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It’s Elementary: 'Sherlock' Sequel Debuts at No. 1

20 Jun, 2012 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Call it the week of sequel power. Warner Home Video’s newly released Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, a sequel to 2009’s Sherlock Holmes, shot to the top of both national home video sales charts its first week in stores.

Meanwhile, Sony Pictures’ Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, a belated sequel to 2007’s Ghost Rider, debuted at No. 1 on Home Media Magazine’s weekly rental chart.

Other than that, the two films really don’t have much in common. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, released theatrically two years after the original, features both main stars — Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law — and was a big success on the big screen.

The second "Ghost Rider" film? Not so much. While A Game of Shadows grossed $187.6 million, just a little less than the original’s $209 million, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance earned just $51.8 million, less than half the original’s $115.8 million. What’s more, five years passed between installments, which in the fickle world of Hollywood, in the words of one observer, “might as well be a lifetime.”

Accordingly, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance didn’t fare nearly as well on the sales charts, bowing at a distant No. 3 on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks overall disc sales. The film was outsold by A Game of Shadows by a nearly 5-to-1 ratio.

On Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, the second Ghost Rider film also debuted at No. 3 — but with total unit sales of just 19.5% of the Sherlock Holmes sequel.

As for its performance on the rental chart, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance didn’t really have much competition. A Game of Shadows is distributed by Warner, which delays distribution to some rental outlets.

On both sales charts, 20th Century Fox’s Act of Valor held steady at No. 2, with Universal Studios’ Safe House slipping down a notch to No. 4 and Walt Disney Studios’ John Carter, No. 1 the previous week, falling to No. 5.

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