'Fifty Shades' Lights Up Disc Sales Charts13 May, 2015 By: John Latchem
Universal's Fifty Shades of Grey dominated the home video sales charts the week ended May 10. The hit film, based on the sexually charged novel about a kinky billionaire's attempts to seduce a young college student, topped the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray sales chart.
Fifty Shades, which grossed $166.2 million at the domestic box office, managed to outsell No. 2 Paddington by almost a 7-to-1 margin, an impressive feat considering it was released on Friday, May 8, giving it only three days to impact the charts rather than the usual six afforded to a traditional Tuesday new release.
Anchor Bay's family film Paddington sold 15% as many discs as Fifty Shades in dropping from the top spot it held the week before.
The next two spots on First Alert went to a couple of new disc releases of films dealing with racial issues: Paramount's Selma at No. 3 and Fox's Black or White at No. 4.
The No. 5 spot went to Fox's Taken 3, which dropped from No. 2 the week before.
On Nielsen's dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, Fifty Shades, Paddington and Selma were also the top three Blu-ray sellers, in the same order, with Taken 3 at No. 4 and Paramount's sci-fi epic Interstellar at No. 5.
Nielsen data shows 57% of Fifty Shades units sold were the Blu-ray Disc combo pack, compared with 34% for Selma and 17% for Black or White.
Universal's music-themed 2012 comedy Pitch Perfect rose to No. 7 on First Alert from No. 54 the week before, buoyed by anticipation for the May 15 theatrical release of Pitch Perfect 2, a sequel that exists in part because of the overwhelming home video success of the original film. Universal also re-released the first film as a sing-along edition on Blu-ray May 5.
On Home Media Magazine's rental chart for the week, Sony Pictures' The Wedding Ringer held onto the top spot for a second consecutive week. No. 2 went to Image Entertainment's The Cobbler, an Adam Sandler comedy that won't be released for disc sellthrough until May 12.
Rounding out the top five rentals, Paramount's The Gambler dropped a spot to No. 3, pushing Paddington to No. 4. Selma debuted as the No. 5 rental.