'Transformers' boosts video sales, rentals

Is top-selling release of the year with 7.5 mil units sold

As expected, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," the year's No. 1 movie, gave the home entertainment business a badly needed boost last week, selling and renting as though it was still the halcyon days of the early 2000s, when consumer spending on DVD was going up by the double digits year after year.

The Paramount Home Entertainment release hit stores Oct. 20 and within a week had become the top-selling home entertainment release of the year, with first-week sales of 7.5 million units, according to Home Media Magazine market research.

The sequel also became the biggest-selling Blu-ray Disc release of 2009, with first-week sales of 1.2 million units.

"Transformers" also takes the cake for day one sales, having moved 2 million discs its first day in stores, 500,000 of them on the high-definition Blu-ray Disc format.

"It's certainly an encouraging sign for the business," said veteran industry analyst Tom Adams. He added that the strong Blu-ray Disc sales count is particularly good news "because if the business is going to turn around it's going to be because Blu-ray starts performing, and this is certainly an indicator that Blu-ray is starting to play its role and help stabilize the business."

"Transformers" easily debuted at No. 1 on all three charts: the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart, Home Media Magazine's rental chart, and the Nielsen VideoScan Blu-ray Disc sales chart.

Walt Disney Studios' "The Proposal," the previous week's top seller and renter, slipped to No. 2, with Paramount/DreamWorks' "Monsters vs. Aliens" the week's No. 3 seller and Universal Studios' "Land of the Lost" the No. 3 renter.

On the Blu-ray Disc chart, Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" came in second after spending its first two weeks in stores at No. 1.