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Lionsgate sells 3.8 milion ‘Hunger Games’ discs

Stock up 2.8% on first-week DVD, Blu-ray sales

In the film’s first weekend of release on homevid, Lionsgate sold an estimated 3.8 million DVD or Blu-ray units of “The Hunger Games” — 19% above the launch weekend for the fourth “Twilight” film.

The studio said “Hunger Games” saw the largest digital and on demand launch in the company’s history, although it did not disclose numbers. Lionsgate stock closed up 39¢, or 2.8%, to $14.27 on Tuesday.

Lionsgate said “Hunger Games” generated the biggest first-day sales of any title on Zune Video on Xbox, achieved more first-day transactions on Comcast than any other title in the past four years and generated record Lionsgate revenue on iTunes.

“Our motion picture event of the year is translating into a home entertainment juggernaut that is already setting new digital records and demonstrating sustained playability similar to the film’s remarkable long-term box office performance,” said Ron Schwartz, exec VP-general manager of home entertainment. “We are especially pleased to see more than one third of its first weekend units sold in the higher margin Blu-ray format, a remarkably high percentage.”

In February, Lionsgate’s Summit subsid sold an estimated 3.2 million DVD and Blu-ray units of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1” during its first weekend of release — 18% above sales of “Eclipse,” the previous “Twilight” title.

Digital Entertainment Group reported last month that the sale of DVDs and Blu-rays had generated $3.7 billion during the first half of this year, down 3.6%.

“Hunger Games” grossed more than $407 million at the North American box office and nearly $700 million worldwide. The next installment, “Catching Fire,” begins principal photography next month for a Nov. 22, 2013, release.

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