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‘The Office’ Orders Up Top Spot

16 Sep, 2009 By: Thomas K. Arnold


Universal Studios Home Entertainment just can’t stop. The studio that’s dominated the national home video sales and rental charts these last few weeks has done so again.

Season five of the hit TV series “The Office” topped the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart its first week in stores, while State of Play held down the No. 1 spot on Home Media Magazine’s rental chart for the second consecutive week.

“The Office” sold 47% more than the second-place title, the Lionsgate theatrical sequel Crank 2: High Voltage, according to Nielsen VideoScan sales data. On the rental chart for the week ended Sept. 13, Crank 2 also debuted at No. 2.

However, Crank 2 still made a great showing on its debut. It sold nearly 1.4 million DVD units its first week, according to Lionsgate, already making more on home video its first week out than during its entire theatrical run.

Lionsgate did manage to finish first on the Nielsen VideoScan Blu-ray Disc chart, scoring an easy victory with Crank 2. The actioner generated 22% of its total sales from the Blu-ray Disc version, according to Nielsen VideoScan data, and was far and away the week’s top Blu-ray Disc seller. Paramount Home Entertainment’s “Sapphire Series” Blu-ray Disc release of the DreamWorks hit Gladiator was the week’s No. 2 seller its second week in stores, but the film sold just 39% as many copies as Crank 2.

Overall, the summer doldrums are continuing to plague the home video industry, with the rollout of summer tentpoles not starting until the end of this month. Total DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales for the week are estimated at $116 million by Home Media Magazine’s market research department, down 14% from the similar week last year. In peak Q4 weeks that see the release of one or more $100 million-plus theatrical blockbusters, video sales could be as high as $350 million.

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