Here's a little bit of encouraging news for the movie biz that came out this week: in 2009, ticket sales surpassed DVD sales for the first time in nearly 7 years. But it is something of a case of good news bad news.
Though the 2009 domestic box office is up by roughly 10 percent over the previous year, the reason it really beat out DVD and Blu-Ray is that disc sales dropped more than 13 percent, continuing a downward trend that began a couple years ago. And that trend is not likely to stop anytime soon given the number of cheap rental options (Redbox's 1$ per day) and new download options (Netflix streaming movies on X-Box).
Still, with Avatar packing them in, and grossing more than 1 billion worldwide, people seem to be going to the movies more. The key is getting them to see movies that aren't in 3D or don't blow up the world. That's the challenge for the indie sector which, despite all this good news, is still struggling with a lack of screens and an audience that waits for the films to appear on DVD.