'Guardians of the Galaxy' Blasts Off on Home Video Charts17 Dec, 2014 By: Thomas K. Arnold
’Twas the week before Christmas, and Walt Disney Studios snatched the top spot on the national home video sales charts for the week ended Dec. 14 with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the year’s biggest box office hit.
Guardians, which earned $332.5 million in U.S. theaters, easily debuted at No. 1 on both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart — which tracks total Blu-ray Disc and DVD combined unit sales — and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart.
The film opened theatrically Aug. 1 and cost an estimated $170 million to make. Advance word was so good that Marvel Studios announced a sequel even before the film opened; it’s expected out in 2017.
Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which debuted at No. 1 on both charts the previous week, slipped to No. 2, also on both charts, with total unit sales of just 12.2% of the first-week tally for Guardians.
Disney’s Frozen moved down a notch to No. 3 on First Alert, marking its 39th consecutive week in the First Alert top 20.
Rounding out the First Alert top five were Warner’s Dolphin Tale 2 at No. 4 and the 20th Century Fox-distributed How to Train Your Dragon 2, a DreamWorks Animation film, at No. 5.
Dolphin Tale 2 is a sequel to the 2011 family drama about a boy who befriends an injured dolphin. The film reunites many of the original cast members, including Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr., but it only earned a little more than $42 million in theaters, some $30 million less than the original.
On Home Media Magazine’s rental chart for the week, 20th Century Fox took the No. 1 and No. 3 spots with Let’s Be Cops and How to Train Your Dragon 2, both of which just came off their 28-day holdbacks from Netflix and Redbox.
The prior week’s top rental, Warner’s Tammy, slipped to No. 2.
Guardians of the Galaxy debuted at No. 4, while another new release, Sony Pictures’ When the Game Stands Tall, debuted at No. 5. Disney and Sony Pictures don’t impose rental embargoes on their new disc releases, allowing availability on street date.