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'Butler' No. 1, but 'Riddick' Sells More Copies

22 Jan, 2014 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Lee Daniels' The Butler

Three new releases captured the top three spots on both national home video sales charts the week ended Jan. 19, with honors for the top-selling disc of the week going to distributor Anchor Bay Entertainment for Lee Daniels’ The Butler, the civil rights drama that chronicles the changing tide in race relations as seen through the eyes of a black White House butler who served eight presidents.

The film, which stars Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey and earned $116.6 million in U.S. theaters, debuted at No. 1 on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks overall disc sales, DVD and Blu-ray Disc combined.

The No. 2 spot on First Alert went to Universal Studios’ Riddick, the third film in David Twohy's "Chronicles of Riddick" saga. The sci-fi film, with Vin Diesel in the title role, grossed $42 million at the box office. However, more people took home Riddick during the week than The Butler, as the sci-fi title was also available as part of Riddick: The Complete Collection, which debuted at No. 12 on First Alert. The combined unit totals of Riddick and the collection equate to slightly more than those of The Butler.

The remake of the Stephen King-penned horror film Carrie, about a combustible shy girl, debuted on First Alert at No. 3 after collecting $35.3 million at the box office during its brief pre- and post-Halloween theatrical run.

All three films also snagged the top three spots on the Nielsen Blu-ray Disc sales chart, although not in the same order. Riddick bowed at No. 1, followed by The Butler at No. 2 and Carrie at No. 3.

On both charts, Universal Studios’ Despicable Me 2 slipped to No. 4, ending the animated sequel’s amazing, and unprecedented, five-week run at No. 1.
Riddick generated 52% of its total unit sales from Blu-ray Disc, compared with 44% for Carrie and just 24% for The Butler.

Nine of the 20 top-selling discs were new releases, and three others made it into the First Alert top 10. Anchor Bay’s Fruitvale Station, a drama based on the final day in the life of Oscar Grant, an unarmed black BART passenger shot by police on New Year’s Day 2009, debuted at No. 5 (and at No. 7 on the Blu-ray Disc chart). The Lionsgate horror film You’re Next, about a family reunion marred by a visit by ax-wielding intruders, bowed at No. 6 on both charts, while 20th Century Fox’s Enough Said, a romantic comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini, came in at No. 8 (No. 14 Blu-ray).

On Home Media Magazine’s rental chart for the week, the No. 1 spot went to the Warner Bros. thriller Prisoners, about an abducted little girl and attempts by her father (Hugh Jackman) to find her. The film had been held back from key rental dealers for 28 days. The Butler bowed at No. 2, with Fast & Furious 6, from Universal Studios, slipping to No. 3.

Rounding out the top five were two more titles fresh off their 28-day holdbacks from rental dealers: 20th Century Fox’s The Family at No. 4 and Universal Studios’ Kick-Ass 2 at No. 5.

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