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September 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Philippe Dauman

If movie stars are no longer able to command fees of tens of millions of dollars from studios, they can blame the slump in DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales, Viacom chief Philippe Dauman indicated on Wednesday. Speaking at an investors conference in New York, Dauman said that while revenue from digital platforms has helped to offset lower receipts from packaged media, studios have nevertheless been forced to restructure their deals with actors, producers and directors as a hedge against a film’s possible failure. As a result studios are showing a greater willingness to share profits with filmmakers in order to lower their upfront costs. As reported by Home Media magazine, Dauman, whose company owns Paramount studios, told the conference, “We don’t mind sharing the upside [of a movie with talent] as long as we don’t have a downside, or we have a sharing of that risk.” Dauman said that Viacom is among a number of content owners by restructuring their deals with subscription video-on-demand services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. “Happily, digital revenues are growing,” Dauman said, but he expressed doubt that they would ever produce the sizable receipts that DVD sales once did.