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Blu-ray Sells 1 Millionth Disc

Hollywood, Calif. – The war for HD disc format supremacy continued to rage on this week as the Blu-ray Disc Association issued a Home Media Research (HMR) report showing BD title sales have topped the 1 million sales mark, to become the first HD format to achieve the milestone.

The study also found that BD sales accounted for 70 percent of the high-definition movies sold during the first quarter of 2007.

Citing the HMR research, the BDA said “Blu-ray’s sales lead has increased each month since the first of the year and nearly three out of every four high-definition movies sold in March were on Blu-ray Disc.”

“Industry projections suggest that this steady growth trend will continue based on the fact that seven of the eight major studios are releasing an increasing number of blockbuster movies on Blu-ray Disc, most of which will only be available in high-definition on Blu-ray Disc,” the statement added.

In 2006, 18 of the top 20 selling DVDs were released by studios that are publishing their movies on Blu-ray Disc, according to the group.

The statement of the software sales milestone follows by a week an announcement from the rival HD DVD Promotion Group proclaiming the sale of the 100,000th HD DVD player, which was said to be a first for dedicated high-definition disc players, but did not take into account sales of Sony’s new PlayStation 3 video game console with integrated Blu-ray Disc playback capability, or the add-on HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360. PC drives were also excluded from the count.

“Sales of Blu-ray Disc titles have taken off since the first of the year,” stated Andy Parsons, BDA Promotions Committee chairman and Pioneer Electronics USA new product development senior VP. “Blu-ray Discs have been outselling HD DVD by more than two to one since the beginning of the year and the gap is steadily widening. It’s exactly what we’ve said all along would happen – the strong support for Blu-ray among movie studio and equipment manufacturers means that consumers have more choices when it comes to players and titles. And they’re choosing Blu-ray by an ever-increasing margin.”

The BDA said member studios will maintain the momentum with a major release schedule over the next several months that includes: “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” “Night at the Museum,” “Cars” and “Dreamgirls.”

Other recently announced releases include the following: “Volver” (Sony); “King Arthur” (Disney); “GI Jane” (Disney); “A Scanner Darkly” (Warner); :Dog Day Afternoon” (Warner Bros.); “Payback” (Paramount); “Straight Up — The Director’s Cut” (Warner); “Enter the Dragon” (Warner), and “The Dirty Dozen” (Warner).