It's official: Sony has announced that 'Casino Royale' on Blu-ray is the first high-def disc title to ship over 100,000 units.
'Royale' has been breaking records ever since its Blu-ray debut on March 13 -- as we've previously reported, it was Nielsen VideoScan's Blu-ray chart its first week out.
And while the 100,000 figure for 'Casino Royale' has been rumored for several days now, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is now comfirming it in a press release, hitting the wires today.
The strong performance for 'Royale' is certainly a healthy sign for the Blu-ray format. Not only has a Blu-ray title hit the 100,000 unit mark ahead rival format HD DVD, but it took 'Royale' only two weeks on the market to hit the milestone. By way of comparison, Sony says it took approximately eleven months for 'Air Force One' to become the the first standard-def title to ship 100,000 units, back in 1998.
SPHE Worldwide President David Bishop praised the news as a demonstrative of Blu-ray's robust growth in the marketplace, adding that "Blu-ray has accounted for approximately 70 percent of the high-definition market since the first week in January, and as that market share continues to grow, we are dedicated to providing consumers with the content they crave."
And while it's too soon to tell whether 'Casino Royale' will be to Blu-ray what 'The Matrix' was to standard-def DVD (ie: the format's de facto showcase disc), one certainly gets the feeling that Sony isn't dissuading such comparisons. 'Royale' director Martin Campbell is quoted in the Sony release marveling at the disc's picture quality: "It's just unbelievable. Clearly, it's fantastic. The comparison between standard def DVD and Blu-ray is quite stunning and quite transparent to the master. It's precisely what would make me want to buy a copy."