Digital Entertainment Group: box office, home video spending down

Total U.S. consumer spending on home entertainment in the first quarter of 2011 is down nearly 10% year-over-year thanks to a similar yearly drop off of 25% in overall box office take according to a new report filed by analyst The Digital Entertainment Group.

Digital Entertainment Group: box office, home video spending down

Citing the lack of big home releases so far this year and the Easter holiday just missing the Q1 fiscal cut-off, the DEG report (.pdf) found a decline of 18% in the sale of home entertainment software.

Industry site Home Media Magazine pointed out one of the “tentpoles” that buoyed 2010s Q1 earnings when compared to 2011s less-than-stellar performance: the release of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” which earned over $300 million in U.S. theaters and then sold around four million copies on DVD and Blu-ray over its first weekend on market in March.

Two bright spots in the otherwise dim findings are the uptick in both Blu-ray hardware and software sales (up 13% and 10%), and that electronic content sales received a 10% boost in sales. The downside of the latter is that brick-and-mortar stalwarts simultaneously suffered a 36% blow to their bottom line as more and more consumers opt for online alternatives over traditional options.

Research group NPD filed a report last month with similar findings, though specified physical media would not disappear altogether despite short-term drops.

The DEG concluded it “expects a number of growth opportunities for the remainder of 2011,” specifically theatrical and home releases offered in the latter half of the year. However, it expects overall spending for the year to remain “flat, or up slightly.”