Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s major retail releases occurred earlier this year, but they apparently keep producing on the bottom line.
WarnerMedia cited home entertainment, initial TV telecast revenue and video games, among “other revenue” sources helping offset a 10.4% year-over-year decline in third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) studio revenue to $3.3 billion.
“Games and other revenue” topped $497 million, up 14.2% from revenue of $435 million during the previous-year period. WarnerMedia does not break out home entertainment revenue separately.
The media company, created by AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, reported Warner’s revenue drop was due to the mix of current releases, as the prior-year quarter included The Meg, The Nun and Crazy Rich Asians.
Aquaman, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, A Star is Born and The Lego Movie: The Second Part are among the studio’s bestselling discs in 2019.
Warner Bros.’ operating expenses totaled $2.7 billion, down 12.7% versus the third quarter of 2018, driven by lower film and television production costs. Warner’s operating income margin was 17.6% compared to 15.5% in the year-earlier quarter.
Third-quarter 2019 operating revenue were $7.8 billion, down 4.4% versus third-quarter 2018, with segment operating contribution of $2.5 billion, up 0.6% versus the year-ago quarter.
The company posted a $588 million operating profit, up 2.1% from last year with an operating income margin of 17.6% compared to 15.5% in the year-ago quarter.
WarnerMedia segment operating income margin was 32.2%, compared to 31.3% in the year-earlier quarter.
The superhero movie Aquaman, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, was No. 1 on the top 10 list of combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales for April 2019 according to the NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service.
It’s the second consecutive month the film has topped monthly sales, after leading in March as well. The title has remained near the top of the weekly sales charts after debuting at No. 1 following its March 26 release and returned to the top spot in its fourth and sixth weeks amid a lull in significant new disc releases.
As a result, Aquaman also took over the year-to-date No. 1 spot on the top sellers for 2019.
Paramount’s Bumblebee, released April 2, was the month’s No. 2 seller.
Universal’s Glass, an April 16, release, was No. 3 for the month.
Another April 16 release, Funimation’s anime movie Dragon Ball Super: Broly, was No. 4.
Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse slipped two spots to No. 5 for the month.
Amid another light week for new releases, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Aquaman returned to the top spot on the national disc sales chart for the third time in its six weeks on shelves.
The week ended May 4 saw Aquaman at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales for the week ended May 4.
Aquaman barely edged out Universal Pictures’ Glass, which sold 99.8% as many copies in its third week on shelves. Glass had been the top title the week before.
No. 3 on the overall sales chart was Paramount’s Bumblebee, which sold 90% as many copies as the top title.
The top-selling Blu-ray Disc for the third straight week was Funimation’s Dragon Ball Super: Broly, which was No. 4 overall.
Aquaman was the No. 2 Blu-ray, with Glass at No. 3 and Bumblebee at No. 4.
Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was No. 5 on both charts.
The top new releases for the week were Sony Pictures’ Miss Bala remake at No. 7 (No. 10 Blu-ray), Universal’s Serenity at No. 9 (No. 8 Blu-ray) and Lionsgate’s Dragged Across Concrete at No. 10 (No. 7 Blu-ray).
A retail exclusive had a big impact on the national home video sales rankings the week ended April 20.
Nominally, the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, saw Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Aquaman return to the top spot in its fourth week on shelves.
Debuting at No. 2 on the overall chart and No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart was Universal Pictures’ Glass, the latest thriller from M. Night Shyamalan that serves as a sequel to both 2000’s Unbreakable and 2016’s Split. It earned $111 million at the domestic box office.
However, Walmart offered an exclusive triple-feature Blu-ray containing the three films, an option chosen by many consumers to obtain their copy of Glass.
The standalone version of Glass sold 90% as many copies as the No. 1 overall title, and the trilogy sold 14%. Combined, that would mean more people bought Glass during the week than any other movie.
The top reported Blu-ray Disc seller was the newly released anime movie Dragon Ball Super: Broly, which earned $30.7 million at the domestic box office. Aquaman was No. 2 on the Blu-ray chart.
The standalone Glass sold 79% as many copies as Broly, while the trilogy sold 20%, so the combined tally wouldn’t have been enough to make it the top seller.
No. 4 on both charts was Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, followed at No. 5 by Paramount’s Bumblebee.
Among the week’s other new releases, Warner’s direct-to-video animated movie Justice League vs. The Fatal Five debuted at No. 12 overall and No. 8 on the Blu-ray chart.
Fox’s The Kid Who Would Be King debuted at No. 11 overall and No. 13 on the Blu-ray chart.
Lionsgate’s sci-fi thriller Replicas bowed at No. 14 overall and No. 17 on the Blu-ray chart.
Blu-ray Disc accounted for 84% of first-week Broly sales, compared with 61% for Glass, 55% for Kid and 51% for Replicas.
Fatal Five, which was released only on Blu-ray combo pack formats, had 11% of its sales come from 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. UHD Blu-ray accounted for 12% of Glass sales and 6% for Kid.
