Several Newcomers Can’t Displace ‘Eternals’ From Top Spot on Disc Sales Charts

Despite a crop of major movies arriving on DVD and Blu-ray during the week, Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Eternals retained the top spot on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc rental chart the week ended Feb. 26.

It’s the second-consecutive week on top for Eternals, which tells the story of a group of aliens that have been protecting and guiding human civilization for thousands of years.

The week’s top newcomer among the four films that debuted among the top 20 disc sellers was from another Disney-owned studio, 20th Century’s The King’s Man. Director Matthew Vaughn’s prequel to his previous “Kingsman” actioners depicts the creation of the title spy organization during World War I. It earned $37 million at the domestic box office and sold about 75% as many copies during the week as Eternals.

A Best Buy-exclusive 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc collection of the three “Kingsman” movies was No. 36 overall and No. 17 on the Blu-ray Disc chart, and accounts for another 8.4% of The King’s Man sales compared with Eternals.

The second newcomer in the top 20 discs, at No. 5 overall and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart, was Lionsgate’s American Underdog, a biopic about Kurt Warner’s improbable rise to winning a Super Bowl and becoming an NFL Hall of Famer. It earned $26.5 million from U.S. theaters and hit shelves a week after Warner’s former team, the Rams, won the latest Super Bowl.

MGM’s newly released House of Gucci disc from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment bowed at No. 6 on both charts after earned $53.8 million at domestic theaters. The film stars Lady Gaga and Adam Driver as members of the Gucci fashion empire whose inability to navigate tricky family politics gets them embroiled in a murder plot.

The fourth newcomer to enter the week’s overall top 20 disc sellers was the Universal female-driven espionage thriller The 355, which came in at No. 8 overall and No. 9 on the Blu-ray chart. It earned $14.6 million at the domestic box office.

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The Blu-ray Disc chart also saw Shout! Factory’s newly released 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition of the 1980 horror film Alligator crack the top 20 there at No. 13. It was No. 24 on the overall disc sales chart.

Rounding out the top five on both charts, Disney’s Encanto dropped to No. 3 on the overall chart and No. 5 on the Blu-ray chart, while Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters: Afterlife was No. 4 overall and No. 3 on the Blu-ray Disc chart.

Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 59% of first-week standalone The King’s Man unit sales, with 38% from regular Blu-ray and 21% from 4K. American Underdog had 55% of its sales come from HD formats, with 53% from regular Blu-ray and 2% from the 4K combo pack. House of Gucci had 53% of its sales from Blu-ray, and The 355 had 54%; neither were released on 4K disc.

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The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Feb. 27 had House of Gucci debut in the top spot, followed by American Underdog at No. 2.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife slid to No. 3 after three weeks in the top spot.

Eternals entered the rental chart at No. 4 after a week-long delay of availability at Redbox rental kiosks, while The 355 debuted at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 2-26-22
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 2-27-22
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 2-26-22
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 2-26-22
Sales Report for Week Ended 2-26-22
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 2-28-22

‘Eternals’ Debuts Atop Disc Sales Charts

Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Eternals easily topped both the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart the week ended Feb. 19.

The film, about a group of aliens that have been secretly protecting and guiding the growth of human civilization for thousands of years, earned $164.9 million at the domestic box office.

Another Disney release, the animated Encanto, remained No. 2 on the overall disc sales chart for a second week, but slipped to No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart after having debuted in the top spot there a week earlier.

Similarly, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife slipped to No. 3 on the overall disc sales chart after two weeks in the top spot there, but held steady at No. 2 on the Blu-ray Disc chart.

No. 4 on the overall disc sales chart, and No. 5 on the Blu-ray chart, was Sony Pictures’ Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. The seventh “Resident Evil” film is a reboot of the film series based on the popular video game franchise of the same name.

The No. 5 overall disc seller, and No. 4 on the Blu-ray Disc sales chart, was Warner’s new adaptation of Dune, holding the same spots it did a week earlier.

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The only other new release to crack the top 20 was BBC Studio’s Doctor Who: Flux, the 13th season of the venerable sci-fi television franchise since it relaunched in 2005. It was No. 14 overall and No. 15 on the Blu-ray Disc chart.

