VAN NUYS, Calif. — Despite widespread cynicism about the market for high-def porn, pre-orders for Digital Playground's Pirates Blu-ray disc are "through the roof," according to CEO Samantha Lewis.
"We didn't know what to expect," Lewis told AVN, "and we can't keep them here. We're just a little crazy, because we weren't expecting it. We thought it'd be a little bit slower paced, and then when I went to the Berlin show, I'm like, 'OK, something's going on here.' And then when I got back, the U.S. was just bam-bam-bam-bam-bam."
The sales of Pirates would seem to contradict a Dec. 24 article in Investor's Business Daily in which Vivid Entertainment co-chairman Steven Hirsch said the market for high-def porn "lacks momentum."
"I totally disagree," said Lewis. "For the first time ever, our European orders on HD increased before my U.S. orders. I'm selling them like gangbusters."
Reviewer Don Houston told Investor's Business Daily that porn consumers don't see high-def discs as being worth twice the price of standard DVDs. But Lewis disagrees.
"I think especially in adult, there's nothing like [high definition]," Lewis said. "And if you shoot with the good cameras, and you're lighting it correctly, and you're shooting it like a true filmmaker, there's nothing better. You are as close and as real as you can get."
Lewis believes that early 2008 will see increasing sales of of Blu-ray and HD DVD porn as high def players become more affordable and consumers grow familiar with the new video formats.
"I don't even think this Christmas is the last two months we are going to see the bulk of the sales," Lewis said. "The bulk of our sales are going to come when everyone now got their players for Christmas, and now January, February, people are going to go out there and want to buy their content for their players. So that's why we're doing Blu-ray and HD [DVD] — we want all the stores to be ready for the consumer, because you know, the mainstream, when I go up to Best Buy, mainstream titles are sold out. They're sold out of HD [DVD] and Blu-ray. So it's picking up, and people are finally getting it, and I think once you see one, there's just no way you want to go back."
The Blu-ray version of Pirates is the first to offer the movie and all of its supplemental features in 1080p resolution, containing over six hours of footage on a single disc.
"What an opportunity to capitalize three times over!" Lewis exclaimed. "I'm hoping everyone keeps their prices up. Mainstream has kept their prices up. So I'm just hoping that the market doesn't get like the adult industry has ... people have gone down in their price, and they don't have to. The consumer will pay for it. Do not do that, folks! Let's stay on this ride for a while."
The ride should continue for Digital Playground with the upcoming Blu-ray releases of Island Fever 4 and Babysitters. For more information, visit www.piratesxxx.com or www.digitalplayground.com.