'Monsters University' Rules Black Friday4 Dec, 2013 By: Thomas K. Arnold
The celebrated Thanksgiving Day weekend — with the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday — has come and gone. And as usual, new releases, with just one exception, took a backseat on the national home video sales charts to a bevy of recent hits that were sharply discounted to take advantage of the shopping surge.
The runaway winners were Monsters University and Planes, both from Walt Disney Studios. They were ranked at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, for the week ended Dec. 1 on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart — which tracks overall DVD and Blu-ray Disc combined sales — and No. 1 and No. 3 on Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.
Monsters University has been out for more than a month, while Planes was only released the week before Thanksgiving. Both titles were selling for less than $10 on Blu-ray Disc and DVD at Walmart and other big discount chains — as was Turbo, from DreamWorks Animation but distributed by 20th Century Fox, which ranked No. 3 on the sales chart in its third week of release.
Several older hits were even cheaper, prompting their reappearance on the chart. Warner’s year-old The Dark Knight Rises and The Great Gatsby, released in August, both popped up in the top 10 on First Alert after drastic price discounts. At Walmart, Dark Knight Rises could be had for $1.96 on DVD and $3.96 on Blu-ray Disc. The Great Gatsby sold for $4 at Target, with the Blu-ray Disc combo pack going for just $7.99 at Best Buy.
Other notable strong sellers include Universal Studios’ Despicable Me, which finished the week at No. 7 on First Alert; Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games, which remained at No. 8 largely due to consumer interest in its theatrical sequel, now playing on the big screen; and Paramount’s Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z, both of which zoomed back up the chart to No. 9 and No. 11 in their respective 12th and 11th week in stores.
The only new release that stood a chance was Lionsgate’s Red 2, which bowed at No. 4 on First Alert and No. 2 on Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart — at the standard new release “street price” of about $15 for the DVD and $20 for the Blu-ray Disc.
On Home Media Magazine’s video rental chart for the week, Red 2 debuted at No. 1, followed at No. 2 by Universal Studios’ R.I.P.D., fresh off its 28-day holdback from Redbox and Netflix.