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Monday, June 7, 2010

Avatar, Wal-Mart Tackle Blu-ray

Once again, Avatar has made history.

The mega-blockbuster shattered the first-day Blu-ray sales record by selling 1.2 million copies on April 22 and became the number-one bestselling Blu-ray title just two days later.¹ Both records were previously held by The Dark Knight, which sold 600,000 copies its first day and 2.8 million copies since its release. As of now, Avatar has sold more than 6.2 million Blu-rays, ² making up roughly 22% of the entire Blu-ray market.³

Good News, Bad News
On the back of Avatar’s astounding success, Blu-ray’s market share grew to 13%, up 1% from last month. However, global Blu-ray sales are down 20% compared to last year, which is disheartening until you look at DVD sales, down 35%.⁴ It would seem that, until the economy rebounds, consumers will continue to fulfill their entertainment needs through other mediums, such as libraries.

Wal-Mart to the Rescue
Even with the discouraging numbers, Blu-ray is poised to steadily increase its market share. Earlier in May, Wal-Mart announced that it will bring back its $78 Magnavox Blu-ray player, which is the cheapest price on any model across North America. Although there is no word on when it will be available to consumers, Wal-Mart’s decision to sell the affordable player can only help the Blu-ray market. The Arkansas-based department store chain will also boast a number of internet-enabled Blu-ray players and televisions that will allow consumers to get the most out of their Blu-rays’ special features. ⁵

What Does This Mean for Libraries?
With Wal-Mart offering cost-effective Blu-ray players and films such as Avatar providing premier viewing experiences, patron demand for Blu-ray titles, will continue to grow.

Have you noticed any trends with Blu-ray in your library? Has patron demand increased with recent, heavy-hitting Blu-ray releases like Avatar and Alice in Wonderland? Share your thoughts below.


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