Paramount Home Media Distribution is a big winner in the holiday season dating game.

Studios in the fourth quarter typically follow one of two strategies in bringing their summer tentpoles to home video: release films early, before Thanksgiving, to maximize exposure at retail, or wait until right before Christmas to snag the impulse buyer.

Paramount waited until the very last minute to release “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” to the home market. The $191.2 million-grossing film, which opened theatrically in August, was released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on Dec. 16, long after such other big summer films as “The LEGO Movie” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

But thanks to last-minute shoppers, the film easily debuted in the No. 1 spot on both national home video sales charts for the week ending Dec. 21, pushing the prior week’s top seller, Walt Disney Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy,” to No. 2 and selling more than twice as many copies, even though “Guardians” generated significantly more at the box office ($332.7 million).

Indeed, Paramount even issued a press release touting “Turtles” as the No. 1 home entertainment title of year, maintaining that of all 2014 theatrical releases with more than $100 million in box office earnings, “Turtles” has the highest ratio of disc sales to theatrical tickets sales its first week in stores, although the studio provided no further details.

Debuting at No. 3, also on both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks overall disc sales, and Nielsen’s Blu-ray Disc-only chart, was 20th Century Fox’s “The Maze Runner,” a sci-fi actioner that earned $101.9 million in theaters and also likely benefited from its late-in-the-season disc release.

Rounding out the top five on First Alert was Walt Disney’s “Frozen” at No. 4 and 20thCentury Fox’s “Dawn of the Planets of the Apes,” which slipped to No. 5 its third week in stores from No. 2 the prior week.

On Home Media Magazine’s video rental chart for the week, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” also debuted at No. 1, a rare triple win made possible by the fact that Paramount makes its titles available to all retail outlets at the same time.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” rose to No. 2, up two spots from its debut, while Warner’s “Into the Storm” soared to No. 3 now that its 28-day holdback from Netflix and Redbox is over.

Rounding out the top five rentals: 20th Century Fox’s “Let’s Be Cops,” down from No. 1 the prior week, and “If I Stay,” another 20th Century Fox release that just became available at Netflix and Redbox a month after its initial release.


Thomas K. Arnold is editorial director of Home Media Magazine,
Top 20 Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart for the week of 12/21/2014:

  1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (new)
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy
  3. The Maze Runner (new)
  4. Frozen
  5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  6. Maleficent
  7. How to Train Your Dragon 2
  8. Dolphin Tale 2
  9. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  10. 22 Jump Street
  11. Elf
  12. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  13. The LEGO Movie
  14. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  15. The Fault in Our Stars
  16. A Christmas Story
  17. Home Alone: The Complete Collection (new)
  18. The Polar Express
  19. The Expendables 3
  20. Mr. Peabody & Sherman

 Top 10 Home Media Magazine rental chart for the week of 12/21/2014:

  1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (new)
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy
  3. Into the Storm
  4. Let’s Be Cops
  5. If I Stay
  6. How to Train Your Dragon 2
  7. Tammy
  8. 22 Jump Street
  9. When the Game Stands Tall
  10. And So It Goes