'Earth': High-def heaven

BBC offering top seller in new format

A British TV documentary has overtaken "The Departed" to become the biggest high-definition disc moneymaker yet (HR 6/7).

"Planet Earth: The Complete Series," from BBC Video, has generated $3.2 million in consumer spending since its April 24 release on both the HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats, according to figures provided by Warner Home Video.

With an average sale price of about $70, that translates to about 42,000 units. Sales of "Departed" recently topped the 100,000-unit mark, but at an average street price of $25, the total generated was less than "Earth." To date, "Departed," another WHV title, has sold 102,000 units and generated about $2.8 million in consumer spending.

"Planet Earth" contains the original, unedited British version of the celebrated series narrated by David Attenborough. It also includes 90 minutes not seen in the U.S. broadcast this year on cable channel Discovery HD. Five years in the making, the series cost $25 million to produce and was filmed by 71 camerapeople in 62 countries.

The next dual-format high-definition releases from BBC Video will be the Oscar-winning "A Room With a View: Special Edition" and the natural-history documentary "Galapagos."