Blu-ray disc formats accounted for 67% of first-week Eternals sales, with 37% from regular Blu-ray and 30% from 4K Ultra HD (meaning 33% was from legacy DVD). The new “Doctor Who” release had 47% of its sales from Blu-ray.

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The Media Play News rental chart the week ended Feb. 20 had Ghostbusters: Afterlife in the top spot for a third week.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City remained No. 2, with Paramount’s Clifford the Big Red Dog moving up a spot to No. 3.

Encanto made its first appearance on the rental chart at No. 4 after a week’s delay, pushing Warner’s King Richard to No. 5.

Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 2-19-22
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 2-20-22
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 2-19-22
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 2-19-22
Sales Report for Week Ended 2-19-22
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 2-21-22

Merchandising: ‘Eternals’ Exclusives Arrive

Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Eternals arrived at retail Feb. 15 with exclusive editions from each of the three major national home entertainment retail chains.

The 26th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe casts the history of Earth in a different light as 10 alien protectors visit the planet thousands of years ago to protect humanity from hostile predators called Deviants, while also guiding the advancement of civilization through the ages.

Best Buy offered its typical Steelbook edition of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack of the film for $34.99.

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Target’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack also cost $34.99, but offered exclusive box art and two foil-etched prints.

Target’s ‘Eternals’ 4K Blu-ray

The Walmart 4K combo pack edition contained a limited-edition enamel pin for $34.96.

Walmart’s ‘Eternals’ 4K Blu-ray

Feb. 15 Lineup of New DVD and Blu-ray Releases Led by ‘Eternals’

Feb. 15 sees the Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases of big titles such as Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Eternals and Sony Pictures’ Julia.

Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Eternals is set to make its retail debut on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Feb. 15. The packaged-media releases include bonus material such as deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, filmmaker audio commentary and a gag reel. Eternals, which has generated $164.9 million at the North American box office, and $402 million globally, follows a group of ancient heroes from beyond the stars who have protected Earth since the dawn of man. When monstrous creatures called Deviants, long thought lost to history, mysteriously return, the superheroes are forced to reunite in order to defend humanity once again. Read a review here.

The documentary Julia, about cookbook author and television star Julia Child, will be released on DVD Feb. 15 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Using never-before-seen archival footage, personal photos, first-person narratives and cutting-edge food cinematography, the documentary traces Child’s 12-year struggle to create and publish the revolutionary Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961), which has sold more than 2.5 million copies to date, and her rapid ascent to become the country’s most unlikely television star. It’s the empowering story of a woman who found her purpose — and her fame — at 50, and took America along on the whole delicious journey. The film was an official selection at the Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, AFI Fest, among other film festivals. It was nominated at the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards for Best Historical or Biographical Documentary and Best Score.

Lionsgate releases the pro-wrestling drama Heels: The Complete First Season on DVD Feb. 15. Set in a close-knit Georgia community, the Starz series follows a struggling small-town family owned wrestling promotion, the Duffy Wrestling League, as two brothers and rivals, Jack Spade (Stephen Amell) and Ace Space (Alexander Ludwig), war over their late father’s legacy. In the ring, someone must play the good guy, the face (Ace), and someone must play their nemesis, the heel (Jack). But in the real world, those characters can be hard to live up to — or hard to leave behind. The cast also includes Mary McCormack, Kelli Berglund and Allen Maldonado. The first season consists of eight episodes.

The South Korean thriller Seobok: Project Clone will be released through digital retailers and on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 15 from Well Go USA Entertainment. In the film, a former intelligence agent is assigned to transport the first ever human clone to a new safe location. Because the robotic clone holds the secret to immortality, evil organizations are bent on kidnapping him to extract the dark secret. As the enemy closes in, the pair is forced to make an impossible choice. Directed by Lee Yong Zoo (Possessed), the film stars Gong Yoo (Train to Busan, “Squid Game”), Park Bo Gum (Love in the Moonlight, Hello Monster), and Jo Woo Jin (Steel Rain, The Book of Fish), plus popular television series stars Jang Young Nam (“It’s Okay to Not Be Okay,” “My Country: The New Age,” “Find Me in Your Memory”) and Park Byung Eun (“Arthdal Chronicles,” “Mystery Queen,” “Your Honor”). The release includes an English dub.

