Blu-ray Disc Sales Accelerate

January 23, 2008
Gauging from the first full week since Warner Bros. announced it was bailing out on HD DVD for its titles by this spring, Blu-ray Disc packaged content took a much bigger lead in short-term U.S. sales than usual.

For much of 2007, Blu-ray had been outselling its incompatible competitor by a factor of almost 2-to-1 in America (it was bit closer globally), but the second week of January 2008 showed Blu-ray’s share climbing to more than 80 percent of next-gen discs sold.

Perhaps more telling was that another sales report within the same time frame (the week ending Jan. 13) listing the top-10 HD discs indicated that none of them was an HD DVD release. The biggest-selling HD DVD disc, “The Kingdom” (the 2007 movie, not the Danish TV series of the same name just released on DVD) sold about 10 percent as many discs Blu-ray’s top title, the remake of “3:10 to Yuma,” according to Home Media Magazine.

The Russell Crowe Western was followed by Blu-ray titles “300” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”

Still, HD DVD titles had been selling just under 40 percent of all next-gen discs prior to the Warner announcement, which some analysts say still represents a significant slice of the pie. Observers will closely watch sales over the next few weeks to see if the one-week Blu-ray bump earlier this month (the last period where complete sales figures are available) continues or accelerates.

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