Propelled by strong sales of 'No Country for Old Men,' total U.S. Blu-ray software sales since inception have now topped 9 million through the week ending March 16.
According to HMR research, BD unit sales for the first 11 weeks of this year lodged 3 million units, adding to the 6 million the format had sold previously since its launch in mid-2006. The year's strong sales pace thus far puts Blu-ray solidly on track to top at least 15 million units sold for 2008.
Although weekly Blu-ray disc sales have been averaging 200,000 to 300,000 since the beginning of the year, they surged to 319,000 for the week ending March 16, buoyed by Disney's 'No Country for Old Men.'
The recent Best Picture Oscar-winner moved a stellar 68,000 Blu-ray copies in its first week, and handily outpaced the 10,000 to 30,000 units that top-sellers in previous weeks had averaged (it also easily trounced its nearest competitor, Fox's 'Hitman,' though the second-place finisher also posted healthy sales).
Blu-ray's momentum looks likely to continue throughout the Spring, with a strong line-up of new releases due in the weeks ahead. All eyes are now on such upcoming hits as Fox's 'Alvin and the Chipmunks' (April 1) and 'Juno' (April 15), New Line's 'The Golden Compass' (April 29) and Sony's 'Untraceable' to see if they can match or exceed 'No Country's gangbusters first-week sales tally. Stay tuned...