For the last two years, the Motion Picture Association of America, the lobbying group for the studios, has claimed that Hollywood loses $3.5 billion every year, almost all of it overseas, to the sale of illegally copied films, mainly on bootleg DVD’s and their cheaper Asian equivalent, video compact discs (VCD’s).
But the M.P.A.A. is far less forthcoming when asked how much money the Hollywood studios are making on legitimate foreign sales of home video (a category that includes DVD’s, VCD’s and VHS tapes).
“Those figures are confidential, and we don’t release them,” said Barbara Berger, a spokeswoman for the M.P.A.A.
[...] “For a long time, the film business was a single-digit business on investment return,” said Charles Roven, the producer of “Batman Begins” from Warner Brothers, a division of Time Warner. “Now, because of home video, it’s a low double-digit business, and the studios want to make sure it doesn’t go back into the single-digit business.”
Much later: The Framing Wars