With both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs now fighting for US retail space both camps have begun to blow horns.
Sony’s software arm is saying that it sold through 15 to 20 percent of its initial catalogue, which includes Underworld: Evolution (BD menu pictured above), XXX, House of Flying Daggers, 50 First Dates and Hitch.
Ben Feingold, worldwide president of SPHE has proclaimed the figures as “encouraging.” Sony Pictures says that it will issue new releases day and date with their DVD street dates to encourage sales.
Lionsgate, the other BD movie supplier was clearly reading from the same hymn sheet, describing sales as small “but encouraging.”
Online sales appear to have been strong. DVDEmpire.com says that it sold out of Terminator and Saw. Spokesperson Shannon Nutt speculates that people are buying discs without actually having hardware. This opinion seems widespread with only modest sales reported for the Samsung debut Blu-ray player.
Demand for both HD DVD players and software appears solid. Best-selling discs in the HD DVD catalogue include Serenity, The Last Samurai and Doom. Strong sales are also being reported for new releases 16 Blocks and Syriana, which were released simultaneously with their DVD editions. Back catalogue items like Blazing Saddles and Goodfellows have generated less interest, according to retailers.