The sequel has sold 2 million units on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, making it the top Digital HD family title from 20th Century Fox ever, Variety has learned. It’s also the biggest seller across all platforms for a film that was released during the summer, although those pics are just now starting to roll out.
Either way, the results are good news for DreamWorks, which is banking on “How to Train Your Dragon” to be a long-running franchise for the toon studio with multiple sequels planned.
The film is the year’s highest grossing animated film, with $619 million in worldwide box office so far.
And its results on homevideo are a bright spot for studios that are looking to encourage more families to purchase films on digital platforms. They’re especially positive as the holidays are approaching, typically when consumers snatch up a number of high-profile films on homevideo.
Disney has especially been pushing digital with its Disney Movies Anywhere platform for Disney, Marvel and Pixar titles, which is now backed by Apple’s iTunes, Google Play and Walmart’s Vudu.
Fox had been hoping for a big number for the “Dragon” sequel, given that it backed the toon with the largest marketing campaign it’s put behind a DreamWorks Animation title since it began releasing the studio’s films, starting with “The Croods” in early 2013.
Altogether, a four-month campaign across TV, print, in-theater and online helped generate strong pre-orders.On TV, media buys included ads that targeted kids on Cartoon Network, Disney XD, Nick, NickToons, Teen Nick and Boomerang, while moms were reached on Bravo, E!, HGTV, TLC, Food, Oxygen, NickMom, and We. Media buys targeted families on “The Voice,” “Modern Family,” “Today,” “Good Morning America,” and “Dancing with the Stars.”
Fox also produced a live action promo with Nickelodeon talent to promote the release, a first for the studio.
Print efforts included ads in Entertainment Weekly, Yahoo, USA Today, Parade, and in-theater ads promoted the toon with family titles.
Elsewhere, the ambitious campaign included a partnership with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, with the toon’s Hiccup and Toothless delivering the game’s ball Nov. 2.
And naturally, social media was utilized to push #DragonsDay as a trending term on Twitter in order to promote the Digital HD release, and encourage consumers to have viewing parties.