‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Tops Pre-Christmas Home Video Sales Charts

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and Walt Disney Studios snatched the top spot on the national home video sales charts for the week ending Dec. 14 with “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the year’s biggest box office hit.

“Guardians,” which earned $332.5 million in U.S. theaters, easily debuted at No. 1 on both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart – which tracks total disc sales, Blu-ray Disc and DVD combined – and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray chart.

The film opened theatrically Aug. 1 and cost an estimated $170 million to make. Advance word was so good that Marvel Studios announced a sequel even before the film opened; it’s expected out in 2017.

Twentieth Century Fox’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which debuted at No. 1 on both charts the previous week, slipped to No. 2, also on both charts, with total unit sales just 12.2% of the first-week tally for “Guardians.”

Walt Disney’s “Frozen” moved down a notch to No. 3 on First Alert, marking its 39th consecutive week in the First Alert top 20.

Rounding out the First Alert top five were Warner’s “Dolphin Tale 2” at No. 4 and the 20th Century Fox-distributed “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” a DreamWorks Animation film, at No. 5.

“Dolphin Tale 2” is a sequel to the 2011 family drama about a boy who befriends an injured dolphin. The film reunites many of the original cast members, including Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr., but it only earned a little more than $42 million in theaters, some $30 million less than the original.

On Home Media Magazine’s rental chart for the week, 20th Century Fox took the No. 1 and No. 3 spots with “Let’s Be Cops” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” both of which just came off their 28-day holdbacks from Netflix and Redbox.

The prior week’s top rental, Warner’s “Tammy,” slipped to No. 2.

Guardians of the Galaxy” debuted at No. 4, while another new release, Sony Pictures’ “When the Game Stands Tall,” debuted at No. 5. Sony Pictures make its new disc releases available to all rental outlets on street date.

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 12/14/2014:

1. Guardians of the Galaxy (new)
2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
3. Frozen
4. Dolphin Tale 2 (new)
5. How to Train Your Dragon 2
6. Elf
7. Maleficent
8. When the Game Stands Tall (new)
9. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
10. The Polar Express
11. A Christmas Story
12. The Expendables 3
13. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
14. 22 Jump Street
15. Mr. Peabody & Sherman
16. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas
17. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (live-action)
18. The Fault in Our Stars
19. The LEGO Movie
20. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Top 10 Home Media Magazine rental chart for the week of 12/14/2014:

1. Let’s Be Cops
2. Tammy
3. How to Train Your Dragon 2
4. Guardians of the Galaxy (new)
5. When the Game Stands Tall (new)
6. 22 Jump Street
7. The Expendables 3
8. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas
9. Maleficent
10. The Giver

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