This week, we'll have a great test of these competing theories with the release of The Dark Knight, the second highest-grossing domestic movie of all time, and definitely the most badass.
The video was released in Blu-ray and DVD formats less than 24 hours ago, and it is already setting records. Taking into account all purchases from the U.S., Canada and the U.K., about 3 million copies of The Dark Knight have already been sold.
Warner Brothers is anticipating the movie will reach total sales of 13.5 million worldwide by the end of the first week.
For the first day, Blu-ray disks account for 600,000 of the total, or a bit less than 21%. The rest are all DVD purchases, which brings up the issue we mentioned only yesterday when talking about the slow adoption of the Blu-ray format: DVD's are still pretty good! And for most, that's good enough to avoid paying a few extra bucks for Blu.
With cheap Blu players newly available, the highly sought out film might push their sales in the next week. Since the last weekend before Christmas is the biggest shopping period of the year, the availability of a good movie to go with a new-generation player seems like an appropriate combo gift.
But what if all of the relatively cheap Blu-ray players sell out? Then, people will be faced with buying the higher-end (over $250) versions. That's too high for families, and at that point, they might pass on it.
Demographics are also an issue. Like Iron Man before it, the movie most appeals to comic book fanboys, special effects aficionados, and videogame fans, all of which are types already likely early adopters. A good number might also already own Playstation 3 systems.
There's another interesting note from the first day of sales: According to the studio, the digital copy included on the Blu-ray and Special Edition DVD has already been activated 300,000 times, which gives us a good idea of how many users are going to push their movie to their portable media players.
But since the movie was built for IMAX-level dimensions, we probably won't have to worry about the idea that any Dark Knight copies will lead to better iPhone sales, not with that tiny screen.
What about you? Are you more or less willing to buy a Blu-ray player now that this movie is available? Or does the player's price matter more? Let us know in the comments.