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‘Games of Thrones’ Season 3 Slays Home Video Sales

The hit HBO TV series “Game of Thrones” is finding a whole new audience among binge-viewers who prefer to consume episodic TV in beefy helpings.

Season three of the fantasy drama debuted at No. 1 on both national home video sales charts its first week in stores, bumping the previous week’s top seller, Walt Disney Studios’ “The Jungle Book,” to No. 2.

The hefty boxed set, which in combo-pack form includes seven discs, easily took the top spot on both Nielsen VideoScan’s First Alert chart, which tracks overall disc sales, DVD and Blu-ray Disc combined, and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart. Both charts track retail transactions for the week ending Feb. 23.

According to Nielsen data, “The Jungle Book” in its second week of availability sold just 30% as many units as “Game of Thrones.” About 65% of total unit sales came from the Blu-ray Disc combo pack, as opposed to 50% for “The Jungle Book.”

With no other high-profile release coming to market, two of the three other titles in the First Alert top five, like “The Jungle Book,” are sophomores that moved down one notch from last week: Summit Entertainment’s “Ender’s Game” (distributed by Lionsgate) at No. 3 and Universal Studios’ “The Best Man Holiday” at No. 4.

Rounding out the top five is Sony Pictures’ “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” which was No. 4 last week. The animated sequel has been out for four weeks.

“Ender’s Game” generated 43% of its week-two sales from Blu-ray Disc; “Best Man Holiday,” 25%; and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” 36%.

Among the First Alert top 10, Universal Studios’ “Despicable Me 2” has been on the chart the longest, 11 weeks, five of them at No. 1. The animated sequel finished the week at No. 7, up two notches from No. 9 the previous week.

On Home Media Magazine’s video rental chart for the week, “Ender’s Game” took the No. 1 spot after bowing the prior week at No. 2, swapping places with Universal Studios’ “Riddick.”

Paramount’s “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” moved up a notch to No. 3, while Lionsgate’s Escape Plan moved down a spot to No. 4. Sony Pictures’ “Last Vegas” remained at No. 5.


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