The Wall Street Journal says
tomorrow's release of the The Dark Knight
DVD will be a bellwether for the industry. The release comes in the midst of a recession, a shrinking DVD market and uncertainty about a Screen Actors Guild strike.
Batman's fate in a declining DVD market will be just one way the movie industry's claim of being recession-proof will be tested.
The Dark Knight
Several long-simmering problems are cresting simultaneously, threatening key profit centers and causing the movie industry to hunker down for an uncertain future.
DVD sales, which studios rely on to provide the bulk of feature-film profits, have dropped about 6% this year, according to consultant Adams Media Research. That is why the industry is focusing on the performance of "The Dark Knight," Hollywood's biggest blockbuster in years. As sales fall off for DVDs, their successor, high-definition, Blu-ray discs, aren't growing nearly fast enough to compensate. And digital distribution of films into the home via the Internet so far is just a blip on the radar.
is likely to be one DVD that does sell well especially since it is being released just before the holidays. The film also has some Oscar buzz going for it and a big Oscar campaign
from Warner Bros. Meanwhile, we are still waiting
to find out whether Christopher Nolan will direct the sequel.