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US: Deep DVD discounts to drive the latest blockbusters

Faced with softening sales, studios are resorting to fast discounts on the latest DVD releases, with Warner Home Video working with US retailer Best Buy to make Watchmen available for just $9.99 (around £6.25) from this weekend.

That's just ten days after the title was released.

Reporting the move, trade publication Video Business says it follows similar promotions on Grand Torino, which was $10 in Target stores less than week after its release, and He's Just Not That Into You. Both are Warner titles.

Video Business quotes sources as saying that Warner offered $5 per disc rebates to some retailers to make the bargain pricing possible, but adds that "It’s not yet clear how Best Buy will be able to slash Watchmen to $9.99".

It also reports that this may impact on the availability of titles at smaller independent retailers, which feel they can't compete with the aggressive pricing so soon after initial release.

It notes that other studios have offered incentives to retailers on other titles, such as the second movie in the Madagascar franchise and Milk, but that these have happened some time after release date.

At the moment, Warner is alone in offering these rapid price-cuts on new release titles.