Every week, “Charts & Graphs” looks past the weekend box-office numbers to examine other lists of movies that are popular right now, as assessed by the likes of iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, and other services. This week:
The success of Frozen’s home video launch (which saw the movie selling 3.2 million Blu-ray and DVD copies on opening day) made me curious about what the all-time Blu-ray bestsellers are. The following list comes from the website The Numbers, with the following caveat: “Precise information on Blu-ray sales is not generally available. Our Blu-ray sales figures are estimates based on studio figures, publicly available data, and private research on retail sales carried out by Nash Information Services. The figures include estimated sales at Wal-Mart and other retailers that do not publicly release sales information.”
The first number after each title is the units sold; the second number is the dollars earned.
1. Avatar: 6,917,738/$152,978,535
2. The Avengers: 5,034,617/$113,592,989
3. Star Trek: 3,941,803/$87,978,202
4. The Dark Knight Rises: 3,808,038/$79,269,729
5. Inception: 3,686,675/$75,288,953
6. The Hangover: 3,448,366/$57,575,185
7. Beauty And The Beast:3,269,188/$75,976,775
8. The Hunger Games: 3,243,311/$63,580,443
9. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part I: 3,090,530/$60,502,916
10. Despicable Me: 3,009,879/$69,546,524
11. The Lion King: 2,929,690/$87,604,962
12. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part II: 2,877,172/$58,748,892
13. Despicable Me 2: 2,809,662/$56,811,366
14. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 2,724,457/$64,079,347
15. Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince: 2,670,477/$43,028,415
A few notes:
- Which of these films is not like the others? Or in other words: How did The Hangover become one of the 10 most popular Blu-rays of all time? I don’t have anything against that movie, which I enjoyed at the time that it came out, but it’s hard to imagine more than 3 million people wanting to own it on disc to watch over and over—especially when other, largely indistinguishable Hangover movies keep coming out.
- On the other hand, it’s not that surprising to see so many geek-friendly blockbusters on this list, because I can speak from personal experience that fantasy/science-fiction/superhero fans like to watch the same movies over and over. Plus, these kinds of films also tend to be “reference quality,” with sound and effects that show off home video/audio systems. That said, it’s odd to see Inception in the top five, because it’s so atypical. It’s the surprise blockbuster that keeps surprising.
- The composition of this list is affected by what’s come out in “the Blu-ray era.” It’s not that the later Harry Potter films are way more popular than the earlier ones so much as that by the time the Deathly Hallows movies came out on Blu-ray, more consumers had players, and more studios were releasing “combo packs” containing both the DVD and Blu-ray, to make fans’ purchasing decisions easier.
- Compared to their theatrical box office, even the biggest sellers here aren't making phenomenal amounts. I don’t think anyone’s going to turn down $7o million in additional revenue, but these aren’t the kind of numbers that drive studio decisions.
- So, is Frozen on-pace to make this list eventually? Heck, it might already be on it. That “3.2 million” doesn’t distinguish which were DVD and which were the DVD/Blu-ray combo, but if more than 2.6 million were Blu-rays, then Frozen probably cracked the Top 15 in a single day. And there’s a lot of animation on here already, because just like fantasy fans, children tend to watch their favorite films on repeat. And if a movie appeals to fantasy fans and children? It breaks records.