Golden Globes, Oscars Can Greenlight Sales

LOS ANGELES ( TheStreet) -- It's lovely that the Golden Globe Awards and Academy Awards give film fans a red-carpet respite from a gray winter, but can they move product?

The answer the movie industry would love to hear this awards season is yes, as home entertainment sales have been as depressing as Black Swan for the past half-decade or so. According to Digital Entertainment Group, home entertainment sales and rentals brought in $18.8 billion last year, down from $19.4 a year earlier and part of a steady decline from a peak of $21.8 billion in 2004.

The Social Network, the story of the creation of Facebook, made its DVD and Blu-ray debut last week, but a slew of Golden Globe wins Sunday doesn't guarantee sales.

Golden Globes favorite and presumed Academy Awards nominee The Social Network made its DVD and Blu-ray debut last week, but sadly it could have received more exposure by being posted to Sony ( SNE)-held Columbia Pictures' Facebook page. DVD sales and rental revenue fell 11%, to $14 billion. While Blu-ray sales were up 53%, to $2.3 billion, and Nielsen VideoScan found that Blu-ray market share had grown from 8% of all home video in February to 22% in the first week of this year, results have been unpredictable -- with market share jumping to 22% for the release of Avatar in April to 9% when television-show box set sales dominated in August. Some shows aren't available on Blu-ray.

So do the awards have any impact? It depends on the award and the film. After winning Best Animated Feature Film honors at last year's Golden Globes, Disney's ( DIS) Up saw a sales bump from $1.3 million before the ceremony to nearly $1.4 million the week afterward -- yet sold 3,000 fewer units in the same stretch, according to Nash Information Services, showing an incentive to buy without discounts. The bro comedy The Hangover, meanwhile, actually saw sales decline more than 20% after taking home the Golden Globe for Best Movie or Comedy.

With the exception of The Hurt Locker and Inglourious Basterds -- which were released weeks before the Golden Globes and saw sales slump 57% and 32% respectively after the Golden Globes were handed out -- most of the award-worthy fare bypassed the Golden Globes and the February Academy Award nominations altogether in favor of DVD and Blu-ray release dates to just after the Oscars. The one exception -- the Coen brothers' Best Picture-nominated A Serious Man -- failed to crack the top 10 when it was released just after the nominations in early February and fell off the chart completely a week later.

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