The sales of physical media, including Blu-Ray and DVDs, have been in decline for years, following the increased popularity of streaming services and a shift to digital movie releases.

Recently, Disney announced it was closing down its Movie Club program in Canada following a shift in consumer patterns to watching films on digital and Disney+. And now, according to Digital Bits, multiple industry, distributor, and retailer sources, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will be pulling out of distributing physical discs in Australia.

Over the past few years, many retailers in Australia and other countries, have slowly been withdrawing physical media, including video games, movies and music from sale, as audiences shift to digital platforms. Disney has previously stopped releasing movies on physical media in Latin America and across most of Asia. And it is likely other countries and regions will follow, as the sales of physical discs continue to fall.

For context, in the United States, in 2006, “Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest” sold 14,476,924 million discs.  In 2012, the highest-selling disc was “Hunger Games”, with 7,434,058 discs sold and in 2022, “Top Gun: Maverick” was the highest-selling DVD with 829,831 sold.  However, in 2023, currently, “Black Adam” is the highest-selling DVD of the year, with just 74,353 discs sold in the US.

Many movie fans are unhappy with this news, especially with a growing trend of streaming services like Disney+ making changes or removing content without notice. Disney has been releasing fewer of its films and shows on physical media over the past few years. Australian film collectors will still be able to import films from global retailers, but this will result in much higher costs due to international shipping etc.

“Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol 3” is set to be the last physical release in Australia, which arrives in stores in August. Previously released titles will continue to be on sale, but as stock is reduced, these may become unavailable over time.

Ultimately, as audiences have moved to watching films on streaming services such as Disney+ and buying/renting films on digital platforms, it now looks like it’s no longer sustainable to distribute physical discs in Australia.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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