The superhero movie Aquaman, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, was No. 1 on the top 10 list of combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales for March 2019 according to the NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service.
The film managed to top monthly sales despite being released at the end of the month, on March 26.
Warner’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, released March 12, was the month’s No. 2 seller.
Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a March 19 release, was No. 3 for the month.
Another March 19 release, Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, was No. 4 on the March sales chart.
Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet, released at the end of February, landed at No. 5.
Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody, the No. 8 seller for the month, maintained its place among the top sellers for the year to date. Aquaman moved into the No. 2 spot for the year, while Ralph moved up a spot to No. 3.
Grindelwald entered the year-to-date chart at No. 4, while Warner’s A Star Is Born remake is now the year’s No. 5 seller.
According to NPD, the March 2019 top 10 by units sold were:
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)
Mary Poppins Returns (Disney)
Ralph Breaks the Internet (Disney)
Creed II (Warner)
A Star Is Born (2018) (Warner)
Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox)
Instant Family (Paramount)
Mortal Engines (Universal)
Year-to-date Top 10 (through March 2019):
Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox)
Ralph Breaks the Internet (Disney)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner)
A slate of newcomers had little luck displacing the top titles on the national sales charts the week ended April 13.
The top performing new release for the week was Sony Pictures’ A Dog’s Way Home, which debuted at No. 4 on both the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.
The top two titles on both charts remained the same from the prior week. Paramount’s Bumblebee took No. 1 and Warner’s Aquaman was No. 2.
Warner’s The Mule held onto the No. 3 spot on the overall sales chart but slipped to No. 7 on the Blu-ray chart.
No. 5 on the overall sales chart and No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart was Warner’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Rounding out the top five on the Blu-ray chart was Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, which was No. 6 overall.
A Dog’s Way Home, about a lost dog looking for her owner, earned $42 million at U.S. theaters.
Sony Pictures’ critically panned comedy Holmes & Watson debuted at No. 8 on the overall chart and No. 9 on the Blu-ray chart. The latest pairing of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly earned just $30.6 million at the domestic box office.
Two new releases from Universal also cracked the top 20 in their first week: On the Basis of Sex debuted at No. 15 (No. 17 on the Blu-ray chart) and Welcome to Marwen, the latest film from director Robert Zemeckis, came in at No. 20 (No. 14 on the Blu-ray chart).
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Aquaman made a splash on the national home video sales charts the week ended March 30, outselling its competitors by a wide margin.
The DC Comics superhero movie took No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart after a $335 million haul at the domestic box office.
The previous weeks’ top seller, Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, slipped to No. 2 on both charts, selling 19% as many copies during the week as the newcomer.
Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns and Warner’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald each slipped a spot to No. 3 and No. 4 on both charts, respectively.
The anime movie My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, from Funimation, debuted at No. 5 on both charts.
Other newcomers in the top 20 included Universal’s Jennifer Lopez starrer Second Act at No. 7 overall (No. 9 on the Blu-ray chart), and Fox’s If Beale Street Could Talk, Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actress for Regina King, at No. 12 overall (No. 14 on the Blu-ray chart).
Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 66% of total Aquaman unit sales, with 14% of its overall tally coming from 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc.
The 1989 horror movie Pet Sematary, from Paramount Home Media Distribution, returned to the charts at No. 13 overall (No. 8 on the Blu-ray chart) thanks to a 30th anniversary 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray re-release timed for the theatrical premiere of the remake of the Stephen King adaptation. The UHD Blu-ray accounted for 39% of the film’s unit sales.
On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended March 31, Aquaman debuted at No. 1, followed by Second Act at No. 1.
The previous week’s top rental, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, slipped to No. 3. Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns rose a spot to No. 4, while Paramount’s Instant Family stayed on the leaderboard at No. 5.
Warner’s Aquaman landed on top of both Redbox charts the week ended March 31.
The superhero film, which earned more than $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office, took the No. 1 spot on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital transactions, including both electronic sellthrough and streaming rentals. The Warner release arrived on disc March 26 and was No. 2 on Redbox’s digital list the week before.
One other new release entered the disc chart for the week, STX Film’s Second Act, which debuted at No. 2. The comedy starring Jennifer Lopez is distributed on disc by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Second Act was also No. 2 on the digital chart.
Warner’s The Mule and Paramount’s Bumblebee popped up on the digital list at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively. Both were released for digital distribution March 19.
Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 31:
Aquaman (New) — Warner
Second Act (New) — Universal/STX
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — Sony
Mary Poppins Returns — Disney
Instant Family— Paramount
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — Warner
Green Book— Universal
Ralph Breaks the Internet— Disney
Creed II — Warner
Mortal Engines— Universal
Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 31:
Second Act — STX
Instant Family — Paramount
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — Sony
A Star Is Born (2018)— Warner
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald— Warner
Consumers looking to pick up Warner’s Aquaman on Blu-ray and DVD March 26 had a number of exclusives available to them from the big three retailers.