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Paramount Home Entertainment has set the thriller Run & Gun for digital sellthrough Feb. 15. After leaving a life of crime and violence, Ray is a reformed good guy, enjoying a quiet family life in the ‘burbs. But when his past is discovered, Ray is blackmailed into one last job to collect a mysterious package. After a deadly double-cross, he finds himself wounded and on the run from ruthless assassins who will stop at nothing to get what he has. Now, with the lives of his loved ones hanging in the balance and danger at every turn, Ray’s only hope is to draw upon his violent past to survive. The cast includes Ben Milliken, Brad William Henke, Janel Parrish, Mark Dacascos, Celestino Cornielle, Angela Sarafyan, Alison Thorton, Hudson Yang, Michelle Campbell, Ari Barkan, Rafael Cebrián and Richard Kind. It will be released on DVD and VOD March 1.

The Saban Films mystery thriller Here Before will be released on digital in the United States Feb. 15 from Well Go USA Entertainment. In the film, when a young girl and her family move next door, a grieving mother is convinced the child may be the reincarnation of her own deceased daughter, killed years earlier in an auto accident. As the mother’s obsession deepens, and the child claims to have been “here before,” a sinister secret surfaces that threatens to destroy both families. Here Before stars Andrea Riseborough (“Black Mirror,” “Possessor”), Jonjo O’Neill (“The Queen’s Gambit”) and Niamh Dornan.

Writer-director Rian Johnson’s Looper will be released on 4K Ultra HD Feb. 15 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for its 10th anniversary. In the futuristic action thriller, time travel will be invented — but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past where a “looper” — a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) — is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good until the day the mob decides to “close the loop,” sending back Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination. The film also stars Emily Blunt, Paul Dano and Jeff Daniels.

Friday, Feb. 18 sees the release of the action thriller The King’s Man through digital retailers Feb. 18 from Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution. Set during World War I, The King’s Man tells the origin story of the world’s very first independent intelligence agency. As a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions across the globe, one man must race against time to stop them. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, the film stars Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Harris Dickinson, Daniel Brühl, Djimon Hounsou and Charles Dance. Extras include a making-of documentary and several featurettes. The King’s Man arrives and on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 22. Also available digitally and in a Steelbook will be “The Kingsman Collection,” featuring all three films with bonus features together for the first time.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

Eternals

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 2/15/22;
Disney/Marvel;
Sci-Fi Action;
Box Office $164.87 million;
$29.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray, $43.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for fantasy violence and action, some language and brief sexuality.
Stars Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harington, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Ma Dong-seok, Harish Patel, Bill Skarsgård.

For 25 films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe gradually adapted disparate concepts from various comic books that wouldn’t seem to mesh in a live-action setting and somehow made it seem to it together cohesively.

But the 26th film, Eternals, pushes the boundaries of the franchise’s formula so far that it almost seems too bizarre even for the MCU. Following the massive “Infinity Saga,” Eternals is something of a restart for the MCU, telling a story that challenges what audiences already knew about it.

Based on characters from Jack Kirby, who had a knack for outlandish cosmic adventures, Eternals tells the story of 10 alien heroes sent to Earth thousands of years ago to protect humanity from predators called Deviants. They were sent on this mission by Arishem, a god-like being called a Celestial who tells them that allowing life to flourish on Earth is the key to the creation of a new Celestial who will in turn go on to create new stars and planets.

These concepts aren’t presented metaphorically. The Celestials are shown as literally creating new stars and solar systems and constructing the cosmos as if it were a Lego playset.

Having aided in the development of human civilizations since the dawn of written history, the Eternals survive into modern times awaiting news that they can return home, despite seemingly defeating the Deviants hundreds of years prior and having gone their separate ways to integrate into humanity. However, when the return of the Deviants seems to portend apocalyptic news for Earth, the Eternals must reunite to stop them once again.

The Eternals themselves each have unique powers reflective of archetypal superhero abilities: flight, super speed, super strength, energy blasts, etc.

