Rise of the Planet of the Apes led the way on the Blu-ray sales chart, but with only a few new releases that managed to chart, the overall sales were weak. Planet of the Apes sold 675,000 units generating $15.59 million. Its opening week Blu-ray share was 49%, which was good compared to the average of the format, but weak for the genre. Last minute Christmas sales may have resulted in deeper discounts for DVDs than Blu-rays, at least as a percentage, which could be a mitigating factor.
Kung Fu Panda 2 opened in second place with 391,000 units / $9.28 million, for an opening week Blu-ray share of 36%. Just a few month ago, this would have been great news for a kids movie, but we've been seeing better results since the Christmas shopping season began. The Hangover II fell to third place with 250,000 units / $4.72 million for the week giving it totals of 1.20 million units / $21.61 million after two. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 rose to fourth place with 188,000 units / $3.76 million for the week. It has now sold 4.56 million units and generated $97.88 million in total revenue. It won't be long before it becomes just the third Blu-ray to generate $100 million in revenue. (Avatar and Star Wars: The Complete Saga are the other two.) Cowboys and Aliens fell from second to fifth with 168,000 units / $4.21 million for the week giving it totals of 835,000 units / $17.53 million after two. One has to assumed the studio was hoping for a better result than this.
The only other new Blu-ray to chart was Fright Night, which landed in 15th place with 64,000 units / $1.82 million during it first week on the home market, for a Blu-ray share of 48%. All things considered (genre, box office performance, etc.) 48% isn't a bad result.
The overall Blu-ray market was much weaker than expected as both of the new releases this year failed to live up to expectations. Additionally, last year's new releases were particularly strong. Compared to last week, overall sales were down 26% in terms of units and 18% in terms of revenue. Compared to last year, overall sales were down 25% in terms of units and 20% in terms of revenue. DVD sales fell about the same amount from last week, but were more than 50% lower than last year, resulting in overall Blu-ray share of 34% in terms of units and 46% in terms of revenue. This is a significant improvement from last year and bodes well for the future. It won't be long before more Blu-rays are sold than DVDs, even in a slow week.
Next week will likely be an even worse week on Blu-ray with no prime releases. There were several that were worth picking up, but none that will likely sell hundreds of thousands of copies. Last year, the biggest new release was Salt, which only managed fifth place on the DVD Sales Chart. Worse still, there are really no releases this year that can compare with it, so it is very likely there will be a year-over-year decline. That said, this is due to a weakness in the overall market, mainly due to a weakness at the box office, and the format itself is growing from last year.
Date posted: 2011-12-29