Target had editions of the Blu-ray combo pack ($32.99) and the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray ($36.99) with gallery book packaging and lenticular box art that switched between images of Aquaman and villain Black Manta.
Walmart had two exclusives for the title. First, it had a Blu-ray combo gift set with a pack-on Arthur Curry Funko Pocket Pop! keychain for $29.96.
Also, with the wide-release DVD of Aquaman being a two-disc special edition, Walmart offered a single-disc DVD edition for $16.96 with exclusive box art but without most of the bonus materials. The disc contained just a single featurette, “James Wan: World Builder.”
Interestingly, Walmart’s website offered both the one-disc and two-disc DVD options at the same $17.96 price.
Best Buy offered Steelbook editions for both the Blu-ray at $29.99 and the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray at $34.99.
Among other exclusives, Best Buy had a $25.99 Steelbook for Paramount’s 30th anniversary Pet Sematary 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.
Street Date 3/26/19; Warner; Action; Box Office $334.52 million; $28.98 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray, $44.95 UHD BD; Rated ‘PG-13’ for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for language. Stars Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Ludi Lin, Nicole Kidman, Temuera Morrison.
It’s a bit amazing to think that the Justice League member so often derided as “the one who talks to fish and is useless on land” is now the subject of the highest-grossing movie based on a DC Comics character at the worldwide box office.
Already a regular target of parody shows such as “Robot Chicken,” the Aquaman character was famously used as the centerpiece of a storyline on HBO’s “Entourage” involving a blockbuster movie version directed by James Cameron — poking fun at both Cameron’s penchant for water movies and the idea that anyone would ever make an Aquaman movie.
Well, the real film, directed by James Wan, certainly dispels any notion that Aquaman isn’t suited for the big screen. Coincidentally, with this film and Furious 7, Wan became the only director other than Cameron (with Avatar and Titanic) to guide two films from separate franchises into the global box office’s billion-dollar club.
Jason Momoa takes on the title role, his third film appearing as the character, after a cameo in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and an expanded presence in Justice League. His larger-than-life persona and carefree attitude serve the film well by helping the audience accept the bizarreness of the worlds being created without the need to take it too seriously.
Arthur Curry (Momoa) is the product of the unexpected love of a lighthouse keeper (Temuera Morrison) and the Queen of Atlantis (Nicole Kidman) who ends up at his shore when she escapes an arranged marriage. Arthur’s unique heritage gives him superhuman abilities, such as strength, invulnerability, the ability to swim fast and a telepathic bond with sea creatures.
With his reputation as a hero established in Justice League, Arthur is sought out by the princess Mera (Amber Heard) to claim the throne of Atlantis from his half-brother (Patrick Wilson), who wants to destroy the surface world.
To do that, he and Mera must embark on a quest to locate a mythical weapon that will allow him to assert his claim as the rightful king of Atlantis.
The story will draw a lot of comparisons with Black Panther in that both deal with heroes introduced in earlier films, with their own films focused on tying their origins into storylines involving taking control of their hidden kingdoms away from maniacal family members who want to conquer the outside world. Tonally, the film is more like Thor: Ragnarok, which also deals with a battle for the throne of a powerful kingdom. These recent superhero movies have certainly embraced that Shakespearean power dynamics motif lately (which may just speak to how most comic books can be reduced to a few fundamental tropes before all the personality and detail that makes them popular are added).
Between the “Game of Thrones”-esque political intrigue and “Indiana Jones”-style adventure subplot, much of the film’s success owes to its sense of fun and its willingness to depict absolutely anything on screen despite how absurd it is while treating it as epic. Wan fills almost every frame with fantastic imagery awash in vibrant color that really shines through in its high-definition Blu-ray presentation. Many of the scenes look as if Wan pulled them directly from a comic book, and even makes Aquaman’s traditional orange and green costume look cool, which should no doubt please fans of the character.
The Blu-ray includes more than an hour-and-a-half of featurettes detailing all the aspects of the production, from Momoa’s casting, to the stunt work, to the development of the depictions of the undersea kingdoms that comprise the Atlantean realms.
One of the more interesting videos in this regard is the “Kingdoms of the Seven Seas,” a profile of underwater politics hosted by Dolph Lundgren, who plays the ruler of one of them. Between this and his recent turn in a “Rocky” retrospective on the Creed II Blu-ray, Lundgren has been pretty busy on the Warner lot hosting bonus videos.
Another interesting tidbit comes during an analysis of the film’s memorable sequence involving the devolved creatures of the Trench, which plays to Wan’s horror roots. At one point, an excited Wan suggests the Trench should be the basis of its own movie. Unsurprisingly, a Trench spinoff has already been announced.
Finally, the disc includes a three-minute scene from the upcoming Shazam! movie.