Blu-ray 3D movies sell 3.5 million copies over the first year

While analysts and experts mull the future of 3D in both theaters and homes, one bright spot for the technology has become visible. Blu-ray 3D, while relatively new to the home entertainment market, has made a notable debut according to numbers released by researcher IHS iSuppli this week. In the format's first year on store shelves, BD3D movies have sold around 3.5 million copies to consumers with sales expected to grow as 2011 comes to a close said Jan Saxton, a senior analyst with IHS.

Source: IHS iSuppli

The BD3D figure was split nearly evenly between those sold as standalone titles and movies offered as hardware incentives, dulling some of the excitement. However, the IHS report confirmed that the new format enjoyed a much stronger year one showing than Blu-ray had over the course of its first 12 months on store shelves in 2006 despite the former's "relatively small" initial roster of around 93 movies. Part of this, argued Saxton, boils down to sheer consumer interest in home 3D.

"Consumers are finding that 3D is one of the most fun concepts in home entertainment since color television, providing true three-dimensional pictures right in their living room," said Saxton. "Once they have 3D in the home, they love it and are hungry for content, snapping up BD3D movies as soon as they become available."

Considering that perceived hunger, IHS predicts that BD3Ds second year will see an even larger boom and double its own launch numbers. As more theatrical films are released in 3D, naturally the number of home BD3D titles will grow, explained Saxton. The analyst touted the upcoming theatrical re-release of both "Star Wars" and "Titanic" in 3D as eventual BD3D sales monsters. Both are expected to reap the rewards of an increased adoption of 3D TVs and BD3D players.

Are you a BD3D early adopter? If not, what's that one title you're waiting for? Let us know in the comment section.

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