DVD technology has also responded to our expanding entertainment universe. Where once films stood or fell based on their box office standings, now every movie is an opportunity to develop a world that takes advantage of both online and offline technologies. While classic merchandising products like toys and novelizations still make a lot of money for movie producers, the possibility of taking that experience online means the only limit is the creativity of the franchise team.
The largest science-fiction and fantasy franchises, such as "Star Wars" or "Lord of the Rings," are expected to debut alongside online communities, video and online gaming, and other real-world expansions of the universe. For many of these offerings, the DVD is the first invitation to this expanded experience.
By bundling the DVD with online codes, trial versions of online and offline games, product registrations and social-networking tie-ins, the studio can ensure that every consumer is exposed to advertising and attractive opportunities to interact with the brand that would have been unthinkable before our online lives become so important.
When you buy a DVD now, you're not just getting a film or special features: Increasingly, you're being exposed to a whole world of information about the project, in different formats and through different forms of interaction.