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'Hobbit' Finale Debuts as No. 1 Disc Seller

1 Apr, 2015 By: Thomas K. Arnold

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Once again, three new releases debuted in the top three spots on the national home video sales charts for the week ended March 29.

This time, the leader of the pack is Warner’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the third installment in the adventure fantasy trilogy, which debuted at No. 1 on both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart (which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc combined unit sales) and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.

The film earned $255.1 million in theaters and outsold Walt Disney Studios’ Into the Woods, which bowed at No. 2 on both charts, by a more than 2-to-1 margin.

Into the Woods is a cinematic melting pot of several classic Grimm fairy tales, with a cast that includes Meryl Streep, Tracy Ullman, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine and Emily Blunt. The film was a box office success, earning $127.9 million in U.S. theaters.

The third new release, debuting at No. 3, also on both charts, is Universal Pictures’ Unbroken, a biodrama about Louis Zamperini, the Olympic athlete who joined the military during World War II but was captured by the Japanese Navy after his plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean. Unbroken took in a domestic box office gross of $115.6 million and sold 25% as many units its first week in stores as The Hobbit.

Hobbit generated 54% of its first-week sales from Blu-ray Disc, compared with 38% for Into the Woods and 44% for Unbroken, Nielsen data shows.

The previous week’s top seller, DreamWorks Animation’s Penguins of Madagascar, distributed by 20th Century Fox, slipped to No. 4 on both charts its second week in stores, while Disney’s Big Hero 6 moved back into the top five its fifth week in stores after placing at No. 6 the previous week.

The top five on Home Media Magazine’s rental chart for the week consist of the same five titles as the previous week, due to the fact that some of the week’s big new releases are from studios that hold off on selling Netflix and Redbox copies of their hot new titles until a month after street date, to prevent rentals from cannibalizing sales.

Dumb and Dumber To, from Universal Pictures, remained No. 1, Disney's Big Hero 6 moved back up to No. 2, Sony Pictures’ Annie remake repeated at No. 3, Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 slipped to No. 4, and 20th Century Fox’s Birdman dropped one notch to No. 5.

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