The Official Word on Fox's Rental Window

Fox have issued this statement with regard to their controversial decision to trial a rental window in the UK;

Fox Pathe is to be the first distributor to trial a rental window on DVD in the UK market.

This will begin with the releases of Fight Club and Anna and The King shortly after their respective VHS rental debuts and some months ahead of retail.

Fox Pathe estimates that DVD sections are present in over 75% of rental outlets and that stores with strong DVD sections are reporting that the format is now accounting for an average in the region of 5% of rental turnover with some stores reporting revenues in excess of this figure.

The rental VHS release date for Fight Club is the 1st May 2000. This will be followed by a Rental only DVD release in June 2000.

The rental VHS release date for Anna and The King is the 12th June 2000. This will be followed by a rental DVD release in July 2000.

The DVD will be a straight digital version of the film with no added extras. Special features will be available for the retail release which is scheduled for November 2000. Consumer research conducted in December 1999 by the Research Business International indicated that for current DVD users the main perceived advantages of DVD over VHS are the better picture quality (63%) and better sound quality (54%), with only 15% siting 'extras' as one of the perceived advantages.

In August 2000, a full simultaneous VHS rental and DVD rental release for the Leonardo Di Caprio blockbuster 'The Beach' is planned.

A spokesman from Blockbuster commented that 'we have seen phenomenal success from rentals of DVD in all of our stores, and this is surpassing all our expectations. An increasing number of our customers are now looking to be able to rent a wider range of films on DVD.'

Thanks to The Region 2 DVD Database Project for the heads-up on that one.

Carl Prescott

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