With the help of the big expansion of the DVD market, the DTV productions are selling better than ever...
It all begun with Aladdin's 'Return of Jafar', in 1994. At the time, Disney made this first ever direct-to-video animated sequel, an experiment. And it worked. Low budget production, high profits, and a different kind of animated films. Universal then followed them by making Land before time 2 as a DTV sequel, the same year.
Now there will be a Land before time 12...and it will probably not stop before a long time. Because this type of productions is highly profitable, and it is in full expansion.
I have found many articles saying the same thing : The 'Family/kids direct-to-video' section is booming! And this could be a hint for will be another Balto sequel...
The most important article, directly concern Balto since it talks about Universal. You'll find the article here :
Universal recently made big changes in his family unit, as an expansion. They have expanded this section by merging several of their teams, including Universal Cartoon Studios (responsible of the Balto sequels).
Here are some quotes taken from the article :
The creation of Universal Studios Home Entertainment Family Prods. aims to boost the studio's production and acquisition of animated and live-action DVD premieres in the family niche. The new unit also will create and acquire family fare for TV--both series and specials--though the ratio of TV DVD premiere production and the amount of output haven't been established.
Ross cited increases in the numbers of portable DVD devices and car DVD players as evidence that kids represent a growing market segment. 'This is not a restructuring to save money; this is about growth,' Kornblau said. 'This is the first time we've had a dedicated single-focus effort against the family business. We thought the timing was just right, in terms of video hitting ultimate and mass penetration.' 'As the family entertainment business continues to grow, the engine for continued growth will be the ability of our industry to identify new and creative programming to fuel demand,' he said.
Another article say the same thing, the same people add more comments :
Sales of non-theatrical children's DVDs, driven by established TV (Nickelodeon, PBS Kids) and toy brands (Mattel's Barbie), are on track to surge from 11 million units in 2003 to 51 million units in 2007, says Glenn Ross, head of Universal Studios Home Entertainment's new Family Productions division. The division was just formed to acquire and develop children's programming for DVD release.
'You can only release so many theatrical films a year. One of the places to grow is in direct-to-video product, particularly for kids,' Ross says.
For years, Universal has been mining its Land Before Time franchise with yearly direct-to-video sequels to the 1988 Steven Spielberg movie hit, but it now plans to significantly expand its footprint.
Finally, there will be a conference at the end of June :
Here's the content of the conference :
Pre-Conference Seminar: DVD Jr.Growing Up, Growing Out
The childrens DVD market is booming, and its one of the last big growth areas, particularly in the nontheatrical segment. Overall, the kidvid market is projected to grow from 17 percent of the business in 2004 to 28 percent by 2007. Nontheatrical, led by edutainment, is projected to quadruple over the same time frame. Panelists will discuss the growing audience for TV and direct-to-video product, promotions and marketing strategies, interactivity and special features plus the growing tie-ins with schools and libraries.
MODERATOR: Stephanie Prange, editor, Home Media Retailing.
PANELISTS: Gordon Ho, EVP, marketing and business development, Buena Vista Home Entertainment; Steven DeMille, SVP, marketing, First Look Home Entertainment; Anne Parducci, EVP, family entertainment and marketing, Lions Gates Home Entertainment; Glenn Ross, EVP and GM, Universal Studios Home Entertainment Family Productions.