After weeks of three or four high-profile new releases, the disc business is going through its usual pre-summer slowdown.
And with no new big theatrical releases arriving in stores last week, the two top spots on the national home video sales charts for the week ending April 12 are the same as in the prior week: Paramount’s “Interstellar” sci-fi epic, which earned $188 million at the U.S. box office, at No. 1, and Warner’s “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the third installment in the adventure fantasy trilogy, at No. 2.
Walt Disney again took the No. 3 and No. 4 spots, with returning titles “Into the Woods” and “Big Hero 6” on the Nielsen Videoscan First Alert chart, which tracks overall disc sales, Blu-ray Disc and DVD combined. Both titles also finished the week in the same spots on Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray chart, albeit in the reverse order.
The lack of new releases might have given 20th Century Fox’s character drama “Wild,” with Reese Witherspoon, a boost: the film shot up to No. 5 on First Alert, after debuting at No. 11 the week before.
Fan excitement sent several older movies and one TV show back up the sales charts. The record-breaking opening of “Furious 7,” which grossed more than $147 million over the Easter/Passover holiday weekend, sent all six previous installments in the fast cars franchise back into the First Alert top 20, led by “Fast Five” at No. 9.
And HBO fed the anticipation for the April 12 premiere of season five of hot HBO fantasy series “Game of Thrones,” which drew about 8 million viewers according to Nielsen, by re-releasing the first season as a low-priced slimcase, prompting the title to move up to No. 8 on First Alert and No. 5 on the Blu-ray chart.
Nielsen data shows the Blu-ray edition of “Interstellar” accounted for 59% of total unit sales, down from 70% in week one.
On Home Media magazine’s rental chart for the week, “Interstellar” remained at No. 1 for the second consecutive week, while 20th Century Fox’s “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” shot up to No. 2 now that its 28-day holdback from Netflix and Redbox is over.
Anchor Bay’s “The Imitation Game” slipped to No. 3 after debuting at No. 2 the prior week. Rounding out the top five were two Lionsgate titles: the direct-to-video thriller “Wild Card” at No. 4 and “A Most Violent Year,” a crime drama set in 1981 New York, at 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 4/12/15:
2. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
3. Into the Woods
4. Big Hero 6
7. Imitation Game
8. Game of Thrones: Season 1
9. Fast Five
10. Penguins of Madagascar
11. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
12. Exodus: Gods and Kings
13. Fast & Furious
14. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
15. Fast & Furious 6
16. The Fast and the Furious
17. 2 Fast 2 Furious
18. Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift
20. Wild Card
Top 10 Home Media Magazine rental chart for the week of 4/12/15:
2. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
3. The Imitation Game
4. Wild Card
5. A Most Violent Year (new)
6. Into the Woods
7. Big Hero 6
9. Dumb and Dumber To
10. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1