‘Wall*E’ Leads DVD Sales
Heading into the holiday season, home video companies are hoping for a surge in shopping as sales for standard and Blu-ray discs combined to drop with a 9% increase in the third quarter compared with #Q 2007. There remain rays of hope with Wall*E topping the charts for the week ending November 23. In second place in sales, but first in rentals, is Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder.
As one would expect during a holiday period, kids fare did very well with Kung Fu Panda taking first the week prior with 117,954 units sold according to Billboard. What was a surprise, though, was the sales and rental strength of Hellboy II: The Golden Army. This bodes well for encouraging Universal to add the third film in the series to Guillermo del Toro’s crowded schedule.
A disappointment, according to The Numbers, has been Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has disappointed with 4.8 million in sales. Iron Man continues to top the charts but last year, nine other titles had stronger sales. Wall*E is likely to supplant Alvin and the Chipmunks for top animated film of the year.
Blu-ray sales are an encouraging sign as more people are finally ready to buy upgraded players now that the format war ended in Blu-ray’s favor. Studios have been rushing out current and classic films in the more expensive format in the hopes of improving their bottom lines. Overall, estimates show that to date more than 14 million Blu-rays discs have been sold this year with is an increase of 233% from 2007. Industry goals were to sell 40 million units and reach $1 billion in sales but that was before the economy tanked and people slowed discretionary spending.
An increasing trend has been for initial releases to come with a digital copy on disc that can be downloaded to computers and iPods, encouraging the mobilization of home video and in turn, increased sales through multiple channels (download, standard or Blu-ray, on demand).
Several other films are coming to DVD in the next few weeks, hoping to find their way in stockings and putting more cash in the coffers. Tomorrow is The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Wanted followed next week by The Dark Knight.
The current top ten for 2008 according to The Numbers.
Rank Title Units Sales Release Date
8,052,706 $149,310,018 9/30/2008
6,203,203 $112,073,889 11/18/2008
I am Legend
6,007,646 $112,388,445 3/18/2008
Kung Fu Panda
5,962,556 $101,325,536 11/9/2008
Alvin and the Chipmunks
5,916,365 $99,574,330 4/1/2008
National Treasure – Book of Secrets
5,872,331 $93,636,904 5/20/2008
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
5,020,269 $108,806,665 10/14/2008
4,940,634 $79,088,271 3/18/2008
4,473,325 $74,992,309 2/19/2008
4,314,736 $71,172,043 3/11/2008