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'Fifty Shades' Continues to Dominate Disc Sales

20 May, 2015 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Fifty Shades of Grey

Universal Pictures' Fifty Shades of Grey was the top-selling disc for the second consecutive week. The film, based on the sexually charged novel about a kinky billionaire’s seduction of a young college student, was No. 1 the week ended May 17 on both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined Blu-ray Disc and DVD sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.

Fifty Shades easily outsold second-ranked Pitch Perfect, another Universal title, by almost an 8-to-1 margin. Pitch Perfect, a 2012 disc release that jumped back up the charts thanks to anticipation over its theatrical sequel, moved into the No. 2 spot on the First Alert chart from No. 7 the previous week.

Paddington, a family film from Anchor Bay, slipped to No. 3 its third week in stores, while the next three spots on the overall disc sales chart went to new releases — all box office duds panned by critics.

Mortdecai, distributed by Lionsgate, debuted at No. 4. The action comedy earned less than $8 million in theaters despite a cast that includes Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Goldblum and Olivia Munn.

The Cobbler, with Adam Sandler, bowed at No. 5. The film, distributed on disc by Image Entertainment, reportedly earned just $24,000 in a barely there theatrical run following a lengthy stint on VOD.

And Blackhat, from Universal, bowed at No. 6. The action thriller opened with a dismal $4.5 million against a budget of $70 million; Variety in February reported that Legendary Entertainment was forced to take a $90 million writedown after the film ended its theatrical run with a worldwide gross of just $17.75 million.

Of the three new releases, Blackhat was the biggest Blu-ray Disc seller, with the high-definition format accounting for 49% of total unit sales.

The Blu-ray Disc percentage was significantly lower for Mortdecai (27%) and The Cobbler (29%).

On Home Media Magazine’s rental chart for the week, Mortdecai debuted at No. 1, bumping the prior week’s top rental, Sony Pictures’ The Wedding Ringer, to No. 2 after two weeks in the top spot.

Paramount’s The Gambler repeated at No. 3, while The Cobbler dropped to No. 4.

Rounding out the top five was a third new release, Still Alice, from Sony Pictures, which bowed at No. 10 on the overall disc sales chart.

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