As the holiday shopping season draws to a close, a handful of hot summer theatricals are trickling into stores during December in an attempt by the studios to capitalize on last-minute gift and impulse buyers.
For 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, the strategy paid off. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” debuted at No. 1 on the national home video sales charts the week ending Dec. 7 and sold nearly three times as many copies as its closest competitor.
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which earned more than $208 million in U.S. theaters alone, easily topped both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart – which tracks total disc sales, Blu-ray and DVD combined – and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart. Counting an exclusive-to-Walmart two-pack (with predecessor “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”), the film generated 53% of its total unit sales from Blu-ray.
Walt Disney’s “Frozen,” thanks to continued deep discounting, shot back up to No. 2 on the overall disc sales chart from No. 9 the prior week, while Lionsgate’s “The Expendables 3” moved up a notch to No. 3 from its No. 4 debut during Black Friday week.
Rounding out the First Alert top five were DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2” at No. 4 (after three consecutive weeks at No. 1) and Walt Disney Studios’ “Maleficent” at No. 5 (down from No. 3).
With Christmas less than a month way, a number of holiday-themed catalogs crept back into the top-20 sales charts. Warner’s “Elf,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “The Polar Express” re-entered the overall disc sales chart at No. 7, No. 8 and No.9, respectively. “A Christmas Story,” also from Warner, reappeared at No. 14, while Universal Studios’ live-action “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” from director Ron Howard, moved back up to No. 20.
On Home Media Magazine’s rental chart for the week, Warner’s “Tammy” soared to No. 1 now that a three-week holdback from Netflix and Redbox is over. Sony Pictures’ “22 Jump Street” slipped to No. 2, while “The Expendables 3” moved down a notch to No. 3.
“Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas” held firm at No. 4, while the No. 5 spot went to Anchor Bay’s “The Giver,” which had debuted at No. 3 the week before.
Thomas K. Arnold is editorial director of Home Media Magazine, http://www.homemediamagazine.com.
Top 20 Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart for the week of 12/07/2014:
1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (new)
3. Expendables 3
4. How to Train Your Dragon 2
6. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas
8. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
9. The Polar Express
10. X-Men: Days of Future Past
11. 22 Jump Street
12. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
13. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes/Rise of the Planet of the Apes (new, Walmart exclusive)
14. A Christmas Story
15. The Hundred-Foot Journey (new)
16. The LEGO Movie
17. Despicable Me 2
18. Planes: Fire & Rescue
19. The Giver
20. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (live-action)
Top 10 Home Media Magazine rental chart for the week of 12/07/2014:
2. 22 Jump Street
3. The Expendables 3
4. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (new)
5. The Giver
7. The Purge: Anarchy
8. X-Men: Days of Future Past
9. Earth to Echo
10. Sex Tape