Director Chloé Zhao, coming off an Oscar win for Nomadland, has crafted a beautiful-looking comic book movie that honors Kirby’s legacy. The story, on the other hand, is often ponderous on the verge of being dull, as if the MCU suddenly decided to get so pretentious about its own success that it’s trying to win a dare about its ability to put anything on screen.

A big problem is that in trying to be its own thing and setting up a bold new direction for the MCU, Eternals raises a lot more questions than it answers about how it fits in with the previously established storylines. Why the Eternals didn’t intervene in the battle against Thanos, for example, gives rise to a tepid explanation at best. A bigger issue fans might have is, when the Earth is seemingly endangered, why the Eternals alone must deal with it without a single one of the remaining Avengers turning up to investigate what is going on.

And it’s not as if audiences don’t know those other heroes are still hanging around out there, since the MCU has already presented other movies and TV shows about what some of the established characters have been doing following Avengers: Endgame. These projects, owing to dealing with the more familiar aspects of the MCU, have been better received by fans, with the massive success of the 27th MCU film, Spider-Man: No Way Home being the epitome of that. One can only imagine Eternals being better received over time as its revelations about the history of the MCU begin to bear fruit.

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The Blu-ray and digital editions include a smattering of extras, starting with four deleted scenes that total about six minutes but don’t really add much to the story.

The making of the film is covered in the eleven-minute “Immortalized” featurette, supplemented by a commentary with director Chloé Zhao and visual effects supervisors Stephan Ceretti and Mårtin Larsson that provides an insightful look at the technical craft employed in making the film.

Less useful is the five-minute “Walks of Life” featurette in which the filmmakers and cast pat themselves on the back over the diversity of the cast, gushing over having a superhero team that reflects the demographics of the modern world despite the characters being aliens who are thousands of years old.

Rounding out the package is a two-and-a-half-minute gag reel.

Disney+ Launches Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ TV Ad

Disney+ on Jan. 12 debuted a new TV ad spot to market Marvel Studios’ superhero actioner Eternals, which began streaming exclusively on the platform that day.

Featuring an ensemble cast led by Angelina Jolie and Richard Madden, Eternals joins 13 other Marvel movies now streaming in Imax Enhanced expanded ration format on Disney+. More information about Imax Enhanced on Disney+ is available here.

Eternals follows a group of heroes from beyond the stars who had protected the Earth since the dawn of man. When monstrous creatures called the Deviants, long thought lost to history, mysteriously return, the Eternals are forced to reunite in order to defend humanity once again.

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Chloé Zhao directs the film, and Kevin Feige and Nate Moore are the producers, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and Kevin de la Noy serving as executive producers.

The Eternals DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray releases hit stores on Feb. 15.

Marvel Studios’ ‘Eternals’ Bowing for Digital Purchase Jan. 12, on Disc. Feb. 15

Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Eternals is set to make its retail debut on all major digital platforms Jan. 12, and on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Feb. 15. The packaged-media releases will feature bonus material, including four deleted scenes and a gag reel.

Eternals, which has generated $161.9 million at the North American box office, and $396.1 million globally, follows a group of ancient heroes from beyond the stars who have protected Earth since the dawn of man. When monstrous creatures called Deviants, long thought lost to history, mysteriously return, the superheroes are forced to reunite in order to defend humanity once again.

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The ensemble cast includes Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie.

Bonus features include:

  • Audio commentary by director Chloé Zhao and producers Stephane Ceretti and Mårten Larsson.
  • “Immortalized” featurette — Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe launches into the reasons why Marvel wanted to immortalize these superheroes for the MCU.
  • “Walks of Life” unveils Marvel’s biggest and most diverse lineup of Super Heroes in one film. Hear reactions from the cast on being involved in the film and the instant sense of camaraderie that was felt on the day they all joined each other in their costumes.
  • Deleted Scenes: “Gravity” — Phastos and Jack have a conversation that leads to a breakthrough; “Nostalgia” — Sprite and Makkari reminisce about humankind while overlooking the ruins of Babylon; “Movies” — Gligamesh and Kingo connect over movies while crossing the Amazon River with the rest of the team; “Small Talk” — Sprite confronts Dane in the museum about his interactions with Sersi.

