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'Departed' Sells 100K on HD

24 May, 2007 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Warner Home Video says it is the first studio to have sold more than 100,000 copies of a high-definition disc title, with The Departed, and maintains the milestone was achieved because of its dual-format strategy.

Warner is one of just two studios to release its films on both Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD. The other is Paramount Home Entertainment.

“It's no accident that Warner is the first to achieve this benchmark,” said Ron Sanders, president of Warner Home Video. “We owe this success to a combination of great product and our decision to support both high-definition formats.”

By releasing titles on both Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD, Sanders said, “Warner Home Video not only increases our potential audience reach, but also offers consumers assurance that regardless of the format they choose, they can enjoy our movies.”

In March, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment announced it had shipped, rather than sold, 100,000 copies of Casino Royale, which was released on the Blu-ray Disc format only. According to Home Media Magazine's market research department, actual sales of the title, as of the end of April, stood at 74,280 units. At that same point, the Blu-ray Disc version of The Departed had sold 58,300 units, while the HD DVD edition had sold 35,300 units.

Warner's dual-format strategy, according to Sanders, has given the studio a 30% share of the next-gen disc market, as well as five of the 10 top-selling high-def disc titles (the others are Superman Returns, Batman Begins, Happy Feet and Goodfellas).

“High-definition media represents an incredible opportunity for the industry, and we, as content providers, can help push mainstream adoption by producing in both formats and giving consumers a simple choice,” Sanders said. “At a time when the home video business is flat and high-definition media presents our best hope for near-term growth, it is unfortunate that we as an industry continue to perpetuate consumer confusion.”

Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment are releasing their films only on Blu-ray Disc, while Universal Studios Home Entertainment is alone among the six majors in releasing product only on HD DVD.

Minimajor Lionsgate also is in the Blu-ray Disc-only camp.

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