Blu-ray Sales: Thor Goes to War
There are three major releases on this week's Blu-ray sales chart, including one that was released a little early, and one that was released a little late. Leading the way in terms of units sold is Thor with 799,000 units / $22.00 million. Its opening Blu-ray ratio was just a hair under 50% and that's a figure that will quickly become the norm for blockbuster releases. Star Wars: The Complete Saga was second in terms of units with 515,000, but it easily won in terms of dollars with $41.19 million. This is the fifth best opening Blu-ray revenue in the format's history. (Avatar leads the way with $52.80 million, while Beauty and the Beast, Iron Man 2, and Inception are second through fourth respectively.) X-Men: First Class spent its first full week on the chart in third place with 389,000 units / $10.05 million giving it an early total of 1.21 million units / $29.40 million. There was a large drop-off to fourth place, with Spartacus: Gods of the Area selling 43,000 units and generating $1.06 million in revenue. Star Wars: The Original Trilogy opened in fifth place with 34,000 units / $1.36 million.
The Big Bang Theory: Season Four debuted in sixth place with 27,000 units / $1.00 million. Its opening week Blu-ray ratio was just 9%, which is low for the format as a whole, but not entirely unexpected for a TV on DVD release. Supernatural: Season Six opened in tenth place with 19,000 units / $873,000 for an opening Blu-ray ratio of just under 10%. Given the more visual nature of the show, I was expecting a bit more. Citizen Kane was right behind with 19,000 units / $757,000, which is strong for a catalog release. Glee: Season Two took twelfth place with 18,000 units / $791,000. It too earned an opening week Blu-ray ratio of just under 10%. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Season Six placed 13th in its debut with 12,000 units / $306,000. Its opening Blu-ray ratio of 11% is a little higher than average for this week's selection of TV on DVD releases, which is surprising, as the show doesn't have a lot of visual flare.
Going further down the list we find Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy in 15th place with 11,000 units / $431,000. O Brother, Where Art Thou? earned 18th place with 8,000 units / $158,000. Finally, Camelot: Season One debuted in 19th place with 8,000 units / $258,000. This was 16% of total units sold, which is strong for a TV on DVD release.
The overall Blu-ray sales continued their strong showing up from last week by 32% in terms of units and 125% in terms of revenue. Compared to last year, Blu-ray sales are up 205% in terms of units and 355% in terms of revenue. The Star Wars: The Complete Saga certainly helped the overall revenue. In fact, it represented almost half the overall revenue. On the other hand, DVD sales were down from last year and that helped the Blu-ray ratio shoot up to 38% in terms of units and 53% in terms of revenue. Blu-ray generating more revenue than DVD? That's a first. It's not the best single week for the format, as there were two weeks last year where Blu-ray revenues topped $90 million, but this year we should see the $100 million mark broken, probably on a few occasions.
As for the more immediate future, next week is a let down as far as Blu-ray releases go. Bridesmaids is the biggest first run releases, but it's the wrong genre to be a huge hit on high definition. Also, this week last year wasn't nearly as bad as previous weeks, so growth should slow considerably.
Last minute update: Just got word that Bridesmaids' opening week Blu-ray ratio is roughly 30%, which would be amazing for a female driven comedy. We will have to wait till this time next week to get solid numbers, but if this holds up, it would be further proof Blu-ray is on its way to replacing DVD.
Date posted: 2011-09-28