M+E Daily

At Blu-Con: Home Entertainment Gets CNBC Close-Up

CNBC stopped in at the Digital Entertainment Group’s Blu-Con 2.0 conference in Los Angeles to get a read on Blu-ray and the home entertainment industry’s prospects for returning to growth.

Blu-Con keynote Jessica Reif-Cohen, of Merrill Lynch, told the business news network that it’s “way too early to call the end of home video” from this year’s DVD sales decline. This year has in fact seen “pockets of profitability,” Reif-Cohen notes, “depending on the studio.”

To Reif-Cohen’s point, movies were key contributors to third-quarter earnings for both Time Warner and News Corp. Despite the economy, strong box-office performance of films such as Warner’s “The Hangover” and Fox’s “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” bodes well for the holiday-season home entertainment window.

In a separate Blu-Con interview with CNBC, Warner Home Video president Ron Sanders expressed his confidence that consumer home entertainment habits will return “to the old ways” as the economy rebounds. Sanders says his studio “fully expect[s]” Blu-ray, along with digital distribution, to eventually reach the revenue levels of the DVD business — and for the industry to “get back to growth” in 2010 or 2011.