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‘Catching Fire’ Still Burning Up Home Video Sales Charts

Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” hung onto the top spot on both national home video sales charts for a second consecutive week, while Universal Studios’ “Homefront” debuted at No. 2, selling just 17% as many units as the “Hunger Games” sequel on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks overall Blu-ray Disc and DVD combined sales, for the week ended March 16.

Homefront,” with a cast that includes Jason Statham, James Franco, Kate Bosworth and Winona Ryder, bowed at No. 4 on Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, behind Walt Disney Studios’ “Thor: The Dark World” at No. 2 and Warner’s “Gravity” at No. 3, both of which have been in stores for three weeks.

The comparison’s not really fair, though, as “Catching Fire” earned nearly $425 million in U.S. theaters, while “Homefront” — a drama about a former DEA agent who moves his family to a quiet town, only to do battle with a local drug lord —took in just $20.2 million.

On the First Alert chart, 20th Century Fox’s “12 Years a Slave,” this year’s Best Picture Oscar winner, dropped a notch to No. 3, while “Gravity” also slipped one position to No. 4. Rounding the top five: “Barbie: The Pearl Princess,” the latest entry in the Universal Studios-Mattel partnership’s successful direct-to-video “Barbie” franchise.

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The No. 5 spot on the Blu-ray Disc chart went to “12 Years a Slave.”

Nielsen data shows that the Blu-ray Disc version of “Catching Fire” accounted for 48% of week-two sales, down slightly from 51% in its first week’s tally. “Homefront” generated just 40% of its total unit sales from Blu-ray Disc, while “Barbie” was primarily (88%) DVD.

On Home Media Magazine’s rental chart, the three top rentals were unchanged from the prior week: “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” at No. 1, “Dallas Buyers Club” at No. 2 and “Thor: The Dark World” at No. 3.

Rounding out the top five are 20th Century Fox’s “The Counselor” at No. 4 and Universal Studios’ “The Best Man Holiday” at No. 5. Both titles came out more than a month ago, but were withheld from key rental outlets Netflix and Redbox for 28 days by their respective distributors.

Walt Disney Studios’ “Frozen” is poised to be the top-selling disc on next week’s chart. The studio today announced that first-day sales of the film – which won two Academy Awards, including Best Animated Feature Film – came in at 3.2 million units, a tally that includes advance orders.

Thomas K. Arnold is editorial director of Home Media Magazine.

Top 20 Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart for week of 3/16/2014:

1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
2. Homefront
3. 12 Years a Slave
4. Gravity
5. Barbie: The Pearl Princess
6. Book Thief
7. Thor: The Dark World
8. Catching Fire/Hunger Games Two-Pack (Walmart only)
9. Out of the Furnace
10. Despicable Me 2
11. The Hunger Games
12. Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season
13. Ender’s Game
14. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
15. The Jungle Book
16. Against the Wild
17. Hours
18. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
19. Captain Phillips
20. Dallas Buyers Club

Top 10 Home Media Magazine rental chart for week of 3/16/2014:

1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
2. Dallas Buyers Club
3. Thor: The Dark World
4. The Counselor
5. The Best Man Holiday
6. Captain Phillips
7. About Time
8. Free Birds
9. Baggage Claim
10. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

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