MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) announced that the company’s Blu-ray Disc sales across Europe have reached 250,000 while sales in North America are nearing the one million mark approaching the fourth quarter with the Blu-ray launch of the highly anticipated blockbuster Spider-Man 3 and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
These follow last week’s announcement that sales of the high-definition format in six emerging markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Eastern Europe, South Africa and the Middle East now account for 10 per cent of SPHE’s total business in the growing regions.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment president worldwide David Bishop said, “These sales milestones across the world illuminate the positive reception from retailers and consumers alike for Blu-ray. Our strong fourth quarter line-up will underscore the confidence in this format.”
Since the European launch of the PS3 in March, weekly sales of Blu-ray Disc titles have averaged between two- and five-times the amount of HD DVD sales week over week.
Blu-ray High-Def software now accounts for 69 per cent of the total high-definition market in Europe, with SPHE titles making up more than 47 per cent of the total European Blu-ray market. SPHE also holds the #1 best selling high-definition title in Europe — Casino Royale.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment senior vice president, Europe Simon McDowell added, “With the breadth of titles already available on Blu-ray, the format is out-selling HD-DVD by more than 2:1 in Europe. Going into Q4, SPHE has a strong slate on deck and support from retailers, which should further propel momentum for Blu-ray.”
As part of the company’s fourth quarter Blu-ray Disc line-up, Spider-Man will be making his way to Blu-ray with the much anticipated release of Spider-Man 3 in Europe from 15 October. Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 will also be exclusively available for the first time on Blu-ray High-Def in the Spider-Man High Definition Trilogy Set.
Steven Spielberg’s classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind will be released in Europe on Blu-ray Disc from 12 November. All three versions of the film are included on one 50GB disc through seamless branching.
SPHE was the first studio to release Blu-ray titles in Europe and SPHE has released a broad selection of Blu-ray Disc titles since the format’s initial launch including Casino Royale and Black Hawk Down. To date SPHE has released more than 40 Blu-ray High-Def titles across Europe, with more than 30 titles scheduled for release between now and Christmas in Europe.