BASE: Packaged Media Helps Up 2019 U.K. Home Entertainment Retail Market 9.5%

To paraphrase Mark Twain, “the reports of [the death of packaged media] are greatly exaggerated” — in the United Kingdom anyway.

Sales of DVD, Blu-ray Disc, 4K UHD Blu-ray and electronic sellthrough movies and TV shows in the world’s No. 2 home entertainment market generated more than £891 million ($1.2 billion) in 2019, according to year-end data compiled by the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) and culled from statistics originating within the Official Charts Co. and Futuresource Consulting.

About 54% of the 2019 transactional revenue came from packaged media, underlining that where content ownership is concerned, the disc is still the preferred choice for many consumers. In fact, 42% of consumers who made a physical transaction within the past 12 months did so to add to a collection, 43% bought to give as a gift, and 46% bought so they could re-watch on multiple occasions.

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The top-selling disc in 2019 was Disney-owned 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s Bohemian Rhapsody, with the Oscar winner selling more than 1.7 million units across physical and digital formats. The success of the Freddie Mercury biopic came on the heels of Fox’s 2018 chart topper, The Greatest Showman, which itself continued to perform strongly in 2019, selling an additional 468,000 copies across all formats (giving it total sales of more than 3.1 million copies). Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s A Star Is Born followed up with 702,000 copies sold.

“Consumer appetite for paid-for digital video continued its impressive momentum in 2019,” David Sidebottom, principal analyst of entertainment at Futuresource Consulting, said in a statement. “Both EST and [transactional VOD] grew once again, albeit at a lower rate than previously after an incredibly strong 2018 performance. SVOD goes from strength to strength, as the new wave of SVOD service heralds the next era of digital video, as we enter 2020.”

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Indeed, subscription streaming video — driven by Netflix and Amazon Prime Video — helped grow overall home entertainment revenue 9.5% to £2.6 billion ($3.4 billion) from £2.37 billion ($3.1 billion) in 2018. SVOD accounted for nearly 66% of total revenue.

The picture is far from black and white, however, with nearly 40% of SVOD subscribers also transacting on physical or digital formats, as well as the 7.2 million consumers without over-the-top video subscriptions.

BASE said a proliferation of consumption models, including physical media and digital consumption at home and on the move, means that access to home entertainment content is more pervasive than ever before.

With SVOD now an entrenched layer of the home entertainment industry, it not only provides a diversity of choice for consumers, but also serves as a launchpad for high-quality original content that then goes on to reach an even wider audience via transactional formats.

“In a year that has seen consolidation between studios and independent distributors alike, the reality is that consumption habits are changing and are likely to continue to do so, with the debut of services like Disney+, Peacock and HBO Max all likely to further [drive] that change,” BASE CEO Liz Bales said.

The executive reiterated that content ownership — especially locally produced — remains of significant value to many consumers.

“Opportunity often comes from change, as evidenced by the U.K. production boom, and so we look to 2020 with excitement and a wealth of content and delivery well-equipped to meet evolving audience needs,” she said.

Blu-ray accounted for 27% of the disc market share, up from 24.3% in 2018. BASE contends the enduring appeal of disc is underscored by consumers’ investment in higher-end hardware and utilizing the Blu-ray and 4K UHD capabilities of games consoles.

The trade group said the average selling price across the Blu-ray format increased 4.7% to £14.88. Within the Blu-ray format, 4K UHD now represents 16.3% of the Blu-ray market, and a total of 4.3% of the overall disc market. There are more than 450 4K UHD Blu-ray titles available.

At the same time, EST grew 4.5% in sales volume and 3.5% retail value suggests that the digital revolution that has taken place in recent years is increasingly permeating the choices consumers are making for owned media too, with increasing numbers of consumers opting to grow their digital collections as well.

Among the Top 10 titles of 2019, digital purchase accounted for 33% of copies sold, with Bohemian Rhapsody and Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame selling in excess of half a million combined digital copies. All of the EST Top 10, including Toy Story 4 and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Venom sold in excess of 175,000 units each.

