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'Bourne Ultimatum' Delivers at Retail

17 Dec, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The Bourne Ultimatum, the third installment of the action thriller franchise, through Sunday outperformed its predecessors by selling more than 5.4 million DVDs and generating $95 million in revenue since its Dec. 11 release.

The Universal Studios Home Entertainment release was expected to top $100 million in DVD sales Dec. 17. The theatrical release generated $227 million in U.S. box office revenue.

The results include HD DVD sales as Ultimatum also was released Dec. 11 as a combo with standard DVD, according to a Universal spokesperson.

In addition, Ultimatum outsold Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's Spider-Man 3 in comparative first week unit sales, according to Nielsen VideoScan/First Alert data cited by an HD DVD Group spokesperson. The results do not include comparative box sets tallies.

“We expect Ultimatum to hold the lead once both sets are counted,” said the spokesperson.

A SPHE spokesperson countered that Spider-Man 3 sold 5.4 million units during first week sales (ended Nov. 4), which he said included Blu-ray. The tally does not factor in about 1.5 million Blu-ray copies that were bundled with PlayStation 3 devices.

“At some level you have to consider that a sale,” said the spokesperson.

The studio said the “Bourne” series, which stars Matt Damon, was the only trilogy in 2007 to have each consecutive film in the series increase both its box office and packaged media revenues over the previous films in its franchise.

Sequel The Bourne Supremacy sold 5 million DVDs in the first six days, compared to 3 million for The Bourne Identity. Domestic ticket sales followed suit with $176 million for Supremacy and $122 million for Identity.

“Film trilogies typically have their ups and downs as audience interest waxes and wanes,” said Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures Digital Platforms. “The … upward trend in both theatrical ticket sales and DVD sales is testament to the enduring appeal of the ‘Bourne' franchise.”

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