‘Encanto,’ ‘Ghostbusters’ Repeats to Headline Early December Box Office Lull

With no major studio new releases to open the early December weekend box office, Disney’s Encanto and Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters: Afterlife are projected to lead the domestic box office through Dec. 5.

Encanto, which opened to $40 million, remains a strong family-themed attraction, while Afterlife has shown consistency entering its third weekend with about $91 million in domestic ticket sales, $119 million worldwide.

While the major studios allow existing releases to widen their box office haul, Fathom Events is debuting faith-based Christmas With The Chosen: The Messengers across more than 1,500 screens nationwide. Fathom, which has created a niche market re-releasing classic movies in theaters backed by a live-event promotion, reported $1.5 million in advanced ticket sales for The Chosen.

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Other returning weekend box office titles include Lada Gaga in House of Gucci with a projected $7.5 million box office in its second weekend of release, Disney/Marvel Studios’ Eternals ($4.1 million), Sony Pictures’ Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City ($2.7 million), and Paramount Pictures’ Clifford the Big Red Dog with $2.8 million.

Weekend Box Office: Is There a ‘Ghostbusters’ Afterlife?

The 2016 theatrical release of Ghostbusters featured an all-female cast, mixed reviews and underwhelming box office.

For the pandemic delayed Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Sony Pictures Entertainment has gone back to the franchise’s roots with director Jason Reitman looking to emulate the family-friendly appeal of his father, Ivan Reitman’s 1984 original Ghostbusters, starring Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver.

While Afterlife reviews have also been mixed, including a 66% Rotten Tomatoes social media score, the movie headlines Paul Rudd, who was just named People magazine’s “Sexist Man Alive,” and a young supporting cast entering the pre-Thanksgiving week when family holiday get-togethers often include a trip to the cineplex.

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When combined with the nostalgia surrounding the franchise, Afterlife should push Disney/Marvel Studios’ Eternals from atop the weekend box office results. Sony, which has only recently returned select tentpole releases (Venom: Let There Be Carnage) to the COVID-era box office, is projecting upwards of $28 million in opening weekend sales.

The conservative estimate falls below the original’s $30 million opener, as well the last film’s $46 million debut, but underscores the ongoing reduced expectations and realities in the current exhibition marketplace.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ King Richard, the biopic about Richard Williams, the tenacious father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, has a strong social media score (92%), popular lead star (Will Smith) and strong crossover appeal beyond sports fans.

The movie is also concurrently streaming for no extra charge to subscribers of HBO Max as part of WarnerMedia’s soon-ending 2021 distribution strategy that some observers contend has undermined the box office of recent Warner releases The Many Saints of NewarkCry Macho and Reminiscent, among others. The movie is projected to open from $5 million to $10 million in ticket sales this weekend, which would put it behind projections for Eternals ($11 million) and Paramount Pictures’ Clifford the Big Red Dog ($9 million) — the latter also streaming for subscribers on Paramount+.

Disney/Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ Holds Off Paramount’s ‘Big Red Dog’ at Weekend Box Office

Disney/Marvel Studios’ latest superhero movie, Eternals, is expected to finish atop the Nov. 14 domestic weekend box office with estimated revenue of $27.5 million across more than 4,000 North American screens, its second week on top. The revenue projection tops Paramount Pictures’ live-action family film Clifford the Big Red Dog with $22 million, when including the film’s Wednesday opening.

Clifford, the first live-action adaptation of the children’s book series, is also streaming for free on Paramount+.

Eternals, which generated another $48 million in foreign ticket sales, has now generated more than $281 million globally. The film’s 61% second-weekend box office drop falls between other 2021 Marvel tentpole releases Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (52%) and Black Widow at 67%.

Meanwhile, Sony Pictures’ Venom: Let There Be Carnage became the second movie after Shang-Chi to top $200 million at the domestic box office in the COVID era with $4 million in ticket sales.

Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures’ sci-fi reboot of Dune added $5.5 million across 3,200 screens to reach $93 million at the domestic box office. The movie is also streaming for free on HBO Max.