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Blu-ray Sales: High Definition Reaches New Heights

November 23rd, 2011

It was a record-breaking week on Blu-ray as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 made its debut on the home market. That film crushed competition selling 2.71 million units / $60.75 million during its debut, which is even more impressive, as it was released on Friday and not Tuesday. By comparison, Avatar sold 2.55 million units and generated $52.80 million during its debut. (It was also a Friday release, so the comparisons are valid.) Its opening Blu-ray ratio was 49%, which is a little lower than some first run releases have earned. However, I think some of the people who are most likely to buy the films on high definition would either grab the Box Set, or perhaps are waiting for next year's Uber collection. Even without taking into account the box set numbers, the film is instantly in seventh place on the all time chart and, by this time next week, it should be in second place. (It will be a while before Avatar is dethroned). Cars 2 was way back with 377,000 units / $9.53 million over the week and 2.14 million units / $54.09 million after two. This is excellent for a kids show, even one with a pretty high level of crossover appeal. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 shot into third place with 323,000 unis / $4.20 million for the week giving it total of 3.44 million units / $73.52 million after seven months of release. It is currently in third place on the all-time chart and should top Inception shortly, but Part 2 will overtake it at the same time. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides earned fourth place with 172,000 units / $4.30 million pushing its running tally to 2.51 million units / $68.41 million, after three weeks of release. It was a critical miss, but a financial success. Rounding out the top five was The Change-Up with 159,000 units / $3.37 million. Its Blu-ray ratio was 39%, which is higher than I was expecting. Comedies usually don't sell this well on high definition.

Harry Potter: Box Set debuted in eighth place with 121,000 units / $9.68 million. The rest of the franchise also charted pulling a combined 413,000 units / $11.21 million, which would have been enough for second place on the overall chart.

The overall Blu-ray market continued to show incredible strength. Compared to last week, it was up by 42% in terms of units and it was the first time the market topped 5 million units, maybe. It was very, very, very close and if there's any miniscule adjustment downward later on, we will miss that milestone. Blu-ray sales were also up in terms of revenue growing 38% to $123 million. Both of these numbers represented records for the format. Compared to last year, Blu-ray rose 359% in terms of units and 357% in terms of revenue. That's stunning. Growth like that would normally lead me to believe Blu-ray was in the process of swallowing DVD as the dominant format; however, DVD sales actually had better growth on a week-to-week basis. Blu-ray still represented 43% of all units sold and 55% of all revenue, but that was a little lower than we've seen recently.

I'm not looking forward to next week, as the biggest new Blu-rays are all catalogue titles like Evil Dead II. As much as I loved the Blu-ray, I don't think it will sell that many copies. Hopefully Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 will hold on well during its first full week of release. As for last year, there were three new releases that were able to reach the top five on the DVD Sales Chart, but none cracked 1 million units. This could be a relatively weak week for Blu-ray.


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Filed under: Video Sales, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, Cars 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Change-Up