‘American Sniper’ Shoots to the Top of the Home-Video Charts

High purchase demand for controversial war drama

'American Sniper' Shoots the Top of

Warner Bros.’ “American Sniper,” the controversial war drama from Clint Eastwood that grossed nearly $350 million in U.S. theaters, easily topped the national home video sales charts its first week in stores, snagging the No. 1 spot on both Nielsen VideoScan’s overall disc sales chart and dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart for the week ending May 24.

“Sniper” ended a two-week reign atop both charts by Universal Pictures’ “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which slipped to No. 2.

In its third week of release, the film – based on the sexually charged novel of seduction and dominance – sold just 13% as many units as “Sniper.”

Anchor Bay’s family-friendly “Paddington” repeated at No. 3, also on both charts, while the No. 4 spot went to another new release: Paramount’s “Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” a raunchy ‘R’-rated comedy that took in just $12.3 million at the domestic box office. The 2010 original grossed more than $50 million and in addition to top-billed John Cusack, who does not appear in the theatrical version of the sequel, featured a cameo by Chevy Chase, who reprises his role as the mystical hot tub repairman in the second installment (Cusack does appear in the sequel’s unrated cut that appears on the Blu-ray Disc).

Rounding out the top five was Universal’s “Pitch Perfect” on the overall disc chart and Warner’s “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” on the Blu-ray Disc chart.

“American Sniper” generated 44% of its total unit sales from Blu-ray Disc, compared to 41% from “Hot Tub Time Machine 2.”

On Home Media Magazine’s rental chart for the week, the No. 1 spot went to 20th Century Fox’s “Taken 3,” which came off its 28-day holdback from Redbox.

“Hot Tub Time Machine 2” debuted at No. 2.

The No. 3 spot on the rental chart went to Sony Pictures’ “The Wedding Ringer,” down from No. 2 the prior week. Paramount’s “The Gambler” slipped to No. 4 from No. 3.

The previous week’s top rental, Lionsgate’s “Mortdecai,” dropped to No. 5.

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 5/24/15:

  1. American Sniper (new)
  2. Fifty Shades of Grey
  3. Paddington
  4. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (new)
  5. Pitch Perfect
  6. Taken 3
  7. Strange Magic (new)
  8. Big Hero 6
  9. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  10. Orange is the New Black: Season Two (new)
  11. Selma
  12. Mortdecai
  13. Black or White
  14. The Cobbler
  15. Duck Dynasty: Season 7 (new)
  16. Interstellar
  17. Jurassic Park Collection
  18. The Boy Next Door
  19. Blackhat
  20. Despicable Me 2


Top 10 Home Media Magazine rental chart for the week of 5/24/15:

  1. Taken 3
  2.  Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (new)
  3. The Wedding Ringer
  4. The Gambler
  5. Mortdecai
  6. The Cobbler
  7. Paddington
  8. Still Alice
  9. Cake
  10. Unbroken