Among studios, Disney led with 18.6% market share across all formats, and driven by Toy Story 4 (827,000 copies), Mary Poppins Returns (751,000 copies), Ralph Breaks the Internet (360,000 copies), Aladdin (637,000 copies), The Lion King (679,000 copies) and Dumbo (392,000 copies).

Avengers: Endgame sold more than 1.33 million copies to land at second place on the combined chart; Captain Marvel (638,000 copies), and catalog title Avengers: Infinity War (351,000 copies) also featured in the best-selling titles of the year.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment continued its reign as the largest disc distributor based on volume driven by its studio slate, Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks and Entertainment One.

Rocketman came out on top as Paramount’s best-selling disc title in 2019; Danny Boyle’s Beatles-inspired Yesterday performed well; and even outside of its new release window, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again became Universal’s fourth-best-selling title in 2019. Returning franchises, including How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World, Johnny English Strikes Again and The Secret Life of Pets 2 saw strong sales, while spinoffs and remakes, including Bumblebee and The Grinch, also boosted the studio’s market share.

Other top-selling titles included Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner), which sold more than 662,000 copies including boxed sets, while Venom (Sony) ended the year in eighth place on the combined chart with sales of 653,000.

In the TV content, Game of Thrones: The Complete Eighth Season (Warner) sold more than 192,000 copies in the final four weeks of the year, topping the TV title chart and landing in the top 10 chart for consumer spend on disc, and also helping the “Thrones” catalog secure the title of best-selling TV franchise of 2019.

“Chernobyl” (Acorn Video by RLJ Entertainment) saw sales of 116,000 units, making it the second-highest-selling TV title of the year. BBC Studios continued to see franchise success with “Peaky Blinders” as well as both the new and classic series of “Doctor Who,” the latter of which ranked as the second-highest-selling TV franchise of the year.

U.K. consumer fascination with the Royal Family continued by another year of strong sales for seasons one and two of “The Crown” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) at number four on the TV chart, as well as “The Crown” franchise placing at number four in the TV franchise chart based on volume.

This continued success of TV content launched and accessible via streaming and catch-up services signposts the considerable consumer appetite to own SVOD-driven series on physical formats, also demonstrated by the success of Good Omens (BBC Studios) which landed at number 11 on the TV chart.

Despite the successes of standout titles, the final six months of 2019 saw a significantly reduced release slate, mirroring the smaller theatrical releases seen at the start of the year. BASE expects the 2020 slate to help redress the imbalance from 2019.

A raft of family films, including Frozen 2 (Disney), Minions: The Rise of Gru (Universal), Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (Sony) and The Secret Garden (StudioCanal distributed by Elevation Sales) are set to entertain. The U.K.’s unwavering appetite for musical drama will be sated by Lionsgate’s Military Wives and Universal’s Cats; superhero spinoffs and sequels are also aplenty, starting the year with Joker (Warner), followed by Black Widow (Disney), Venom 2 (Sony) and Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner); Disney/Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and James Bond actioner No Time to Die (Universal).

“We know that audiences find enormous value in our content and the first half of 2020, packed with diverse new IP as well as must-see franchise titles, should serve as the perfect reminder that in a market of consumers hungry for content, there’s plenty of room for those able to adapt,” said Kevin Dersley, co-vice chair of BASE and managing director of Elevation Sales.

BASE: Packaged Media Still Dominates Sluggish Half-Year U.K. Home Video Sales

Despite competition from subscription streaming video services, consumers in the United Kingdom continue to covet ownership of physical and digital home entertainment.

Half-year sales figures from the British Association for Screen Entertainment — citing Official Charts Co. data — found consumers in the world’s No. 2 home video market purchased more than 32 million DVD, Blu-ray, 4K UHD and EST (electronic sellthrough) combined units for a retail value of £294.5 million ($366.5 million).

Despite a tough retail environment, physical disc formats remain the first choice for consumers, with a total of 22.3 million physical copies sold at a value of £215.8 million ($268.7 million), with DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD formats representing 65% of sales.

