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'Iron Man' Grows Blu-ray Sales, Busts Record

While Blu-ray Disc package product does not come close to rivaling standard DVD sales, each blockbuster movie that is issued on Blu-ray sets a new sales record for the 1080p disc standard and at least temporarily eats into the percentage of overall disc consumption by consumers. The latest example is "Iron Man," one of the year's biggest moneymakers in the theater, which was released on disc earlier this month.

Out of about 7.7 million total discs sold, more than a half-million were Blu-ray, and that stat (510,000) was the highest for a Blu-ray release in its first week of sales. The title's studio, Paramount, said the motion picture also broke the record for first-day sales and pre-orders (260,000), although it didn't break out standard DVD from Blu-ray units.

While recent Blu-ray disc sales have comprised no more than about 8 percent of all video disc sales to date (standard DVD gets the other 92 percent), the surge in purchases prompted by "Iron Man" grew Blu-ray's share to 13 percent, according to Nielsen VideoScan, at least for a few days. When pitted against its own standard DVD version (which was released on the same day as its Blu-ray edition), the Blu-ray content captured 17 percent of "Iron Man's" total disc sales on its release day, despite its higher price points (with MSRP averaging about $37 per Blu-ray title for the top three sellers listed below).

And while it currently sounds like a tall order, Walt Disney Co. is predicting that Blu-ray will begin to surpass standard DVD sales within two years.

For the week ending Oct. 4, these are Blu-ray's top sellers, according to tracking firm Rentrak:

  1. "Iron Man" (Paramount)
  2. "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (Universal)
  3. "Sex and the City: The Movie" (Warner Bros.)
  4. "Transformers" (Paramount)
  5. "The Godfather Collection: Coppola" (Paramount)
  6. "Speed Racer" (Warner Bros.)
  7. "The Forbidden Kingdom" (Lion's Gate)
  8. "Batman Begins" (Warner Bros.)
  9. "The Thing" (Universal)
  10. "Ultimate Unrated Comedy Collection" (Universal)