This could be a big boost for the entertainment industry’s streaming initiative, which has been struggling to ignite consumer interest. Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer told analysts in a conference call this morning that the discs, which go on sale August 18, will also offer opportunities for buyers to access UltraViolet streamed versions via Walmart and Time Warner’s Flixster. The studio has high expectations for Hunger Games, the biggest home video release Lionsgate’s ever had: It says that two-thirds of the film’s profits are yet to be collected — and most of the cash will come from consumer sales. Execs say that they’re encouraged by retailer pre-orders, including from Apple’s iTunes. The studio is helping retailers to attract fans to stores on Friday night before the official sale date, for example by offering special signage and packaging. There’s also a co-promotion arrangement with Amazon for Kindle Fire owners. “Our revenues right now from licensing and merchandising of Hunger Games are ahead of our plan,” Feltheimer says.
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