The person who made that statement was none other than Steve Nickerson, senior VP of marketing for Warner's Home Video department. Home Media Retailing Magazine's Home Entertainment Summit attracts some of the top industry leaders as well as most of the studio execs from the home video departments including Steve Nickerson (Warner), Bob Chapek (Buena Vista), Michael Arkin (Paramount), Peter Staddon (Fox), and many more. The last three years since the annual summit was initiated, it has been a non-stop celebration over the massive success of DVD and ever increasing growth in sales, but things were quite different this year. The somber mood at the Summit was due to the recently released report on DVD sales and rentals by Digital Entertainment Group. Despite a 9.8% growth and an increase of $2.2 billion in revenue, the numbers showed a significant drop in growth of both DVD sales and rentals over a twelve month period ending March 2005. Like our friend Peter Staddon, VP of marketing for Fox Home Ent. said, most industries would kill to have that kind of growth, but even he is not underestimating the significance of such a large drop in growth: "The (DVD) industry must find ways to return to double-digit growth in order to remain robust in an age when nearly 85 percent of U.S. households will have at least one DVD player. Now we're at the time we've got to rely not on hardware to hand us growth on a silver platter. If we continue to provide great product, there's no reason why we can't propel market growth." The other hot topic on everyone's mind was the recent record-breaking box office slump the industry is currently facing. Some execs were quick to point out that they do not believe the success of DVD is the reason behind the drop in theater attendance, but rather the quality of the films being released. In addition, some execs suggested that they do not intend to shrink the release window for DVDs of new films in order to protect their theatrical interests, but this may change depending on the increase of video piracy. Warner announced a few weeks ago that they were considering releasing DVDs on the same day they release the films in a few select markets in order to combat piracy. Two months later they did just that for their release of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. On the other hand, several execs seemed to accept that the popularity of DVDs were at least partially to blame for the drop in theatrical attendance. Another important factor to consider is the ever improving and economical home theater systems currently available to consumers. There has been a real Renaissance in A/V technology these last few years resulting in tremendous advancements in the quality of A/V equipment and whose success in the marketplace has driven prices to record low levels. There was a lot of hope and expectation that the studio execs might discus the pending release of the Hi-Def DVD format(s), but apparently, this was a forbidden topic, which could be interpreted as further evidence that negotiations between the Blu-ray and HD DVD groups remain cold, but not yet abandoned.