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‘Batman v Superman’ Shoots to Top of Disc Charts

Superhero showdown in high demand on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, despite lackluster reviews

Warner Bros.’ “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” fought its way to an easy No. 1 debut on the NPD VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart the week ended July 24.

The superhero epic arrived in the home video market following a $330.4 million haul at the domestic box office, which presented the first big-screen live-action meeting of iconic comic book characters Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot).

Upon its release, “BvS” was plagued by bad reviews that may have hampered audience enthusiasm for the film, but fans were generally more receptive of director Zack Snyder’s efforts to create a sprawling conflict between the legendary characters. On RottenTomatoes.com, just 27% of critics recorded a positive review, compared with 65% of audience voters who liked the film.

To counter some of the backlash, almost immediately upon the “BvS” theatrical debut in March the studio touted that a three-hour extended cut of the film would eventually be released on home video. That version received much acclaim from fans and its existence seems to have driven some of the title’s home video success. The extended cut is available only on the “Ultimate Edition” Blu-ray copies of the movie, not the standalone DVD version, and the first week of release for “Batman v Superman” saw 70% of its copies sold coming from the Blu-ray format — one of the highest first-week Blu-ray percentages ever for a major theatrical release new to disc (the record is the 83% put up by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” earlier this year).

Dropping a spot to No. 2 in its second week was Lionsgate’s “The Divergent Series: Allegiant,” which sold just 12% as many copies as “BvS” (and 8% as many Blu-ray copies). The film is the third in the franchise based on a series of young-adult sci-fi books, but its lackluster box office results have reportedly motivated the studio to turn the yet-to-be-made concluding fourth film into a TV movie, followed by a TV show.

Rounding out the top five for the week, each dropping a slot on the overall chart, were Sony Pictures’ “Miracles From Heaven” at No. 3, Disney’s “Zootopia” at No. 4 and DreamWorks Animation’s Fox-distributed “Kung Fu Panda 3” at No. 5. (On the Blu-ray chart, “Zootopia” was No. 3, “Miracles From Heaven” No. 4 and “Kung Fu Panda 3” No. 5).

The only other new releases in the top 20 were the Lionsgate romantic comedy “The Perfect Match” at No. 9, and the actioner “Kill Zone 2,” from Well Go USA, at No. 10.

On Home Media Magazine’s rental chart for the week, Universal’s “London Has Fallen” rose a spot to take No. 1, pushing “Allegiant” to No. 2.

Universal’s “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” came off its 28-day holdback from Redbox rental kiosks to move up to No. 3, while “Miracles From Heaven” and “Kung Fu Panda 3” each dropped a slot to No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.

John Latchem is Managing Editor of Home Media Magazine.

Top 20 NPD VideoScan First Alert, powered by Nielsen, chart for the week ended 7/24/16:

1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (New)
2. Allegiant
3. Miracles From Heaven
4. Zootopia
5. Kung Fu Panda 3
6. Deadpool
7. Ghostbusters
8. Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens
9. The Perfect Match (New)
10. Kill Zone 2 (New)
11. The Bourne Classified Collection
12. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
13. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
14. London Has Fallen
15. Gods of Egypt
16. Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League — Gotham City Breakout
17. Now You See Me
18. Ghostbusters 2
19. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
20. The Goonies

Top 10 Home Media Magazine rental chart for the week ended 7/24/16:

1. London Has Fallen
2. Allegiant
3. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
4. Miracles From Heaven
5. Kung Fu Panda 3
6. Zootopia
7. The Perfect Match (New)
8. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
9. Midnight Special
10. Deadpool

For complete sales and rental charts, visit HomeMediaMagazine.com.

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