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At title level, disc remains the consumer’s go-to for ownership, and is the majority-selling format for 80% out of the top 100 titles.

Approaching 1 million physical copies sold, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s Bohemian Rhapsody leads the competition with more than 913,400 physical copies sold.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group’s A Star is Born follows, selling 531,900 copies on disc, as U.K. consumers continue their appetite for musicals, with musicals and music-led titles making up half of the Top 10 best-selling disc titles.

Long-standing franchises also continue to see physical success, with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald selling more than 542,000 copies.

That said, SVOD continues to shrink the retail market.

The combined volume of disc and digital sales declined 16%, with customer spend down 17.4% against a backdrop of evolving consumption habits.

Indeed, June saw the lowest retail sales on record as consumer confidence continues to be challenged.

“Notwithstanding an extremely challenging retail landscape across many categories as we reach the halfway point in 2019, consumers remain wedded to ownership in many cases, with the substantial growth of digital transaction and the enduring strength of physical disc sales testament to the integral part that collection and curation plays in all of our leisure time,” Liz Bales, CEO at BASE, said in a statement.

“The standout success of titles like Bohemian Rhapsody shows that even in the context of a wealth of options vying for that leisure time, high quality content continues to excite and inspire home audiences to bring their favorite titles home on both digital and physical formats. Consumers and our colleagues across the category have much to look forward to with an extensive slate of stellar content set to release in the next half of the year.”

DEG: Q1 2019 Consumer Spending on Home Entertainment Up 6.4%

Fueled by digital — subscription streaming as well as transactional  — home entertainment spending in the first quarter of 2019 rose 6.4% from the first quarter of the previous year, to $6.04 billion, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Subscription streaming, led by Netflix, rose 21% in the quarter to an estimated $3.6 billion, DEG said, citing IHS Markit estimates.

The increase shows that with the reliance by streamers on original and TV content, the at-home sector is becoming increasingly impervious to the whims of the box office.

The theatrical value of films that came to the home market in the first quarter, according to DEG, was down nearly 20%.

Take streaming out of the equation and consumer spending on home entertainment was down 9.3%.

Consumer spending on digital transactional video, both purchase (electronic sellthrough, or EST) and limited-time viewing, came in at nearly $1.23 billion, up 4.6% from just under $1.18 billion in the first quarter of 2018.

EST sales rose 6.7% to $665.5 million, up from $623.7 million, while limited-time VOD, the digital equivalent of rental, generated an estimated $564.1 million in consumer spending, up 2.3% from $551.6 million.

Disc sales continued to decline, falling below the $1 billion mark in the first quarter of 2019 to an estimated $822.25 million, a drop of 23% from $1.06 billion in the first quarter of 2018 — pretty much in line with the decline in the collective box office earnings of movies that were released to the home market in the same time frame, to $2.89 billion from $3.59 billion in the year-ago quarter.

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The disc rental market fared better, with consumers spending just under $400 million to rent DVDs and Blu-ray Discs from Redbox kiosks, freestanding video rental stores and Netflix’s disc-by-mail rental option. That’s down 14.6% from the prior year’s first quarter.

Citing CTA numbers, DEG noted “there is continued significant growth among 4K Ultra HD hardware products,” with Ultra HD TVs now in about 53.4 million households, an increase of 55% from a year ago. The number of households with at least one 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray playback machine rose 63% to 14 million.

The top-selling disc release of the first quarter, according to NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service, was 20th Century Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

The top 10 DVD and Blu-ray Disc sellers of 2019, through March 31:

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox)
  2. Aquaman (Warner)
  3. Ralph Breaks the Internet (Disney)
  4. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner)
  5. A Star Is Born (2018) (Warner)
  6. The Grinch (Universal)
  7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)
  8. Mary Poppins Returns (Disney)
  9. Halloween (2018) (Universal)
  10. Creed II (Warner)

Source: NPD Group

‘Aquaman’ Claims Top Spot on March 2019 Disc Sales Charts

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.

