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Blu-ray Sales: High Definition Looking Blue

December 15th, 2011

The Smurfs led a group of five new releases on the Blu-ray sales chart earning first place in the process. It sold 355,000 units while generating $8.88 million during its first week on the home market, which represents 42% of all units sold. That's a very strong opening week Blu-ray ratio for a live action kids movie. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 slipped to second place with 247,000 units / $4.64 million for the week giving it totals of 4.20 million units / $90.80 million after nearly a month of release. It became only the second film to sell 4 million Blu-rays. (Avatar was the first.) The Lion King remained in third place with 131,000 units / $3.30 million for the week. After two months of release, the film has sold 3.13 million units while generating $86.17 million in sales. Christmas sales helped Inception return to the top five with 122,000 units / $1.31 million for the week and 3.93 million units / $85.73 million after a year of release. X-Men: First Class rounded out the top five with 121,000 units / $2.76 million for the week and 1.37 million units / $30.44 million after four months of release.

Friends with Benefits only managed ninth place with 106,000 units / $2.13 million during its opening week. This gave it a Blu-ray ratio of 33%, which is better than the historical norm for comedies. 30 Minutes or Less opened in 15th place with 78,000 units / $1.56 million for a 36% opening week Blu-ray ratio. Smallville: Season Ten placed 23rd, which sold 35,000 units generating $1.59 million in revenue. TV on DVD releases tend to not sell as well on Blu-ray as the format as a whole, but 21% is better than most similar releases manage. Finally, Our Idiot Brother was right behind with 34,000 units / $686,000. Its opening Blu-ray ratio was 25%, which is more inline with expectations, given its genre.

The post-Black Friday week was obviously not as active as the Black Friday week, but the declines were not tragic either, at least not on Blu-ray. Sales were down week-to-week with 32% fewer units sold, while total revenue was only down by 6%. Compared to last year, Blu-ray sales were up marginally at 7% in terms of units sold and 19% in terms of revenue generated. On the other hand, DVD sales were tragically lower, down to just under 50% in terms of units and just over 51% in terms of revenue when compared to last year. The overall Blu-ray ratio recovered to 38% of total units and 49% of total revenue. This success is even more impressive when you take into account the number of new releases and the fact that none of them were prime genres for high definition sales.

Next week's Blu-ray sales should be similar to this week's, because while there are a number of bigger releases, nearly all of them will likely to relatively better on DVD than Blu-ray. Worse still, this week last year there were three DVDs that sold more than 1 million units, including The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which sold nearly 3 million units. More importantly, Inception sold 1.69 million units during the week. I can't see any film matching that total this year, so we might see year-over-year declines in the overall sales.


Filed under: Video Releases, The Lion King, Inception, The Smurfs, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, 30 Minutes or Less, X-Men: First Class, Friends with Benefits, Our Idiot Brother