‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Tops in Home Viewership After Blu-ray Disc, DVD Release

Five movies generated significant gains in home viewership after their May 19 release on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, led by Paramount Home Entertainment’s Sonic the Hedgehog, which soared to No. 1 on “Watched at Home” chart for the week ended May 23, up from No. 5 the prior week.

The film, based on a popular video game franchise, has been in the top five of the weekly chart — which tracks transactional video activity compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group — ever since its early digital release on March 31.

Walt Disney’s Onward, the studio’s latest Pixar animated feature film, reappeared on the chart at No. 3, also after its release on disc — and in spite of the fact that it has been available since April 3 on the Disney+ subscription streaming service. The film was one of several high-profile movies that was given an early digital release in mid-March after the pandemic-induced shutdown of movie theaters. Onward spent just two weeks in theaters prior to its March 20 digital release.

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Two other films, both from Warner Bros., that returned to the chart after their May 19 release on disc are Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (No. 6) and The Way Back (No. 17).

Universal Pictures’ Emma., also new to Blu-ray Disc and DVD, debuted on the chart at No. 15.

Warner Bros.’ Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, No. 1 the prior week, slipped to No. 2.

Rounding out the top five on the “Watched at Home Chart” for the week ended May 23 are Sony Pictures’ Bad Boys for Life at No. 4 and Bloodshot at No. 5, down from No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)
  2. Birds of Prey (Warner)
  3. Onward (Disney)
  4. Bad Boys for Life (Sony)
  5. Bloodshot (Sony, 2020)
  6. Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (Warner)
  7. The Call of the Wild (Disney, 2020)
  8. Fantasy Island (Sony)
  9. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony)
  10. The Gentlemen (STX/Universal, 2019)
  11. I Still Believe (Lionsgate)
  12. 1917 (Universal)
  13. Dolittle (Universal)
  14. The Invisible Man (Universal)
  15. Emma. (Universal, 2020)
  16. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
  17. The Way Back (Warner, 2020)
  18. Spies in Disguise (Fox)
  19. Ford v Ferrari (Fox)
  20. Knives Out (Lionsgate)


Source: DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Includes U.S. digital sales, digital rentals, and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD sales for the week ended May 23

Merchandising: ‘Onward’ to a Slew of Exclusives

Target and Best Buy offered a slew of exclusives for several of the new titles hitting shelves May 19, particularly for Disney’s Onward and Warner’s Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.

For Onward, the latest Pixar release, Target offered a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a gallery booklet and slipcover for $34.99. Best Buy had a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook edition for the same price.

Best Buy’s ‘Onward’ Steelbook

Onward arrived at retail without much fanfare, as Disney did little to promote the disc version after the studio’s prominent announcement the Pixar fantasy would be available on the Disney+ streaming service in early April. Stores then offered the DVD, Blu-ray and 4K editions without the so-called first-week discount, typically $2 to $5 off new releases. That is, the stores that bothered to actually put them on shelves. A clerk at a Target in Tustin, Calif., found the box of the store’s entire inventory hidden in the stockroom after being prompted to search for them by customers wondering why the shelf spaces allocated for them were empty despite other new releases having been put out, and the Target website indicating all versions were in stock at that store.

Further, the lack of a slipcover for the regular 4K and Blu-ray editions motivated several Pixar collectors to take to message boards to complain that their absence, in addition to the lack of early discount, would lead them to forgo buying the title until it goes on sale for the holidays. (Slipcovers, often sought by collectors, are typically only included with new discs in their early shipments to stores.)

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Moreover, Onward was also apparently not for sale through Amazon.com except via third-party sellers, and even then finding the disc versions wasn’t particularly easy to do through Amazon’s search function.

Onward’s lack of presence on Amazon is similar to another Disney-owned title, Fox’s The Call of the Wild, which didn’t have a disc listing at the online retailer until several days after its May 12 street date. This may relate to longstanding issues Amazon often has with studios such as Disney over distribution agreements for new titles, leading to Amazon not to take preorders for such titles.

Similarly, the newly released disc of Disney-owned Fox’s Downhill was almost nowhere to be found not just on Amazon (where it was offered by marketplace sellers, essentially Amazon’s version of eBay), but any physical store shelves, being relegated to the online stores of the major retailers.

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For Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, Target offered a Steelbook edition of the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack for $19.99, while Best Buy offered a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray gift set that included a figurine of the Teen Titans’ Raven character for $29.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Justice League Dark: Apokolips War’ with figurine

Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog was offered as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook by Best Buy for $32.99.


Best Buy’s ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Steelbook

Best Buy also offered Universal’s new The Blues Brothers 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release as a Steelbook edition for $19.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Blues Brothers’ 4K Steelbook

Another Best Buy promotion lets customers buy Warner’s The Way Back Blu-ray at $19.99 and get $5 off another Warner Blu-ray.

Finally, Best Buy is already taking preorders for Warner’s Scoob!, which was released through digital channels May 15. The digital version is available now for $24.99, and Best Buy is offering the DVD at $17.99, Blu-ray at $19.99 and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray at $27.99, though no street date for the discs has been announced.