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2021: U.K. Home Entertainment Revenue Up 13% to $5 Billion, More than 21 Million Discs Sold

Consumers in the United Kingdom continued to embrace home entertainment in 2021, spending more than $5 billion across physical and digital media, which was up 13.3% from $4.4 billion spent in 2020, according to new year-end data from the British Association for Screen Entertainment. The trade group bases data from the Official Charts Company, Futuresource Consulting, Omdia, and Kantar, among other sources.

More than 21.1 million discs were sold in the U.K., the world’s No. 2 home entertainment retail market — underscoring resilience of disc sales despite challenging retail market conditions. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment was the biggest distributor in the U.K.

Meanwhile, more than 50% of U.K. households have embraced subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), with 16 million households subscribing to at least one service. That said, the growth of SVOD slowed in 2021, with growth of 28%, down from 44% in 2020.

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MGM/UA Releasing’s No Time to Die was the biggest retail title of the year with 1.15 million unit sales, including 717,500 combined DVD/Blu-ray Discs sold in two weeks, generating the largest first-week disc sales since 2017, and the biggest ever on 4K UHD Blu-ray. On Blu-ray, the movie sold 237,000 units, of which 15% was 4K UHD — surpassing the previous No. 1, Disney’s Avengers: Endgame.

The last movie with Daniel Craig as Agent 007 was also the biggest-selling title of the year on digital retail with sales of over 430,000 units.

The cross-format performance of No Time to Die underscores the home entertainment options now available to consumers, with an initial release in theaters, followed by premium video-on-demand (PVOD), electronic sellthrough, DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD, with traditional VOD still to come.

“2021 has no doubt been one of the most challenging on record for the U.K. home video sector, but continued consumer thirst for transactional content in 2021 was evident despite a more limited slate, with digital library sales growing year-over-year once more,” David Sidebottom, principal analyst, entertainment at Futuresource Consulting, said in a statement. “The sector remains incredibly robust heading into 2022, with transactional digital video sales set to bounce back, potentially to record levels, boosted by a plethora of new movie releases.”

Indeed, the ongoing impact of the pandemic, including shuttered theaters earlier this year drove home entertainment retail the first six months of 2021, and the consequent lack of big-screen content was felt throughout the
year. The traditional content pipeline was fractured for the first time, and the U.K. gross box office stood at 40% of pre-pandemic levels, with just over half the number of theatrical releases compared to 2019.

With the reopening of cinemas in May, the big screen experience re-emerged and began its build back steadily across the second half of 2021, as audiences grew in confidence and a blockbuster slate began to land.

This culminated in a game-changing $130 million U.K./Irish box office for
No Time to Die. The title’s success across digital and physical formats demonstrated the new landscape of co-existing multi-format screen entertainment.

Across the digital landscape, the final week of 2020 saw the biggest value week ever for electronic sellthrough, at just under $11 million, and the Christmas week saw the biggest combined value for the home entertainment sector since the pandemic began, with a value of $30 million.

The success of PVOD and digital sellthrough underscored the ongoing transactional role at the heart of the home entertainment experience for consumers. There were 17.7 million digital sale transactions in 2021, where Peter Rabbit 2 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) was the second-biggest selling title following No Time to Die. There were more than 27 million VOD transactions in the first 9 months of 2021, with Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group) ahead of the pack as the No. 1 VOD title.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group)
was the No. 2 Blu-ray Disc seller with almost 26,000 units in the format. Black Widow (The Walt Disney Company), The Thing (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment), Wonder Woman 1984, The Suicide Squad, Godzilla vs Kong and Tenet (Warner) all sold more than 10,000 units at the higher price-point in the premium format. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy delivered the highest value for 4K UHD sales, with over $1.7 million against 19,200-unit sales.

“The figures released today show what we at Sony Pictures firmly believe: that despite a challenging period for the industry due to the pandemic, the consumer appetite for Film and TV remains as strong and vital as ever,” said Rob Marsh, BASE chairman and SVP of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Official Video Chart 2021 (All Digital; Blu-ray and DVD, EST and VOD)
1. NO TIME TO DIE
2. WONDER WOMAN 1984
3. PETER RABBIT 2
4. GODZILLA VS. KONG
5. TENET

Official Video Chart 2021 (All Digital Retail; Blu-ray and DVD, EST)
1. NO TIME TO DIE
2. PETER RABBIT 2
3. WONDER WOMAN 1984
4. GODZILLA VS KONG
5. ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE

Official Video Chart 2021 (All Blu-ray; DVD)
1. NO TIME TO DIE
2. BLACK WIDOW
3. WONDER WOMAN 1984
4. PETER RABBIT 2
5. F9: THE FAST SAGA

Official DVD Chart 2021
1. NO TIME TO DIE
2. PETER RABBIT 2
3. BLACK WIDOW
4. F9: THE FAST SAGA
5. WONDER WOMAN 1984

Official Blu-ray Chart 2021
1. NO TIME TO DIE
2. ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE
3. BLACK WIDOW
4. WONDER WOMAN 1984
5. THE SUICIDE SQUAD

Official Film Download Chart: EST 2021
1. NO TIME TO DIE
2. PETER RABBIT 2
3. THE GRINCH (ANIMATED)
4. THE GRINCH
5. ELF

Official Film Download Chart: DIGITAL RENTAL 2021 (JANUARY TO SEPTEMBER)
1. WONDER WOMAN 1984
2. TENET
3. HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE
4. GODZILLA VS. KONG
5. A QUIET PLACE

Official Film on Video Chart 2021
1. NO TIME TO DIE
2. BLACK WIDOW
3. WONDER WOMAN 1984
4. F9: THE FAST SAGA
5. ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE

Official Children’s Video Chart 2021
1. PETER RABBIT 2
2. RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON
3. SOUL
4. LUCA
5. PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE

Official TV on Video Chart 2021
1. STAR TREK: PICARD — SEASON ONE
2. THE CROWN: SEASON FOUR
3. THE CROWN: SEASON THREE
4. GAME OF THRONES: COMPLETE 8TH SEASON
5. SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE 15TH SEASON

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