By the end of the year, Blu-ray Disc movies are expected to sell 400% more than they did just one year ago, say analysts with Futuresource Consulting, a startling revelation considering movie studios' continuing challenge to sell catalogue/archive titles on Blu-ray. Perhaps even more startling: a cheap Blu-ray Disc player coming by year's end.
With a slumping American economy, all eyes are on Q4 and retail sales, with everyone wondering how big it will get -- or fail to reach. The movie studios clearly hope for a big season, as indicated by their decision to release so many big movies on Blu-ray the same day they appear on standard DVD.

Futuresource estimates that consumers will buy close to 45 million Blu-ray discs in the United States this year, more than 400% up on last year, indicating a strong turnaround during Q3 and Q4.

"On big titles, the share of total sales being taken by BD has already hit 5% to 6%, and by Q4 it is possible we'll see a 10% or even 12% share for some of the really big hitters," said Mai Hoang, a lead analyst in the Futuresource Home Video team. "In Europe, awareness and uptake are still lower overall, although in the key markets the retailers and the studios are reacting to an uplift in interest this year and are gearing up for a good end to 2008."

By 2012, between 40% and 50% of consumer spending on home video will be allocated to Blu-ray, according to the latest analysis from Futuresource.


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