‘Hunger Games’ Leads Banner Week for Home Video Sales

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Image courtesy of Lionsgate

It was another banner week for new releases, with new-to-disc movie and TV release accounting for six of the top 10 sellers on the national home video sales charts for the week ending March 8.

Swooping in at No. 1 its first week in stores was Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1,” the third installment in the futuristic action franchise. The film, which grossed $337 million in U.S. theaters, nabbed the top spot on both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined Blu-ray Disc and DVD sales, and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart.

The film pushed Walt Disney Studios’ “Big Hero 6” to No. 2 on both charts. The animated superhero adventure remained a strong seller its second week in stores, but was outsold by a more than 2-to-1 margin by the “Hunger Games” sequel.

Debuting at No. 3 on both charts was another Disney film, “Tinker Bell and the NeverBeast,” a direct-to-video release that’s the sixth film in the “Peter Pan” fairy spinoff.

On the overall disc sales chart, the fourth spot went to Universal Pictures’ “Barbie in Princess Power,” another new direct-to-video release, with Warner’s “Horrible Bosses 2” taking the No. 5 spot after debuting at No. 2 the prior week.

On the Blu-ray Disc chart, “Horrible Bosses 2” finished the week at No. 4, ahead of Sony Pictures’ “Outlander: Season 1, Volume 1,” which bowed at No. 6 on First Alert.

Other new releases that debuted in the top 10 were Sony Pictures’ “Foxcatcher” (No. 7 on the overall disc chart and No. 8 on the Blu-ray Disc chart) and Paramount’s “PAW Patrol: Marshall and Chase – On the Case” (No. 9 on First Alert). The biodrama “Foxcatcher” is a theatrical underperformer that only grossed a little more than $12 million in theaters despite a star-studded cast that includes Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and the legendary Vanessa Redgrave. “PAW Patrol” is a budget-priced Nickelodeon cartoon with eight episodes.

According to Nielsen data, “Mockingjay” generated 53% of its total unit sales from Blu-ray Disc, a higher percentage than any of the other new releases. In comparison, “NeverBeast” generated 40% of its sales from Blu-ray Disc; “Barbie in Princess Power,” 13%; “Outlander,” 38%, and “Foxcatcher,” 42%. “PAW Patrol” is only available on DVD.

On Home Media Magazine’s rental chart for the week, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” debuted at No. 1, followed at No. 2 by Universal Pictures’ “Dracula Untold,” which saw a big boost in its rental activity when it came off its 28-day holdback from Netflix and Redbox.

“Big Hero 6” moved up to No. 3 from No. 6, while last week’s top rental, Universal Pictures’ “Lucy,” slipped to No. 4.

Rounding out the top 5 was Universal Pictures’ “Ouija,” also available for the first time at all rental outlets.

Thomas K. Arnold is editorial director of Home Media Magazine.

Top 20 Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart for the week of 3/08/15:

1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (new)
2. Big Hero 6
3. Tinker Bell: The Legend of the NeverBeast (new)
4. Barbie in Princess Power (new)
5. Horrible Bosses 2
6. Outlander: Season 1, Volume 1
7. Foxcatcher (new)
8. Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season
9. PAW Patrol: Marshall and Chase – On the Case! (new)
10. Dumb and Dumber To
11. Sons of Anarchy: The Final Season
12. The Interview
13. John Wick
14. Birdman
15. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
16. The Captive (new)
17. Fury
18. Frozen
19. The Book of Life
20. St. Vincent

Top 10 Home Media Magazine rental chart for the week of 3/08/15:

1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (new)
2. Dracula Untold
3. Big Hero 6
4. Lucy
5. Ouija
6. Foxcatcher (new)
7. Horrible Bosses 2
8. The Best of Me
9. Gone Girl
10. The Book of Life