Disc Availability Spurs Sales of ‘Dolittle,’ ‘Little Women’ and ‘Cats’

Universal Pictures’ Dolittle shot up to No. 3 from No. 11 on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart for the week ended April 11, spurred by the film becoming available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD the preceding week.

Dolittle, a fantasy comedy adventure film about a veterinarian (played by Robert Downey Jr.) who can communicate with animals, earned $77 million in North American theaters and $223 million worldwide — making it the third-highest-grossing film so far this year, although it was still considered a theatrical underperformer in light of its reported budget of $175 million.

The “Watched at Home” chart tallies transactional video activity compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. The chart measures disc sales, digital purchase (electronic sellthrough, or EST) and digital rental.

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The physical media availability of two other films also led to sales gains. Sony Pictures’ Little Women debuted at No. 7, while Universal’s Cats entered the weekly chart at No. 20.

Little Women, the seventh film adaptation of the classic 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott, was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, and won for Best Costume Design. The film was released to home audiences after generating a domestic theatrical gross of more than $108 million.

Cats is a musical fantasy film, based on the stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, that despite an ensemble cast featuring such big names as British film legend Judi Dench and pop music superstar Taylor Swift only earned $27.2 million in North American theaters.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final installment in the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy, was again the most-watched home release. The film shot to No. 1 the prior week, from No. 6, after its release on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD.

Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog also repeated at No. 2 on the “Watched at Home” chart the week ended April 11, solely on the strength of its digital sales.

Sony Pictures’ Bad Boys for Life, with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, slipped to No. 4 from No. 3 the prior week. The third “Bad Boys” movie is scheduled to be released on disc on April 21.

Rounding out the top five was another Sony Pictures release, Jumanji: The Next Level, also down a notch from the prior week.

  1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)
  3. Dolittle (Universal)
  4. Bad Boys for Life (Sony)
  5. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony)
  6. The Call of the Wild (Disney, 2020)
  7. Little Women (Sony, 2019)
  8. Birds of Prey (Warner)
  9. 1917 (Universal)
  10. Bloodshot (Sony, 2020)
  11. Onward (Disney)
  12. Knives Out (Lionsgate)
  13. The Gentlemen (STX/Universal, 2019)
  14. Ford v Ferrari (Fox)
  15. Frozen II (Disney)
  16. Spies in Disguise (Fox)
  17. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony)
  18. The Way Back (Warner)
  19. Like a Boss (Paramount)
  20. Cats (Universal)

 

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 April 11

The Force Is With ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ on Disc Sales Charts

Disney’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker scored a dominating debut 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 April 4.

The concluding chapter of the nine-film “Skywalker Saga” earned $515.2 million at the domestic box office.

Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 79% of the film’s total unit sales, with 24% of the total coming from the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition.

Notably, a pricey boxed set of all nine episodic films, Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, also placed in the top 10 on both charts, at No. 7 overall and No. 5 on the Blu-ray chart, selling about 3% as many copies as the standalone Rise of Skywalker (which was included in the set).

The 27-disc boxed set includes a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, regular Blu-ray and bonus disc for each of the films (Rogue One and Solo are not included), and is a Best Buy exclusive priced at $249.99. Unlike Best Buy’s recent $500 Marvel Infinity Saga 4K/Blu-ray set (which sold out during preorders and are now being sold for thousands of dollars on eBay), Best Buy stills has plenty of copies of the “Star Wars” boxed set available online and in stores more than a week after the March 31 street date, which may point to a combination of increased stock and lower fan enthusiasm for the Disney era of “Star Wars.” Best Buy brick-and-mortar locations are closed during the coronavirus pandemic but do offer curbside pickups.

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Otherwise, while physical disc sales have been declining for years, the recent shelter-in-place orders and store closures associated with the pandemic don’t seem to have tapered off disc sales on a week-to-week basis just yet, despite the expected boost for digital delivery and streaming by families looking for home entertainment options while stuck at home. Target and Walmart stores remain open as essential businesses, and Amazon still delivers (despite some politicians demanding retailers stop selling anything but food and household goods).

