'Minions,' 'Ant-Man' Surge to Top of Home Video Sales Charts16 Dec, 2015 By: Thomas K. Arnold
The annual holiday selling season, which shifted into high gear over the Thanksgiving Day weekend, is now in the impulse phase, with studios releasing on disc high-profile, family friendly theatrical hits they hope will be snatched up as last-minute gifts.
Universal Pictures captured the top spot on the national home video sales charts the week ended Dec. 13 with the animated comedy Minions, the third installment in the “Despicable Me” franchise. The film, a prequel in which the capsule-shaped shills to the villainous Gru move into a starring role, earned more than $336 million in U.S. theaters and easily debuted at No. 1 on both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the Blu-ray Disc-only sales chart.
Bowing at No. 2 on both charts, with unit sales roughly half those of Minions was Marvel’s latest superhero flick, Ant-Man, distributed on home video by Walt Disney Studios. The film earned $180.2 million domestically and stars Paul Rudd as a cat burglar who uses a special suit to shrink in size.
The previous week’s top seller, Disney’s Inside Out, slipped to No. 3, also on both charts.
Nielsen data shows that both Minions and Ant-Man generated 63% of their total unit sales from Blu-ray Disc.
Five of the 10 top-selling discs during the week were Christmas classics: Warner’s Elf at No. 4, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at No. 6 and The Polar Express at No. 9; Universal’s 2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas at No. 8’; and 20th Century Fox’s Home Alone at No. 10.
Rounding out the top five on both charts was Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World at No. 5.
Anticipation for Star Wars: The Force Awakens helped drive three "Star Wars" collections onto the top 20. Star Wars: The Original Trilogy was No. 4 on the Blu-ray Disc chart and No. 7 on the overall disc chart. Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy was No. 15 overall and No. 6 on the Blu-ray chart, and Star Wars: The Complete Saga was No. 20 overall and the No. 7 Blu-ray.
On Home Media Magazine’s video rental chart for the week, Universal’s Trainwreck shot to No. 1 now that its 28-day holdback from Redbox is over, followed at No. 2 by Ant-Man (Disney releases its films to Redbox on the same day they go on sale at Walmart and other retailers).
Warner’s Vacation remake slipped to No. 3 (from No. 2) and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. fell to No. 4 from No. 1 the previous week.
Rounding out the top five was Universal Pictures’ Self/less, which was No. 3 the previous week.