Blu-ray movie sales top 1 mil in Europe

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LONDON -- Total Blu-ray Disc movie sales across Europe have topped the 1 million unit mark, the Blu-ray Disc Association European Promotions Committee said Tuesday.

Citing research from Media Control Gfk International, the Blu-ray association also claimed an overwhelming lead over rival format HD DVD in terms of sales. Of the high definition movie discs bought by consumers year-to-date in Europe, 73% were in the Blu-ray Disc format, and 27% were HD DVD, the group said.

The 1 million unit milestone relates to movie sales only and does not include the 1 million discs that have been bundled with players to seed the market in the last year, the Blu-ray group said.

It also revealed that if Blu-ray game disc production is added into the equation, then total number of discs produced for sale in Europe already exceeds 21 million units. It said that the so-called "PlayStation effect" is important because it is creating major economies of scale and makes BD disc replication cost effective.

Blu-ray movie sales experienced their highest weekly sales since the inception of the format in week 44 (ending Nov. 4), topping 66,000 units thanks to the launch of new releases such as "300," "Spider-Man 3," "Die Hard 4.0" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."

"This is an important milestone for Blu-ray Disc in Europe and proves once again that whenever consumers have the choice they decide overwhelmingly in favor of BD," said Frank Simonis, chairman of the Blu-ray Disc European Promotions Committee. "Early indicators show that the Christmas holiday season will be exceptionally good for Blu-ray Disc across all categories, from packaged media to standalone players and BD capable games consoles."
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