‘Potter’ DVD sets Japanese record

VHS sales total half of digital take

TOKYO — DVD sales of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” passed the magic 1 million mark in Japan, the first DVD to do so, just 14 days after its May 15 release, Warner Home Video Japan announced Wednesday.

The VHS version sold only half as many, continuing a trend started last year.

These exceptional sales have been possible in part because of WHVJ’s new strategy of selling the DVD in convenience and other stores, as well as music and video outlets. WHVJ will easily reach its first-year sale target of 2 million DVDs in the coming months.

Toho’s July 19 DVD release of last year’s animated box office winner “Spirited Away” should heat up the local DVD market as never before.

This bodes well for Japan’s ever-growing body of DVD fans, who pay much higher prices for the discs than U.S. and European consumers.

“Prices are going to come down very soon,” said an executive at one of Japan’s major DVD and video outlets.