers.

“The video category continues to offer audiences a huge degree of flexibility when it comes to ownership and consumption of physical and digital home entertainment products and we know that millions of us enjoy having access to a library of titles we love,” Liz Bales, CEO of BASE, said in a statement.

The trade group said 63% of consumers in 2018 rented or streamed movies and TV shows, while 37% preferred ownership of content on disc or download.

Analysis to the effectiveness of the “Mega” campaign will be done by the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) and The Digital Entertainment Group Europe (DEGE).

“Mega Movie Week represents an unprecedented collective vision from across the category to embrace an opportunity to capitalize on the growth of digital transaction seen in 2018 by encouraging engagement,” said BASE chairman Robert Price, who is also managing director at Fox Home Entertainment U.K.

 

 

British Home Entertainment Eyes Bullish Half-Year Sales

The British Association for Screen Entertainment said more than 38 million copies of movies and TV shows sold in the first six months of 2018, including 21% and 5% increases, respectively, in digital and disc sales of the Top 10 releases.

New releases represented 44% of sales in the world’s No. 2 home entertainment market, up 3% from the previous-year period.

Through the first-half of the year, digital retail represented 22.4% of revenue, up 6.9% from the previous-year period. Average consumer spending on digital transactions increased to £31.50 ($41.19).

Blu-ray Disc sales represented 12.9% of revenue – up 0.7% — with 4K UHD now representing 12% of the Blu-ray market. DVD generated 64.7% of sales, down from 72.3% last year.

“Whether you consider the performance of the top [sellers], the rise in digital transactions or the increased consumer spend on high-definition Blu-ray and 4K UHD titles, there is much to suggest that being able to access a film in your home … remains important to many,” Liz Bales, CEO at BASE, said in a statement.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’s The Greatest Showman ended the period as the top-selling title, with 1.4 million units sold. The movie is also Britain’s all-time fastest-selling digital release, with more than 500,000 units sold since May.

Robert Price, managing director at Fox Home Entertainment in the U.K., said there was much to be positive about the home entertainment sector thus far in 2018, especially in the context of a challenging trading environment and unsteady consumer confidence.

“As an industry we must ensure our relevance to audiences sustains,” Price said. “We need to capitalize on successes where we see them and be bold and collaborative in approaching challenges and meeting the needs of a customer base still clearly very much in love with ownership and collection.”

Other top-selling digital releases included Justice League (Warner Home Entertainment) with more than 170,000 digital copies sold; Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Fifty Shades Freed (120,000 units), and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Blade Runner 2049 from (112,000 digital copies).

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s Star Wars VII – The Last Jedi sold more than 1.03 million copies across all formats, and StudioCanal’s marmalade-eating bear found a home with more than 835,000 families with Paddington 2 (released by Warner in the United States)

Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sold more than 600,000 units since its release in April. Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther sold 513,000 units.