Comcast Beats Apple and Amazon on Digital Sales of ‘Despicable Me 2’

Cable giant's just-launched Xfinity TV Store also was No. 1 for 'The Hunger Games' EST over the past two weeks

Comcast is touting the success of its just-launched early electronic sell-through service — with the cable giant taking the No. 1 spot in digital sales of Universal’s “Despicable Me 2” for the week ended Dec. 3, according to the studio.

The operator quietly launched the Xfinity TV Store on Nov. 19, offering subscribers select movies for purchase several weeks ahead of DVD release. (“Despicable Me 2” will be released on DVD next Tuesday.)

According to Lionsgate, Comcast also was the top EST seller for “The Hunger Games” for the two weeks ended Dec. 3 with interest in the 2012 title driven by the second installment’s current theatrical release. That means Comcast topped established EST players like Apple iTunes, Amazon Video and Walmart’s Vudu — if only for those two movies.

The question now is whether Comcast’s EST offering can sustain momentum, or if initial sales were inflated by curious cable subscribers just trying out the service.

SEE ALSO: Comcast to Enable Movie Purchasing in Early EST Window

The nation’s biggest pay TV provider, with more than 21 million video subscribers, is trying to carve out a piece of the $18 billion homevideo market. And part of its goal is corporate synergy: Universal is in the family now that Comcast owns NBCUniversal.

“Comcast is enhancing the home entertainment experience by simply giving customers more options,” Matt Strauss, Comcast’s senior VP and GM of video services, wrote in a blog post. “The early results speak to ease of use for customers and convenience.”

Comcast, of course, also has a sizable VOD rental business. But it is marketing the EST service as an alternative for consumers who want to watch a title repeatedly, and highlighting access to movies in early EST windows.

Comcast is selling “Despicable Me 2” for $20.99 in HD and $15.99 in SD, while “The Hunger Games” is $18.99 in HD and $15.99 in SD. All told, the operator has about 160 current movies and library titles in the storefront, with kids’ fare well represented and well as TV series including “Mad Men,” “Hannibal” and “Grimm.”

Customers who buy a TV show or movie from their set-top box or from xfinity.com/store may watch the purchased titles in multiple ways: on TV through Xfinity On Demand; on a computer from the website; or with the Xfinity On Demand Purchases app for iOS and Android. Titles that are downloaded to PCs or the mobile apps may be viewed when not connected to the Internet.

Comcast isn’t the first pay-TV provider in the EST game. The MSO follows Verizon’s FiOS, which has offered movies for purchase and viewable on multiple devices since late 2010 with the Flex View service.

More Biz

  • Alan Horn Bill Tanner

    Alan Horn to Keynote Variety Business Managers Elite Breakfast, Bill Tanner to Be Honored

    Bill Tanner will be recognized with Variety’s 2019 Business Managers Elite Award at the annual Business Managers Elite Breakfast presented by City National Bank, which takes place in Beverly Hills on Nov. 13. Co-chairman and chief creative officer of The Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn will be the keynote speaker in conversation with Variety editor-in-chief, [...]

  • Smoke haze covers the Sydney Harbour

    Australia's Seven West to Merge With Affiliate Prime Media

    Australia’s Seven West Media has agreed a deal to acquire regional broadcast group Prime Media. The move is a further step in the consolidation of Australia’s traditional media industry. The two companies announced on Friday that Seven will make the acquisition entirely through the issue of new shares to the owners of Prime. Both companies [...]

  • Ron Meyer

    Ron Meyer Files $10 Million Suit Over Forged Rothko

    NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer has filed a $10 million suit against two art dealers, claiming they sold him a forged Mark Rothko painting in 2001. Meyer accuses Susan Seidel and Jaime Frankfort of duping him into buying the work. According to the suit, he was told that it would be included in an official [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein Seeks to Call Expert on 'Recovered' Memories at Rape Trial

    Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys are seeking to call an expert on “recovered memories” at his trial on rape and sexual assault charges. The defense has filed a motion asking to call Deborah Davis, a psychologist and professor at the University of Nevada at Reno. Davis is a frequent defense witness. She co-authored an article in 2006 [...]

  • Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime

    Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime and Rolling Stone

    Showtime Documentary Films today announced a new limited docuseries profiling controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine. Titled “SuperVillain” and inspired by the Rolling Stone feature written by Stephen Witt, the three-part series will trace how a New York City deli clerk named Daniel Hernandez became superstar rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine — who racked up 2.6 billion streams and [...]

  • Fader Label Logo

    Fader Label Signs Two New Acts, Boosts Staff

    The Fader Label, home to Clairo, Matt and Kim and others, announced two new signings today along with three new hires on its staff. Charlie Burg and Zachary Knowles have joined the label’s talent roster, while Carson Oberg has come aboard as general manager, Yasmine Panah as project manager and Josh Hymowitz as label coordinator. They [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content