Blu-ray Sales: Immortals and Game Battle for Blu-ray Throne

As it was on the DVD sales chart, there was a battle for first place on the Blu-ray sales chart between two new releases. Immortals beat Game of Thrones: Season Two in terms of units, 927,000 units to 680,000 units. However, Game comes out ahead in terms of revenue at $29.89 million to $21.31 million. As far as the two releases opening week Blu-ray share, Immortals managed 59% while Game earned 57%. Both of those results are fantastic. Footloose opened in third place with 188,000 units / $4.59 million. Its opening week Blu-ray share was just 29%, which is weak compared to the market as a whole, but acceptable given the genre. Hugo fell from first to fourth with 175,000 units / $4.60 million for the week giving it 713,000 units / $19.36 million after two. It continues to generate more revenue from Blu-ray than it has from DVD. Jack and Jill rounded out the top five with 160,000 units / $3.43 million for an opening week Blu-ray share of 28%. Like Footloose, this was weak compared to the format as a whole, but not bad for a comedy.

A little further down the list we find The Lion King II: Simba's Pride in seventh place with 86,000 units/ $2.16 million, while The Lion King 1 1/2 opened in tenth place with 57,000 units / $1.43 million. Monty Python and the Holy Grail just missed the top ten with 53,000 units / $683,000. All three Blu-rays did very well for catalog releases. NFL Super Bowl XLVI Champions: 2011 New York Giants opened in 20th place with 26,000 units / $543,000. The final new release to chart was Tooth Fairy 2, which placed 22nd with 18,000 units / $280,000. An opening week Blu-ray share of 12% is weak, even for a direct-to-DVD release like this.

Overall Blu-ray market was strong in nearly every regard. Growth from last week was very strong up 52% in terms of units and 72% in terms of revenue. Compared to last year, growth was even stronger up 102% in terms of units and 161% in terms of revenue. The only factor that wasn't purely in Blu-ray's favor was the DVD sales, which were also very strong compared to last week. In fact, DVD sales were up by nearly the same margin as Blu-rays, so the overall Blu-ray share was relatively static at 38% in terms of units and just shy of 50% in terms of revenue. However, and this is a relatively important caveat, the second best selling DVD for the week, Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2, didn't even come out on Blu-ray. So the fact that Blu-ray was on par with DVD week-over-week was good news.

I don't know if the good news will continue next week. The Descendants was the biggest box office hit coming out next week, but it is not the kind of film that needs to be seen in high definition to be enjoyed, so it might not sell well on Blu-ray. The Adventures of Tintin might do well on high definition, but it wasn't a huge hit here. By comparison, last year sales were led by The Fighter, which was also not a prime Blu-ray release. I think 2012 will win out, but it might not be a blow out like this week.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2012-03-21