Star Wars saves Blu-ray's bacon

It appears that Blu-ray has had its arse saved by a series of well known epic sci-fi flicks, having been in need of a hero for a while now.

According to an IHS iSuppli report, sales of Blu-ray discs have seen a real upturn, restoring hope for the format – at least for a while.

IHS reckons Star Wars has come to the rescue, spearheading a massive 56 percent surge in sales in the US.  Of course you would assume that this refers to the original smash hit trilogy and not the Rasta-offending rubbish that was released later.

So far Blu-ray has failed to truly crack the film market, and there have been fears that it would miss the boat totally due to expectations that the download age is already upon us.

But it seems that the format can at least live up to some of its hype as a string of releases attract greater interest, even if it is down to some retro 70s special effects and lightsabre escapades. 

One analyst remarked that film studios are dusting down old classics to get the Blu-ray treatment now that the public is becoming more receptive, with a generation of nerds waiting to ogle Princess Leia in high definition.

However there is no accounting for taste and it appears that the likes of Thor have also come in to save the day for Blu-ray, with sales on the up of late.

The week of September sawa 131 percent increase in growth thanks to the release of X-Men: First Class, preceded by a 60 percent increase the week before for Rio and others.

This means that the overall market for physical movies went into growth for the week of September 18, not bad considering the market for sales has been on the downturn all year.

Star Wars fanatics unsurprisingly descended upon a new release on September 16, with a total of 400,000 units flying off the shelves in three days.

X-Men: First Class sold 600,000 Blu-ray editions over the course of one week from its release, while Thor and Thor 3D sold half a million in its first week.