More than 740 million DVDs were shipped to retail stores during the first half of this year versus 772 million during the first half of 2005, according to figures compiled for the Digital Entertainment Group. In an interview with today's (Wednesday) Los Angeles Daily News, Steve Nickerson, senior vice president of market management for Warner Home Video, observed, "What we've seen in the first half of the year is a natural, expected slowing of DVD sales." But Ralph Tribbey, editor of DVD Release Report, told the Daily News that the slight decline in sales could simply be attributed to the fact that there were few blockbusters released theatrically in 2005. "But I think in the third and fourth quarters, things will go up and offset the early decline," Tribbey said.