Controversy Swirls Around 'Transformers' HD DVD Sales Numbers

Posted Mon Oct 29, 2007 at 10:37 AM PDT by
number game

Is Paramount's HD DVD release of 'The Transformers' in fact the fastest selling next-gen title ever? It depends on who you believe.

As we've previously reported, Paramount sent out a press release last Monday boasting of record-breaking sales for 'Transformers' on HD DVD. The studio estimated 100,000 units sold the first day, and 190,000 for the first week, making the disc the fastest selling title on either next-gen format.

Since then, sales estimates for the title have come in from two different sales tracking services that would seem contradict Paramount's numbers.

As we first reported on Friday, Home Media Magazine estimates the actual number of units sold through to consumers for the week as closer to 115,000. Meanwhile, according to an online report from Deadline Hollywood, Videoscan point-of-sale data is said to put the disc at only 89,871 units sold.

So, which number is correct? Speaking with Deadline Hollywood, one unnamed Paramount executive suggested it may be all three, attributing the discrepencies between the numbers to units sold by "nontraditional" retailers.

"What they're saying to you is factually correct that the top 3 accounts sold 74,000 units. No disputing that," explained the exec. "The mistake they're making is they're underestimating the units sold by nontraditional retailers like, Netflix, and Blockbuster Online."

In the same report, another unnamed exec (this time from a Blu-ray supporting studio) called Paramount's assertion of Amazon, Netflix and Blockbuster Online being underestimated "patently untrue," stating that "both Amazon and Blockbuster are included in the Nielsen reporting -- and they know it. If those 3 outlets accounted for even 30K copies, it would be record-setting for them, yet Par would still be significantly off the 190,000 number."

For its part, Paramount continues to stand by its original numbers, telling Deadline Hollywood that they checked and double-checked their figures before issuing last week's press release, and that "everything we said is 100% accurate."

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Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
Transformers (2007) (HD DVD)
Tags: Paramount, Disc Sales (all tags)