'Earth' sales better than the rest on high-def disc


A British TV documentary has overtaken "The Departed" to become the biggest high-definition disc moneymaker yet.

"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 sales 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 amount of money generated was less than "Planet Earth." To date, "Departed" has sold 102,000 units and generated about $2.8 million in consumer spending.

"The consumer response to 'Planet Earth: The Complete Series' on both high-definition formats has been absolutely incredible, and we are truly proud to be a part of it," Warner Home Video president Ron Sanders said. "This landmark series was made for high definition, and 'Planet Earth' will be an iconic staple in our natural-history documentary library for a very long time."

"Planet Earth" contains the original, unedited British version of the celebrated series, narrated by David Attenborough. 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 disc releases from BBC Video will be the Oscar-winning "A Room With a View: Special Edition" and the Peabody Award-winning natural-history documentary "Galapagos." Both titles will be out in the fall.