Sony Pictures’ Jumanji: The Next Level held onto the No. 2 spot on the overall sales chart for the week and slid a spot to No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart. The adventure sequel sold about 15% as many copies in its third week as the new “Star Wars” film did in its first.

The previous week’s top seller, Universal Pictures’ war film 1917, slipped to No. 3 on the overall sales chart and No. 2 on the Blu-ray chart.

No. 4 on both charts was Disney’s Frozen II, while the animated Spies in Disguise, from Disney-owned 20th Century Fox, was No. 5 on the overall sales chart and No. 6 on the Blu-ray chart.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended April 5, Jumanji: The Next Level returned to the top spot, pushing 1917 to No. 2.

Spies in Disguise stayed at No. 3, followed by Sony Pictures’ The Grudge again at No. 4, and Lionsgate’s Knives Out remaining in the No. 5 spot.

Redbox has apparently not yet stocked copies of Rise of Skywalker as the title is not listed at the vendors’ website or available in its kiosks (some Redbox users reported a landing page for the film to take reservations was taken down in the week leading up to its disc release). Since Redbox doesn’t have a distribution deal with Disney, it needs to purchase bulk copies of Disney discs from retailers to stock its kiosks — a task made significantly more difficult by store closures, shipping delays, capacity restrictions and inventory limits imposed as a result of the pandemic. (Redbox’s distribution deals for Fox titles were in place prior to Disney’s purchase of the studio.)

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‘Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker’ the Most-Watched Transactional Home Release

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final installment in the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy, was the most-watched home release the week ended April 4 outside the streaming universe, according to a new weekly tally of transactional video activity compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

The new “Watched at Home” chart measures disc sales, digital purchase (electronic sellthrough, or EST) and digital rental.

The Rise of Skywalker was released digitally March 17 and on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD two weeks later, on March 31, by Disney and LucasFilm. The disc release gave the title a boost. On the previous week’s chart for the week ended March 28, before its availability on disc, The Rise of Skywalker was No. 6.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, The Rise of Skywalker earned more than $515 million at the domestic box office and just over $1 billion worldwide.

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Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog debuted at No. 2 on the “Watched at Home” chart the week ended April 4, solely on the strength of its digital sales. The film, which earned $306.8 million at the global box office, was made available for purchase through digital retailers on March 31, just 46 days after its theatrical opening. The early release was  prompted by a mass shuttering of movie theaters due to efforts to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic; the normal theatrical-to-home window is about three months. Sonic becomes available on disc and for digital rental on May 19.

The third spot on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart went to another early digital release, Sony Pictures’ Bad Boys for Life. The third “Bad Boys” movie, with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, grossed $204.4 million in North American theaters and $419 million globally. The film was made available for home viewing on March 31 and will be issued on disc on April 21.

Another Sony Pictures release, Jumanji: The Next Level, finished the week at No. 4, down two spots from the prior week. The fantasy adventure film, which generated $796.6 million in worldwide movie-ticket sales  to become the tenth-highest-grossing film of 2019, was released through digital retailers on March 3 and on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD on March 17.

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Rounding out the top five was Universal Pictures’ 1917, the acclaimed World War I movie that was released digitally March 10 and on disc March 24. The previous week 1917 was ranked at No. 3.

The week ended March 28’s most-watched film, Disney’s Onward, slipped to No. 6 the week ended April 4. The latest Pixar animated movie was made available for digital purchase on March 20 and premiered on the subscription streaming service Disney+ on April 3.

  1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)
  3. Bad Boys for Life (Sony Pictures)
  4. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony Pictures)
  5. 1917 (Universal)
  6. Onward (Disney)
  7. Bloodshot (Sony Pictures)
  8. The Call of the Wild (Disney)
  9. Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Disney)
  10. Birds of Prey (Warner)
  11. Dolittle (Universal)
  12. Knives Out (Lionsgate)
  13. The Gentlemen (Universal/STX)
  14. Spies in Disguise (Fox)
  15. Frozen II (Disney)
  16. Ford v Ferrari (Fox)
  17. Contagion (Warner)
  18. The Way Back (Warner)
  19. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony Pictures)
  20. Just Mercy (Warner)

 

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 April 4

Merchandising: Stores Deliver ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Exclusives

After weeks of touting preorders for Disney’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, retailers finally had the discs available for consumers March 31 despite the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.

