Sales of Warner Bros. video games, home entertainment movies and TV shows topped $403 million in the third quarter (ended Sept. 30). That was 5% higher than the $383 million in revenue generated during the previous-year period.
Top-performing theatrical movies in the quarter included LeBron James in Space Jam: A New Legacy with $163 million in worldwide ticket sales, and The Suicide Squad with $167 million in global revenue.
Since being acquired by AT&T, Warner Bros. no longer discloses sales of packaged-media and digital movie and TV show releases.
Theatrical revenue increased more than 25% to $1.34 billion, compared with more than $1 billion in the previous-year period. TV content revenue exploded more than 67% to $1.6 billion, from $960 million a year before, as Warner Bros. Television increased content production for network, pay-TV and over-the-top video distributors.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s F9: The Fast Saga spent a third week as 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 Oct. 9.
The latest “Fast & Furious” film focuses on Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) confronting his brother (John Cena) over a device that can take over every computer in the world.
The week’s top newcomer was Warner’s Space Jam: A New Legacy, which came in at No. 2 on the overall disc sales chart, and No. 3 on the Blu-ray Disc chart. The reboot of the 1996 film Space Jam is a live-action/animation hybrid that pairs LeBron James with Bugs Bunny in a high-stakes basketball game. It earned $70.5 million at the domestic box office.
A two-pack of both “Space Jam” movies was No. 20 on the overall sales chart and No. 16 on the Blu-ray Disc chart. The Blu-ray version accounted for 58% of its total unit sales, which means 42% of its sales were due to the Walmart-exclusive DVD edition.
The No. 3 overall disc seller, and No. 2 on the Blu-ray Disc chart, was Disney-owned Marvel’s Black Widow in its fourth week on shelves.
Moving up to No. 4 overall as Halloween approaches was Disney’s 1993 spooky comedy Hocus Pocus, which was No. 14 on the Blu-ray chart.
Universal’s The Forever Purge, slipped to No. 5 on the overall disc chart and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart.
The No. 5 Blu-ray seller was the 2000 Christian Bale starrer American Psycho, thanks to a new Best Buy-exclusive Steelbook repackaging of Lionsgate’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition of the film. It was No. 16 overall, with 4K editions of the film accounting for 98% of its total sales.
The only other new-to-disc recent theatrical release in the top 20 was Sony Pictures’ Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, a sequel to 2019’s Escape Room that earned $25.2 million at the domestic box office. It was No 12 overall, No. 9 on the Blu-ray chart.
Sales for Space Jam: A New Legacy broke down as 7% 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, 42% regular Blu-ray, and 51% DVD. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions had 64% of its unit sales come from Blu-ray Disc; it wasn’t released on 4K disc.
Newly released 4K editions of the first five “Halloween” movies from Shout! Factory helped them climb up the charts as well.
The 1978 original Halloween, with 73% of its weekly sales coming from 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, was No. 15 overall and No. 8 on the Blu-ray chart. While Shout! Factory released a 4K edition of the film Oct. 5, it has also been released on 4K disc by Lionsgate several times since 2018, with those editions also still in circulation.
Its 1981 sequel, Halloween II, was No. 19 on the Blu-ray chart, with Halloween III: Season of the Witch at No. 17. The No. 18 Blu-ray was 1988’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, with 1989’s Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers at No. 20.
The 2018 Halloween sequel/reboot from Universal was No. 11 on the overall disc chart (No. 27 on the Blu-ray chart), as fans picked up the DVD in anticipation of the Oct. 15 release of its sequel, Halloween Kills, in theaters and on the Peacock streaming service.
Likewise, MGM’s Blu-ray boxed set of all 24 official James Bond movies was No. 25 on the overall disc chart, and No. 11 on the Blu-ray chart, in advance of the 25th Bond movie and fifth with Daniel Craig, No Time to Die, arriving in theaters.
The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Oct. 10 also had F9 in the top spot for a third week, with Space Jam: A New Legacy debuting at No. 2 and Escape Room: Tournament of Champions at No. 3.
The Forever Purge dropped to No. 4 and Black Widow to No. 5, both down two spots from the previous week.
Warner Bros. Pictures’ Looney Tunes live-action/animation hybrid sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy, with LeBron James taking over Michael Jordan’s role in the 1996 original, is projected to dethrone Disney/Marvel Studios’ blockbuster Black Widow after just one stint atop the domestic weekend box office.
Industry estimates peg A New Legacy generating from $32 million to $35 million across almost 4,000 screens over the three-day weekend ending July 18. Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson in the title role, is projected to generate about $25 million across nearly 4,300 screens, bringing its total around $130 million.
While the weekend box office won’t come near the $100 million threshold, Space Jam and Widow grosses are relatively strong considering the renewed government mask mandate in theaters in Los Angeles, and both titles being available to consumers in the home. A New Legacy is streaming for free for 31 days to subscribers on HBO Max, while Widow is available as a $29.99 add-on for Disney+ subscribers.
Among other releases, Sony Pictures’ freshman thriller Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is projected to generate more than $8 million, according to the studio. Universal Pictures/Focus Features’ Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain is expected to top $1 million, while Neon’s Pig, featuring Nicolas Cage as a truffle farmer in search of his lost truffle-sniffing hog, could top $500,000.
Mainstay holdovers such as F9: The Fast Saga and The Boss Baby: Family Business are projected to sustain their theatrical momentum, with the former generating another $6.7 million in ticket sales, and the latter $4.4 million. F9 joins A Quiet Place Part II topping $150 million in domestic business.
Superhero movie Black Widow goes up against Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James at the domestic weekend box office through July 18. James is starring in Space Jam: A New Legacy, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Looney Tunes animated/live-action sequel to the 1996 original Space Jam featuring Michael Jordan.
While the original generated more than $230 million at the global box office, A New Legacy is not expected to top Disney/Marvel Studios’ Widow featuring Scarlett Johansson in the title role. The movie has topped $200 million at the worldwide box office, including $100 million in the U.S. — becoming just the fourth release to do that in the pandemic era.
Other movies surpassing $100 million domestically include Paramount Pictures’ A Quiet Place Part II with $150 million, Universal Pictures’ F9: The Fast Saga ($141.9 million), and Warner’s Godzilla vs. Kong ($100.6 million).
An unknown factor in the weekly box office sweepstakes: a surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the Delta variant, which has led Los Angeles County health officials to mandate the wearing of masks indoors, including in movie theaters, beginning at midnight on Saturday. It is unknown whether these and similar restrictions in other parts of the country will impact movie theater attendance.
The weekend’s other major newcomer is Sony Pictures Entertainment’s thriller Escape Room: Tournament of Champions.