January 12, 2021
While spending three weeks on top of the U.S. DVD and Blu-ray sales charts was enough for Tenet to become the top-selling title for the month of December, it wasn’t enough to break through onto the year’s top 10 — a list dominated by titles from earlier in the year before the coronavirus pandemic began to impact the release slate.
The top-selling domestic disc of the year, according to the NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service, was Disney’s Frozen II, which pretty much grabbed the year’s No. 1 spot upon its release at the end of February.
An analysis of the year’s top 10 disc sellers is available here. The titles in the year’s top 10 remained unchanged from November, though Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog climbed a couple spots to finish the year at No. 7 thanks to a sales boost from a year-end Blu-ray re-release.
Meanwhile, Warner’s Tenet was No. 1 during the last month of the year after a Dec. 15 disc release. The latest thriller from director Christopher Nolan had been the subject of much discussion and fan interest during the pandemic, and also didn’t have much else in the way of major new discs in the final weeks of the year. Its underwhelming box office haul, including just $57.9 million in a domestic market severely hampered by theater closures and a virus-wary public, reportedly prompted WarnerMedia to switch its release strategy for the next year to put new movies on HBO Max concurrently with their theatrical releases.
Warner ended up with six of the top 10 December sellers, a bunch of them being classic Christmas movies. The No. 2 December disc was National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, while No. 4 was Elf, No. 6 was A Christmas Story and No. 7 was The Polar Express. No. 9 was Warner’s eight-film “Harry Potter” collection, which was been a top-seller for most of the last half of the year (it was No. 4 in November).
The only other new release on the December top 10 was Paramount’s Yellowstone: Season 3, a rare instance of a TV-based disc release cracking the top 10.
Rounding out the top five was another holiday favorite, Universal’s 2018 animated adaptation The Grinch, up from No. 2 in November.
The top seller from November, Disney’s live-action Mulan remake, slipped to No. 8 in December.
According to NPD, the December 2020 top 10 by units sold were:
- Tenet (Warner)
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Warner)
- Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
- Elf (Warner)
- The Grinch (Universal)
- A Christmas Story (Warner)
- The Polar Express (Warner)
- Mulan (2020)(Disney)
- Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
- Home Alone (20th Century)
2020 Top 10:
- Frozen II (Disney)
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney/Lucasfilm)
- Joker (Warner)
- Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony Pictures)
- 1917 (Universal)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)
- Trolls World Tour (Universal/DreamWorks)
- Midway (2019) (Lionsgate)
- Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Disney)
- Bad Boys for Life (Sony Pictures)