Blu-ray disc movie sales cross million mark

MUMBAI: Total Blu-ray Disc movie sales across Europe have topped one million units as per the Blu-ray Disc Association European Promotions Committee.

Of the high definition movie discs bought by consumers year-to-date in Europe, 73 per cent were in the Blu-ray Disc format and 27 per cent were HD DVD, according to sales data provided by Media Control Gfk International.

The only high definition packaged media universally supported by the film, music, gaming and computer industries, BD is a leading company selling high definition packaged media. The one million unit milestone relates to movies only. If BD game disc production is added into the equation, then total number of discs produced for sale in Europe already exceeds 21 million units. The so-called ‘PlayStation effect’ is important since it is creating major economies of scale and makes BD disc replication cost effective.

Blu-ray Disc movie sales experienced their highest weekly sales since the inception of the format, in week 44, topping 66,000 units. This is due to the launch of new release titles such as 300, Spider-Man 3, Die Hard 4.0 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

Blu-ray Disc European Promotions Committee chairman Frank Simonis said, “This is an important milestone for Blu-ray Disc in Europe and proves once again that whenever consumers have the choice they decide overwhelmingly in favour of BD. Early indicators show that the Christmas holiday season will be exceptionally good for Blu-ray Disc across all categories from packaged media to standalone players and BD capable games consoles.”

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment worldwide president Bob Chapek believes that this news is the prelude for an exponential growth period in BD sales.

“Blu-ray will inevitably prevail because Blu-ray delivers what consumers want: True High Definition picture without compromise, the best sound quality, the best choice in content, the most in special features, and of course the most disc storage capacity. No tradeoffs. No compromises,” commented Chapek. < Page Break >

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment worldwide president Mike Dunn added, “I think European consumers realize the future is ‘Blu.’ The certainty that Blu-ray will be the successor to DVD boils down to one simple truth: Blu-ray technology is just better. It was created as a new format with plenty of room ready to serve movies, music, gaming and computing — and sometimes all four at once. Having nearly 70 per cent more capacity on a Blu-ray disc, compared to a HD DVD disc, makes Blu-ray ‘future proof’ and allows for unbridled creativity as new interactive features evolve.”

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment worldwide president David Bishop said, “The extremely strong performance of Blu-ray in Europe in a relatively short period of time is no surprise and clearly demonstrates that consumers are embracing Blu-ray as the high definition format of choice. As in the United States, Blu-ray continuously outsells HD DVD by a ratio of more than more than two to one, and 3:1 since the launch of the PlayStation 3 in Europe. Consumer spending is sending an obvious message and this growing sales margin leaves little doubt that Blu-ray is on-track to ultimately win this format war worldwide.”

In Europe, Blu-ray Disc’s sales lead over the rival HD DVD format, increasing monthly since the PS3’s release in March (outselling HD DVD by 2:1 YTD and 3:1 since the launch of the PS3). The launch of the PS3 was seen as a turning point for the Blu-ray Disc format across Europe, with weekly movie sales of Blu-ray Disc titles averaging between two- and five-times the amount of HD DVD sales week over week.

The best selling Blu-ray titles year-to-date are 300 – the number one selling title in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux and Sweden and Casino Royale – the number one selling title in UK and Ireland.

Blu-ray Disc is a next generation optical disc format developed for High Definition video and high-capacity software applications. A single-layer Blu-ray Disc holds up to 25 gigabytes of data and a dual-layer Blu-ray Disc holds up to 50 gigabytes of data. This greater storage capacity enables the Blu-ray Disc to store over six times the amount of content than is possible with current DVDs, and is particularly well-suited for High Definition feature films with extended levels of additional bonus and interactive material, as well as next generation computer games.

Blu-ray Disc also features the most advanced copy protection, player backward compatibility with the current DVD format, connectivity and advanced interactivity. Showcasing picture quality with six times the resolution of DVD and theatre quality uncompressed audio for the purest digital sound, the cutting-edge discs also feature enhanced and integrated menus, games, high definition bonus materials and Java-encoding for more dynamic interactivity.