Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holy Blu-ray, Batman!

I was barely paying attention to the fight between HD-DVD and Blu-ray (mostly because I knew if I paid attention, I'd have to get one...) The only time it really registered on my radar when it first came out was when I saw a display in Staples near the Blu-ray drives for computers. Looking at the specs, I was rooting for Blu-ray to come out on top, but my heart told me the mass-market consumers would probably go for the dumber option.

Fast Forward to this time last year. I tend to put stupid shit on my Christmas list every year. My in-laws ask for a detailed list with model numbers and distinct descriptions because I tend to want high-tech shit that nobody else knows about. One year my list included a Bell UH-1. I didn't get it.

Last year, I put on my list, "Blu-ray or HD-DVD player with any/all available Pixar and Pirates of the Caribbean movies." That was my Bell UH-1 for 2007.

Funny thing is, I fucking got one. Based on my list of movies, my wife's parents got me a Sony Blu-ray player. The one thing in my favor as far as getting the "right" box was that I picked all Disney movies. Disney was a firm supporter of Blu-ray from the beginning, along with Fox and a few other big studios. The day I realized that those studios, with Star Wars, James Bond and other huge franchises were Blu-ray exclusive, I knew I was going to be on the winning side of the battle.

Fast Forward to February 2008 -- A week before the big consumer electronics show in Vegas.

Warner Brothers announces that they will no longer offer HD-DVD titles and will be Blu-ray exclusive. Within weeks all of the other studios follow.

The question then turned to - "When will it take off and start replacing DVD in homes the way DVD replaced VHS?"

Now, a year after I first started to allow my interest in high-def home video to get beyond slightly-curious to full-blown hi-def geek, the answer to that question is becoming clearer.

Last week, Warner Brothers released what is probably the biggest film of 2008 on Blu-ray and DVD.

And how is The Dark Knight doing on Blu-ray?

From www.blu-ray.com:

A week after hitting store shelves, the Blu-ray release of Warner Brothers 'The Dark Knight' has sold over 1.7 Million units worldwide, shattering all previous Blu-ray sales records. The film, which stars Christian Bale as the caped-crusader, is set to break $1 Billion at the box office, and some execs feared that home video sales would be hurt by such success. Those fears were alleviated after selling through 600,000 Blu-ray units on the first day, and sales of the landmark title have been continuing at a record pace.

The worldwide numbers include retail and rental sales in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Benelux, and Australia. The majority of sales came from US buyers, which bought over 1 Million units of the title. Blu-ray sales represented nearly 13% of all home media sales for the title, which sold 13.5 Million units on home video formats.

In comparison, 'The Matrix' DVD release in 1999 - which is generally recognized as the title to spark sales of the [DVD] format - sold 780,000 units in one week. The Blu-ray release of 'The Dark Knight' has more than doubled that accomplishment.

Blu-ray has been recognized as one of the most wanted items this holiday season, and consumers are responding aggressively towards lower player prices and the high definition releases of many film favorites. Interest in the format has exploded as consumers budgets become tighter and they realize they can get the same or better movie watching experience in their home with Blu-ray for a lot less money.

1 comment:

Funky Smith said...

Yeah, we got my parents a Blu-ray this christmas. It's pretty awesome!