'Pirates' Outsells 'Matrix' in Blu-ray, HD DVD Showdown (Updated)

Posted Fri Jun 1, 2007 at 10:23 AM PDT by
matrix pirates

Last week's sales estimates are in, and in terms of sheer unit sales, Disney's Blu-ray-only release of the first two "Pirates of the Caribbean" flicks handily beat Warner's HD DVD-only release of the two "Matrix" box sets.

According to market research estimates from Home Media Magazine, the two "Pirates" films sold a combined total of a little less than 47,000 units, while the "Matrix" sets sold about 13,900 units.

Since the "Matrix" sets sold at an cost of nearly three times that of the "Pirates" flicks, there's slighly more parity in terms of gross sales, but even there (as Blu-ray supporters have been quick to point out), "Pirates" gets the edge.

In comments first published in The Hollywood Reporter, Bob Chapek, worldwide president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment, called the week's win by "Pirates" a "strong and significant trend toward consumer preference for the Blu-ray Disc format."

"We are thrilled by the critical and industry response to 'Pirates' on Blu-ray disc," Chapek said. "But more importantly, the consumer has spoken loud and clear. This is only the beginning, but it was certainly a significant and explosive indicator of things to come."

Update (6/1/07, 5:27PM ET):
Several readers have written in to complain that comparing sales data for the 'Matrix' box sets to the two individual 'POTC' releases is a case of apples and oranges. They argue that the 'Pirates' Blu-ray discs benefited from a wave of pre-release publicity for the the third film in the series along with some bundled sales incentives at big box retailers, while the Matrix box set was dragged down by the fact that many fans already own the original 'Matrix' on DVD, and had little interest in the second and third installments of the series, making the higher pricepoint for the two boxsets a particularly tough sell. Needlesstosay, the discussion continues in our forums area.

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Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Blu-ray)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (Blu-ray)
Ocean's Eleven (Blu-ray)
The Complete Matrix Trilogy (HD DVD)