Among the big three retailers, Target and Walmart stores remain open, with adjusted hours, since they offer groceries and other essential household goods.

Best Buy stores are closed for walk-ins but are offering shipping for online orders, as well as curbside pickups for local shoppers.

Target’s $34.99 Rise of Skywalker 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack comes with a gallery booklet and an exclusive bonus DVD with the featurette “A Final Alliance,” a chronicle of the various starships used in the film.

Target’s ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Walmart offered the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack as a limited edition with fold-out artwork packaging for $34.96.

Walmart’s ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Best Buy has its customary $34.99 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook treatment for Rise of Skywalker.

Best Buy’s ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Steelbook

In addition, Best Buy has the exclusive U.S. distribution of the $249.99 nine-movie, 27-disc “Skywalker Saga” boxed set that includes a 4K disc, a Blu-ray disc and a bonus disc for each of the episodic films. Rogue One and Solo are available on 4K separately.

Best Buy’s exclusive ‘Star Wars’ The Skywalker Saga’ boxed set

Speaking of 4K, Disney also released all the films not yet available on 4K as three-disc standalone combo packs (ie episodes one through seven and Rogue One are new on 4K, while Last Jedi and Solo remain available on 4K from their earlier combo pack releases, though Disney seems set to re-release them with new packaging once existing inventory thins out). The retailers had them for $29.99 each.

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The online Disney Movie Club was offering various membership discounts such as 50% off all items in the order plus free shipping with the purchase of one at the full price ($34.99), which lowers the average to under $20 when all eight 4K combo packs are purchased together. DMC VIP members (those who fulfilled the membership requirement of buying five full-price discs previously) qualify for a 60% discount, pushing the average price to under $17.

Among other promotions, Target was offering a buy-two-get-one-free mix-and-match sale on video games.

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Merchandising: ‘1917’ Tops New Product Releases

With coronavirus sheltering orders across the United States impacting consumers’ ability to shop, stores are still selling new DVD and Blu-ray titles.

Best Buy may have closed its showrooms, but it still offers online shopping and curbside pickup for local shoppers.

Best Buy also had the only notable exclusive being touted by the big retailers among the week’s new releases: a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook combo pack of Universal Pictures’ 1917 at $32.99.

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Target and Walmart stores remain open because they sell groceries, classifying them as “essential” businesses exempt from shelter-in-place orders.

Neither were promoting exclusives among the week’s new titles, but they continued to take preorders for the March 31 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Target’s ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Target’s edition at $34.99 comes with a gallery booklet and an exclusive bonus disc.

Walmart’s ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

The Walmart edition features fold out packaging containing images from the film for $34.96.

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Walmart’s ‘Bad Boys’ Blu-ray triple feature

Walmart, which halted next-day delivery for online orders due to high demand, is also taking preorders on a Blu-ray containing all three “Bad Boys” movies for $29.96 due April 28.

Merchandising: ‘Rise of Skywalker’ Home Video Exclusives Unveiled

With the film in theaters for less than a week, Target and Best Buy are already touting preorders for their exclusive 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray editions of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker due sometime in 2020.

With a light slate of new releases on Dec. 24, the retail chains the day before Christmas otherwise offered deep discounts on catalog titles.

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Target’s exclusive 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition is available for a $34.99 preorder and comes with a 4K disc, a regular Blu-ray disc, a digital code for the film, a filmmaker gallery book and exclusive bonus content. The box art features artwork inspired by one of the classic posters for the original 1977 “Star Wars” movie.

Target’s ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

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Best Buy is offering a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack with Steelbook packaging for $34.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Steelbook

Best Buy is also selling an exclusive nine-film “Skywalker Saga” 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray boxed set for $249.99. This marks the first 4K disc releases for the first six films of the franchise.

Best Buy’s ‘Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga’ 4K Blu-ray Boxed Set

An all-region version of the “Skywalker Saga” set is also available for preorder through the Amazon U.K. site. The listing indicates a 27-disc set, which would account for a 4K, regular Blu-ray and bonus disc for each film.