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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