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‘Taken’ Takes the Top Spot

20 May, 2009 By: Thomas K. Arnold


Consumers were quite taken with Taken, as the 20th Century Fox actioner easily topped both the national home video sales and rental charts its first week in stores.
Taken captured the top spot on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart and Home Media Magazine’s rental chart for the week ended May 17, dusting Sony Pictures’ Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, which came to DVD and Blu-ray Disc after earning $45.8 million in U.S. theaters.

Taken, in turn, grossed $144.6 million at the box office. The film sported Titanic-like legs earlier this year during its lengthy theatrical run, which began in February with an opening gross of $24.7 million. Twenty percent of its first-week sales came from Blu-ray Disc, compared to 16% for Underworld.

On the sales chart, the third Underworld horror film debuted at No. 2, selling less than two-thirds as many copies as Taken. Paramount’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, last week’s top seller, slipped to No. 3.

On Home Media Magazine’s rental chart, Underworld debuted at No. 3 with fewer than half the rental turns of Taken. Benjamin Button was the week’s No. 2 renter.

The theatrical opening of Angels & Demons, the follow-up to The Da Vinci Code, sent the disc of the first Dan Brown-novel-based film back into the First Alert top 20. Sales were fueled by Sony Pictures’ strategically timed Blu-ray Disc debut of an extended version of The Da Vinci Code, which according to Nielsen research accounted for 16% of the title’s total unit sales last week. The Blu-ray Disc edition also included an exclusive preview of Angels & Demons, with a special introduction by director Ron Howard.

Taken also topped the Nielsen VideoScan Blu-ray Disc sales chart for the week.

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