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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:

  1. Aquaman (Warner)
  2. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner)
  3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)
  4. Mary Poppins Returns (Disney)
  5. Ralph Breaks the Internet (Disney)
  6. Creed II (Warner)
  7. A Star Is Born (2018) (Warner)
  8. Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox)
  9. Instant Family (Paramount)
  10. Mortal Engines (Universal)

 

Year-to-date Top 10 (through March 2019):

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox)
  2. Aquaman (Warner)
  3. Ralph Breaks the Internet (Disney)
  4. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner)
  5. A Star Is Born (2018) (Warner)
  6. The Grinch (Universal)
  7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)
  8. Mary Poppins Returns (Disney)
  9. Halloween (2018) (Universal)
  10. Creed II (Warner)

 

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Rocked the Sales Charts for February 2019

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Rocked the Sales Charts for February 2019

Bohemian Rhapsody, 20th Century Fox’s biopic of the rock band Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury, was No. 1 on the top 10 list of combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales for February 2019 according to the NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service.

The film was the top seller its first week in stores following its Feb. 12 debut and has been in the top five ever since.

Universal’s animated The Grinch, released on disc the week before Bohemian Rhapsody, was No. 2 for the month.

Warner’s latest remake of A Star Is Born, on shelves Feb. 19, was the month’s No. 3 seller.

Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet, released at the end of February, landed at No. 4.

The Feb. 19 release of Lionsgate’s Robin Hood remake came in at No. 5.

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February’s top four sellers sold well enough to take over the top four spots on the year-to-date sales charts as well, in the same order.

Universal’s reboot sequel Halloween, the top seller for January, slipped to No. 5 for the year to date.

Disney had three titles in the top 10 for February, as did Fox in its final full month as an independently operated studio before its acquisition by Disney was finalized March 20. That effectively gives Disney control of six of the month’s top 10.

 

According to NPD, the February 2019 top 10 by units sold were:

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox)
  2. The Grinch (Universal)
  3. A Star Is Born (2018) (Warner)
  4. Ralph Breaks the Internet (Disney)
  5. Robin Hood (2018) (Lionsgate)
  6. Widows (Fox)
  7. The Little Mermaid: Signature Collection (Disney)
  8. Overlord (Paramount)
  9. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Disney)
  10. Once Upon a Deadpool (Fox)

 

Year-to-date Top 10 (through February 2019):

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox)
  2. The Grinch (Universal)
  3. A Star Is Born (2018) (Warner)
  4. Ralph Breaks the Internet (Disney)
  5. Halloween (2018) (Universal)
  6. Venom (Sony Pictures)
  7. Goosebumps 2 (Sony Pictures)
  8. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Disney)
  9. Robin Hood (2018) (Lionsgate)
  10. Hunter Killer (Lionsgate)

 

‘Halloween’ Tops Disc Sales for January 2019

‘Green Book,’ ‘Roma,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘Black Panther’ Lead Oscar Winners

The big story of the 91st Academy Awards Feb. 24 is that Hollywood isn’t quite ready to crown Netflix with its highest honor just yet, as another traditional studio film, Universal Pictures’ Green Book, earned the Oscar for Best Picture from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Green Book, which is available now for digital download and will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD March 12, also earned Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali (his second win in the category after 2016’s Moonlight).

Many prognosticators had pegged Netflix’s Roma as the favorite for Best Picture, but Alfonso Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical reflection of his childhood in Mexico City still ended up with three historic Oscars. Cuarón won for both Best Director and Best Cinematography, the first individual to win both awards. Cuarón also accepted Roma’s award for Best Foreign-Language Film, though technically the win is attributed to the home country — in this case, Mexico, the first film for the country in the category.

Universal’s Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic of the rock band Queen, rode its musical stylings to four Oscars, with Best Actor Rami Malek leading the way with his performance as Freddie Mercury. The film also won for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing, while John Ottman won his first Oscar for Best Film Editing. The film is available now on disc and digital.

