Best Buy Gets Jump on Cult Blu-ray Titles

Call it possible niche marketing of only a handful of titles, but Best Buy isn't complaining. The big-box CE retailer has been given exclusive selling rights for a couple of Blu-ray titles that will remain within the realm of Best Buy for a little less than a month. The titles — "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" from Universal — were shipped to Best Buy outlets for placement last week (Aug. 25).

The films will be more widely distributed for purchase and rental on Sept. 22.

Although Universal did not spell out exactly what it was up to, several HD and Blu-ray Web sites consider Best Buy the best seller of Blu-ray content in the U.S., and since the two cult titles (both featuring British comedy actor Simon Pegg) generally coincide with much of Best Buy's core demographic customer base, it's likely the studio is trying to give Blu-ray consumers a chance to buy the titles a bit sooner than other customers, albeit at somewhat higher price points than the titles' standard DVD counterparts.

The Universal deal with Best Buy covers only the Blu-ray versions of both titles. If the sales numbers prove to be impressive, look for Universal to release that data in late September.