Blu-ray Sales: Wings Sparkle on High Definition

Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings was one of six new releases to reach the top 11 on the Blu-ray sales chart this week. It was surprisingly strong for a direct-to-DVD release aimed at kids selling 424,000 units and generating $12.10 million for an opening week Blu-ray share of 36%. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter only managed fifth place on the DVD sales chart, but second place on the Blu-ray sales chart. It sold 316,000 units and generated $6.31 million in revenue for an opening week Blu-ray share of 60%. Granted, it is aimed at a Fanboy audience, which is the audience most likely to pick up the high definition version of a film or TV show, but this is still impressive. Magic Mike was in a virtual tie for second place; in fact, with $7.08 million in revenue, it was in second by that metric, even though it sold fewer units at 308,000. Its opening week Blu-ray share was just 31%, which is low for the format. On the other hand, it is aimed at women and it is not the right genre for high definition, so this is understandable. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted fell to fourth place with 203,000 units / $4.88 million for the week and 972,000 units / $20.24 million after two. Prometheus rounded out the top five with 116,000 units / $2.90 million for the week, giving it totals of 1.06 million units / $21.87 million after three.

There was a cluster of new releases at the lower end of the top ten, and beyond. Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection earned ninth place with 54,000 units / $1.08 million. Its opening week Blu-ray share was just 14%, but given its genre and its target audience, this is expected. Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season Four earned tenth place in terms of units at 35,000, but ninth place with $1.23 million. Its opening week Blu-ray share was 45%, which is extremely high for a TV on DVD release. Granted, it was aimed at the nearly perfect demographic, but this is still a great start. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World landed in eleventh place with 31,000 units / $612,000 for an opening week Blu-ray share of 52%. It is a little hard to explain that result; however, its DVD sales were so low that this is not that impressive.

The overall Blu-ray market was a little stronger when compared to last week with 3% more units sold and 15% more revenue generated. This happened despite the fact that the number one selling release was a direct-to-DVD kids movie. Compared to last year, there were 28% more units sold and 10% higher revenue. DVD sales were also stronger growing by 16% in terms of and 7% in terms of revenue when compared to last week. Compared to last year, growth was a lot more impressive up 66% in terms of both units and revenue. The overall Blu-ray share is still lower than I would like at 36% in terms of units and 44% in terms of revenue. On the other hand, we haven't had a prime Blu-ray release since The Avengers came out a month ago.

Next week likely won't be any better, as the new releases are particularly weak. The best seller will probably be The Campaign, which is the wrong genre for major success on high definition. Last year Captain America led the new releases selling 701,000 DVDs and 756,000 Blu-rays. There's almost no chance any film will replicate that figure this year.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2012-11-15