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Sony, Lionsgate Horror Leaders

29 Jan, 2007 By: Jessica Wolf

Sony's Underworld: Evolution was the No. 1 horror title of 2006.

Call them the big two of horror. Two studios — Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Lionsgate — dominated the horror-DVD sales market in 2006. The pair accounted for 60% of horror sales, based on VideoScan's top 100 selling horror titles of the year.

Sony topped the genre in 2006 with more than 38% of unit sales among the top 100 horror sellers. Lionsgate wasn't far behind at 22.9%, leaving the rest of the market's horror players in the gory dust of the studios' strong franchises.

Both studios saw big action from big sequels last year. Sony's Underworld: Evolution was the No. 1 horror title in 2006, according to VideoScan. Lionsgate's gruesome follow-up flick Saw II was the No. 2 seller for the year.

And the big two in horror have struck again with two new wildly popular non-franchise titles. Sony's The Covenant was the No. 1 horror seller for the first week of 2007, and Lionsgate's The Descent was at No. 2, according to VideoScan.

Lionsgate's Saw III streeted just last week on DVD (Jan. 23), and the marketing push for the third installment seemed to give the original flick from the series a boost. The first Saw — a 2-year-old DVD release — landed at No. 6 on VideoScan's top horror sellers chart for the first week of 2007.

Warner Home Video's 13.4% share for the year comes thanks in part to New Line and fans' continued interest in the “Final Destination” franchise. Final Destination 3, released in July 2006, was the studios' top horror seller for the year, followed by its 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That catalog title benefited from the theatrical release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, which just hit DVD Jan. 16.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's unrated release of The Hills Have Eyes and The Omen remake led that studio's 12% of horror market share in 2006.

Meanwhile, Genius Products made something of a splash last year with a couple of well-received, unrated horror releases — Wolf Creek and Pulse — helping the newest mini-major grab nearly 3% of the horror market share in 2006. Pulse, released Dec. 5, 2006, showed long legs into 2007, placing as the No. 5 horror seller for the first week of the new year.

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