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VOD tells different box office story

'The Blind Side' tops for the year; 'Avatar' No. 10

“The Blind Side” led the list of top-performing films on video-on-demand in 2010, according to Comcast. Nine of the 10 top pics on VOD were available day and date with retail DVD releases, showing that auds place significant value on seeing films as soon as they hit the home entertainment window.

Comcast is the largest cable operator in the U.S., so its top titles are likely representative of cable/satellite VOD as a whole.

The second most popular pic on VOD was “Couples Retreat,” followed by “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” and “Hot Tub Time Machine.”

Coming in at No. 5 was “The Hurt Locker,” which made just $16.4 million in theatrical release. Though that Kathryn Bigelow film was released in 2009, VOD transactions were strong after its six Oscar wins in March.

Following “Hurt Locker” were “It’s Complicated,” “Shutter Island,” “Date Night” and “The Book of Eli.” “Avatar,” the top-grossing film of all time theatrically, landed at No. 10 on the list. “Avatar” was the only 3D title on the list and the only title in the top 10 not released on VOD the same day as retail DVDs were released. “Movies available the same day as DVD release are consistently among the top-performing content On Demand,” Comcast said in a statement.

“Sherlock Holmes” was No. 10 on the list of day-and-date titles.

Though figures for specific films on VOD are not released by cable companies, video-on-demand usage is rising fast as DVD sales decline. Customers are expected to spend $1.2 billion this year on VOD, and 2011 will likely mark the first year that rentals via VOD, Netflix and kiosks surpass those at videostores.

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