A Hollywood reporter, Nikki Finke, is calling into question the HD DVD Group and Paramount's recent claim that Transformers on HD DVD sold as well as it did (190,000 copies) during its launch week in the States.
Finke states: "Two rival Blu-ray studios which prefer to remain nameless tell me they've caught Paramount / DreamWorks in a 'big ass, fat, stupid lie' regarding press releases about the numbers of just released Transformer HD DVD units sold".
The conspiracy theory goes that the HD DVD Group allegedly paid so much to Paramount and DreamWorks to go HD DVD-only that they had to get some good press out of the big Transformers launch in order to justify the expense.
An anonymous Blu-ray studio exec stated: "In an overreaching effort to make a press claim - the number one high def title position for any format - for Transformers, they've gone beyond exaggeration. Here's the dumb lie: they've claimed to sell 100K in one day and 190K in one week".
"Exact point of sale data from three retailers that make up 62% of the high-def market show sales of 73K units for the week. Being very generous, they could possibly reach 125K-130K, which would barely set a record for HD DVD. And they couldn't have flooded rental stores since Blockbuster doesn't stock HD DVD. It’s an outrage. They think they can say whatever they want and that no one will call them on it. They need to be called on it."
In response to these allegations Paramount stated that "everything we said is 100% accurate" and that the extra figures come in from non-traditional retailers that were offering the HD DVD like like Amazon.com, Netflix, and Blockbuster Online.
But, the reporter's Blu-ray studio source still isn't buying it: "Paramount's assertion of Amazon, Netflix and Blockbuster Online being underestimated is patently untrue as both Amazon and Blockbuster are included in the Nielsen reporting - and they know it".
"If those three outlets accounted for even 30K copies, it would be record-setting for them, yet Paramount would still be significantly off the 190,000 number."