Meanwhile, the ceremony took on a bit of a comic book flair, as Marvel’s Black Panther set a new mark for most Oscar wins by a superhero movie, with three, passing the two won by 2008’s The Dark Knight and 2004’s The Incredibles. The film, available now on disc and digital from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, won for Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Original Score. The wins represent the first Oscars for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which arrives digitally Feb. 26 and on Blu-ray and DVD March 19, won for Best Animated Feature.

Pixar’s Bao, included with Disney’s home video release of Disney’s Incredibles 2, won for Best Animated Short.

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Best Actress went to Olivia Colman for The Favourite, which is available now digitally and on Blu-ray and DVD March 5. Colman, who plays Queen Anne in the film, will play Elizabeth II in the upcoming third season of “The Crown” on Netflix.

Best Supporting Actress went to Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk, which arrives digitally March 12 and on Blu-ray and DVD March 26.

Best Documentary Feature went to Free Solo, which is available for digital download now and arrives on DVD March 5 from National Geographic. The film chronicles a rock climber’s attempt to summit Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan without equipment.

Spike Lee won his first Oscar as part of the writing team for BlackKklansman, which won Best Adapted Screenplay. The film is available now digitally and on disc from Universal.

A complete list of winners is available here.

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Sings to No. 1 Debut on Home Video Charts

The Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody easily debuted at 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 the week ended Feb. 16.

The film, from 20th Century Fox, dramatizes the formation and success of the rock band in the 1970s and ’80s, with particular focus on the life of lead singer Freddie Mercury. It earned more than $212 million at the domestic box office and has been nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Rami Malek as Mercury.

Universal Pictures’ animated The Grinch, the top title from the previous week, slipped to No. 2 on both charts in its second week, selling 32% as many copies as newcomer Bohemian Rhapsody.

Another new release, Paramount’s Nobody’s Fool, the latest comedy from Tyler Perry, bowed at No. 3 on the overall sales chart and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart.

Fox’s heist thriller Widows slid to No. 4 on the overall chart and No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart.

Walt Disney Studios’ The Nutcracker and the Four Realms came in at No. 5 on both charts.

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Blu-ray Disc accounted for 73% of first-week Bohemian Rhapsody unit sales, with 13% coming from the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version. For Nobody’s Fool, Blu-ray comprised 37% of sales. The second week of sales for The Grinch saw 60% of sales from Blu-ray, down from 66% in its first week.

Bohemian Rhapsody also took No. 1 on the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Feb. 17. Nobody’s Fool debuted at No. 2.

The previous week’s top rental, The Grinch, slipped to No. 3, with Widows at No. 4 and Sony Pictures’ The Girl in the Spider’s Web at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 2-16-19
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 2-17-19
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 2-16-19
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 2-16-19
Sales Report for Week Ended 2-16-19
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 2-18-19

 

Fox’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Champion of Redbox Charts

The Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody rocked the Redbox charts the week ended Feb. 17.

The 20th Century Fox film debuted at No. 1 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 transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming.

The critically acclaimed story of the lead singer of the rock band Queen received five Oscar nominations, including Best Actor for Rami Malek in the role of Mercury, and earned more than $212.2 million in theaters.

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The Grinch, the latest take on the classic children’s Christmas story from Universal Pictures, fell to No. 2 on the disc chart its second week in physical release. It landed at No. 4 (falling from No. 1) on the digital chart.

The only other new release on the disc chart for the week, Paramount’s Tyler Perry comedy Nobody’s Fool, debuted at No. 3. It came in at No. 2 on Redbox’s digital chart. The film, starring Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter and Whoopi Goldberg, earned $31.7 million in theaters.

Fox’s heist-thriller Widows, starring Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo, slipped to No. 4 on the disc chart and to No. 3 on the Redbox On Demand chart. The film, which took in $42.4 million at the box office, gathered plaudits for Davis and Debicki, but it was snubbed in the Oscar race.

Sony Pictures’ action-thriller The Girl in the Spider’s Web, starring Claire Foy, took the fifth spot on both Redbox’s disc and digital charts after landing at No. 3 on both charts the week before. A sequel to the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the film earned $14.8 million theatrically.

