Forget all that couch-hopping nonsense. When it comes to high-definition, Tom Cruise is still the king, snagging the top-selling next-gen title of 2006 according to Paramount Home Entertainment.
Released on both high-def formats and standard-definition simultaneously on October 30 as part of Paramount's "Mission Monday" mega-marketing blitz, 'M:i:III' immediately snatched the honors of having the highest first shipment total of any next-gen title, with reports estimating an initial retail assault of over 20,000 copies. (Not a huge number at first glance, but still considerable for a just-launched home video format.)
Unfortunately, Paramount's boast today that 'M:i:III' is the top-selling high-definition packaged media title of 2006 comes with no hard sales figures. Nor does it include info on which format moved more copies. The claim is also apparently entirely studio-generated, so forgive us if we take the news with a grain of salt.
Still, there is no doubt that Mission: TomKat was a big success on high-definition, and anytime a next-gen title generates such interest and media buzz, we're all for it.
Hopefully someday soon VideoScan, which is currently the leading independent industry firm for tracking point-of-sales data, will begin to release some concrete stats on Blu-ray and HD DVD software. Until then, we'll raise our glass and toast Mr. Cruise.