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DVD sales still rising in U.K.

'Casino Royale' tops sales charts

DVD sales saw strong growth in the U.K. last year, with 250 million units sold, up from 229 million in 2006, according to the British Video Assn. Among the 10 bestselling titles, British films accounted for 45% of sales, with “Casino Royale” and “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” topping the end of year charts, selling more than 2 million units each.

Other big sellers included “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” “The Simpsons Movie” and “Shrek the Third.”

Universal Pictures Intl.’s Brit comedy “Hot Fuzz” also posted boffo sales, beating “Transformers” and “The Bourne Ultimatum” to claim sixth place.

While film titles helped boost DVD sales in general, kiddie fare performed particularly well, up 12.6% vs. 2006.

“There have been concerns that new technologies and piracy would reduce sales,” said BVA director general Lavinia Carey. “However, distributors and retailers have reacted by offering consumers even more choice and value for their money, and consumers are clearly responding as the market continues to increase on a monthly basis.”

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High-def sales were also up, with U.K. auds buying more than 1 million units in the Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats.