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 the first high-def disc to crack the top ten on Amazon's overall DVD best sellers list, and it easily topped 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 nine month old Blu-ray format. Not only has Blu-ray hit the 100,000 unit mark faster than rival format HD DVD, it hits the milestone two months faster than standard-def DVD did back in 1998 (with 'Air Force One'), when DVD was eleven months old.
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."
I wonder what the torrent milestone is for Casino Royale?