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'Fifty Shades' Lights Up Disc Sales Charts

13 May, 2015 By: John Latchem

Fifty Shades of Grey

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.

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