Meanwhile, more than a year after its digital release, Universal’s Happy Death Day made an appearance on the Redbox On Demand chart at No. 8 as its sequel, Happy Death Day 2U, came out in theaters Feb. 13.

Also popping back up on the digital chart at No. 10 about a month after its release was Warner’s A Star Is Born, which has received eight Oscar noms. The 91st Academy Awards takes place Feb. 24.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended Feb. 17:

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody (New)
  2. The Grinch
  3. Nobody’s Fool (2018) (New)
  4. Widows
  5. The Girl in the Spider’s Web
  6. Hunter Killer
  7. First Man
  8. Night School
  9. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
  10. Venom (2018)

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended Feb. 17

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody
  2. Nobody’s Fool
  3. Widows
  4. The Grinch
  5. The Girl in the Spider’s Web
  6. Hunter Killer
  7. Crazy Rich Asians
  8. Happy Death Day
  9. The Sisters Brothers
  10. A Star Is Born (2018)

Merchandising: Retailers Rock Out Over ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Target Bohemian Rhapsody booklet

The new-release week of Feb. 12 saw retailers go gaga over Bohemian Rhapsody on Blu-ray, with each of the big three offering an exclusive to entice fans of the Queen biopic.

Target offered a version of the Bohemian Rhapsody Blu-ray ($22.99) and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray ($27.99) with an exclusive 24-page gallery book featuring a look at the music, fashion and making of the film.

Best Buy Bohemian Rhapsody Steelbook

Target also offered a free $5 gift card with the purchase of the movie and soundtrack CD ($11.99) together.

Best Buy had the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc of Bohemian Rhapsody with exclusive Steelbook packaging.

Walmart Bohemian Rhapsody gift set with shirt

Walmart offered a $24.96 Bohemian Rhapsody “Ultimate Fan Gift Set” that included the Blu-ray combo pack and an official Queen T-shirt.

Walmart also had an exclusive Blu-ray version of Lionsgate’s animated sequel Norm of the North: Keys to the Kingdom at $14.96.

Target ran a “buy two, get one free” promotion on select movies, books, games and video games. The offer excluded new-release and pre-order movies, 3DS and select Nintendo Switch titles.

Best Buy touted Disney hits for under $20, as well as Steelbook preorders for Warner’s A Star Is Born ($34.99 4K UHD BD, $29.99 Blu-ray) and Creed II ($34.99 4K UHD BD), and Disney’s Feb. 26 release of 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger as a 4K UHD Blu-ray Steelbook.

‘The Greatest Showman’ Home Entertainment Sales Spur Fox Studios Q2 Profit

Twentieth Century Fox Studios Feb. 6 reported second quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2018) operating income of $193 million, a 47% increase over the $131 million reported in the previous-year quarter.

Quarterly segment revenue decreased 4% to $2.16 billion from $2.24 billion, primarily reflecting lower home entertainment revenue at the film studio and lower syndication revenue at the television production studio.

Through half the fiscal year, revenue is down less than 6% at $3.97 billion compared to $4.2 billion in the previous-year period.

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Fox, which is in the process of closing its acquisition by The Walt Disney Co., said studio Q2 operating income reflected higher contributions from the worldwide theatrical performance of Bohemian Rhapsody (winner of two Golden Globes and nominated for five Academy Awards), lower theatrical releasing costs from a comparatively lower number of films released in the current quarter, and the worldwide home entertainment and pay-television performance of The Greatest Showman, partially offset by higher new series deficits and lower domestic syndication contributions at the television production studio.

The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman, was the No. 2 selling DVD/Blu-ray Disc title in 2018 after Disney’s Black Panther, according to The-Numbers.com. The title generated $66.4 million in revenue from sales of more than 4.3 million combined discs.

Separately, Fox upped its quarterly Hulu equity loss to $115 million, compared to an equity loss of $108 million last year. Through six months of the fiscal year, Fox’s equity loss with Hulu tops $229 million compared to $170 million during the previous-year period.